Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology and Health Science

Committee Chair(s)

Brennan Thompson


Brennan Thompson


Travis Dorsch


Chris Dakin


Over the past several years, the use of music has become increasingly popular among athletes of various performance levels as a means to provide prework-out relaxation, focus, and motivation. Extensive research has examined music’s effects on aerobic exercise performance, and the results generally show positive outcomes (e.g., music can increase endurance, performance in running). Research on anaerobic exercise has provided mixed results as to music’s effectiveness. However, previous research has not investigated the use of music to augment performance under the conditions of a high intensity, dynamic strength-based movement such as the free weight squat in an elite strength trained athletic population.

Purpose: The purpose of the present study is to examine the effects of self-selected music on power-based performance, using the back squat exercise, with it being performed in a familiar weight room setting in NCAA Division I football players.

Methods: Sixteen NCAA Division I football players performed a set of 15 repetitions on a squat exercise on separate days under three conditions: no music (control), music beforehand during a warm-up, and music during the warm-up and testing. During the exercise, a computer-interfaced dynamometer was secured to the barbell and provided measures of power and velocity for each repetition and across the duration of the test. Participants also filled out the Situational Motivation Scale (SIMS) which represents a self-report measure of situational intrinsic motivation, identified regulation, external regulation, and amotivation.

Results: There were no significant differences among the three conditions for power, velocity, or SIMS responses.

Conclusion: Music may not be a beneficial aid to performance during high intensity activities in elite strength trained athletes. Music’s distracting effect may only be productive at lower force requiring activities and/or in populations less accustomed to the demands of high intensity lower body resistance exercises.