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Some like It Vigorous: Measuring Individual Differences in the Preference for and Tolerance of Exercise Intensity

Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Eric E. Hall, and Steven J. Petruzzello

Individuals differ in the intensity of exercise they prefer and the intensity they can tolerate. The purpose of this project was to develop a measure of individual differences in the preference for and tolerance of exercise intensity. The steps involved in (a) item generation and face validation, (b) exploratory factor analysis and item selection, (c) structural validation, (d) examination of the internal consistency and test-retest reliability, (e) concurrent validation, and (f) construct validation are described. The Preference for and Tolerance of the Intensity of Exercise Questionnaire (PRETIE-Q) is a 16-item, 2-factor measure that exhibits acceptable psychometric properties and can be used in research aimed at understanding individual differences in responses to exercise and thus the psychological processes involved in the public health problem of exercise dropout.

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Measuring State Anxiety in the Context of Acute Exercise Using the State Anxiety Inventory: An Attempt to Resolve the Brouhaha

Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Eric E. Hall, and Steven J. Petruzzello

Two studies were conducted to examine the internal consistency and validity of the state anxiety subscale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (SAI) in the context of acute exercise. SAI responses typically found in the exercise literature were replicated. Analysis at the item level revealed divergent response patterns, confounding the total SAI score. During moderate and immediately after vigorous exercise, scores on items referring to cognitive antecedents of anxiety decreased, whereas scores on items assessing perceived activation increased. Indices of internal showed exercise-associated decreases. A principal-components analysis of responses immediately postexercise revealed a multidimensional structure, distinguishing “cognitive” and “activation” items. By failing to discern exercise-induced and anxiety-related increases in activation from anxiety-antecedent appraisals, the SAI exhibits compromised internal consistency and validity in the context of acute exercise.

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Exercise Makes People Feel Better but People are Inactive: Paradox or Artifact?

Susan H. Backhouse, Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Stuart J.H. Biddle, Andrew Foskett, and Clyde Williams

The exercise psychology literature includes an intriguing, albeit not frequently discussed, paradox by juxtaposing two conclusions: (a) that exercise makes most people feel better and (b) that most people are physically inactive or inadequately active. In this article, we propose that this might be an artifact rather than a paradox. Specifically, we question the generality of the conclusion that exercise makes people feel better by proposing that (a) occasional findings of negative affective changes tend to be discounted, (b) potentially relevant negative affective states are not always measured, (c) examining changes from pre- to postexercise could miss negative changes during exercise, and (d) analyzing changes only at the level of group aggregates might conceal divergent patterns at the level of individuals or subgroups. Data from a study of 12 men participating in a 90-min walk–run protocol designed to simulate the demands of sports games (e.g., soccer) are used to illustrate these points.

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The Digest

Mark Beauchamp, Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Kim Gammage, Marc Jones, Ralph Maddison, Scott Martin, and Christopher Spray

Edited by David Lavallee

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Throwing the Mountains into the Lakes: On the Perils of Nomothetic Conceptions of the Exercise-Affect Relationship

Lisa M. Van Landuyt, Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Eric E. Hall, and Steven J. Petruzzello

Traditional conceptions of the exercise–affect relationship postulate that moderate-intensity exercise leads to positive affective changes in all or most individuals, and it can, therefore, be prescribed for all individuals involved in exercise programs. This study investigated whether this assumption is true, not only at the level of group averages but also at the level of individuals. Affect was assessed before, during, and after a session of moderate-intensity cycle ergometry using a dimensional conceptualization of affect. Examination of individual responses revealed a diversity of patterns that was masked by aggregate-based analyses. Mean ratings of affective valence were shown to remain stable during exercise, but in actuality almost half of the individuals experienced progressive improvement, whereas the other half experienced progressive deterioration. The diversity of individual affective responses must be taken into account in formulating conceptual models of the exercise–affect relationship and deriving public health physical activity recommendations.

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Sport Psychologist’s Digest

Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Kim Gammage, Anne Haase, Cathy Lirgg, Athanasios Papaioannou, and Daniel Weigand

Edited by J. Robert Grove

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Affective Responses to Increasing- and Decreasing-Intensity Resistance Training Protocols

Jasmin C. Hutchinson, Leighton Jones, Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Boris Cheval, Ralf Brand, Gabrielle M. Salvatore, Samantha Adler, and Yan Luo

This study compared the effects of an increasing-intensity (UP) and a decreasing-intensity (DOWN) resistance training protocol on affective responses across six training sessions. Novice participants (M age 43.5 ± 13.7 years) were randomly assigned to UP (n = 18) or DOWN (n = 17) resistance training groups. Linear mixed-effects models showed that the evolution of affective valence within each training session was significantly moderated by the group (b = −0.45, p ≤ .001), with participants in the UP group reporting a decline in pleasure during each session (b = −0.82) and the DOWN group reporting an improvement (b = 0.97; ps < .001). Remembered pleasure was significantly higher in the DOWN group compared to the UP group (b = 0.57, p = .004). These findings indicate that a pattern of decreasing intensity throughout a resistance exercise session can elicit more positive affective responses and retrospective affective evaluations of resistance training.

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Sport Psychologist’s Digest

Daniel Weigand, Cathy Lirgg, Kim Gammage, Anne Haase, Athanasios Papaioannou, Ralph Maddison, and Panteleimon Ekkekakis

Edited by J. Robert Grove

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Sport Psychologist’s Digest

Daniel Weigand, Cathy Lirgg, Kim Gammage, Anne Haase, Athanasios Papaioannou, Ralph Maddison, and Panteleimon Ekkekakis

Edited by J. Robert Grove

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Sport Psychologist’s Digest

Daniel Weigand, Cathy Lirgg, Kim Gammage, Anne Haase, Athanasios Papaioannou, Ralph Maddison, and Panteleimon Ekkekakis

Edited by J. Robert Grove