By Zach Nehr
What actually makes you run faster, ride further, or jump higher? Is it your legs, your muscles, or your heart? Strong muscles give you the capacity to do more physical work, but it is your mind that allows you to push infinitely closer to these physical limits.
The mind can seem all-powerful, especially in endurance sports. Have you ever been in a race, suffering more than ever before, unable to take your mind off of the pain and agony? But then, all of a sudden, you can see the finish line just up ahead. In a flash, the pain is gone – it’s still there, physically, but it is no longer at the forefront of your mind. Suddenly you’ve found an extra gear, and you can sprint just a little bit harder, all the way to the finish line.
In that moment, nothing changed physically. The only change that took place was in your mind. The power of motivation – spurred by the sight of the finish line – allowed you to suppress the pain; the sight of the finish line lowered your level of perceived exertion.
PR Lotion has the same effect on the mind. The performance-enhancing, physical effects of PR Lotion are well-documented (you can read about them here), but it is the psychological effects that can be just as powerful in terms of athletic performance. Clinical trials done by Mark Kern PhD, RD, at San Diego State University showed that PR Lotion, “lowered heart rate and rate of perceived exertion under the same training loads.” These data show that, just like in the ‘finish line’ story above, athletes can find an extra gear at a pace that was previously their maximum.
Sean Gardner, who rides for the Gateway Harley-Davidson Development Team and is one of the top-ranked amateur cyclists in the country, explains how PR Lotion lowers his perceived exertion especially at the beginning of high-intensity criteriums: “Normally the first few seconds of the race when you are sprinting off the line, you have tight legs. But with PR Lotion, that tightness and ‘acid feeling’ go away.”
The lowering of perceived exertion is not limited to just race situations, either. Gardner and his teammate, Matt Zimmer, agreed that one of the biggest advantages of PR Lotion is the recovery factor. Two-a-days (two workouts in one day) are common in the world of endurance sports, requiring athletes to recover quickly, sometimes in just a few hours. Gardner says that “using PR Lotion for both your morning and afternoon workouts leaves your legs feeling super fresh.”
Zimmer said the recovery factor can be long-term, too. When he uses PR Lotion, both before and after his workouts, he says, “I feel fresher and more recovered the following day and am ready to throw it down again on the bike.” Stage racers, take note. The benefits of PR Lotion are huge, both physical as well as psychological. Perceived exertion is one of the biggest determinants of performance, especially in endurance sports, and PR Lotion can be used to give an athlete the physical and mental edge over the competition.
Zach Nehr is a graduate of Marian University with an Exercise Science BS and Psychology Minor, in addition to AmpHP ambassador and contributor.