Choosing a partner who you perceive as being more fit than yourself can help you burn more calories, according to a new study from Kansas State University [HuffingtonPost.com].
Researchers studied a team of female college athletes who were told to ride for as long as they liked. They averaged a 10-minute ride. Members of the same group were told riders in another room outperformed them by 40 percent. They played a video monitor with the other riders (in reality, a loop and not a live feed) and asked the group to ride again. This time, participants rode an average of nine minutes longer.
In the next scenario, riders worked out with the same virtual partner but were told they were working for a team score and they were the weaker rider. For this exercise, the average ride time increased by two minutes, for a total 11-minute improvement from the first to the third ride. Researchers found that over time, the effort continued to increase, but only in riders who felt their partner was physically stronger.