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Application of the Experience Sampling Method to the Study of the Effects of Exercise Withdrawal on Well-Being

Lise Gauvin and Attila Szabo

This study examined the effects of 1-week exercise deprivation on the mood and subjectively perceived physical symptoms of college students highly committed to exercise; it employed the experience sampling method (ESM). Male and female subjects (N=21) filled out questionnaires four random times a day in response to the tone of a pager for 35 days. Subjects who were randomly assigned to the experimental condition refrained from exercising between Days 15 and 21 of the procedure whereas those in the control group maintained their regular levels of physical activity. Results indicated that subjects in the experimental group reported more symptoms than at baseline and in comparison to the control group during and following the week of exercise withdrawal. Results are interpreted in light of Pennebaker's (1982) competing cue, selective attention, and schema hypotheses. Suggestions for the application of the ESM in exercise and sport psychology are provided.

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Performance Enhancement with Music in Rowing Sprint

Mária Rendi, Attila Szabo, and Tamás Szabó

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of fast- and slow-tempo music on 500-m rowing sprint performances. Twenty-two rowers performed 500-m sprints 3 times: rowing without music, rowing to slow music, and rowing to fast tempo music. Strokes per minute (SPM), time to completion, (TTC), and rated perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded. Although RPE did not differ between the rowing conditions, TTC was shortest in the fast music condition. Further, shorter TTC was observed in the slow music condition in contrast to the control condition, indicating that slow music also enhanced performance. The strongest treatment effects emerged, however, in the examination of the SPM that were significantly higher during rowing to fast music in comparison with rowing to slow music or no music. These results suggest that fast music acts as an external psyching-up stimulus in brief and strenuous muscle work.

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Perceptual Characteristics of Nutritional Supplements Determine the Expected Effectiveness in Boosting Strength, Endurance, and Concentration Performances

Attila Szabo, Márk Bérdi, Ferenc Köteles, and György Bárdos

The aim of this work was to examine the link between the physical-perceptual characteristics of nutritional supplements and their expected effectiveness in enhancing sport performance. Participants (n = 267) ranked nine images of fictive nutritional supplements, varying in shape, color, and route of administration (e.g., pill, powder, lotion, etc.), in ranked- order of expected effectiveness. They performed the task three times, 1) for strength, 2) endurance, and 3) for concentration. Results have revealed that the perceived effectiveness of the supplements was statistically significantly different for the three types of performances (p < .001). A significant interpersonal variability was observed in the ranking-order of the supplements. The findings reveal that perceptual characteristics of ‘believed to be nutritional supplements’, aimed at sport performance enhancement, influence their perceived effectiveness. Future inquiries in sport nutrition should examine the relationship between expected and experienced effectiveness of various nutritional supplements in enhancing sport performance.

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Physical Activity and Psychological Resilience in Older Adults: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Eliza E. Toth, Ferenc Ihász, Roberto Ruíz-Barquín, and Attila Szabo

Older adults face numerous unfavorable functional changes caused by aging, but many exhibit resilience, which helps them cope with challenges. Physical activity is positively associated with resilience. Therefore, this systematic literature review aimed to uncover the relationships between physical activity and resilience in older adults. We have analyzed three freely and openly available databases: (a) PubMed/Medline, (b) ScienceDirect, and (c) Google Scholar, which yielded 20 eligible articles based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Most studies (14) were cross-sectional, three were longitudinal, and three others used mindfulness-based or endurance-enhancing physical activity interventions. Their results revealed increased resilience even after short-duration and low-frequency interventions. Cross-sectional research results also support the positive relationship between physical activity and resilience in older adults, suggesting that the relationship might depend on exercise volume. Still, further research is needed to design interventions, understand the mechanism(s) involved in altering resilience, and maximize physical activity’s benefits in aging people.

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Psychological Aspects of Motocross Racing Considering Expected, Perceived, and Actual Performance

Liza Komáromi, László Tóth, Ricardo de la Vega Marcos, and Attila Szabo

Motocross racing is a seldom-researched popular extreme sport. This field research aimed to investigate feeling states, perceived arousal, anxiety, and negative and positive affect in the anticipatory and recovery race periods and their relationship to expected and perceived performance. Twenty Motocross racers completed psychometric scales before and after a national championship race. Results revealed that objective performance was unrelated to psychological measures. Arousal, anxiety, and positive affect were lower after the race. Expected performance was unrelated to postrace measures. Still, perceived performance correlated significantly with the feeling state, anxiety, and positive affect after the race and the feeling state before the race. Furthermore, racers who performed as expected or better showed improved feeling states after the race compared with those who did worse than expected. The core affect of the latter group declined. This research on psychological states during Motocross races could motivate new initiatives for future studies.