When It HIITs, You Feel No Pain: Psychological and Psychophysiological Effects of Respite–Active Music in High-Intensity Interval Training

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Brunel University London
  • 2 Sheffield Hallam University
  • 3 Springfield College
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The authors investigated the effects of respite–active music (i.e., music used for active recovery in between high-intensity exercise bouts) on psychological and psychophysiological outcomes. Participants (N = 24) made four laboratory visits for a habituation, medium- and fast-tempo music conditions, and a no-music control. A high-intensity interval-training protocol comprising 8 × 60-s exercise bouts at 100% W max with 90-s active recovery was administered. Measures were taken at the end of exercise bouts and recovery periods (rating of perceived exertion [RPE], state attention, and core affect) and then upon cessation of the protocol (enjoyment and remembered pleasure). Heart rate was measured throughout. Medium-tempo music enhanced affective valence during exercise and recovery, while both music conditions increased dissociation (only during recovery), enjoyment, and remembered pleasure relative to control. Medium-tempo music lowered RPE relative to control, but the heart rate results were inconclusive. As predicted, medium-tempo music, in particular, had a meaningful effect on a range of psychological outcomes.

Karageorghis, Howard, Thomas, and Moulashis are with the Dept. of Life Sciences, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, United Kingdom. Jones is with the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom. Santich is with the Dept. of Exercise Science and Sports Studies, Springfield College, Springfield, MA, USA.

Karageorghis (costas.karageorghis@brunel.ac.uk) is corresponding author.

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