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Affective Responses to Increasing- and Decreasing-Intensity Resistance Training Protocols


  • Jasmin Hutchinson Springfield College
  • Leighton Jones Sheffield Hallam University
  • Panteleimon Ekkekakis Michigan State University
  • Boris Cheval University of Geneva
  • Ralf Brand University of Potsdam
  • Gabrielle Salvatore Rowan University
  • Samantha Adler Springfield College
  • Yan Luo University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign



affect, resistance exercise, opposing-slopes, remembered pleasure


This study compared the effects of an increasing-intensity (UP) and a decreasing-intensity (DOWN) resistance training (RT) protocol on affective responses across six training sessions. Novice participants (Mage 43.5 ± 13.7 years) were randomly assigned to UP (n = 18) or DOWN (n = 17) RT groups. Linear mixed-effects models showed that the evolution of affective valence within each training session was significantly moderated by group (b = -0.45, p = <.001), with participants in the UP group reporting a decline in pleasure during each session (b = -0.82) and the DOWN group reporting an improvement (b = 0.97; ps <.001). Remembered pleasure was significantly higher in the DOWN group compared to the UP group (b = 0.57, p = .004). These findings indicate that a pattern of decreasing intensity throughout a resistance exercise session can elicit more positive affective responses and retrospective affective evaluations of RT.


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