When performing repetitions of an exercise – like a bicep curl – do you count up, or do you count down? Share your answer in the poll below:
I tend to count up, but I hadn’t really given it much thought. Counting is counting, right? Wrong.
Turns out, counting up could have some substantial psychological benefits. Some research has been done on the subject, and it seems that counting down is anti-climactic, while counting up builds a sense of accomplishment in some exercisers. Moreover, counting up makes you more likely to go for that extra repetition.
Let’s go back to the bicep curls. Say your goal is to do six repetitions. If you count down, you’ll stop at 1. It’s the end of the set, and you’re probably not going to continue counting into the negative numbers (…0, -1, -2). But if you’re counting up, it’s more intuitive to build on your success and go for that seventh or even eighth rep.
What do you think? Is this theory enough to get you to switch? Or is it a crock? Let me know in the comments.