They Thought They Took Steroids…
This is probably the most remarkable study ever done inside fitness, in my opinion…
It’s somewhat unbelievable…
It’s an old study, but it’s worth bringing back up every now and then – just to show how powerful the placebo effect really is.
Or should I say, “Belief” is.
15 Athletes in a room, looking at the researcher.
“We’re going to give you steroids”, he said (lied).
Here’s what happened (I’m quoting another author)….
“Ariel (researcher) explained that the study would last for 11 weeks. The athletes would lift weights for the first 7 weeks and those who made the most improvement during that period would be rewarded with Dianabol, an anabolic steroid, for the final 4 weeks of training.
What the athletes didn’t know was that the researchers were lying to them.
After the initial 7-week training period, the scientists randomly selected six athletes as the winners. However, despite being told they were getting real steroids, the athletes actually received placebo pills.
What happened next surprised everyone.
Four weeks later, when the researchers conducted the final test, the athletes set all-time personal records in every exercise tested. Before the placebo pills, the lifters added an average of 5.8 lbs (2.6 kg) to their squat during the first 7 weeks of training.
After they believed they were taking steroids, they added an average of 41.8 lbs (18.9 kg) in just 4 more weeks of training. That’s a 7x increase in nearly half the time.
The same scene played out in nearly every exercise.
During the first 7 weeks of training, the lifters increased their bench press by about 10 lbs (4.5 kg) on average. After 4 weeks of receiving placebo pills that they believed to be steroids, the athletes added an average of 29.3 lbs (13.3 kg) to their bench press numbers.
On military press, they increased by an average of 1.6 lbs (0.7 kg) during the initial 7-week period, but added an average of 16.7 lbs (7.6 kg) during the 4 weeks on placebo pills.
The evidence was clear. Every athlete got stronger simply because they believed they were on steroids. They expected to improve and so they did.”
If that’s not unbelievable, I don’t know what is.
My first thought is, “Will someone lie to me saying I’m on steroids?!”
Let me gain supernatural size and strength without taking anything, please!
But my first REAL thought is that we need to believe in ourselves more than anything else.
That is the #1 predicament towards success.
It’s how people fight cancer.
It’s how people were tricked to thinking they had knee surgery, fixing their injury, but didn’t actually have anything actually fixed… yet walked away.
It’s how people build massive success in business, without any remarkable marketing tactics or college background – they just believed and spoke it into the universe.
It’s the universal truth that all the winners in the world share.
It’s also the polar opposite of the one trait all failures share, disbelief.
But this isn’t me sitting on a high horse claiming I never have disbelief in myself, because that’d be a bold lie.
There’s been plenty of times I didn’t believe. I doubted myself.
And guess what… I didn’t succeed.
But when I did, I started with belief.
It sounds woowoo and too good or simple to be true, but I’ve never met anyone who didn’t get what they repeatedly spoke into existence.
And it’s proven by this study…
41.8lbs added on your squat in 4 weeks, from a fake steroid?!
If that doesn’t prove that your brain can control your results, I don’t know what will.
So how do you use this?
Start with belief, finish with action.
Every success starts with an idea.
But it’s only progressed with consistent action.
So where do you want your body to be?
No, scratch that…
Where WILL your body be?
How WILL your nutrition be?
When WILL you reach your goal?
What DOES your training, nutrition, lifestyle, and routine look like?
Speak in absolutes.
Believe in your own abilities.