Principles of Exercise Programming (EXSS5058)


The aim of this unit is to provide a critical examination of exercise testing and programming, with a focus on the safe and effective implementation of testing and training for apparently healthy people. The scientific evidence for dosages of aerobic and resistance exercise required for health and fitness outcomes will be critically reviewed. Other aspects of exercise programming such as flexibility, warm-up and instruction will also be covered in this unit. How physical activity testing and prescription may be deployed in the prevention of cardiovascular risk will also be examined, including the roles of structured exercise versus physical activity. Adoption and adherence to lifestyle change will be discussed along with strategies based in behavioural theory that enhance participation and reduce drop-out to exercise programs. Through the use of lectures and case studies, students will integrate the physiological components and logistical aspects of exercise performance to devise individualised exercise test batteries and deploy exercise prescriptions for healthy individuals. Students will be able to apply practical skills learnt in this unit towards their placement in Professional Practice.

Further unit of study information


2-hrs lecture/week, 2-hr practical/week for 7 weeks


Practical skills assessment (25%), written exercise program and oral defence (35%), and end semester exam (40%)


Thompson, W.R. (Ed.). ACSMÂ’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


EXSS5029 and EXSS5059

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.