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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: SPHS504 Course ID: 4236 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course is designed to introduce the student to theoretical and practical concepts of strength exercise assessment, strength exercise interpretation and strength exercise prescription. Current research on strength training and methods is incorporated into the classroom for analysis and application. The student will develop appropriate techniques and methods used to recommend strength exercise prescription and programming for healthy and unhealthy clients. (Prerequisite: SPHS501)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
12/28/20 - 06/04/21 06/07/21 - 08/01/21 Spring 2021 Session D 8 Week session
01/25/21 - 07/02/21 07/05/21 - 08/29/21 Summer 2021 Session B 8 Week session
02/22/21 - 07/30/21 08/02/21 - 09/26/21 Summer 2021 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/21 - 09/03/21 09/06/21 - 10/31/21 Summer 2021 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Apply scientific knowledge to train athletes and clients for the primary goals of improving athletic performance and fitness.
  2. Design a strength training program using goal specific measurements of strength.
  3. Devise strategies to demonstrate and teach proper exercise techniques.
  4. Design safe and effective strength training and conditioning and personal training programs.
  5. Evaluate the role of stretching in the prevention of injury and effects on performance.
  6. Apply exercise prescription principles for training variation, injury prevention, and reconditioning.

Reading Assignments:

As graduate level students I anticipate that you will all read the required text reading weekly. Text reading will be covered in forums and assignments.

Supplemental Readings:

You may be asked to read an outside research article or paper for our forums. Mastery of the material in that article will be measured based upon your original forum post and subsequent responses.

Additionally, your term paper will need to include novel research sources of your choice. Your ability to select and incorporate relevant research will be evaluated on an individual basis during the evaluation of your term paper.

Forum Assignments:

Throughout the course you will write responses to Forum prompts. These responses, also called Posts, will involve analyzing readings, comparing and contrasting the views of authors, and critiquing arguments presented by the readings or the class. Posts will be graded for accuracy of interpretation, rigor of argument, and clarity of expression. Unless otherwise noted, the following standards apply. Your initial post must be 500 or more words in length. Developing conversations with at least TWO of your classmates is required as part of your grade for each question. The responses should be at least 250 words in length. Initial posts should be made by Wednesday of each week and conversational responses should be initiated by Sunday of each week. Each Forum posting is worth 100 points.

Responses and posts should abide by the University Netiquette policy. The purpose of the Forum activities is to expand your learning opportunities by engaging in academic and thought-provoking asynchronous conversation with your classmates and instructor. The instructor’s role is to facilitate the learning process by participating in the discussions and moving conversations by promoting an advanced level of inquiry.

Homework Assignments:

Throughout our course you will be asked to complete three homework assignments. These will be presented to you and evaluated strictly upon the grading rubric provided within each assignment. However, all written assignments must be prepared in APA format.


As a graduate level course we will not have any exams and/or quizzes to complete. Instead, your mastery of the material will be shown through the three written assignments and large term project.

Final Project:

As part of our course you will be asked to prepare a custom exercise program. This will be an exhaustive program that will include the evaluation of a program for a select person. You will be asked to show the ability to apply strength training exercises based upon a determined person and performance goal. This paper will include the application and analysis of selected exercises, intensity and volume (load, repetitions, and sets), overload, progression, and exercise and mechanics variations. You will also be expected to show how to use concentric, eccentric, and isometric type contractions in your program along with an analysis of how unilateral and bilateral training apply to your program goals. In a final section, you will be asked to include advanced training methods where appropriate. All exercises and evaluations will include a comprehensive rationale for selection based on the person and/or goal of the program.

NameGrade %
Forums 33.33 %
Forum 1 4.17 %
Forum 2 4.17 %
Forum 3 4.17 %
Forum 4 4.17 %
Forum 5 4.17 %
Forum 6 4.17 %
Forum 7 4.17 %
Forum 8 4.17 %
Assignments 33.34 %
Assignment 1: WK #1: Article Review: Motor Units 11.11 %
Assignment 2: WK #2: To Stretch or Not Stretch 11.11 %
Assignment 3: WK #3: Article Review: Periodization 11.11 %
Final Project 33.33 %
Assignment 4: WK #8: Final Project 33.33 %

Required Readings

Weekly required text readings are assigned each week along with additional original research and review articles. The reading requirements for each week are shown in the course outline below.

Additional Resources

Throughout our course we will utilize outside websites along with original research papers. These will be assigned during the course.


In addition to the required course texts the following public domain Websites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name

Website URL/Address

American Council on Exercise

National Strength & Conditioning Association

American College of Sports Medicine

IDEA Health & Fitness Association

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.