Training solo? Why you need a pair of noise cancelling headphones.

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Like a meal management bag, noise cancelling headphones are one of those things that once you own your first pair you wonder how you ever managed without. Maybe you disagree and I’m a grumpy fool but these are my top reasons why noise cancelling headphones are a must at the gym.

Gets You in the Zone

Have you ever walked into the gym and just not been in the mood to lift. Maybe you have arrived and when you got there it was too busy so you did a half ass workout then left. No? Well I certainly have. In fact I’ve walked to the gym and after stepping one foot inside completely walked out because of one reason or another.  This is why I listen to music on the way to the gym and keep my headphone on throughout my session. Music gets me in the mood to lift heavy and puts me in my own world. Nothing bothers me in my world, no one but me has access and I couldn’t care less about the shit storm around me. Of course if your headphone are not noise cancelling you may not understand what I’m talking about. Good noise cancelling headphones will literally fade out your surrounding and I for one perform best in this isolated state.


Less Talking More Lifting

We all know the guy in the gym that talks to everyone within a 5 meter radius. The same arsehole gentleman that sits at the bench for 3 sets but takes him 30 minutes because of all the lip movements between lifts. Most of the time I don’t care, each to their own, but when that guy is occupying a machine/bench/space I want to use….well it’s just not cool. At one point or another that guy has probably been you. Don’t be that guy. If you want to socialise use the lobby and talk it out over a protein flapjack.

Noise cancelling headphones in this case keep me from wanting to talk to other people (I don’t even like to disturb my own listening) and also serve as a polite do not disturb notice to anyone trying to initiate conversation. The best part, even if someone was to say something you’re unlikely to hear them. Obviously if they’re looking directly at you moving their lips it would be rude not to listen, but in general any conversations initiated will be limited to a few words like “how many sets you got left brah?”.


This relates to the points above but I wanted to mention it separately too. With my headphone on I’m just mega focused and that makes for a great workout.


Rhythm and Pace

The music you listen to is important and Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On (titanic theme for those not in the know) may not have the same effect as something with a higher tempo. Personally I always listen to a mix, in the gym and out, because a mix ensure no gaps in the music – gaps which take you out of focus.

The more comfortable I am with the workout the more flexible I can be with the choice of music. If however the workout will be one of those gruelling leg days, whereby you’ll have to hand stand your way home, I need tracks with attitude to get the testosterone pumping. For hip-hop fans think Tupac Hit em’ Up and Eminem Til I Collapse.

“I would honestly rather workout in silence than have to sit through an hour of Kent Jones Don’t Mind”

Drown out the Radio

In an attempt to satisfy as many people as possible most gyms tend to play pop music off the radio and I just can’t take it. This is something I could probably go on and on about but the thesis ultimately concludes with “pop music is noise pollution”. I would honestly rather workout in silence than have to sit through an hour of Kent Jones Don’t Mind. I’d also prefer to spend an hour rimming a hairy dude’s ass but fortunately with noise cancelling headphones I never need to make that choice.

So there you have it the top reasons you need noise cancelling headphones in the gym. This post went on for longer than I thought and it turned into bit of a rant but it at least makes for an entertaining read.

If your interested in purchasing a pair of NC headphones you should definately check out my top 5 noise cancelling headphones, which I haven’t wrttien yet. Until a time that I do write that list you may want to checkout the headphones I personally use, the Sony MDR-ZX770BN, which cost less than £100 but could easily be sold for over £200!

Anyone looking for a good house mix may find Turok’s iROK 104 August 2016 mix a treat. I’ve been listing to this mix a lot recently because it’s over 2 hours long; plus the first half is active g house but the second half mellows out and put you in another dimension (I’m listening to this as I type this article).

Once you get focused in the gym, you have won half the mental battle and are on your way to a successful workout. The other half of the mental battle you need to overcome is the fear of lifting heavy weights. Our article ‘Essential equipment to overcome your fear of squatting more’ can help you there. Happy Lifting!

Do you own a pair of noise cancelling headphone? Ever forget them at home? Maybe you disagree with what I said (radio thing is non negotiable). Comment, Like, Share 


About Author

Mehmet is a qualified pharmacist and lover of shorts, whatever the season. Whilst his background is in science his interests are in fitness, music and entrepeneurship. He is the founder of Gym Meals London and believes quality food, an active lifestyle and regular stretching is the obvious secret to good health.

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