At Fuller Gym, many Task Force Phoenix Soldiers can be found using music during their workouts to improve their physical fitness test scores and weight management.
Pfc. Mario Charles, a logistics clerk with D Company, Task Force Phoenix, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, had been struggling to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test run since November.
Six days a week, sometimes twice a day, he could be found in the gym, running to upbeat music to improve his two-mile run time. Focusing on the rapid beat of his rock music pulsing in his ear, and thinking about his newborn baby girl as motivation, he significantly improved his run.
After all of his music-filled training, Charles passed his APFT in April.
An article published in The Sport Journal, the United States Sports Academy’s monthly publication, detailed verifiable data about music’s positive effect on individuals who use it for sports and exercise routines.
According to the journal, the right music can make an individual feel less fatigue and boredom by diverting his or her attention away from repetitive exercises. Listening to music also can provide a distraction to push oneself further and can help sustain rhythm – particularly while running.
“My music keeps me from being bored while I’m running on a treadmill staring at a wall,” said Spc. Erika Ortiz, an arms room clerk with E Company, TF Phoenix. “I can stare at a sign on a wall forever when I have my music to keep me moving.”
Ortiz is working on lowering her weight to meet Army standards by going to the gym five days a week, at least once a day; however, the chronic pain she gets in her feet while exercising puts a damper on her efforts.
She said she found listening to music helps to alleviate some of the pain of her injury, allowing her to push through her workouts to help strengthen the muscles needed to recover.
“When I use music, it keeps my mind off of my pain in my feet so it’s not so bad,” said Ortiz. “I forgot my iPod once when I went to the gym to work out. Never again! My feet felt like they were on fire without my music. I always have my music now to distract myself from the pain.”
Pvt. Manuel Santiago, an aviation operations specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, TF Phoenix, hits the gym twice a day, six days a week.
He said he enjoys listening to rock, rap and reggae while he’s working out. Santiago admits it provides him with a diversion to push himself and that it helps him maintain his rhythm while he is doing cardio.
“Music helps me drain out all of the distractions and helps me get through my workout until the end,” Santiago said. “I catch myself running to the rhythm – like it’s cadence.”
Santiago said he has been struggling with his sit-ups for his APFT.
“I’m using music to get my abs proficient enough to pass (the APFT),” he said. “It gets me into the rhythm so I can do sit-ups without thinking about them. I focus more on the music I’m playing in my head than how my body feels.”
TF Phoenix Soldiers recognize the benefits of exercising to music and reap the benefits daily as their APFT scores improve and their weight is properly managed.