5 Ways To Abuse Your Body To Greatness (That We Tested)

Psst! Hey, kid! You know those weird, life-hack-type cheat codes for your body? The ones where you blow on your thumb to reduce stress, or increase your skin protection by showering less, or even straight-up rearrange your sleeping patterns for maximum efficiency? Do you secretly find those stupid-ass things intriguing? Have you ever wanted to ... actually try them out? There's no need to be coy about it; you're among friends here.

What, you haven't? It's just me? Shit.

As I've mentioned before, trying out dumbass body-hackin' tricks is something of a hobby of mine, to the point where I can and absolutely will fuck up my sleeping cycle for an extended period of time just to see what will happen (Spoiler: Oh shit please don't ever try it). So, since I apparently suffer from a condition where I'm physically unable to keep my humiliating experiences to myself, once again I have collected a series of me going full Jackass on my biology. You're welcome. I'm so sorry.

#5. Boost Your Confidence With A Power Pose Before An Important Meeting

adrian brockwell/iStock/Getty Images

In Theory:

The power pose is often dismissed -- by me, if no one else -- as the body language used primarily by Superman and complete dickheads. I've always found these deliberately intimidating and commanding open stances annoying as hell, and if you're not an actual boss giving an actual presentation to their actual subordinates and strike one of these in my presence, chances are I'm going to like you a hell of a lot less.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
However, if your power walk game is on point, we'll be friends for life.

Luckily, the whole power-posing thing is little more than a niche tool used by misinformed former jocks who still think alpha males are a thing. It's not like they actually do anythi- oh, power poses raise your testosterone levels and reduces stress? Never mind. Do power poses. Always.

In Practice:

For the record, this is not an experiment I'm going to enjoy. Apart from my stated sentiments regarding power-pose usage, I'm a natural slouch that prefers to hunch over my desk and sit in the corner with my arms folded whenever someone manages to track me down and lure me to a meeting with promises of being able to keep my job. I realize behavioral psychology labels me a submissive group member or some shit, but I generally compensate for this with generous dropkicks.

Still, science is science, so here we go. Right off the bat, I encounter a problem: Although I know full well what power poses look like and what they're supposed to convey, getting actually tasked with striking one becomes a sort of opposite "don't think of the elephant" problem: No matter how hard I try to think of one, the stances elude me.

So I settle for what I remember from childhood and adopt the signature pose of the strongest motherfucker I can recall: the battle stance of Ryu from Street Fighter II.

Capcom
aka The Spinal Trap.

Funnily enough, a defensive martial arts stance that requires your knees to jut out in directions that would make your chiropractor faint does not prove an ideal way to boost my manliness, especially as the dude I'm supposed to have the meeting with abruptly bumps in just as I get a little carried away and start doing that little toe-jumpy thing Ryu does. I quickly attempt to adjust my pose into a wider, more classic power pose, but it turns out jumping quickly into an arms-raised "X" pose from a martial arts stance while yelling, "Hey!" loudly only commands the room in the sense that everyone else in it is going to make their excuses and fuck right in the general direction of off.

#4. Swear Loudly To Reduce Pain

AnaAdo/iStock/Getty Images

In Theory:

Hell, dude. This one is practically common knowledge. There's no cockwaffling way you've been a turd-juggling Internet denizen for as long as you claim without having heard about the way goddamned swearing can reduce pain, you fuckbucketin' testicleaver. I got kicked in the balls right before that sentence, but now I feel fine. Go ahead, try that shit.

Jochen Sands/Digital Vision/Getty Images
"Please don't do anything this man asks."

In Practice:

Swearing works in two different ways: It provides a relief from sudden pain (think the classic hammer-to-the-thumb scenario, here), and it helps you to withstand ongoing pain, as evidenced by tests where people held their hands in ice water while swearing their asses off -- presumably one of the few scientific experiments in history that didn't require any directions beforehand. Swearing works. We may still be figuring out the exact hows and whys, but this is a scientific fact. However, there's a flipside: Where are you when you hurt yourself? Who is listening in?

Stockbyte/Digital Vision/Getty Images
"Such language! Writing you out of my goddamned will right now."

Not long ago, I set out to destroy the very concept of my social life by trying out the whole "swear whenever you hurt yourself" thing while living my life as usual. Some people I met during that week I warned, but most I didn't because there are precious few ways of telling folks, "I'mma just swear my ass off whenever I bump into something," without seeming even weirder than I generally do. I planned to do this for a week, but apparently I'm either a complete klutz or I subconsciously really, really wanted to test this thing, because during just a couple of days I managed to create no less than 12 awkward situations by knocking my knees and elbows into shit and launching into a reflexive flurry of fucks. In other news, it's really, really easy to turn swearing into a knee-jerk reaction.

Did all this swearing ease the mild pain I'd otherwise had to endure? Almost certainly. Was it worth the massive amount of social discomfort I had to endure instead? Fuck no.

#3. Act Like A Dick To Win The Game

Donald Miralle/Digital Vision/Getty Images

In Theory:

There's a long-standing tradition in professional sports: Whenever someone scores, they celebrate as obnoxiously as possible, often to the point where you start wondering why someone in the opponent's camp doesn't just kick the guy in the dick. Often, it gets written away as a symptom of the overtly competitive nature of sportsters and their sportsing of choice, especially if it's flashy enough to put asses in seats.

However, as Cracked's own Kathy Benjamin has told you, that post-scoring dickery actually serves a purpose; it elates your own team and intimidates the opponent in a way that gives you an edge toward winning. You like winning, right? I do! WINNER! WINNER! CHICKEN DINNER!

Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images
"Wait. That was just a rhyme and I don't actually get a chicken dinner for winning?
I've got a chant for you: Fuck off."

In Practice:

Sure, all that huffing and puffing and celebrating works in your favor ... on the playing field. The problem is that Average Joe plays maybe three hours a week, tops, and by going full Richard Sherman on the friends you're playing whatever-the-shit-you-pretend-to-be-good-at-once-a-week with you're not exactly making yourself look better in their eyes for the remaining 163 to 167 hours of the week.

I've tried that shit plenty, back in the day. I'm still limping from the beatings I received.

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