The purpose of this study was to describe the participation styles of students enrolled in two basic instruction weight training classes. The students’ participation styles fell somewhere on a continuum between slackin’ and sweatin’. Through the use of class observations and interviews with the students and the instructors, six styles of participation were identified within both of these categories. Four participation styles were revealed in the slackin’ category. These were (a) socializers, (b) manipulators, (c) underachievers, and (d) minimalists. The two styles identified in the sweatin’ category were (a) sidekicks and (b) ex-athletes. The transtheoretical model for behavior modification was used to describe the students’ activity levels in the classes and predict exercise adherence among the twelve participants. Further in-depth studies are needed to assess the state of basic instruction program classes within individual programs and classes throughout the nation.
G. Bennett is with the School of Human Performance and Recreation at The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5142.