The purpose of this study was to examine possible dose–response and time course effects of an acute bout of resistance exercise on the core executive functions of inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility. Twenty-eight participants (14 female; Mage = 20.5 ± 2.1 years) completed a control condition and resistance exercise bouts performed at 40%, 70%, and 100% of their individual 10-repetition maximum. An executive function test battery was administered at 15 min and 180 min postexercise to assess immediate and delayed effects of exercise on executive functioning. At 15 min postexercise, high-intensity exercise resulted in less interference and improved reaction time (RT) for the Stroop task, while at 180 min low- and moderate-intensity exercise resulted in improved performance on plus–minus and Simon tasks, respectively. These findings suggest a limited and task-specific influence of acute resistance exercise on executive function in healthy young adults.
Christopher J. Brush, Ryan L. Olson, Peter J. Ehmann, Steven Osovsky, and Brandon L. Alderman are with the Department of Kinesiology and Health, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ. Ryan L. Olson is also with Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ. Address author correspondence to Brandon L. Alderman at email@example.com.