When you’re ready to hit the pavement, gym or wherever else you get the job done, you likely turn to music to make it happen. Whether it’s out of habit, just because you need something in the background, because you need the rhythm to keep pace or because you need to distract yourself, music is one of the greatest workout companions that exists.
If you feel this way, you’re not alone. Solid research stands behind the practice with one study equating a solid rhythm with a performance-enhancing drug. The Smithsonian Institute even credits music with reducing pain and fatigue while promoting metabolic efficiency; in other words, music can actually take your workouts to the next level…it’s not just in your head.
This is where many athletes, especially those participating in high-impact training, like running, hit a wall. I bet you’ve been there. You’re ready to go, your playlist is set and you’re pumped. Then, you experience an equipment failure and you fall short of your expectations. You end up disappointed a living in a what-if scenario. The unexpected culprit? Your “sport” earbuds.
Seems ridiculous right? Something as miniscule as a set of earbuds holding you back from reaching your full potential? There’s more to it than you think. Check out these five ways your sport earbuds are holding you back.
Anyone who uses electronics knows the battle. You’re in the middle of something great…then the flashing red light of death appears and your time to complete whatever task you’re set on kicks into fast-forward mode.
Wireless headphones and earbuds need batteries to work, that’s just common sense. However, with the best devices on the market lasting 8-12 hours at max, you’re limited. Think about it; it’s not hard to remember to charge your phone. That’s a part of your daily routine. But, your earbuds? Listening to music at work shouldn’t diminish your capacity to do so during a workout.
Unfortunately, however, this is a serious battle for many workout warriors. A high-needs battery could become a real workout spoiler without extensive planning.
Whether you’re working out in a crowded gym, or alone on a trail with just the sound of your breathing and footsteps, you’re never actually surrounded by silence. Even normal conversation or background noise generally adds up to 60 decibels, a no-noise situation just isn’t possible.
Unfortunately, many sport headphones and earbuds can’t compete. They’re designed for convenience, not with actual sound quality or noise-blocking qualities in mind. If a sound engineer hasn’t had a say in the performance of your earbuds, you’re probably going to be disappointed at best and distracted at worst.
In fact, during a 1-hour workout, the average individual sweats roughly 27.4 to 47.3 ounces of fluid. Have you spilled an entire water bottle or two on the floor at once? If not, I’ll keep it simple: that’s a lot of sweat!If you’re working out to make an impact on your overall fitness level, you have to sweat. There’s no way around it (sorry ladies, you can call it “glistening” if you’d like, but for the purpose of this piece, we’ve got to call it what it is!).
Most sport earbuds aren’t designed to withstand the water. Just because it says “sport” doesn’t mean it can hold up to actual workout levels of sweat, which means your expensive headphones might not have the lifespan you’re hoping for. If you want to save for the best equipment, shoes and apparel, you probably don’t want to invest in water-damaged headphones on the regular.
When you’re going hard, the last thing you need to think about is an earbud falling out, obtrusive cords, in-ear wings, awkward neck-mounted collars or any other mechanisms that take your focus away from what you need to get done.
Even if the earbuds you’re using are designed with athletes in mind, there’s likely to be a hang-up at some point. Every time you feel distracted by your sound-producing companions, your workout efficiency drops. Who has the time – or patience – for that?
We all face hurdles during workouts. Whether we worry that we look ridiculous running (hey, we’ve all been there, especially in the beginning), that we’re being judged by our form, that we aren’t working out the way we should be or that our clothing doesn’t fit the way it should, appearance matters.
I’m willing to go out on a limb and say that your headphones have caused a hang-up or two in this area. Maybe you’re unsure of where the cord should go – over the clothes, under the clothes? Or, where exactly you should fasten the phone – your arm? Your waist? Forget-it-I’ll-just-hold-it-ville? Perhaps the uncomfortable placement of the neck-collar throws off your form by limiting movement and makes you wonder if you look more out of line than you feel?
We like to say that we don’t care about little things like this, but let’s face it: we do. If your headphones don’t fit the image you have for yourself during workouts, they’re just causing another headache.
What if someone designed the perfect wireless earbud that overcame these obstacles? Would you be able to rock your next workout? Chances are you absolutely could. I can’t spill right now, but, I can say that somethings coming. Be prepared to take your next workout to the next level…stay tuned for more!