Maximal strength and cortisol responses to psyching-up during the squat exercise
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science
We studied the effect of psyching-up on one-repetition maximum (1-RM) performance and salivary cortisol responses during the squat exercise. Ten men (age 21.6 ± 1.4 years; mean ± s) and ten women (age 22.4 ± 2.8 years) with weight training experience of 4.5 ± 2.0 years participated in this study. One-repetition maximum squats were performed on a Smith machine during each of two different intervention conditions that were counterbalanced and consisted of a free choice psych-up and a cognitive distraction. Saliva samples were obtained at the beginning of each test session and immediately after the final 1-RM attempt. No significant difference in 1-RM was identified between psyching-up (104 ± 50 kg) and cognitive distraction (106 ± 52 kg). Performing a 1-RM in the squat exercise significantly increased salivary cortisol concentrations during both conditions (P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in salivary cortisol responses between conditions. These results suggest that psyching-up does not increase 1-RM performance during the squat exercise in strength-trained individuals.