Hall, E. E., Bellezza, P. A., Bixby, W. R., & Miller, P. C. (2007). Changes in affect during and following resistance exercise: Does exercise order matter? ACSM Annual Meeting New Orleans, Presentation Number, 719.

This study examined the changes in affect from resistance exercise and determined if the order of exercises performed influenced any changes. Healthy, college-aged students (M = 12; F = 17) participated in three sessions separated by a minimum of 48 hours. The first session established a 10 repetition max (10-RM) for nine resistance exercises. In sessions 2 and 3, exercises were completed in either a large-to-small or small-to-large muscle-size exercise order. The large-to-small muscle order was: 1) chest press, 2) leg press, 3) rows, 4) leg extension, 5) overhead press, 6) hamstring curl, 7) biceps curl, 8) calf raise, and 9) triceps extension. Exercise order was reversed for the small-to-large condition. Ss performed two sets of each lift, the first set being a warm-up at 80% 10-RM, followed by one set at 100% 10-RM with one minute of rest between each exercise. Affective measures, the Feeling Scale (Hardy & Rejeski, 1989), and Felt Arousal Scale (Svebak, & Murgatroyd 1985) were given to the participants before exercise, after exercise 5, immediately following exercise 9, and 10 minutes post-exercise.

The Feeling Scale increased from pre- to immediately following exercise in both conditions. However, during exercise, the Feeling Scale increased in the small-to-large exercise order and decreased slightly and nonsignificantly in the large-to-small condition. The Felt Arousal Scale increased during and immediately following exercise and decreased to near baseline at 10 minutes post-exercise in both conditions.

Implication. Because of the favorable response to the small-to-large exercise order, it would seem to be a preferable order for motivating people to exercise, particularly novice exercisers.

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