Alyssum Reno, Lauren Killen, Kensey Hannon, Takeo Higgins. University of North Alabama, Florence, AL.

BACKGROUND- Currently, only 30.4% of the US population meet ACSM recommendations of two or more days per week of resistance training. A potential explanation to this lack of physical activity could be due to common barriers to exercise such as lack of time, enjoyment, or resources. A possible way to eliminate these barriers is through the use of virtual exercise. Previous research has shown significantly higher intensity selections based on heart rate (HR) and VO2 values resulting in significantly further distances covered when participants cycled with video feedback vs. no feedback for 30 minutes. In addition to physiological responses, video and music-led cycling (vs. without video and music) resulted in a significantly lower RPE, potentially contributing to increased feelings of exercise enjoyment. With the majority of virtual exercise focusing on aerobic activity, the effects of virtual strength training on physiological and perceptual responses is not well understood. The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of virtual exercise on intensity selection and exercise enjoyment with a total body strength session. METHODS - Forty participants (18-45 yrs) who do not currently meet ACSM’s minimum 2 days per week of resistance training guidelines and have no prior experience with the Mirror home gym will be recruited for this study. The first session will consist of a familiarization trial to assess anthropometric measurements and review exercises in the strength training sessions. Following the familiarization trial, participants will complete two identical 30-min full body strength exercise bouts on two separate occasions. The sessions will consist of a pre-selected workout with one session delivered by a virtual trainer using the Mirror and the other with participants following written instructions of the exercise session. Each session will consist of exercises that use one’s body weight or hand weights in which the participant will select their own resistance. At the end of each exercise, participant’s HR, weight selection and completed repetitions will be recorded. Participants will also report their acute RPE using the Omni pictorial scale. Following each trial, participants will report session RPE and complete a Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PACES) to assess exercise enjoyment. Results will be analyzed using means and standard deviations for descriptive characteristics and separate one-way repeated measures ANOVAs will be used to compare HR, weight selection, completed repetitions, and RPE between the Mirror and written sessions. Paired t tests will be used to compare SRPE values and PACES responses for each session. ANTICIPATED RESULTS - It is hypothesized that the Mirror exercise session will lead to greater intensity selections and feelings of enjoyment vs. the written exercise session.

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