When you’re working out and think you just can’t push any further, that’s likely just your mind trying to shelter itself from all the physical pain and discomfort. Any professional athlete will tell you that the biggest obstacle that stands between you and your goals is your own mind. But even the world’s fittest athletes eventually hit a brick wall — the physical limitation of our bodies. A new study sheds light on exactly what this limit is: according to the findings, humans can only burn calories at 2.5 times their resting metabolic rate.
Limitless mind but limited gut
According to Herman Pontzer, an associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University, “this defines the realm of what’s possible for humans.” He adds that from his experience and studies of the world’s foremost athletes, no one has been able to cross this limit.