International Journal of Exercise Science 7(3) : 220-227, 2014. This study examined the influence of exercise environment and gender on post-exercise mood and exertion. College student participants (55 females, 49 males) were instructed to pedal a stationary bike at a moderate pace for 20 minutes. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three laboratory conditions: (1) exercising in front of a mirror and posters showing ideal fit body types (i.e., celebrity male and female personal trainers), (2) exercising in front of a mirror only, or (3) a control condition in which participants exercised without a mirror or posters. The Activation-Deactivation Adjective Check List (AD-ACL), measuring exercise-induced mood states, was administered both before and after exercise. Average bike speed throughout the exercise session measured exertion. Mirrors and posters of ideally fit celebrities did interact with gender on post-exercise tension in that women felt most tense after exercising in front of the mirror and posters while men were most tense after exercising in front of the mirror only. Exercise exertion was also impacted by experimental condition such that participants rode significantly faster in the mirror and posters condition. There was no significant interaction of gender and condition on exercise exertion, but women pedaled fastest in the mirror and poster condition relative to the other conditions. Results suggest that exercise exertion and tension reduction are partially a by-product of gender and exercise environment.

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