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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.

Talk Yourself Into Higher Performance Gains

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 and the 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 big set.

Talking Yourself out of Exhaustion – The Effects of Self-Talk on Endurance Performance, by Blanchfield, Hardy, De Morree, Staiano, and Marcora, in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Publish Ahead of Print  

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