An experiment was designed to determine if two frequently-used weight training protocols differentially affect mood state in novice lifters, possibly also influencing adherence to training programs. Mood states of nine males and nine females were examined before and after six different weightlifting workouts, varied according to interset rest interval (one versus three minutes), total work (low versus high), and weight lifted (light for 10 repetitions per set versus heavy for five repetitions per set). The Profile of Mood States was given two minutes pre-, and at two minutes, two hours, 24 hours and 48 hours post-workout. Stronger perception of negative moods including tension, depression and fatigue resulted from higher work, lower weight with higher repetitions per set and shorter inter-set rest periods. With the lower weight, higher total-work routine, the one-minute rest period produced more tension and depression than the three-minute routine, probably due to physical fatigue. In contrast, for the heavier weight, lower total-work routine, three minutes of rest produced more tension and depression than did one minute, possibly because of impatience brought on by the longer rest periods when fatigue was minimal. In conclusion, for novice lifters, the 5 RM, lower total work type routine with an inter-set rest period of three minutes is likely to produce relatively high rates of compliance and low attrition.