McNair Scholar 2018 Nicolas Mendivil

Nicolas Mendivil is a senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, pursuing a dual degree in Kinesiology and Psychology. His research interests revolve around the psychology of injury prevention and motivational strategies to improve athlete performance. Mr. Mendivil plans on getting his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with a focus on Sport Psychology.

Nicolas Mendivil headshot
I dream of someday working as part of a team of coaches, doctors, athletic trainers, nutritionists and psychologists that help Olympic Athletes reach their full potential and achieve their goals.

Research project

The Effect of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on Physical Activity Adherence on Low Active Adults

Abstract: Only 10% of Americans are active at the recommended levels and therefore, it is important to examine the best way to motivate individuals to exercise. The most common barrier reported to exercise is lack of time. High-Intensity Interval training (HIIT) has emerged as a time efficient exercise method that has similar benefits as traditional exercise methods. The purpose of this study was to analyze the literature examining the effect of HIIT on adherence to exercise among low active adults. Twenty articles were identified using key terms and the five best designed were chosen for the purpose of this review. There were several limitations of the studies including a lack of standardized HIIT interventions, disagreements regarding the psychological effects, and all studies were administered in lab settings, which may not generalize to the real world. Future research should focus on establishing a well-defined HIIT intervention, explore the effect of HIIT on affect and mood, and examine the efficacy of a home-based intervention.

Faculty mentor

Dr. Beth Lewis is currently a Professor and Director of the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Lewis attended North Dakota State University for her undergraduate studies where she earned a B.A in Psychology, and then attended the University of North Dakota where she earned an M.A in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. She has received several federally funded grants examining the efficacy of behavioral interventions for increasing physical activity among sedentary adults. Her most recent studies have included randomized trials examining the effect of exercise on mental health (e.g., depression during pregnancy and postpartum).