Acute Psychological Effects of Resistance Exercise in Men With Symptoms of Muscle Dysmorphia: A Pilot Study.J Strength Cond Res. 2020 Apr 23 [Online ahead of print]JS
SantaBarbara, NJ, Nosrat, S, Whitworth, JW, Ciccolo, JT. acute psychological effects of resistance exercise in men with symptoms of muscle dysmorphia: A pilot study. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2020-This study tested the acute psychological effects of resistance exercise in men with symptoms of muscle dysmorphia. Twenty-one men completed 4 on-site sessions including a single session of moderate- (70% of 10 repetition maximum [RM]) and high- (100% of 10RM) intensity resistance exercise in a counter balanced order separated by at least 48 hours. State body image, perceived muscle size, exercise enjoyment, and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were assessed before, during, and after each session, and statistical significance was set a priori at p < 0.05. State body image significantly improve from pre to post during both sessions (p < 0.01), with greater effect sizes seen for the high- (d = 0.57) compared with the moderate- (d = 0.39) intensity session. Perceived muscle size improved from pre to post during the high-intensity only (p < 0.01, d = 0.66), and subjects enjoyed the high-intensity session significantly more than the moderate-intensity session (p = 0.01), despite significantly higher RPE at each timepoint (p < 0.01). Results contend with previous findings that show more positive psychological effects of moderate- compared with high-intensity resistance exercise. Education and client observation are essential to be aware of the potential for muscle dysmorphia. In instances where muscle dysmorphia is suspected, referral to qualified mental health professionals is recommended.