J. R. Clavenna, S. Olsen, A.A.B. Cruz, S. Ullrich-French, C. P. Connolly.

Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Verbal encouragement (VE) is related to exercise performance, though it remains unclear what specific phrases lead to optimal performance results. Based on Achievement Goal Theory, VE can focus either on personal improvement (mastery climate) or established outcome standards (performance climate). Moreover, goal orientation (GO) may influence how an individual responds to different motivational climates created through VE. PURPOSE: We aimed to identify the impact of mastery VE (MVE) and performance VE (PVE) on exercise performance in 1RM bench press (1RM), PACER (PC), plank (PL), and push-up (PU) tasks. We examined differences in exercise performance by self-reported mastery GO (MGO) and performance GO (PGO). METHODS: Undergraduate students (N=30) were randomly assigned to three groups, MVE (N=10), PVE (N=9), and control (N=11). Baseline and experimental assessments were conducted for each performance task. A repeated measures ANOVA with a within subjects’ factor of visit and between subjects’ factor of VE group examined exercise performance differences. A secondary one-way ANOVA with a Tukey post hoc test examined differences among VE groups and performance improvements. RESULTS: Most participants (20 ± 1.2 years old) reported being physically active (~90%). Significantly higher PL improvements were identified with PVE compared to control (p=.001) and MVE (p=.033). PVE PL performance increased an average of 54 sec, MVE increased by 22 sec and control decreased by 2 sec. Significantly higher PU improvements were observed in PVE compared to control (p=.042), with no other significant PU improvements among other VE groups. No other significant differences in exercise improvements were noted when comparing MVE, PVE, and control. Analysis of variance showed a main effect of MGO on PC (F = 8.282, p = .009, ηp 2 = .274) and 1RM (F = 5.775, p = .025, ηp 2 = .208). No significant main effect was observed for PGO on exercise performance. CONCLUSION: Initial analyses suggest that PVE had a greater impact on improving PL and PU performance compared to MVE and control. MGO appears to have a greater influence on exercise performance in comparison to PGO. Increased sample size and diversity will likely provide a better understanding of impacts of VE and GO.

Supported by ACSM Northwest Student Research Grant.

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