Passion for exercise

Frode Stenseng, professor of Psychology

Do you want to avoid yo-yo training this year? And rather find long-lasting joy in completing your sessions? Then you should apply for a harmonious passion for exercise. Here, Professor of Psychology, Frode Stenseng, explains how harmonious or compulsive passion can mean a lot to our experience of exercising.

Passion for 4×4 this year?

Think about whether 4×4 intervals can be your passion this year? Something that you look forward to doing and that you are happy to clear space for in everyday life. The training becomes part of who you are; become part of your personality and identity.

What is harmonic passion?

Professor Robert J. Vallerand believe that passion for exercise is mainly good for you. However, it depends on what variant of passion you have. If it is harmonious passion or compulsive passion. The harmonious passion is an interest that is unproblematic for the person. It is in balance with other interests and tasks in life and provides positive experiences entirely independent of achievements. On the other hand, we characterize compulsive passion by a strong focus on performance. As well as, comparisons with others and that the interest often conflicts with other activities and relationships.

What passion do you have for training?

Through several dozen studies and by developing The Passion Scale, Vallerand shows how passion connects to other factors related to exercise. This scale measures two types of passions. People with these two different passions spend the same amount of time on the activity, but they experience very different training outcomes. For instance, a harmoniously passionate person experience positive emotions when they exercise and after exercise. On the other hand, a compulsive passionate person often feels guilty and ashamed while exercising and often experiences failure after exercise.

Make exercise a positive part of yourself

You may want to ask yourself, what kind of passion do I want to have? Moreover, do you want a type of passion that becomes a positive part of yourself and gives you joy in training? Contrary, a more stressful variant where you whip yourself through the training sessions? Our own research shows how obsessive-compulsive disorder associates with burnout, family and work conflicts, and poor self-esteem.

Creating a harmonious passion is mostly about thinking about training as a positive part of oneself. The training should become something you want to develop and appreciate. Instead of you looking for external pressure to carry out your workout. The next article will talk more about “growth” vs “Fixed” mindset regarding passion.