Health Female Adda
8 months ago
Can Superloud Workout Classes Permanently Damage Your Hearing? An Expert Weighs In

Instructors work out together at The Wall.

As I drove home from a recent weeknight Spin class, I realized that the NPR show I was listening to seemed strangely muffled. In fact, everything sounded like I was hearing it while underwater - the radio anchor's voice, the siren on the ambulance that flew past me, and the Rap Caviar Spotify station I ended up switching to halfway home. It took me a minute to identify the culprit: the blaringly loud music (including an ill-advised EDM remix featuring the "how bow dah" audio from The Dr. Phil Show) I'd just subjected myself to for 55 minutes as I tapped it back.

My slightly dulled hearing only lasted for an hour or two after my Spin session ended, but it continued to nag at me for far longer. Was I sacrificing my ears every time I booked another ClassPass workout? After all, it wasn't the first time I'd noticed my hearing was a little wonky after attending a group fitness class. Don't get me wrong; I like my music loud. Very loud. (I played bass in a punk band in high school, for god's sake.) But even so, some of the classes I attend seem to dangerously overdo it on the decibels. Is the very thing I'm doing in a quest to get healthier actually bad for my health?

"I once exited a SoulCycle class because the music was deafening. My ears were ringing for a few minutes after I left, too."

Maybe I was being too sensitive. Maybe I just had a knack for booking exceptionally loud classes and instructors. So, a few days after that fateful Spin class, I decided to informally poll my Facebook friends. Had any of them either walked out of a workout class because the music was too loud, or been legitimately concerned that the volume in a workout class was negatively impacting their hearing? Fifty-four percent of the people who responded said yes.

"I once exited a SoulCycle class because the music was deafening," one fellow POPSUGAR editor told me. "My ears were ringing for a few minutes after I left, too." Another Facebook friend complained that even though she'd tried to wear earplugs once in an overly loud Spin class, they fell out halfway through. I, myself, can't even count the number of times I've physically moved myself away from a massive speaker in a bootcamp or hip-hop yoga class because I just couldn't take the volume.

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