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Amanda L. Snyder, Cay Anderson-Hanley, and Paul J. Arciero

Grounded in social facilitation theory, this study compared the impact on exercise intensity of a virtual versus a live competitor, when riding a virtual reality-enhanced stationary bike (“cybercycle”). It was hypothesized that competitiveness would moderate effects. Twenty-three female college students were exposed to three conditions on a cybercycle: solo training, virtual competitor, and live competitor. After training without a competitor (solo condition for familiarization with equipment), participants competed against a virtual avatar or live rider (random order of presentation). A repeated-measures analysis revealed a significant condition (virtual/live) by competitiveness (high/low) interaction for exercise intensity (watts). More competitive participants exhibited significantly greater exercise intensity when competing against a live versus virtual competitor. The implication is that live competitors can have an added social facilitation effect and influence exercise intensity, although competitiveness moderates this effect.

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Maxwell Ruby, Chris P. Repka, and Paul J. Arciero


Yoga/Stretching (YS) and functional resistance (FR) training are popular exercise routines. A protein-pacing (PP) diet is a common dietary regimen. Thus, we assessed the effectiveness of a PP diet alone and in combination with either YS or FR to improve body composition and cardiometabolic health.


Twenty-seven overweight women (age = 43.2 ± 4.6 years) were randomized into 3 groups: yoga (YS, n = 8) or resistance (FR, n = 10) training (3 days/week) in conjunction with PP diet (50% carbohydrate, 25% protein, and 25% fat) or PP diet-only (PP, n = 9) throughout 12-week study. PP maintained preexisting levels of physical activity. Body weight (BW), total (BF) and abdominal (ABF) body fat, waist circumference (WC), plasma biomarkers, and aerobic fitness (VO2) were measured at baseline and 12 weeks.


WC and total cholesterol improved in all groups, whereas glycemia tended to improve (P = .06) in S. BF, ABF, and VO2 increased significantly in YS and FR (P < .05). Feelings of vigor increased in YS and tension decreased in FR (P < .05).


YS training tended to decrease blood glucose compared with FR and PP and is equally effective at enhancing body composition, and aerobic fitness in overweight women providing a strong rationale for further research on YS training.

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Paul J. Arciero, Christopher L. Gentile, Roger Martin-Pressman, Michael J. Ormsbee, Meghan Everett, Lauren Zwicky, and Christine A. Steele

We investigated the effectiveness of two lifestyle modification programs of exercise training and nutritional intake (ad libitum) on improving body composition and disease risk in overweight/obese men and women. Sixty-three subjects were weight matched and assigned to one of three groups for a 12 wk intervention: 1) high-intensity resistance and cardiovascular training and a balanced diet (RC+BD, 40% CHO: 40% PRO; n = 27, 16 female/11 male, age = 42 ± 9 y); 2) moderate-intensity cardiovascular training and a traditional food guide pyramid diet (C+TD, CHO 50 to 55%; PRO 15 to 20%; FAT < 30%; n =19, 10 female/9 male, age = 43 ± 10 y); and 3) an inactive control group (C, n = 17, 5 female/12 male, age 43 ± 11 y). RC+BD resulted in more favorable changes (P < 0.01) in percent body fat (−15.8% vs. −6.9%) and abdominal fat (−15.6% vs. −7.5%) compared to C+TD and C. Total cholesterol (−13.8%), LDL-cholesterol (−20.8%), and systolic blood pressure (−5.7%) declined (P > 0.05) in RC+BD, whereas C+TD and C remained unchanged. Our results suggest that RC+BD may be more effective than C+TD and C in enhancing body composition and lowering cardiovascular risk in obese individuals.