EXERSCI 105 : Exercise Prescription


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An introduction to the risks and benefits of exercise, exercise policy and safety, physical fitness testing, guidelines for exercise test administration, principles of exercise prescription, cardiorespiratory and neuromuscular training.

Course Overview

In this course, you will learn how to implement an evidence-based approach to exercise prescription which includes the understanding of pre-exercise evaluation and screening processes, various exercise assessments, and prescription principles.  The course starts from the basics and upon completion, students should be able to prescribe basic exercises to apparently healthy adults. 

This is an elective course in Exercise Sciences and is appropriate for anyone completing a Bachelor of Science. The course is designed for anyone with an interest in exercise and physical activity. What should my heart rate be when working out? How do you improve someone's health with exercise? How do you measure someone's fitness? If you are asking yourself these types of questions then you will benefit from this course. 

Course Requirements

Restriction: SPORTSCI 105, 205

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Interpret and describe evidence surrounding pre-exercise screening, assessment, evaluation, and prescription. (Capability 1, 2 and 5)
  2. Critically discuss methods to assess physical fitness status and exercise prescription guidelines (Capability 2, 4 and 5)
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in the assessment and evaluation of physical activity readiness, cardiorespiratory fitness, and muscular fitness. (Capability 1 and 5)
  4. Prescribe the correct quality and quantity of exercise for components of physical fitness (Capability 1 and 3)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Critical Appraisal 10% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Laboratories 17% Individual Coursework
Quizzes 8% Individual Coursework
Test 15% Individual Test
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4
Critical Appraisal
Final Exam

Key Topics

This course is divided into four modules:

Module 1: Principles of Assessment and Prescription
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Pre-Participation Screening
  • Principles of Fitness Assessment
Module 2: Assessment and Prescription for Cardiorespiratory Fitness
  • Assessment of Cardiorespiratory Fitness
  • Metabolic Calculations
  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness Training
  • Exercise and Weight Loss
  • Endurance Exercise
Module 3: Assessment and Prescription for Muscular Fitness
  • Assessment of Muscular Fitness (Strength/Power/Endurance)
  • Resistance Training
  • Functional Resistance Training
  • Flexibility and Balance
Module 4: Exercise Programming and Special Populations
  • Concurrent Exercise Training
  • Long Term Programming
  • Exercise Prescription in Athletes
  • Exercise Prescription in Older Adults and Children

Learning Resources

This course is primarily lecture-based, however, recordings of the lectures and lecture slides will be posted to the Canvas page regularly. All labs require pre-lab reading which can be found on Canvas. You are expected to check Canvas regularly (multiple times per week) to check for messages and new material. Please also ensure that all your personal details (phone numbers, email addresses, and street address) are correct and kept up-to-date on Canvas and Student Services Online.
At times a 'flipped' teaching and learning style will be used. It is expected that you work through material BEFORE coming to the relevant class. The in-class content will hopefully develop understanding. Students will be advised when a 'flipped' class will be held to allow them to prepare beforehand.
Textbook and Readings (optional)
This course emphasizes the use of evidence-based practice and therefore students are encouraged to read widely on the topics covered. Several textbooks (available in the library) are recommended but not compulsory. 

Highly Recommended
ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription

ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer
Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription
Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning

Special Requirements

The lab component of the course involves taking measurements of individuals participating in exercise. These labs are approved by the University of Auckland Human Participants Ethics Committee on 02-07-2018 for three years, reference number 015169/2018. Since this is a science course, involvement in the labs is compulsory but students have the choice, in each lab, to act as either the participant or researcher. All students are encouraged to act as participants at some point during the course. Students who are approved to take this course remotely will have alternative arrangements made

Laboratory work for this course is held in the Health and Rehabilitation Clinic (HRC). The HRC is a clinical training facility and patients may be using the equipment during the lab times. Students must behave in a way that will not offend or interfere with these activities. Proper exercise attire must be worn during labs.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, each week you can expect 2 hours of lectures, a 2 hour lab, 3 hours of reading and thinking about the content, and 3 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

The Exercise Sciences department has a policy of trying to assist students competing nationally and internationally when they require time away from university studies. If you are going to be away, you need to submit this form at least 10 days in advance of the competition (https://www.forms.auckland.ac.nz/en/ses/ses-absence-from-class.html).

If you have circumstances that you think will affect your ability to perform or complete work in this course, please get in touch with the course coordinator so that we can identify ways to make the course work for you.
Key points:
  • Usually, reasonable requests made before the work is due (NOT retrospectively) will be granted.
  • Proof may be required of the reason for the request (e.g. a medical certificate). This can be done through Student Health and Counselling ServicesLinks to an external site. as appropriate.
  • Extensions can only be granted by the course coordinator.
Assignments that are handed in after the due date and time will receive a late penalty unless you have obtained an extension prior to the due date or subsequently prove circumstances outside your control prevented you from completing the assignment in time. Assignment penalties will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html).


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 07/07/2020 09:01 p.m.