Modeling Readiness-to-exercise: Nomothetic And Idiographic Perspectives

Kelley Strohacker, Cory T. Beaumont, Richard Keegan, Rebecca A. Zakrajsek

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


    To improve exercise adherence, experts suggest that programming must be designed to minimize unpleasant experiences and adapt to person-specific signals (e.g., mood, pain, fatigue) that influence behavior over time. Derived from the sport conditioning literature, the practice of matching daily workloads to an individual’s ‘readiness’ (pre-exercise physical and mental states) offers a novel strategy to meet experts’ suggestions. To date, however, the scope for individual differences regarding the operationalization of readiness-to-exercise has not been examined.

    PURPOSE: Investigate heterogeneity among idiographic models of readiness-to-exercise.

    METHODS: Factor analyses (FA) were conducted using two existing databases that contained the same twelve items representing four dimensions of readiness (vitality, fatigue, physical discomfort, health & fitness). A nomothetic reference structure was identified by applying R-technique FA to survey data from individuals (N = 572; 22 + 6y, 44% women) entering a fitness center. Idiographic models were generated by applying P-technique FA to individuals’ (N = 29; 24 + 6y, 55% women) incidental ratings collected via ecological momentary assessment (50 + 4 assessments per person). The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was computed to assess within-person consistency in first factor scores.

    RESULTS: Consistent with prior research, the reference structure contained four factors, of which health & fitness explained the most variance (32%), followed by fatigue (20%), vitality (12%), then physical discomfort (9%). Among idiographic models, heterogeneity was observed regarding number of factors (3 + 1) and the variance explained by the first factor (38 + 10%). Some similarities in item loading patterns were observed across idiographic models and first factor scores were moderately consistent within individuals (ICC = 0.62).

    CONCLUSION: Results provide proof-of-concept that person-specific models of readiness depart from a generalized reference structure and that temporal variance is observable in individuals’ strongest explanatory factors. Future research should determine if such ‘interpersonal signatures’ of readiness-to-exercise predict clinically relevant exercise outcomes (e.g., in-task affective valence, volitional effort).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)339-339
    Number of pages1
    JournalMedicine Science in Sports Exercise
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2021


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