If you've never heard the F-bomb dropped during a workout, then you probably don't work out with me... or any of the other people who find that cussing helps with working out. I don't know how or when I started cursing while working out, but I think it started about the same time I started lifting heavy weights. I have to admit, I haven't really ever given cursing during my workouts much thought (I actually have a pretty foul mouth in general), until recently. I'm currently reading Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs, and in the chapter on the nervous system, he talks about a study* in which subjects hold their hands in freezing water either cursing or not cursing, and it turns out that cursing allows people to hold their hand in the freezing water longer than subjects not cursing. Scientists believe that cursing activates the fight or flight response which prompts the body to release endorphins which help the body fight pain.
The F-Bomb and Your WorkoutSo, how does this translate to working out? It could be that the endorphins allow the exerciser to lift heavier weight with less pain, but it could also be that the fight or flight response that is stimulated releases adrenaline which is what allows exercisers to dig deep for that extra strength... sort of like that story we've all heard of a person lifting a car off someone in an emergency. One more thing to note, scientists found that those who curse less often throughout their day receive the most benefit of cursing during pain endurance tasks... basically, that means that you should keep the cussing to your workout and watch your mouth the rest of the day.
*Swearing as a Response to Pain—Effect of Daily Swearing Frequency Photo by: debaird™
Do you swear when you workout? Do you think it helps?