Creating and sticking to a work regiment can be hard. However, new research suggests peer pressure may possibly be the answer to exercising harder and longer.
Planks are known not only to be difficult and intense, but also has been coined the best abs exercise. Pushing through the pain is not easy, but according to psychologist Christian Jarrett you can peer pressure people into holding a plank longer.
The study, which was published in the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, examined 68 regulars at a Pilate’s studio. All individuals were asked to perform two plank exercises and to hold each for as long as possible. Jarrett explained half of the individuals who participated were told, “80 percent of people similar to them had achieved a 20 percent longer time on their second effort.” The other half of individuals did not receive any “social norm” message.
The study showed those who were given a “social norm” message were able to hold their plank longer on the second try. On average, they held their pose five percent longer than their first attempt. Conversely, researchers saw an 18 percent drop in hold time for the group who did not receive any message.
Jarrett points out there can be a potential problem. She writes:
“Since the second group wasn’t told anything at all in between tries, we don’t know if the first group was responding to the social-norms message or if this is simply evidence of the power of any form of motivational statement. But judging from my own nonscientific experience excerpted above, peer pressure seems like a pretty effective way to trick some of us into a tougher workout.”