The Fundamentals of Exercise Physiology
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The Fundamentals of Exercise Physiology

Learn how the body systems work in concert during acute and chronic exercise.
4.0 (14 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
148 students enrolled
Created by JJ Mayo
Last updated 12/2014
Current price: $10 Original price: $75 Discount: 87% off
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  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Discuss key exercise training principles.
  • Explain the structure and function of skeletal muscle.
  • Understand the 3 energy systems and how our body converts food to energy.
  • Understand how the cardiorespiratory system functions and is influenced by exercise training.
  • Describe the importance of daily nutrition in exercise performance.
  • Explain what to eat before, during, and after exercise training or competition.
  • Discuss the function of the nervous system in neural control of human movement.
  • Discuss the structure of the respiratory system and it responds to exercise of different intensities.
  • Describe some of the chronic physiological changes in response to exercise.
View Curriculum
  • A Exercise Physiology text is helpful but NOT requried.

Ever wonder how your muscles contract to create movement during exercise or how the heart pumps blood to all parts of your body? Do you know how to eat for peak performance or how the body adapts to aerobic or resistance exercise? In this course students learn answers to these questions plus so much more. This course takes a systems approach with emphasis on the muscular, nervous, metabolic, and respiratory systems. Instruction is provided using screen casts along with section quizzes. There are over 40 lessons and 3 + hours of content. This course will benefit those studying for fitness certification exams or general fitness enthusiasts wanting to learn more about how the body works. If you are a student currently taking a university course in Exercise Physiology and can't grasp the material--this course will definitely help.

Who is the target audience?
  • Those looking to pass fitness certification exams (ACE, ACSM, NSCA etc..)
  • Students enrolled (or soon to be) in an Exercise Physiology course at a university
  • Fitness enthusiasts wanting to learn more about the body and how to train optimally
Compare to Other Physiology Courses
Curriculum For This Course
41 Lectures
1 Lecture 08:29

This section welcomes students, defines the discipline of exercise physiology, and describes common exercise training principles.

Welcome and Introduction to the Course
Skeletal Muscle and Exercise
6 Lectures 32:23

This lecture introduces the different types of muscle and looks at skeletal muscle anatomy.


This lecture studies the sarcomere which is the smallest unit of skeletal muscle.

The Sarcomere

Excitation contraction coupling describes how a nerve communicates with skeletal muscle, ultimately leading to shortening of the muscle fiber.

Excitation-Contraction Coupling

This lecture discusses the sliding filament theory of skeletal muscle contraction. The idea is that no length changes occur in actin or myosin myofilaments. The steps of muscle contraction are described in detail.

Sliding Filament Theory

This video explains the different skeletal muscle fiber types and how they are recruited for various activities.

Muscle Fiber Type and Recruitment

In this lecture students learn about the 3 types of muscle contraction and how force is generated.

Preview 05:10

This 10 question quiz covering Section 1 and 2.

Section 1 and 2 Quiz
10 questions
Nervous System Control of Muscle During Exercise
3 Lectures 10:43

This video describes the function and basic organization of the nervous system.


In this video students gain an understanding of the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Components of the Nervous System

In the last video of section 3 student learn how the nervous system integrates with the muscular system to create movement.

Sensory-Motor Integration
Exercise Metabolism and Bioenergetics
7 Lectures 29:27

This lecture introduces students to metabolism terms and the energy currency of the cell ATP.

Preview 04:15

In this lecture students get a general overview of the three metabolic systems used for energy production.

The Three Energy Systems

Students gain an understanding of the most immediate energy system--the ATP-PC (phosphogen) system. Examples of activities that use this metabolic process are sprinting, football line play, and heavy weight lifting.

Phosphogen System

In this section students learn about the glycolytic energy system. This is a multi-step process where glucose is converted it to energy. Examples of activities that use this metabolic process are a 400 meter run, one lap in the pool, and light to moderate weight lifting.

