Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Scott Arnett, Danilo Tolusso, Whitley Stone

Degree Program

Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport

Degree Type

Master of Science


INTRODUCTION: Mindfulness training is a method of mental training becoming increasingly popular and has been positively associated with mental toughness, which may be valuable in highly fatiguing and stressful activities, like endurance exercise. Mindfulness training has resulted in increased endurance performance, but limited literature exists on a similar modality, muscular endurance exercise. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of an acute bout of mindfulness meditation on muscular endurance performance, mindfulness, and mental toughness. METHODS: Participants (n=24) completed two sessions, a week apart, of three planks until fatigue, with one-minute rest intervals. Immediately following each plank, RPE was assessed. The first session included baseline assessments of state mindfulness (Toronto Mindfulness Scale) (TMS) and mental toughness (Mental Toughness Index) (MTI). Then, the plank protocol was performed. During the second session, the TMS was administered before conditions. Participants were divided into two 6.5-minute conditions: mindfulness meditation vs audiobook, followed by the TMS and MTI. Then, the plank protocol was administered following conditions. Participants’ times were hidden until the completion of the study. Data were analyzed as follows: plank performance and RPE - 2x2x3 mixed measures ANOVA, TMS - 2x3 mixed measures ANOVA, and MTI - 2x2 mixed measures ANOVA. RESULTS: No statistical differences were found between condition, time, and day for plank performance (F1.1.430,31.467=49.751; p < 0.329; η2=0.047; N-B = 0.197) or RPE (F1.272,27.976=7.764; p = 0.006; η2=0.261; N-B = 0.830). No significant interaction was found between time x condition on state mindfulness (p = 0.270); however, time had a main effect (p < 0.001). No statistical differences were demonstrated for time x condition (p = 0.098) or time (p = 0.397) for mental toughness. DISCUSSION: An acute bout of mindfulness meditation failed to influence plank performance, perception of exercise performance, mental toughness, and state mindfulness. The minimum effective dosage of mindfulness training needs to be established for performance-related benefits. Future studies should evaluate exercise performance following sport-specific mindfulness interventions in novice and experienced meditators.


Exercise Science | Kinesiology | Psychology | Psychology of Movement | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sports Studies