Time for our Workout Of The Month. Each month we take a look at something fitness related and break it down in a way that you can understand it so that you can apply it to your life. Some times we take a look at a specific workout and break it down – other times we’ll take a look at the latest fitness research and separate fact from fiction. This month is about the concept of mind over matter. How can swearing during working out make you stronger?

Does Swearing During Working Out Make You Stronger?

Sometimes in order to push yourself harder in a workout it literally is, mind over matter. Research shows that the type of music a person listens to can have an effect on a workout. But what about swearing? New research shows that swearing could possibly make your workouts more productive.

The Study

Researchers took a look a group of twenty-nine participants with an average age of twenty-one years old. The study participants did a short and intense bout of activity on an exercise bike. On one run they were asked to repeat a neutral word. Following the first run, the they were then asked to repeat a swear word.

On the second part of the study, fifty-two participants with an average age of nineteen. The group of participants was asked to test hand strength – three times while yelling a curse word and three times while yelling a neutral word.

In both groups, swearing helped to increase overall strength output.  

How To Apply This Study To Your Workouts

Similar research has been shown that the type of music that is listened to also has an effect on working out. Any type of personal motivating music can increase strength and endurance efforts as well. Sometimes this goes to show that pushing oneself really is mind over matter. There are things that we can do for our bodies to boost physical activity such as resting, a proper warm-up, and correct nutrition. However, there are also things that we can do within our mind to help give us an extra physical edge.

What kind of things do you do to help give your mind an active edge to help push you when you’re feeling that your body is holding you back? I find that a motivating song along with closing my eyes to visualize what I’m going to accomplish helps.


Stephens, R., et. al. “Swearing Aloud Increases Pain Tolerance.” Brighton 2017: The British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference. The British Psychological Society. 3-5 May 2017. Web. 23 May 2017.