Your posture can influence your ability to gain muscle! This is what this 2010 study by Amy Cuddy, an American social psychologist, seems to show.
In 2min, the testosterone rate increases by 20%
Amy Cuddy (see the full conference here ) asked 2 groups of people to take different poses for 2min. Group 1 took powerless breaks (mimicking an introverted, hesitant, fearful person) while Group 2 took power breaks (mimicking a confident, self-confident person).
And the results of this study are just impressive: in just 2min, the testosterone level of people who mimed a potency break increased by 20%, while the same rate fell by 10% among people who mimed a break from helplessness.
Amy Cuddy also measured cortisol levels. It decreased by 25% in the first group (power break) while it increased by 15% in the second group (impotence break).
What roles do testosterone and cortisol play in muscle gain?
Testosterone is the preeminent male hormone (but it is also present in women, just in smaller amounts). It is an anabolic hormone, meaning that it triggers muscle hypertrophy. In other words, it activates muscle mass gain.
Whereas cortisol will tend to have the opposite effect, that is to say to decrease the building of muscle mass by lowering testosterone levels.
(Often referred to as the stress hormone, however, cortisol is a hormone that the body needs for many processes. However, in building muscle, it appears to be counterproductive, although she has a key role)
What can we conclude from this?
We can conclude that it is possible to promote muscle mass gain simply by changing your posture. And the amazing thing is that it can happen after just 2min, simply by going from a helpless posture to a power posture.
Obviously it’s something minimal, you will have to be seriously involved in training, nutrition and lifestyle to promote muscle gain . But increasing the power breaks throughout the day, until we get to the point where we can do it constantly and without realizing it, can really help us progress.
Because beyond the possibility of improving muscle gain, looking confident will make us confident, and making us confident will lead us to take more risks, to try more things that will help us achieve our sporting goals.
In fact, Amy Cuddy also measured the risk-taking rate during this experience, by offering them to bet on something. 86% of those in the group who took power breaks took the risk of betting, while only 60% of those in the group who took power breaks took the risk of betting.
What does this have to do with training? A “risk-taking” can be, for example, to change your program by making it more difficult, to include new exercises that you found too difficult or simply to increase a load, or even to reduce a rest period. It all starts with a simple change in posture, and it just takes 2min. What does it cost to try?
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