Apparently, the participants are split into two groups. At the beginning of each week, we fill out a survey (mostly questions about our motivation to exercise under different circumstances, like low-energy, sickness, stressful times, etc.) and then we listen to a 5-10 minute recording. At this point I have no idea what the recording will say, but I'm guessing something along the lines of what the benefits of exercise are.
Each participant is required to exercise 3 times per week in the Health Sciences exercise room on campus. We wear a heart-rate monitor, and are given a minimum heart-rate we should be working at. The minimum increases every two weeks or so, and the study lasts for 8 weeks. We do an initial fit test at the beginning (I did mine last week - bah! Not so good!) and then again at the end of the 8 weeks. We are also required to fill out a survey 6 months after the study is complete, but I don't know if we also have to do another fit test then.
This study was of particular interest for me, because they are specifically targeting women between 22-50 who do not currently exercise regularly (three times a week for at least 20 minutes each session) but who want to begin exercising more frequently. That's definitely me to a 'T'. I usually hit the gym once a week, and might play soccer once, but, sadly, that's about the extent of it.
Though I'm helping a fellow PhD student with their project (which is awesome), I'm also in it for selfish reasons: I hope that I'm able to learn a bit about what motivates me to exercise, and I hope that exercising 3 times per week for 8 weeks will give me enough momentum to keep it up for much longer.
I intend to post updates - so keep an eye out!