The Placebo Effect: Harness a New Potential in the Gym!

A new study cited in Science Daily found the placebo effect to play a role in the level of strenuousness you feel during your workout.


Ever wish you could just tell yourself you love working out & suddenly you would?   A new study suggests the placebo effect can help you feel this way.

The Department of Sport Science at the University of Freiburg decided to find out what kinds of factors influence one's perception of strenuousness in a unit of sport.  Researchers tested nearly 80 individuals who were shown a video that either highlighted the positive effects of a cycling exercise they were about to endure while another group was shown a negative video detailing the upcoming cycling exercise.  Participants were then asked if they perceived themselves to be athletic or not at the beginning of the test as a baseline to determine their overall attitudes toward exercise.  Research participants were also given a sport-specific, brand-name compression shirt to wear during the duration of their workout. 

As it turns out, participants who experienced a more positive, less strenuous workout were those who had a positive outlook and attitude regarding the cycling exercise.  According to the study, this phenomenon was influenced by which video participants viewed as well as their initial perception of how athletic participants thought themselves to be.  Scientists also believe that those who perceived themselves to be “less athletic” were positively aided by the addition of the compression shirt.

Conclusion?  Scientists believe in the power of the placebo effect when working out.  Maybe it’s the positive talk and encouragement from a group fitness class or personal trainer, or the fresh new workout gear you’ve just purchased – either way, if you believe in it, your workout will feel better for it!

Thanks for reading!  Check out the cited article from Science Daily here:
Science Daily Website



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November 16, 2018
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