Psychology of Sport and Exercise 8 (2007) 401–423
Affective responses of inactive women to a maximal
incremental exercise test: A test of the dual-mode model
Amy S. Welch
, Angie Hulley
, Carrie Ferguson
, Mark R. Beauchamp
Department of Health and Human Performance, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Leeds, UK
School of Human Kinetics, University of British Columbia, Canada
Received 18 November 2005; received in revised form 21 September 2006; accepted 28 September 2006
Available online 22 November 2006
Objective: The link between exercise intensity and affect has been a popular topic of investigation for many
years but has drawn few universally accepted conclusions. Recently, Ekkekakis [(2003). Pleasure and
displeasure from the body: Perspectives from exercise. Cognition and Emotion, 7, 213–239] proposed a
‘dual-mode model’ to explain the nature of this relationship by employing individual metabolic markers
(such as the ventilatory threshold) as demarcators of exercise intensity. The overall purpose of the study
was to test this model with an inactive female sample as current evidence is based largely on research with
healthy, active participants.
Design: Twenty inactive women completed a maximal incremental exercise test to the limit of tolerance on
a cycle ergometer. Affect was recorded repeatedly before, during and after exercise, while attentional focus
was recorded repeatedly during exercise.
Results and conclusions: Repeated-measures Analyses of Variance (ANOVAs’) demonstrated a signiﬁcant
(po:05) improvement in affective valence from baseline after 10 min of rest post-exercise, and a signiﬁcant
decrease (po:05) during exercise from the ﬁrst minute of exercise to the minute before the ventilatory
threshold, which continued its decline until exhaustion. Attentional focus became progressively more
associative as work rate increased. Some support for the dual-mode model was found, with a progressive
mean decline in valence as exercise intensity increased and a rapid improvement in valence on cessation of
intense exercise. However, the data suggest that a mean decline in valence began before the ventilatory
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Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 515 294 8042; fax: +1 515 294 8740.
E-mail address: email@example.com (A.S. Welch).
This study was conducted as part of Amy S. Welch’s doctoral dissertation at the University of Leeds under the
supervision of Angie Hulley and Mark Beauchamp.