Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Katherine M. Polasek, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Susan J. Rayl, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Philip J. Buckenmeyer, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding of women’s training behavior in the weight room. A secondary purpose was to determine what their beliefs and perceptions were in regards to lifting weights. Participants were college-aged females ranging in age from 17-29 years. Observations of weight lifting activities were conducted during peak hours of operation (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 3- 6pm) in the fitness facility. A total of 60 hours of observations were conducted over a period of four weeks. In addition to observations, two focus groups were conducted. Participants were divided into two specific groups: I lift weights (Group A) and I do not lift weights (Group B). Observed frequencies indicated that 82.5% (n = 94) of the total population (N = 114) used machines. As such, the findings from this analysis suggest that an overwhelming number of college-age women use machines as compared to free weights during peak hours.