James Chinery

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

John D. (Jake) Emmett


Music as an ergogenic aid is a novel concept, and one that has been sporadically researched. The purpose of this thesis was to study the effects of music and sensory deprivation on ratings of perceived exertion during exercise.

Eleven active males (i.e. they exercised at least 3 times a week), were tested in three different conditions (music, sensory deprivation, control). They exercised in each condition, at workloads corresponding to 50, 70 and 90% of their maximal oxygen consumption. The sessions and workloads within each session were randomized.

No significant differences were found for heart rate between conditions. Significantly lower perceived exertions were reported between the sensory deprivation and music condition (heavy condition), and the sensory deprivation and control condition (heavy condition). This is inconsistent with previous research which found differences between the light and moderate workloads for RPE.

Of the eleven subjects, 5 failed to complete the last minute of exercise (sensory deprivation and heavy workload), and 2 of those 5 didn't complete the last 2 minutes of the same stage. During the control condition, 3 subjects weren't able to complete the last minute of heavy exercise. All subjects completed each workload during the music condition.

It was concluded that music's effects on exercise decreased ratings of perceived exertion during a heavy workload. When comparing sensory deprived and control conditions to the music condition. Music was also found to be a contributing factor in motivating a person to finish the heavy workload. This is evident by the percentage of people finishing the heavy workload in the music group (100%), compared to the sensory deprivation (55%), and the control (73%).