Effects of three low-volume, high-intensity exercise conditions on affective valence

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A common barrier to exercise is “lack of time”. Accordingly, interest in low-volume, high-intensity training has grown exponentially since this activity is considered time-efficient. However, the high-intensity nature of this exercise may frequently result in feelings of displeasure creating another barrier for many people. The purpose of this study was to compare affective (pleasure-displeasure) responses to three low-volume, high-intensity exercise conditions, including a novel shortened-sprint protocol. Using a within-subjects, randomised crossover experiment, healthy participants (N = 36) undertook a single bout of: 1) traditional reduced-exertion, high-intensity interval training (TREHIT), 2) a novel, shortened-sprint REHIT (SSREHIT) protocol, and 3) sprint continuous training (SCT). Affect and perceived efforts were recorded throughout exercise using the Feeling Scale (FS) and the 15-point Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale, respectively. Enjoyment was recorded 5 min post-exercise using the Exercise Enjoyment Scale (EES). Differences were found for FS (condition by time interaction: P = 0.01 GG, η 2 = 0.26), RPE (P = 0.01 GG, η 2 = 0.23), and enjoyment (P < 0.01) with all outcomes favouring SSREHIT. Shortened-sprint protocols may diminish feelings of displeasure and might be a time-efficient yet tolerable exercise choice to help motivate some people to increase their physical activity and fitness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number2
Early online date29 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2020


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