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Affective and metabolic responses to self-selected intensity cycle exercise in young men

Haile, Luke, Goss, Fredric L., Andreacci, Joseph L., Nagle, Elizabeth F., Robertson, Robert J.
Physiology & behavior 2019 v.205 pp. 9-14
biochemical pathways, cardiorespiratory fitness, exercise, men, oxygen consumption, sports medicine
Self-selected intensity exercise has resulted in greater affective responses (AR) compared to prescribed exercise of similar intensity and many individuals self-select intensity at a moderate level identified by metabolic analysis. As such, self-selected intensity may be an effective alternative for exercise prescription designed to promote adherence and result in health and fitness benefits. Self-selected intensity has not been well described for many subject populations and exercise modes. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to measure affective and metabolic responses during self-selected intensity cycle exercise in college-aged men. Thirty-three men (22.4 ± 2.2 yr) performed a peak oxygen consumption test and a 20 min self-selected trial on a cycle ergometer on separate days. Oxygen consumption (VO2) was measured continuously throughout both exercise sessions. AR were measured using the Feeling Scale and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) using the OMNI Scale every 5 min during the self-selected trial. χ2 analysis was used to determine if a significant proportion of subjects self-selected intensity above 50% VO2 reserve (VO2R), defined as a threshold for moderate-intensity exercise and potential cardiorespiratory fitness benefits by American College of Sports Medicine. Mean self-selected intensity was 57.6 ± 11.1%VO2peak and 89.3 ± 20.2% of ventilatory threshold. Twenty eight of 33 subjects self-selected intensity above 50% VO2R (p < .05). Self-selected intensity was associated with positive AR (1.8 ± 1.4) and mean RPE of 4.0 ± 1.5. In college-aged men, self-selected intensity cycle exercise was performed at a moderate intensity level and elicited positive AR for most subjects. Therefore, self-selected intensity could be an effective component of an exercise prescription for this population.