Effects of music tempo on performance, psychological, and physiological variables during 20 km cycling in well-trained cyclists

Percept Mot Skills. 2013 Oct;117(2):484-97. doi: 10.2466/29.22.PMS.117x24z8.


Few studies have investigated the effects of music on trained athletes during high intensity endurance tasks. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of different music tempi on performance, psychological, and physiological responses of well-trained cyclists to time trial cycling. 10 male road cyclists (M age = 35 yr., SD = 7), with a minimum of three years racing experience, performed four 20-km time trials on a Computrainer Pro 3D indoor cycle trainer over a period of four weeks. The time-trials were spaced one week apart. The music conditions for each trial were randomised between fast-tempo (140 bpm), medium-tempo (120 bpm), slow-tempo (100 bpm), and no music. Performance (completion time, power output, average speed and cadence), physiological (heart rate, oxygen consumption, breathing frequency and respiratory exchange ratio), psychophysical (RPE), and psychological (mood states) data were collected for each trial. Results indicated no significant changes in performance, physiological, or psychophysical variables. Total mood disturbance and tension increased significantly in the fast-tempo trial when compared with medium and no-music conditions.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect / physiology*
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Athletic Performance / psychology
  • Bicycling / physiology*
  • Bicycling / psychology
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Music* / psychology
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Time Factors