Deception Improves Performance!

1010_faster_fitnessYou are stronger – and faster – than you think.

Researchers from Indiana University proved just that in a study with cyclists performing 4-kilometer timed trials. For the study, 14 competitive cyclists biked four timed trials with variables (like speed and power output) being displayed on monitors.

Of the four sessions, the first was to familiarize the cyclists with equipment. The second session was to provide a baseline for sessions three and four. In the the third and fourth session, avatars appeared alongside the cyclist on the monitor; the cyclists were all told the the avatar reflected their baseline. However, in the session involving deception, the avatar was actually programmed to perform at 102% of the baseline.

Through the deception, cyclists were able to improve their performance by 2.1% over their baseline performance – even after the cyclists were told that they were tricked.

One researcher noted:

The idea is that there’s some sort of governor in your brain that regulates exercise intensity so you don’t overheat, or run out of gas, so to speak. In this case, the governor was reset to a higher upper limit, allowing for improved performance.

I’ve seen trainers utilize this concept by tricking clients into thinking they’re lifting the same amount as usual. However, the trainer has secretly added a bit more weight. So long as they client thinks they can lift the weight, they do.

Nonetheless, this study underscores the importance of the mind in exercise. And that you are, in fact, stronger and faster than you think.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.

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