Greene, D. R., Winter, A. P., & Petruzello. (2013). Effect of differing intensities of resistance exercise on affect and enjoyment. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 549.

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This study examined the relationship between resistance exercise intensity and affective change with an emphasis on affective response during exercise. Males (N = 14; age = ~21.3 years) completed two resistance training protocols on different days. Individual 10 repetitions maximum (10-RM) were assessed on Day 1 for seven exercises (bench press, leg curls, bent-over rows, leg extensions, shoulder press, biceps curls, triceps extensions). On Days 2 and 3 resistance training protocols at 70% or 100% 10-RM were completed. Measures of affect (Energy, Tiredness, Tension, Calmness) were taken before, Post-0 minutes, and Post-20 minutes after each condition; and enjoyment was measured immediately after each condition. A Feeling Scale was completed before, after each set (3 sets, 10 repetitions, 7 exercises), and at 5, 10, 15, and 20 minutes post-exercise. Perceived exertion and the Felt Arousal Scale were measured before, after each of the seven exercises, and Post-20 minutes in each condition.

Enjoyment did not differ between the two conditions. Energy and Tension increased following exercise independent of intensity. Tiredness decreased Pre- to Post-0 minutes, then increased Post-0 to Post-20 minutes, but only for 70% exercise intensity. Calmness decreased following both intensities, but increased from Post-0 to Post-20 minutes only for 70% exercise intensity. Average Feeling Scale values were higher in the 70% than in the 100% condition; Feeling Scale values during the 70% condition did not change, but decreased during the 100% condition. Finally, affect measured during exercise was significantly correlated with enjoyment (r = ~.80), but only for the 100% condition.

Implication. The intensity of exercise has different influences on psychological factors. A 70% compared to 100% exercise intensity influenced more factors. The 100% condition produced more factors involved with enjoyment than the lesser intensity condition. It would seem to be prudent to assess individual's psychological reactions to exercise intensity before starting a program rather than assuming that all people respond to exercises of lesser intensity more favorably. Occasional retests during an exercise program would also yield valuable information that could be related to the perceived value of the experience.

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