What would it take to bang out one more set on arm day? A University of Kent study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise suggests weight training while wearing virtual reality goggles can help reduce the perception of not only pain, but also effort.
Researchers had 80 subjects perform a biceps curl using 20% of their 1 rep max. They were told to hold the movement as long as possible. Compared to subjects who didn’t wear virtual reality goggles, those who did lasted an average of 2 minutes longer before reaching exhaustion. They also reported pain intensity about 10% lower than the non-virtual reality group.