Dropping F-Bombs At The Gym Only Makes You Stronger, According To Science

Health & Fitness
arine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brandon Maldonado

Have you ever been in the middle of a squat, with the weight of the world — or two barbells — on your shoulders and, as you extend, the word “fuck” falls out of your mouth, miraculously giving you just enough strength to finish your rep?

It turns out that swearing actually helps you exert more physical power, according to a very new, very convincing study by psychologist Richard Stephens from the UK’s Keele University.

Here’s how this study went down: Stephens selected 29 people aged around the age of 21 for a cycling test and 52 19-year-olds for a hand-grip test. Each one selected a swear word to repeat — an expletive they might yell if they hurt themselves, for example — in addition to neutral word. “We asked them to repeat the word throughout each test,” Stephens said. “They don’t scream and shout it. They repeated it in an even tone.”

The study, a damn good idea, was based on previous research by Stephens, wherein he found that swear words upped his subjects’ pain tolerance. From the Guardian:

The findings may not come as a surprise to those who have let rip with profanities to spur themselves on. Stephens recalls a friend of his, Mark Foulkes, who in 2013 took part in a tandem bike ride from Reading to Barcelona to raise money for a mobile chemotherapy unit. “Swearing was a prominent feature of them powering up the Pyrenees,” Stephens said.

In the latest study, people’s heart rates did not rise any more when they swore, a finding that suggests the expletives were not triggering the so-called fight-or-flight response. “Quite why it is that swearing has these effects on strength and pain tolerance remains to be discovered,” Stephens said.

Stephens doesn’t know exactly what causes the increase in strength. ““We’re not telling people something they don’t already know, but we’re verifying that in a systematic and objective way,” he told The Guardian. “I think people instinctively reach for swearwords when they hurt themselves and when they’re looking for an extra boost in performance.”

But if it works for you, fuck it. As Stephens himself wrote: “We have yet to understand the power of swearing fully.”

A Coast Guard lieutenant arrested this week planned to "murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country," according to a court filing requesting he be detained until his trial.

Read More Show Less
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton

At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.

Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.

They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.

What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.

Read More Show Less
A photo shared by Hoda Muthana on her now-closed @ZumarulJannaTwitter account. (Twitter/ZumarulJannah)

The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.

Read More Show Less
Heckler & Koch's first batch of M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the employee behind a firearm company's Facebook page decided to goad a bunch of Marines into destroying their brand new firearms? Now you know.

Read More Show Less

A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.

"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.

Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."

Read More Show Less