If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated when attempting a difficult lift at the gym, don’t be embarrassed about swearing.
In fact, it might even help.
That’s the conclusion in research by LIU Brooklyn Adjunct Associate Professor of Sports Science David Spierer, which was presented at the annual conference of the British Psychological Society, and later covered in a wide range of publications and media outlets, including the New York Post, the New Yorker, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fox News, and GQ.
Spierer and graduate student Emmanuel Katehis collaborated on the study – “Effect of swearing on strength and power performance” – with Dr. Richard Stephens of Keele University in England. While the study made headlines as something of a curiosity, the findings do have practical applications.
Participants in the study averaged a 5 percent increase in strength while swearing, as determined by the Wingate test (an intense anaerobic bike ride), and an 8 percent increase in strength on an isometric handgrip test.
“If we apply that to real life,” Spierer told Australia’s The New Daily, “think of a jar of pickles or something you’re trying to open that’s really difficult. Having 8 percent more power might actually open the jar.”