Credit points



EXSC310 Strength and Conditioning: Fundamentals of Athlete Preparation

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit description and aim

The effective prescription of training programs to enhance athletic performance requires an understanding of contemporary practices and their scientific foundations. This unit is based on scientific principles and practices of strength and conditioning/sports science, including the utilisation of current research and technology to guide real world application in the sporting environment. Contemporary practices addressed in this unit include exercise prescription for developing aerobic capacity, repeated sprint ability, speed and agility, and muscular strength and power. This unit aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to develop periodised training programs and to employ methods to quantify and monitor training load and the fatigue response. Practical skills associated with the delivery of training programs are embedded within this unit. These knowledge and skills are consistent with the professional standards for Strength and Conditioning and Exercise Scientist accreditation.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate a clear understanding of contemporary methods used for improving athletic performance including knowledge of their scientific evidence base. (GA4, GA5) 

LO2 - Describe the various methods available for prescribing/quantifying and monitoring training load including their strengths and limitations. (GA4, GA5, GA8) 

LO3 - Display a clear understanding of appropriate methods for the assessment of capacity and fatigue in athletic training environments with a particular emphasis on their scientific foundation. (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10) 

LO4 - Develop a periodised annual plan for a sport of your choice, including specific sessions within designated macrocycles. (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8) 

LO5 - Deliver training sessions aimed to develop various physical qualities, highlighting your ability to correct exercise technique as required. (GA5, GA6, GA9) 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 


  • Training prescription for developing a broad range of physical qualities  
  • Periodisation & Long Term Planning  
  • Monitoring Training Load, Fatigue & Recovery 
  • Practical sessions in gym and field environments 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Learning and teaching strategies include active learning, case-based learning, individual and group activities, cooperative learning, web-based learning, and reflective/critical thinking activities, delivered through lecture and practical sessions. These strategies will provide students with access to required knowledge and understanding of unit content, and opportunities for application of knowledge and understanding for practical skill development in Strength & Conditioning/Sports Science. These strategies will allow students to meet the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit, as well as professional practice standards required by Australian Strength & Conditioning Association and Exercise and Sports Science Australia. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively within group activities.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

Consistent with University assessment requirements, standards-based assessment is used in this unit, and assessments are designed to reflect learning outcomes and graduate attributes. Assessment Task 1 (Written Task) allows students to demonstrate their ability to engage with the unit content and further readings in order to compose an article relating to a contemporary topic in strength and conditioning. Assessment Task 2 (Written Task) allows students to clearly demonstrate their understanding of fundamental, underlying physical capacities relating to performance and appropriate training prescription to enhance those. Further, Assessment Task 2 enables students to show their ability to carefully plan and organise a 12-month period of training, taking into account different phases of training and competition. The 60% weighting for this assessment reflects that is a capstone assessment that encompasses significant aspects of the high-performance units that students have studied prior to this unit. A hurdle task exists in this unit to enable students to demonstrate their practical competencies in a variety of exercise and coaching techniques that are required to safely deliver advanced training programs to athletes.  


Additionally, the knowledge and skills assessed in this unit are requirements of the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) Level 1 and Level 2 accreditation scheme. EXSC396 is part of a suite of units that contribute to ACU achieving the status of an ASCA recognised industry provider, allowing the students to streamline accreditation with this important industry partner at the successful completion of their degree. The assessment tasks have been consequently designed to encompass the learning outcomes of the unit, while being aligned with the ASCA accrediting body. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Journal article  

Enables students to demonstrate their understanding of unit content and their written communication, including information literacy skills of topic selection and search strategies. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA4,GA5, GA6, GA8,GA10

Periodised training program 

Enables students to demonstrate their application of knowledge and skills by designing a training programs to meet athlete goals. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA4,GA5, GA6, GA8,GA10

Practical competencies 

Enables students to demonstrate competency in skills required for professional practice 


LO1, LO2, LO5 

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

Joyce, D. & Lewindon, D. (2014). High-Performance Training for Sports. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics. 

Cardinale, M., Newton, R., Nosaka, K. (Ed) (2011). Strength and Conditioning-Biological Principles and Practical Applications. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell 


Tanner, Rebecca K. and Gore, Christopher J. (Ed) (2012). Physiological Tests for Elite Athletes(2nd ed.) Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics. 


Hopkins, W.G. (2000). A new view of statistics. Internet Society for Sport Science: 

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