Group Exercise and Ghosts
Updated: Oct 10
My favourite parapsychologist at my local University here in High Wycombe is Dr Kieran O'Keefe. He has a theory that many reports of paranormal experiences might be caused by infrasound rather than by the spirit of the deceased, stone-tape theory or fairies etc. Actual ghostly apparitions are seen less nowadays, people are much more likely to report feelings of dread, cold spots, shadows in the corner of the eye or an overwhelming sense of sickness that comes on suddenly at certain locations.
These experiences are frequently reported in places like old buildings, cellars, abandoned properties etc. These are all places where infrasound might be playing a part. Wikipedia says that Infrasound, sometimes referred to as low frequency sound, describes sound waves with a frequency below the lower limit of human audibility. You don't hear it, yet it has been proven that people can sense it. Experiments have tested infrasound in laboratory conditions and participants report feelings of dread, cold spots and images in the corner of the eyes. One part of a university was even considered to be haunted due to the infrasound experiments taking place there.
Remember, none of the people effected reported hearing anything. This potentially confirms the theory that sound has an affect on us at both a conscious and unconscious level.
This is very important when we are choosing a playlist for group-exercise, as the best ones take the unconscious as well as the conscious response of the participant into account.
The conscious response is best represented by the use of songs with familiar pop lyrics or recognisable sounds or riff.
It is relatively easy to choose a playlist of songs that deliver those really conscious results, yet fundamentally this one-dimensional approach has flaws-
-How do these lyric orientated tracks adhere to a journey that reflects the peaks and troughs in the programming or mood of the workout?
-Does the track structure reflect any time-protocols inherent in the workout, such as Tabata (20 on or 10 off) for example?
-Does the BPM reflect the various peaks/troughs in the programming, regardless of whether the workout is on the beat or not?
-Does everybody psychologically respond to familiar lyrics, or are some people inspired by new music, or kick and bass drum. Or like me, a big piano riff!
The point I am trying to make here is that it is possible to affect the emotional and physical response to a workout experience, without the participant being aware of what is happening. Music has both an unconscious as well as a conscious effect. It is not enough to create a playlist full of chart toppers. Compilation albums are not enough.
Action. Take the time to prepare a sound journey, that matches the intensity, speed and mood of the various chapters of your workout.