Ronnie Coleman was known to talk to himself while he was working out, saying “Light weight, baby!” and the infamous “Ain’t nothin’ but a peanut!” Coleman said that he would scream this out loud to help get him in the zone before big lifts. On the other hand, its not uncommon for gyms to strictly enforce a “no screaming zone” to try to make them more mainstream.

According to a new study, talking to yourself may be the extra boost you need to enhance performance. Researchers allocated subjects to either a control group or a self-talk group. All subjects first completed an incremental power test to establish peak power output andthe subjects were asked to cycle to peak exhaustion. For the self-talk test, they were reminded to use positive self-talk statements. When comparing the self-talk with no talk, there were no physiological differences between the groups in respect to heart rate at exhaustion, and blood lactate concentration sampled three minutes after exhaustion between the two groups. They found that the motivational self-talk increased time to exhaustion by 17.9% from pretest to post-test but not in the control group. The researchers also found that the self-talk group had lower psychological distress than the control group.

So next time you’re in the gym, don’t be afraid to talk to yourself before a doing a balls-towall set of squats, it worked for Ronnie, why not you! – FLEX