Course Title: Exercise Physiology 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Exercise Physiology 1

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: Professor Stephen Bird

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 399257257

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 203.3.05

Course Coordinator Availability: by appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

BIOL2280 Human Structure and Function 1 or equivalent.


Course Description


The topics covered within the course are:

  • the process of muscle contraction
  • the structure and function of the cardio-respiratory system
  • the relative contribution of the energy/power systems, fuel sources and metabolism during exercise of differing types, intensity and duration
  • the generation and metabolism of lactate
  • the responses and regulation of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems during exercise
  • the factors associated with aerobic capacity and performance
  • the assessment of aerobic capacity via the measurement of expired air, and its estimation from other protocols
  • cardiovascular, pulmonary and musculoskeletal adaptations to exercise training.
  • training for aerobic/endurance fitness
  • the physiological bases of gender differences in aerobic/endurance performance
  • exercising in low barometric pressure environments (moderate to high altitude), and
  • exercising in high barometric pressure environments (SCUBA)
  • Practical laboratories will provide the opportunity to develop the skills and understanding required to administer assessments of aerobic capacity and associated factors.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development


This course contributes to the development of the following Exercise and Sport Science Program Learning Outcomes:


  1. Apply knowledge of the underlying principles and concepts of Exercise and Sport Science.  Including the core areas of: Human Physiology, Anatomy, Functional Anatomy, Exercise Physiology, Biomechanics, Motor Learning and Control, Exercise Metabolism and Nutrition, and Psychology (PLO1).
  2. Utilise core instrumentation and equipment for the monitoring and assessment of exercise clients (PLO2).
  3. Review, analyse and interpret information, and independently generate conclusions (PLO3).
  4. Communicate knowledge through a variety of modalities (PLO4).
  5. Identify exercise needs of a person/team and design appropriate exercise interventions (PLO6).
  6. Contextualise discipline knowledge to performance sports and / or health, disease and aging (PLO7).


This course contributes to the development of the following Health and Physical Education Program Learning Outcomes:

Develop content knowledge and how to teach it (PLO2)


This course will provide the skills and knowledge for a range of accreditation standards required by Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA). This course also contributes to the development of a range of Victorian Institute of Teaching and Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership National Professional Standards for  Physical Education Teachers (AITSL).

Upon successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Assess the metabolic, cardiovascular and respiratory systems responses to the acute stresses of physical activity of differing intensities
  2. Recognise the effects of different environments on physiological responses to exercise and exercise performance
  3. Recognise and articulate the physiological bases for differences in exercise responses and performance
  4. Perform a basic pre-exercise risk screening
  5. Use exercise physiology equipment and undertake effective and valid assessments of aerobic capacity
  6. Compare the responses of individuals of differing levels of fitness to a variety of relative and absolute exercise intensities
  7. Analyse, present and interpret data from a variety of sources, and present findings in an appropriate format

Overview of Learning Activities

Lectures, laboratory practicals, completion of assignments, directed and independent reading.

You will undertake the equivalent of three hours a week lectures, plus two hours a week laboratory practicals on alternate weeks.  Additionally, you will be expected to undertake a further 3 hours a week in independent study.

Overview of Learning Resources


Lectures, laboratory practicals, completion of assignments, directed and independent reading. Learning resources in this course include text books, lecture notes, practical exercises and handouts or references on selected topics. Where possible this information is provided online via myRMIT. You will be expected to regularly access the course website, which contains announcements, course information such as detailed timetables and prescribed reading, course documents and the gradebook. Exercise/Human Physiology laboratories and associated equipment will provide an environment for the application of theoretical concepts, the development of appropriate skills, and further your learning experience.

The course will be evaluated by student questionnaire.

Overview of Assessment


☐This course has no hurdle requirements.

☒ All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Leaning & Teaching).



  1. Mid-Semester assignment. Submitted week 5 or 6 (depending on lab group) (10% of total course mark). (CLOs 1, 4, 6, 7)
  2. A Lab report submitted week 11 or 12 (depending on lab group) based on aerobic assessment labs and in the form of a report written for a client. (30% of total course mark). (CLOs 1, 4, 6, 7)
  3. A mid-semester exam (conducted during lecture time). 45 minutes in duration. Will comprise multiple choice and short answer questions. (20% total course mark). (CLOs 2, 3, 4, 6, 7)
  4. An end of semester exam 2 hours in duration (conducted during the end of semester exam period). Will comprise multiple choice and short answer questions. (40% your total course mark). (CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7)
  5. Laboratory skills assessment. (Pass/Fail hurdle) (CLOs 1, 4, 5, 7).  Any student failing the laboratory skills assessment at the first attempt will be provide with a second opportunity to pass the skills assessment.  A second failure will result in a failure of the course.

The following hurdle requirements also apply: In order to pass the course, you are required to attend and actively participate in at least 4 of the laboratory practical sessions (not including the lab skills assessment). If you fail to attend the sessions for reasons other than those approved by special considerations, additional sessions will not be provided by the course. If granted Special Consideration, you will become eligible to complete supplementary sessions to meet the hurdle requirement. If you arrive after the class has commenced or leave before the class finishes, you will be marked as having arrived late or left early. You will be provided with one warning, and for each subsequent instance this behaviour will be marked as an absence.