Article Title



Aidan K. Lewis1, Aspen E. Streetman1, Katie M. Heinrich1, FACSM

1Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

College students experience bouts of stress corresponding to the semester's start, middle, and end. Exams may increase stress depending on the point in the semester. It is unclear if semester timing impacts stress, exercise motivation, and enjoyment in students enrolled in either CrossFit (CF) or traditional weight-training (TWT) classes. CF workouts utilize functional exercises performed at high intensity, while TWT workouts include multiple reps and sets of self-paced resistance exercises. These differences in training may affect stress, exercise motivation, and enjoyment, thus affecting exercise adherence and long-term health. PURPOSE: To determine changes in stress, enjoyment, and exercise motivation between start to mid-semester (1st 8 weeks) and mid to end semester (2nd 8 weeks) CF or TWT classes. METHODS: 82 healthy college students were enrolled in a class meeting 2 days/week for 8 weeks; either 1st 8 weeks TWT (n = 14, age 22.6 ± 4.2 years) or CF (n = 34, age 21.9 ± 3.2 years), or 2nd 8 weeks TWT (n = 19, age 23 ± 5.3 years) or CF (n = 19, age 21.2 ± 1.9 years). A 5-point Likert-scale questionnaire measured stress, exercise motivation, and enjoyment at baseline and 8-weeks. Higher values corresponded with higher levels of each variable. Changes were compared using an ANOVA omnibus general linear model. RESULTS: As shown in Figure 1, students reported moderate levels of all three variables from baseline to post-test. No significant change in stress (P = .059), exercise motivation (P = .503) and exercise enjoyment (P = .96) was found between classes or semester timing. CONCLUSION: All groups maintained baseline stress levels, exercise motivation, and enjoyment. Thus, CF and TWT classes may be effective measures to combat stress during intense periods of the semester, such as midterms. Moreover, exercise motivation and enjoyment stability may indicate that each class type similarly affects adherence, although a limitation was the lack of a control group.

Figure 1.docx (51 kB)
Figure 1

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