Effects of a circuit weight training program on the body images of college students
The present investigation examined the extent to which participation in a 6-week circuit-weight training program produced changes in participants' body images relative to a matched control group.
The weight trainers consisted of 39 college students (27 women and 12 men). The control group of 39 individuals did not weight-train currently or within the past year. All participants were pre- and posttested on the Multidimensional Body Self-Relations Questionnaire, the Social Physique Anxiety Scale, and the Physical Self-Efficacy Scale. Weight trainers were also pre- and posttested on muscular strength and assessed on their motives for exercise.
The program successfully increased upper- and lower-body strength. In contrast to the comparison group, weight trainers had a significantly improved evaluation of their appearance, greater body satisfaction, reduced social physique anxiety, and enhanced physical self-efficacy. Outcomes were unrelated to the extent of concurrent aerobic exercise and largely unrelated to exercise motives.
Even a relatively brief weight training program can produce improvements in multiple aspects of body image. Further research should investigate weight training as an adjunct to psychosocial treatments of body dissatisfaction. © 2001 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 30: 75–82, 2001.