The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of a weight training session on muscle dysmorphia symptoms in young men who regularly weight trained. Using a within-subjects crossover design, 30 men (mean ± SD; 20.93 ± 2.60 years, 86.87 ± 10.59 kg, and 1.76 ± 0.01 m) were randomly allocated to 1 of 2 groups, and completed the Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder Inventory twice, once each on 2 separate days. One day 1, group 1 completed the questionnaire after a weight training session and group 2 on a rest day. One day 2, group 1 completed the questionnaire on a rest day and group 2 after a weight training session. The mean score for drive for size was significantly higher on a rest day (18.00) than on a training day (15.87; p = 0.001, d = 1.03). The mean score for appearance intolerance was significantly higher on a rest day (10.10) compared with that on a training day (8.97; p = 0.001, d = 0.69). The mean score for functional impairment was significantly higher on a rest day (10.20) than on a training day (9.47; p = 0.037, d = 0.40). These results provide evidence that muscle dysmorphia symptoms have state-like properties and may be influenced by situational variables. The results may indicate that strength and conditioning specialists and mental health professionals need to observe clients over time and take into account environmental variables before making decisions about the presence or absence of the condition.
- Body image disturbance
- Strength training