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Effects of Acute Resistance Training of Different Intensities and Rest Periods on Anxiety and Affect

Bibeau, Wendy S1; Moore, Justin B2; Mitchell, Nathanael G3; Vargas-Tonsing, Tiffanye4; Bartholomew, John B5

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: August 2010 - Volume 24 - Issue 8 - p 2184-2191
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181ae794b
Original Research

Bibeau, WS, Moore, JB, Mitchell, NG, Vargas-Tonsing, T, and Bartholomew, JB. Effects of acute resistance training of different intensities and rest periods on anxiety and affect. J Strength Cond Res 24(8): 2184-2191, 2010-The affective benefits associated with aerobic exercise are well documented. However, literature concerning resistance exercise has suggested a more variable response (i.e., a short duration increase in state anxiety, which eventually is reduced below baseline) and thus may play an important role in the adoption and maintenance of a resistance training program. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of different intensities and rest period during resistance exercise on anxiety, positive affect, and negative affect while holding volume constant and controlling for self-efficacy. Using an experimental design, individuals enrolled in a weight training class (n = 104) were randomly assigned 1 of 5 exercise conditions (control, low-long, low-short, high-long, and high-short), varying intensities, and rest time. Anxiety and positive and negative affect measurements were collected immediately following the exercise workouts. Data from separate analyses of covariance revealed a significant main effect for condition on positive affect (p = 0.026), in which the low-long group reported significantly higher positive affect than the control group, at 5-minute postexercise. Similar analysis indicated a significant main effect for time on anxiety (p = 0.003), with the highest anxiety detected at 5-minute postexercise, and significant reductions in anxiety at both 20-minute and 40-minute postexercise. In conclusion, these results suggest that the variation of intensity and rest time had a modest short-term effect on psychological states, following an acute bout of resistance exercise. Personal trainers and health professionals may want to emphasize light-intensity resistance programs for novice clients to maximize psychological benefits, which in turn, may positively affect compliance and adherence.

1Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Maryland, Maryland; 2Department of Public Health, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina; 3School of Professional Psychology, Spalding University, Louisville, Kentucky; 4Department of Health and Kinesiology, College of Education and Human Development, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas; and 5Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, College of Education, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas

Address correspondence to Wendy S. Bibeau,

© 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association