Glycolytic System

This section teaches student about aerobic energy production where the three end products are CO2, metabolic water and ATP.Examples of activities that use this metabolic process are distance running, triathlon, and road cycling.

Aerobic System

In this lecture the process of conducting a metabolic needs analysis is discussed. This is an important step to determining the training needs of an athlete.

Metabolic Needs Analysis

In this video students learn the relationship between the 3 energy systems. Depending on exercise intensity, one of the 3 system will be the predominate system used for energy production.

Relationship Between Energy Systems

This is 10 question quiz over the nervous system and metabolism sections.

Section 3 and 4 Quiz
10 questions
Cardiovascular Responses to Exercise
10 Lectures 42:28

This lecture discuss introduces the function as well as the key components of the cardiovascular system.

Preview 03:28

In this section students learn to trace blood flow through the heart.

Blood Flow Through the Heart

In this lecture students learn important cardiovascular function terms like cardiac output, heart rate, stroke volume, and ejection fraction.

Cardiac Function Terms

In this lecture students learn how heart rate responds to acute and chronic bouts of exercise.

Heart Rate

In this lecture students learn how stroke volume and cardiac output respond to acute and chronic bouts of exercise.

Stroke Volume and Cardiac Output

In this lecture students learn the different types of blood vessels and some of their important characteristics.

The Vascular System

In this lecture blood is discussed with emphasis on important components and the effects of exericise.

The Blood

This lecture explains blood pressure and the acute responses to systolic and diastolic pressure blood pressure during exercise.

Blood Pressure

In this lecture cardiovascular drift is discussed with emphasis on its effect on heart rate.

Cardiovascular Drift

This lecture describes maximal oxygen consumption with emphasis on how this relates to cardiovascular disease and aerobic fitness.

The Concept of VO2max
Respiration During Exercise
5 Lectures 16:51

This lecture provides students with a brief overview of the functions of the respiratory system.

Introduction to the Respiratory System

This lecture explains the structures associated with the upper and lower respiratory tracts.

Respiratory Tracts

This lecture describes how air is moved into and out of the lungs through the process of ventilation.

Respiratory Ventilation

This lecture explains how oxygen and carbon dioxide are exhanged at the tissue and lung levels.

Gas Exhange

This lecture answers the question: "Does the respiratory system limit exercise performance?"

Exercise Performance

Section 5 and 6 Quiz
10 questions
General Training Adaptations to Exercise
2 Lectures 07:04

This lectures describes important training adaptations following resistance exercise.

Resistance Exercise Adaptations

This lectures describes important training adaptations following endurance training.

Aerobic Training Adaptations
Eating for Peak Performance
7 Lectures 37:05

This lecture provides important eating guidelines for athletes as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

The Athlete's Plate

This lecture explains how a high carbohydrate diet improves performance.

Preview 04:51

This lecture explains how athletes should approach their pre-workout meals and snacks.

Pre-exercise Meals

This lecture teaches athletes what to eat during exercise.

Fueling During Exercise

This lecture discusses the importance of fueling post-workout.

What to Eat Post-Exercise

This lecture discusses the idea of improving endurance performance using a high fat diet.

The High Fat Diet

This lecture provides tips for eating healthy while on the road.

Eating on the Road

Section 7 and 8 Quiz
10 questions
About the Instructor
JJ Mayo
4.0 Average rating
14 Reviews
148 Students
1 Course
Associate Professor of Nutrition

JJ holds a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology and is a registered dietitian (RD). He is an associate professor and has published close to 50 articles in lay and scientific journals regarding various aspects of fitness and nutrition. Also, Dr. Mayo has been quoted in magazines such as Men's Health and US Weekly. He is an active member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. JJ is an avid exerciser who has competed in marathons, ultramarathons, and triathlons for over 15 years. He is a Boston Marathon Qualifier and has completed 8 Ironman triathlons.