Jenna A. Parsons, Kelley Strohacker, FACSM. University of Tennessee Knoxville, Knoxville, TN.

BACKGROUND: Positive exercise-related affective responses predict future behavior. Research is lacking in evaluating individuals’ affective experiences regarding resistance training (RT). Our purpose was to examine affective experiences to RT, current RT behavior, and perceived changes in RT since freshman year of high school in young adults. METHODS: Respondents completed a survey that contained the Affective Exercise Experiences (AFFEXX) Questionnaire with modified instructions to capture perceptions for RT across 10 subscales (score range=1-7). Additional items captured dimensions of RT (target muscle groups, repetition range), perceptions of behavior, and demographics. Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were used to examine internal consistency of AFFEXX subscales. Frequency and basic descriptive analyses were conducted for demographic and RT behavior. Independent t-tests were conducted to examine gender-related differences. RESULTS: 54 respondents (22 ±2 years old, 54% women) completed the survey. Cronbach alpha and mean ± standard deviation respondent scores for AFFEXX subscales were: Interest (α=0.829; 6±1), Honor (α=0.883; 6±1), Empowerment (α=0.579; 6±0.8), Showing Off (α=0.868; 4±1), Like Group (α=0.902; 5.±2), Competence α=0.782; 6±0.9), Pleasure (α=0.824; 6±0.9), Energy (α=0.895; 5±1), Calmness (α=0.842; 5±1), and Attraction (α=0.905; 5±1). No significant gender differences were observed for AFFEXX subscales; t-values ranged between -1.257 to 1.927, all p-values >0.059. No gender differences were observed for RT frequency (3.4±1.6 vs. 2.7±1.8 d/wk; t=-1.511, p=0.498) or the total number of exercise types per session (6±3 vs 5±3; t=-1.462, p=0.080), with most men (60%) and women (72%) performing 8-14 repetitions per set. 83% of respondents targeted at least one muscle group per week for RT, with 32% men and 14% women targeting all major muscle groups at least twice per week. 40% of men and 31% of women reported performing more RT in high school. CONCLUSION: When modified for RT, most AFFEXX subscales demonstrated at least good reliability (α >0.70). Affective experiences were generally rated as favorable. Compared to national averages of men and women meeting muscle-strengthening guidelines (38%, 31%), a smaller proportion of respondents would meet recommendations through RT alone. More research is needed to understand associations between affective experience ratings and RT behavior.

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