Effects of autonomous motivational priming on motivation and affective responses towards high-intensity interval training
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This study examined the effect of autonomous motivational priming on motivation, attitudes and intentions towards high-intensity interval training (HIT). Participants (N = 42) performed a graded exercise test to determine their peak aerobic power (WPEAK). At a subsequent testing session, participants were randomised to complete either an autonomous or neutral motivational priming task followed by a 10 × 1 HIT exercise protocol, alternating 1-min bouts of hard (70% WPEAK) and light (12.5% WPEAK) exercises for 20 min. Participants primed with autonomous motivation reported greater enjoyment, P = .009, ηp(2) = .16, and perceived competence, P = .005, ηp(2) = .18, post-exercise compared to those in the neutral priming condition. Participants in the autonomous motivational priming condition also reported more positive attitudes, P = .014, ηp(2) = .14, towards HIT; however, there was no difference between the conditions for task motivation during HIT or intentions, P = .53, ηp(2) = .01, to engage in HIT. These findings highlight autonomous motivational priming as a method of enhancing affective and motivational experiences regarding HIT.