We examined the influence of opposite states of mind (the “telic” vs. “paratelic” state) and dominances (personality characteristics that reflect a preference for one of these states) on emotion and stress responses to exercise. Telic dominant participants completing resistance exercise in the telic state condition reported decreased relaxation from pre- to post-exercise. All participants reported more pleasant emotions when performing endurance exercise in the telic state condition. In contrast, in the paratelic state condition, they reported increased anxiety. These results lend mixed support for previous research but suggest that meta-motivational state is more influential than dominance.