Preference and tolerance for high-intensity exercise performance and enjoyment

Allyson G. Box, Jonathan R. North, Andra J. Whitney, Emily P. Newton, Yuri Feito, Steven J. Petruzzello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


High-intensity exercise has been shown to result in physiological benefits. However, little is known about why individuals choose to initiate and continue engaging in this type of exercise. It is likely individual differences exist that explain why some maintain a high-intensity exercise regimen while others do not. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to examine the predictive role of intensity preference and tolerance traits on performance and enjoyment from a high-intensity workout. Participants (N = 34; 33 ± 8 yrs) completed the Preference for and Tolerance of the Intensity of Exercise Questionnaire, then performed a 12-minute high-intensity workout (HIW; consisting of a 5 pull-ups, 10 box jumps, & 15 wall ball throws AMRAP). Intensity preference [b(lower–upper CI); 0.475(0.169–0.782), P = 0.002], but not tolerance [0.140(−0.254–0.535), P = 0.486], explained variance in HIW performance (i.e., number of repetitions completed in the 12-min AMRAP), while neither preference nor tolerance were meaningfully associated with post-HIW enjoyment (rs < 0.27). However, performance explained meaningful variance in enjoyment [0.435(0.233–0.637.18), P < 0.001]. Thus, intensity-preference influences the number of repetition completed during a HIW, but intensity-preference and tolerance are less important for HIW enjoyment. Rather, more completed repetitions was related to greater enjoyment, and experiencing greater exercise enjoyment may lead to continued high-intensity exercise engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-370
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number2
Early online dateApr 2 2022
StatePublished - 2023


  • Enjoyment
  • HIFT
  • personality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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