Kang Seung Hyun, a teacher and former rugby player preparing for a fitness photo shoot, said his gym decided to turn off the treadmills instead of imposing the slow pace. However, the bikes remained open for reasons he did not understand.

“So we can’t run or use the treadmills, but we can ride bikes? It seems strange to me, ”he said.

Ralph Yun, a CrossFit instructor who has been teaching for five months, said listening to music at a pace similar to your heart rate can improve performance, but it doesn’t necessarily make you harder.

“You could listen to slow music and train just as intensely,” he said.

Costas Karageorghis, a professor at Brunel University in London who has studied the effects of music on training for 30 years, was amused by the recommendations and called them “ridiculous”.

“If people are motivated enough to train at high intensity, the music can’t stop them,” he said.

However, research has shown that music can make significant changes to exercise even if it wasn’t what the Korean authorities intended.

Dr. Karageorghis said the sweet spot for aerobic exercise, like running on a treadmill or cycling, is 120 to 140 beats per minute. Music can distract the mind from feelings of fatigue, diminish your perception of how hard your body is working, and improve your mood. Loud music above 75 decibels can make a workout more intense, although very loud music carries the risk of hearing problems such as tinnitus.

He said he was not surprised that health officials chose 120 strokes, as research has shown that this was, in some ways, a “key break.” It’s about twice the lower end of a healthy resting heart rate, and 120 steps per minute is a common walking pace, he said. Wedding DJs have told him they’ll use a 120-beat song to get people onto the dance floor (Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” checks in at around 120).