Training Without Headphones

Ever since the rise of portable radios, listening to music during workouts has become a standard for many.

Just think, when you walk into a gym, how many people aren’t plugged in to their headphones?

While music during my workout is a big energy booster, it can also cause us to go through the motions and have mindless workouts. Here are 3 reasons why working out without headphones can benefit your workout and your health.

1. It forces you to pay attention

Often times when we’re listening to music during a workout, it’s to distract us from the fact that we’re exercising. But this also allows our mind to drift from what we should be paying attention to during exercise: our bodies.

Exercise, lifting weights especially, requires full attention before, during, and after our actual workout. We should be constantly paying attention to exactly what our bodies are doing, feeling, and telling us. When we have blasting music in our ears, our minds drift and the things we should be focusing on are being de-prioritized due to our brain trying to focus on the words and sounds of the music.

There’s a reason why we always seem to turn down the music when trying to park a car, music confuses and distracts our brain while we’re trying to focus our attention elsewhere. It effects our vision and concentration.

2. It challenges you to channel energy in a different way

Music has great power, but it also is a different kind of energy. When listening to music your mind has something to channel energy from; a good beat, angry lyrics, goosebumps from a favorite song, etc.

But this, in a sense, is artificial. It’s energy derived from something created.

Working out without headphones forces you to channel energy organically, through your own body and mind. Doing this, will help you speak to your body, listen to it, and act as one with it.

Now you could use some angry thoughts or pent up aggression, but this is a little bit more real than what music can provide.

You may notice that you weren’t able to lift as much, or you felt a little distracted. And this is a good lesson to learn, as overtime you will be able to naturally channel energy and focus more and more with yourself without the aid of music.

3. It’s better for your ears (and eyes)

This one is pretty straightforward, albeit important. When you go to a gym, there’s typically music already playing. There’s also loud banging of weights, treadmills, and machines. All loud stuff.

Adding loud music right next to your eardrums can be even more overstimulating and it may damage your ears overtime. 

Lots of us spend so much time with a phone next to our ears or have headphones in listening to music, that we rarely give ourselves (and our ears) a break. The gym could actually be a perfect time to do that. Listen to the music that’s already playing, or just tune everything else out and focus on what you went there to do.

It’ll also keep you off your phone during a time for a need of intense focus. Having to skip or jump through songs and giving yourself one more reason to be on your cellphone can be distracting during your workout and disrupt your session. Keeping your phone and music in your locker can help you be more present and mindful, as well as sparing your ears of the damage. 


Music is powerful and a great workout tool if used correctly, but challenging yourself to workout without music a little more will help in many ways, guiding you towards a stronger, happier, and healthier life.

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