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Feel the Beat


September 2013

Runners and researchers agree thereís a connection between a good sweat and a good song.

Listening to music can create a "rhythm response," such as tapping your toes. During a workout or race, it can regulate your pace, take your mind off any pain and remind you of happy memories. After reviewing studies on the psychology of exercise music last year, a British expert wrote one could think of music as "a type of legal performance-enhancing drug."

Admirals star Mark Van Guilder doesnít need scientific research to know what helps him perform. Heís a fan of "Canít Stop" by Red Hot Chili Peppers. In fact, the Admirals were undefeated last season in games with that song playing in the dressing room, Van Guilder says. "Great song, upbeat, impossible not to bob your head while listening," he says. "Good song to work out to, great song to play pingpong to. It really gets me going."

Also on Van Guilderís playlist: "Coming Undone" (Korn), because it brings back memories of weightlifting workouts at Notre Dame; and "Breaking the Habit" (Linkin Park).

Bucks forward John Henson works out to "Land of the Snakes" (J Cole), "Blood on the Leaves" (Kanye West) and "Somewhere in America" (Jay Z).

"I donít like music thatís too hard core. I just like something thatís smooth ó maybe not too smooth, but easy to listen to and even motivational in a sense," says Henson. "It doesnít matter what kind of workout Iím doing. I know some people like different music for different things, but itís all the same for me."

Olympic triathlete and Waukesha native Gwen Jorgensen unplugs while swimming, cycling or running. "I train sans music because I am training with others," she explains. "Itís more enjoyable to talk to others during training sessions."

In the gym, however, she enjoys upbeat country music such as "Cruise" by Florida Georgia Line. Jorgensen, who recently moved to Australia for winter training and Spain for summer training, and changed coaches, draws inspiration from Darius Ruckerís "Learn to Live:"

"You gotta live to learn

You gotta crash and burn

You gotta make some stances

And take some chances"

"I think the message is clear ó we sometimes have to trust and just go all in," says Jorgensen, who is contention to be ranked No. 1 in the world this year.



This story ran in the September 2013 issue of: