Purpose: To determine if the presence of observers affects muscular strength performance in college-age males and females. Methods: Twenty-five women and 24 men participated in the study. Two counter-balanced trials were performed in which participants completed 1-RM tests in bench press and leg press. During one trial, two members of the opposite gender observed the 1-RM tests. During the other trial there were no observers, other than the tester. Results: 1-RM for females increased 3.4±0.8 lbs on bench press (p<.001) and increased 9.2±3.8 lbs on leg press (p=.025) when observers were present. 1-RM for males increased 4.2±1.1 lbs on bench press (p=.001) and increased 18.8±5.2 lbs on leg press (p=.002) with observers present. There was no difference in the percent increase in 1-RM between males and females for either leg press (p=.71) or bench press (p=.08). Conclusion: College-age males and females lifted more weight during a 1-RM test when observers were present.
Baker, Steven C.; Jung, Alan P.; and Petrella, John K.
"Presence of Observers Increases One Repetition Maximum in College-age Males and Females,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 4
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol4/iss3/5