Psychological researchers have come to a wild mind blowing revelation. The superhero stance – that iconic pose, Superman and the like determinedly practiced in the mirror. The stance of “shoot me, I dare you. Cause I’m the boss. Bullets bounce off me, and I don't even bat an eye.” That look – chest puffed out, chin facing skyward, the determined glare of an enraged fan, legs spread apart and fists clenched up against your hips – can not only make you feel and act differently. It can actually alter your hormonal output. I’m not making this up, it’s science.
A research team– with too much coffee and comics in their midst – came up with this hypothesis. The experiment was multifaceted, dozens of participants, mix-and-match. It had everything. Gambling, posturing, alpha and beta male square-offs, maybe even fist fights. I won’t bore you with the medical heavy details, but, once the small environment of participants and the experimenters filled with excitement from what they had just witnessed during the trials – dispersed, the awesome revelations fell like a hammer over cartoon heads.
Saliva samples were taken, blood tests were analyzed, and shrinks rated each human guinea pig. The results? Those that acted like superheroes, those that felt they were powerful masks of themselves, beat out the wimpy sample group in absolutely every test. They were willing to assume more risks. They were unconsciously more open to relationships. And, far more startling, their brains actually short circuited. They were inundated with countless different hormones.
Testosterone levels rose right on the spot and continued for 17 minutes after the stance. The prevailing theory is that the brain can’t differentiate between the potential of power – or the idea – and actual power. But, that wasn’t all, Cortisol – sometimes referred to as “stress hormone” – actually decreased. With time, those individuals who practiced the superhero pose, could actually alter their Cortisol baseline. In other words, after a while, they actually managed to develop an immunity to it. The general summation: “Stand like a superhero, act like a superhero.”
Under Armour was the first to realize the marketing potential. They created and made millions out of their unique Alter Ego line. They evolved from simple hero logos on their compression shirts to limited edition apparel based on that summer’s big action movie. They made fitted, muscle-hugging, tight tees, perfectly balanced for your performance. These T-shirts, mind you, are based on your favorite characters. Under Armour isn’t the only one. A quick browse on Amazon will reveal a world of possibilities. From long-sleeve – bionic arm – Winter Soldier t-shirts to belly hugging Deadpool T-shirt, each is designed for all training purposes.
And, you want to know what they discovered? That it actually helped athlete’s performance. A shirt, actually upped their games. Yes, it might be self delusion, cause they were certainly not jumping over tall buildings in a single bound, but at a chemical response level, and biological one at that, they were out performing their old marks. More hormonal output, more crank in the way their muscle groups responded. Want to lift weights like the Hulk? Run around the National Mall like Wonder Woman? Show everyone at the gym that you are Thor? Well, thankfully, you are living in the golden era of: “simply take my money and shut up!” Improve your performance, your speed, your overall attitude, with these possibilities. Like, I said: “be Batman!”