WE SWEAR, IT WORKS

Men's Health (UK) - - The Body Issue -

A few choice curse words can pro­vide you with an in­de­cent power boost. Give it a spin

So you man­aged to re­trieve your bike from the dusti­est en­clave of the garage with the best of in­ten­tions, only to dis­mount at the first in­cline in a breath­less strop. Be­fore you throw pro­fan­i­ties at the in­fer­nal ma­chine that has so for­saken you, con­sider redi­rect­ing that ‘en­ergy’. It’s a strat­egy the pelo­ton swears by.

Ac­cord­ing to sci­en­tists at Keele Univer­sity, your per­for­mance in the sad­dle can profit from a few well-timed ob­scen­i­ties. Fol­low­ing up on stud­ies in which swearing was shown to help in­crease pain tol­er­ance, re­searchers asked par­tic­i­pants to swear be­fore an in­tense ses­sion on an ex­er­cise bike. Com­pared to those who ut­tered ‘neu­tral’ words, the study group noted an in­crease in peak power of 24 watts.

The same spikes also ap­plied when the the­ory was tested on hand grip strength, with those shout­ing out their favourite four-let­ter words in­creas­ing strength by 2.1kg. Re­searchers put this down to the dis­tract­ing ef­fect of curs­ing – a handy trick when faced with stub­born jars in your kitchen cup­board, sure, but we’d ex­er­cise cau­tion with petu­lant tantrums on a busy gym floor. As for swearing through Sun­day af­ter­noon hill climbs, given the ev­i­dence, it would be rude not to.

BEN­E­FIT FROM A F!*KING HUGE IN­CREASE IN POWER

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