Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Effects of self-control on the tolerance to high-intensity exercise

Jihoon Ahn, Inwoo Kim, Sungho Kwon


High-intensity exercise has efficient elements such as time saving and metabolic benefits, while it is physiologically demanding, and requires stronger mental capacity than traditional exercise regimens. The present study aimed to examine differences in exercise intensity relative to self-control in exercise participants. Participants completed the multistage 20 m shuttle run test (MST) in an indoor gymnasium under the same environmental condition. Participants (N = 81; male n = 55; Mage = 23.06 years) completed measures of self-control and motivation for participation in aerobic exercises. Additionally, heart rate, high-intensity exercise volume, and perceived exertion were used to measure exercise intensity. Self-control has a significant positive correlation with several variables that measure exercise intensity. In addition, hierarchical regression analyses showed that trait self-control positively and significantly predict exercise intensity after controlling for self-determined motivation. Trait self-control is a significant psychological variable to account for behaviours related to high-intensity exercise and it might be more important for the tolerance the exercise intensity than one’s self-determined motivation to it.


Exercise psychology; Health behaviour; Public health


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