Fitness Assessment & Prescription

Science & Technology
Sport Science
Course Code
SPSC 4161
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course will provide students with the knowledge and experience necessary to develop fitness assessment programs, including the development of conditioning programs based on the results of these assessment programs. The curriculum is driven by practical experience to provide students with supervised opportunities to develop proficiency in the assessment techniques. This course is delivered in classroom, laboratory, weight room, and gymnasium settings.
Course Content

1. Preliminary Health Screening
  1.1. Preliminary health evaluation
  1.2. Testing procedures for heart rate and blood pressure
2. Principles of Fitness Assessment
  2.1. The essential components of a physical fitness profile
  2.2. The purposes of fitness tests
  2.3. Field tests versus laboratory tests
3. Assessment of Aerobic Power:
  3.1. Direct determination of VO2 max
  3.2. Indirect determination via:
    3.2.1. Maximal tests
    3.2.2. Sub-maximal tests
4. Assessment of Metabolic Capacity:
  4.1. Mean and peak anaerobic power
  4.2. Fatigue index
  4.3. Lactate Analysis
    4.3.1. Identification of lactate threshold
    4.3.2. Quantitative Lactate Production
5. Assessing Muscular Strength and Endurance:
  5.1. Standard load testing
  5.2. Relative load testing
  5.3. 1-repetition maximum
  5.4. Sub-maximal testing
6. Assessing Neuromuscular Function:
  6.1. Motor unit activation
7. Assessing Body Composition:
  7.1. Anthropometry
    7.1.1. Girth measurements
    7.1.2. Height to weight ratios
  7.2. Lean body mass analysis
    7.2.1. Skinfolds
    7.2.2. Bioelectrical impedance
8. Assessing Joint Range of Motion:
  8.1. Flexibility testing
9. Facility Administration
  9.1. Calibration and maintenance of equipment
  9.2. Group testing
  9.3. Health and safety issues pertaining to maximal fitness testing
  9.4. Designing fitness testing documents
10. Designing Aerobic Training Programs
  10.1. Aerobic training methods and modes
11. Designing Resistance Training Programs
  11.1. Resistance training types and methods
  11.2. Exercise programs for low back care

Learning Activities
  • Lecture
  • Group Assessment Projects
  • Technology-based Learning
  • Practical Laboratory Sections
Means of Assessment
Practical Assessment Labs (6) 60%
Practical Exam 20%
Written Final Exam 20%


Learning Outcomes

Through instruction and practical learning outcomes, students will learn detailed descriptions of a range of accepted fitness assessment methods applicable for general, elite and rehabilitative populations. Generous practical demonstration will facilitate mastery of techniques, procedures, and norms for accurate and effective fitness testing. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to successfully apply these techniques in both individual and group testing situations.

Textbook Materials

Consult the Douglas College Bookstore for the latest required textbooks and materials. A list of recommended textbooks and materials is provided on the instructor's course outline, which is available to students at the beginning of each semester.

Example textbooks and materials may include:

Gibson, A., Wagner, D., Heyward, V. (2019). Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription, 8th edition. Human Kinetics.



SPSC 3275 or permission of the instructor


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for SPSC 4161
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) No credit
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU PHED 2XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU HKIN 2XX (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV KPE 2XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC EPHE 2XX (1.5)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023