Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Kinesiology and Sport Studies

Major Professor

Dr. Kelley Strohacker

Committee Members

Dr. Kelley Strohacker, Dr. Dawn Coe, Dr. Jessica Kutz, Dr. Jeff Larsen


Autoregulation is a person-adaptive strategy wherein exercise workloads are adjusted to match one’s readiness (e.g., acute mental, physical, perceptual state). Prior work demonstrated that structural features of readiness profiles (i.e., which factor(s) are most important) differ across individuals. As this work relied on mathematical modeling, research is needed to understand the informational utility of person-specific profiles (PSPs) of readiness. Purpose: Model heterogeneity in PSPs of readiness (Aim 1), explore associations between PSP factor scores and forecasted experiences to hypothetical muscle-strengthening exercise (Aim 2), and explore participants’ perceptions of relevance and utility regarding their PSP (Aim 3). Methods: For Aim 1, a reference structure was created by applying R-technique factor analysis to cross-sectional readiness data from surveys taken by adults (N=326) preparing to engage in muscle-strengthening exercise. This reference was compared to PSPs created by applying P-technique factor analyses to time-series readiness data from resistance-trained adults (N=11; up to 84 time points per person) using ecological momentary assessment (EMA) procedures. For Aim 2, scatter plots were created using EMA data to visualize PSP first factor (i.e., most mathematically important) scores against ratings of affective valence forecasted in response to hypothetical exercise. For Aim 3, following EMA, individuals were interviewed to view and discuss their PSP; qualitative data underwent thematic analyses to explore participants’ shared perceptions. Results: The reference readiness structure differed from PSPs in factor number (10 vs. mean=12), interpretation of the first factor (‘activation’, vs. ‘mood/emotions’ or ‘physical states’), and the amount of variance in the dataset it explained (26.2% vs. 18.1 to 45.3%). No consistent pattern was observed regarding factor one scores and forecasted ratings of affect. Thematic analyses revealed that atypical circumstances during the EMA period and incongruency between personal perceptions and data feedback fueled a general skepticism and reservations toward mathematically modeled PSPs. Conclusion: Results replicated previous observations of heterogeneity between nomothetic and idiographic models of readiness. However, mathematically modeling PSPs based on a single period of observation appears to hold insufficient informational utility for resistance-trained adults. Further research is needed to optimize conceptualizations of readiness to refine practical implementation of autoregulatory strategies for muscle-strengthening exercise.

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