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Nic Martinez, Marcus W. Kilpatrick, Kristen Salomon, Mary E. Jung and Jonathan P. Little

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has many known physiological benefits, but research investigating the psychological aspects of this training is limited. The purpose of the current study is to investigate the affective and enjoyment responses to continuous and high-intensity interval exercise sessions. Twenty overweight-to-obese, insufficiently active adults completed four counterbalanced trials: a 20-min trial of heavy continuous exercise and three 24-min HIIT trials that used 30-s, 60-s, and 120-s intervals. Affect declined during all trials (p < .05), but affect at the completion of trials was more positive in the shorter interval trials (p < .05). Enjoyment declined in the 120-s interval and heavy continuous conditions only (p < .05). Postexercise enjoyment was higher in the 60-s trial than in the 120-s trial and heavy continuous condition (p < .05). Findings suggest that pleasure and enjoyment are higher during shorter interval trials than during a longer interval or heavy continuous exercise.

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Abby R. Fleming, Nic Martinez, Larry H. Collins, Candi D. Ashley, Maureen Chiodini, Brian J. Waddell and Marcus W. Kilpatrick

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is highly beneficial for health and fitness and is well tolerated. Treadmill-based HIIT normally includes running interspersed with walking. The purpose of this study was to compare ungraded running and graded walking HIIT on perceived exertion, affective valence, and enjoyment. Thirty-four active, healthy adults completed maximal testing and two 20-min HIIT trials alternating between 85% of VO2peak and a comfortable walking speed. Affective valence, enjoyment, and perceived exertion, both overall (ratings of perceived exertion [RPE]-O) and legs only (RPE-L), were measured. RPE-O and affective valence were similar between HIIT trials (p > .05), RPE-L was higher for walk HIIT (p < .05), and enjoyment was higher for run HIIT (p < .05). Findings indicate that both walk and run HIIT produce exertion, affective, and enjoyment responses that are positive and possibly supportive of exercise behavior. Walk HIIT may be desirable for individuals who are unable or do not want to run.