In the Zone: An Exploration of Personal Characteristics Underlying Affective Responses to Heavy Exercise

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Sheffield Hallam University
  • 2 Springfield College
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Positive affective responses to exercise have been linked to longer-term adherence. The dual-mode model indicates that affective responses during heavy exercise (between the ventilatory threshold and the respiratory compensation point) are subject to interindividual variability (zone of response variability). Participants (N = 48) completed measures to assess personal characteristics prior to a graded exercise test. Responses to the Feeling Scale were recorded during the graded exercise test and subsequently used to group participants as either negative responders or neutral/positive responders to heavy exercise. Discriminant function analysis was applied, and a significant weighted linear composite predicted affective response. Preference for exercise intensity and sex were significant predictors (p = .003). Negative responders had lower preference scores and were more likely to be men. The combination of these two variables successfully predicted group membership 71% of the time. Individual differences appear relevant when examining affective responses to heavy exercise.

Jones is with the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom. Hutchinson and Mullin are with the Dept. of Exercise Science and Sport Studies, Springfield College, Springfield, MA.

Jones (leighton.jones@shu.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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