Increasing the Pleasure and Enjoyment of Exercise: A Novel Resistance-Training Protocol

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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This study was designed to test the effect of an increasing- (UP) or decreasing-intensity (DOWN) resistance-training (RT) protocol on the pleasure and enjoyment of RT. The participants (N = 40; mean age = 35.0 ± 9.2 years) completed two RT sessions comprising 3 × 10 repetitions of six exercises. In the UP condition, load progressively increased from 55% to 75% of 1-repetition maximum, while in the DOWN condition, this pattern was reversed (i.e., 75–55% 1-repetition maximum). The DOWN condition resulted in more overall pleasure compared with UP and a slope of increasing pleasure, while the UP condition resulted in decreasing pleasure. Enjoyment of RT, postexercise pleasure, and remembered pleasure were all significantly greater for DOWN compared with UP (all ps > .01). These findings suggest that decreasing RT intensity throughout an exercise bout can elicit a positive slope of pleasure and enhance affective evaluations of exercise.

Hutchinson and Santich are with the Dept. of Exercise Science and Sport Studies, Springfield College, Springfield, MA, USA. Zenko is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, California State University Bakersfield, Bakersfield, CA, USA. Dalton is with the Dept. of Exercise Science, Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA, USA.

Hutchinson (jhutchinson@springfieldcollege.edu) is corresponding author.
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