Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Erik Lind, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Deborah Van Langen, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

John T. Foley, Ph.D.


The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that individuals perform resistance training exercises at a specific intensity based on external load (percentage of one repetition maximum; %1RM). However, only 29.6% of adults in 2013 reported strength training two or more times per week. Furthermore, individuals lifting at recommended percentages vary in their pleasure and displeasure. Self-selected exercise seems to promote positive affective responses, in part, due to the perceived autonomy. The effects of regulating exercise intensity using affect as opposed to imposed intensities as a means for improved fitness, promoting exercise behavior, and enhancing other psychological outcomes have yet to be established for resistance training. The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether affect-regulated exercise intensity during a 6-week resistance training program resulted in greater adherence than a traditional percentage-based exercise intensity. Participants included college-aged females (n=15; 21.53±1.96 years) novice lifters who completed baseline measures of their eight-repetition-maximum on the chest press, shoulder press, lat-pulldown, seated cable row, leg press, leg extension, and leg curl. They were randomly split into an affect-regulated exercise intensity group (+3; “Good”) or percentage-based exercise intensity group (70% 1RM) and followed a six-week unsupervised resistance training program based off of American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) guidelines. Independent sample t-tests were used to examine differences between groups for adherence, session affect, and session perceived exertion. A mixed methods ANOVA was used to examine between and within groups for the four subscales of the Intrinsic Motivation Inventory. The results of this study indicated that there was no significant differences between adherence, session affect, session perceived exertion, and intrinsic motivation subscale scores between the two groups. The results add to and provide insight into the direction of future studies in regards to affect-regulated exercise prescription for resistance training for novice lifters.