I recently read a study that looked at the effects of simultaneously training your brain and body. The study  saw a group of soldiers train 3 times a week on stationary bikes. One group completed cognitive tasks while training. In contrast, the second group simply worked through the session as any of us would.


The Results?

At the end of a 12 week training plan the results were pretty outstanding. The control group, improved their time to exhaustion by 48% on average. This is a great improvement and one that would generally have anyone feeling happy about their progress. However, the group who completed cognitive tasks saw their scores improve by a whopping 126% on average!

That it is approximately 3 times more than the control group!

Take Your Mind Away from The Pain

So why such a big improvement? The study used time to exhaustion as a measure of performance. Those completing tasks throughout training were able to remove their focus on their perceived effort. When it was time to re-test they had a lower perceived effort when working at high intensities.

They trained their brains to tolerate the effort required. 

Train Your Brain

I actually tried this – a massive sample size of 1. However, Whilst completing a 45 minute endurance task while completing a cognitive task completely removed me from the effort I was putting in. As a result, when the task was complete, I was able to continue at the set pace.

You can read more on the article here.


I am often Personal Training in Richmond Park, whilst there I see so many people out running. 90% of people have headphones in, if this is you, I want you to try something. Download a verbal app that makes you think, challenges your thought and focus. Complete your normal weeks training with the app and compare your results to a week without!