Blanca DeLaTorre1, Justin A. DeBlauw1, Brittany S. Hollerbach1, Sarah Cosgrove1 and Katie M. Heinrich1

1Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Individuals who prefer and tolerate higher intensity exercise should show greater fitness improvements over time. PURPOSE: To examine relationships between Preference (P) and Tolerance (T) for exercise intensity and fitness changes. METHODS: Participants were college students in 8-week high-intensity functional training (HIFT; n=54, 54% male, age=22 ± 3 years) or traditional weight training (TWT; n=41, 71% male, age=23±4 years) courses. At baseline, participants completed the 16-item Preference for and Tolerance of the Intensity of Exercise Questionnaire [score range=8 (low) - 40 (high)]. After a standardized warm-up, participants completed vertical jump, hand grip, 2 min push-ups and 1 min squat tests. Using SPSS 25, associations between P, T, and fitness were analyzed using bivariate correlation.

RESULTS: Baseline P (HIFT = 28.1±5.3, TWT=26.1±5.7) and T (HIFT=26.3±4.7, TWT= 27.3±4.9) were similar between groups. HIFT P and T were significantly correlated at baseline with push-ups (r=.39, p=.004; r=.32, p=.019) and squats (r=.30, p=.032; r=.39, p=.004), respectively. TWT P was significantly correlated with baseline hand grip (r=.59, p<.001), and T with baseline vertical jump (r=.52, p=.001) and squats (r=.49, p=.003). HIFT T remained significantly correlated at posttest with push-ups (r=.30, p=.04) and squats (r=.36, p=.015). TWT P remained significantly correlated with posttest hand grip (r=.48, p=.003) and T remained significantly correlated with squats (r=.40, p=.019), but also with push-ups (r=.45, p=.009). Fitness changes were not significantly correlated with P and T. CONCLUSIONS: P and T were positively correlated with fitness variables for each group, although those relationships differed by group and assessment period. Although P and T were not related to fitness changes, they may be useful for predicting fitness levels. Future research should examine these relationships for additional types of college exercise classes (e.g., cycling, Pilates).

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This project was crowd funded by Experiment.com

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