High Intensity Functional Training (HIFT) is a unique fitness method that promotes an active lifestyle and has seen exponential and continual growth over the last two decades. Motivation to exercise is likely to change over time as individuals’ motives to initiate exercise may be different than those which motivate them to maintain an exercise program. The purpose of this study was to examine the motivational factors reported by individuals who actively engage in HIFT with varying length of participation and competition levels. 737 adults (32.4 ± 8.2 years) with more than three-months of HIFT experience completed an online version of the Exercise Motivation Inventory (EMI-2) survey. Those who had greater length of participation reported more motives associated with relatedness (i.e., affiliation, competition) and enjoyment, while those with less HIFT participation were more motivated by body-related variables (i.e., weight management). Further, motivational variables (e.g., social recognition, affiliation, challenge) varied depending on whether or not individuals had competed in an online qualifier. Understanding these differences in motivation may aid in exercise promotion, initiation, and adherence, and moreover promote long-term physical and mental health benefits.
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