A little competition increases your workout - by as much as 200%

work it

Want to kick your work out into high gear? Work out with someone you think is stronger. The key to motivation may be feeling like the underdog. “We found that when you’re performing with someone who you perceive as a little better than you, you tend to give more effort than you normally would alone,” stated Brandon Irwin, assistant professor of kinesiology at Kansas State University.

Competing with virtual partners

Researchers brought in females to ride stationary bikes and told them to go as long as they could. They invited the females back and this time told them to watch a video of other test subjects who outperformed them. They were allowed to try again. Their output increased by 90%. Test subjects were invited back a third time and told they were teaming up. “We told them they were working together to achieve a team score,” Irwin explained. “The team score was the time of the person who quits first. The participants believed that in the previous trial, they didn’t exercise as long as the other person. We created a situation where the participant was the weak link.” After multiple sessions with virtual partners who continually outperformed them, the output increased by 200%.

Hard to know what exactly does the trick

It’s hard to know what motivates. Perhaps the cyclist didn’t want to let their partner down. They may have felt a rapport over time. It could also be the humiliation of being continually behind. Whatever the reason, the cyclists increased their performance an astonishing amount.

Inspire yourself; a little competition may increase performance

“In certain fitness goals, like preparing to run a marathon, consider exercising not only with someone else, but with someone who is that much better,” Irwin advised. “For an extra boost, consider some type of team exercise that involves competition.”

Source” MedicalNewsToday, KSU


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