Monday, March 31, 2008

Why don't people train hard?

Because when it gets hard they stop enjoying it!

The Relationship Between Exercise Intensity and Affective Responses Demystified: To Crack the 40-Year-Old Nut, Replace the 40-Year-Old Nutcracker!

BACKGROUND: A causal chain linking exercise intensity, affective responses (e.g., pleasure-displeasure), and adherence has long been suspected as a contributor to the public health problem of physical inactivity. However, progress in the investigation of this model has been limited, mainly due to inconsistent findings on the first link between exercise intensity and affective responses.
PURPOSE: The purpose was to reexamine the intensity-affect relationship using a new methodological platform.
METHODS: Thirty young adults (14 women and 16 men) participated in 15-min treadmill exercise sessions below, at, and above their ventilatory threshold. The innovative elements were the following: (a) Affect was assessed in terms of the dimensions of the circumplex model; (b) assessments were made repeatedly during and after exercise; (c) patterns of interindividual variability were examined; (d) intensity was determined in relation to the ventilatory threshold; and (e) hypotheses derived from the dual-mode model were tested.
RESULTS: Intensity did not influence the positive changes from pre- to post-exercise, but it did influence the responses during exercise, with the intensity that exceeded the ventilatory threshold eliciting significant and relatively homogeneous decreases in pleasure.
CONCLUSIONS: Exceeding the intensity of the ventilatory threshold appears to reduce pleasure, an effect that could negatively impact adherence.


Charles R. said...

And in my experience with elite athletes, the opposite was true. The more intensity, the more they liked it.

Chris said...

Maybe that is one of the reasons that they become elite, while the majority of people are sedentary....

Keenan said...

I definitely feel the opposite.

The harder I push myself, the better I feel during and after. It's amazing to see what the body is capable of, and it's especially amazing to lose myself in an activity and find out what MY body is capable of.

I get quite a rush from intense exercise. I actually have to make a point to NOT plan workouts the night before because I'll get so excited and amped up that I won't be able to sleep.

Maybe there is a profound difference between athletes and others that provides a different chemical incentive structure for exercise. Great post - please post any follow up info about this!

Matt Metzgar said...

I think this is a huge key to the overweight problem - most people do not structure exercise to be enjoyable. The whole "no pain, no gain" thing has probably kept a lot of people sitting on the couch.