Exercise Science faculty and alumnus publish research article

Exercise Science faculty Wally Bixby, Eric Hall and Paul Miller along with alumnus Pete Bellezza (’06) recently published a research article titled “The Influence of Exercise Order on Blood Lactate, Perceptual, and Affective Responses.” The article came out in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 

This research was supported by the Undergraduate Research Program.

The full citation is:

Bellezza, P.A., Hall, E.E., Miller, P.C., & Bixby, W.R. (2009). The influence of exercise order on blood lactate, perceptual, and affective responses. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23 (1), 203-208.


 The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of exercise order on blood lactate, perceptual, and affective responses to resistance exercise. Twenty-nine subjects (18 women, 11 men; 20.9 +/- 1.9 years) completed three sessions separated by a minimum of 48 hours. Session 1 determined the 10-repetition maximum (10RM) for nine resistance exercises. During sessions 2 and 3, exercises were completed in either a large to small or small to large muscle exercise order. The large to small muscle order was 1) chest press, 2) leg press, 3) rows, 4) leg extension, 5) overhead press, 6) hamstring curl, 7) biceps curl, 8) calve raise, and 9) triceps extension. Exercise order was reversed for the small to large condition. Participants performed two sets of each lift, with the first set being a warm-up at 80% 10RM, followed by one set at 100% 10RM with 1 minute of rest between each exercise. Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was measured after completion of the second set. Blood lactate was recorded after exercises 1, 5, and 9. Affective measures were completed pre, during, post 0, and post 10 minutes. Lactate showed a significant time (p < 0.001) and condition x time interaction (p = 0.020). A significant difference was seen in average number of repetitions completed between sequences, with small to large performing more. There were no differences seen between exercise orders for average RPE. Analyses of Feeling Scale and Felt Arousal Scale scores showed only a significant main effect of time. A paired-sample t-test was conducted to examine differences in Feeling Scale for the two conditions at the different time points. Significant differences were found for Feeling Scale during exercise (after overhead press) and at post 10, with the small to large exercise order having greater Feeling Scale responses. No significant correlations were seen between blood lactate and perceptual or affective responses at any time point or in either exercise order. These findings may suggest that small to large exercise order may have beneficial physiological and psychological outcomes and potentially influence exercise adherence.