The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of aerobic and strength conditioning on pain tolerance, pain appraisal and mood as a function of upper and lower limb pain location. Unfit males (n = 48) were randomly assigned to one of four groups: Aerobic training, strength training, combined aerobic and strength training, and a ‘no training’ (control) group. The fitness regimens consisted of exercising at least three times per week for 12 weeks. Pain tolerance and appraisal and mood were ascertained before the treatment (baseline), and after 6 and 12 weeks. Statistical analyses using MANOVA indicated that the presence of aerobic training increased upper limb pain tolerance but was also linked to a more severe pain appraisal compared with the absence of aerobic training. Aerobic work also improved vigour while decreasing fatigue, tension and depression. Strength training had no influence on pain tolerance and positive mood states, but increased depression. Lower limb pain tolerance was unaffected by the treatments. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.