The Fundamentals of Exercise Physiology

Learn how the body systems work in concert during acute and chronic exercise.
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Instructed by JJ Mayo Health & Fitness / Fitness
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  • Lectures 41
  • Length 3 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 12/2014 English

Course Description

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.

What are the requirements?

  • A Exercise Physiology text is helpful but NOT requried.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • 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.

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

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

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

Section 2: Skeletal Muscle and Exercise

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.


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


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.


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


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

10 questions

This 10 question quiz covering Section 1 and 2.

Section 3: Nervous System Control of Muscle During Exercise

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.


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

Section 4: Exercise Metabolism and Bioenergetics

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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

10 questions

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

Section 5: Cardiovascular Responses to Exercise

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Section 6: Respiration During Exercise

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


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


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


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


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

Section 5 and 6 Quiz
10 questions
Section 7: General Training Adaptations to Exercise

This lectures describes important training adaptations following resistance exercise.


This lectures describes important training adaptations following endurance training.

Section 8: Eating for Peak Performance

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


This lecture explains how a high carbohydrate diet improves performance.


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


This lecture teaches athletes what to eat during exercise.


This lecture discusses the importance of fueling post-workout.


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


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

Section 7 and 8 Quiz
10 questions

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Instructor Biography

JJ Mayo, 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.

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