Session                        :    Fall 2013

Course code               :    APA 3325

Course Title                :    Fitness Training Principles

Number of credits    :    3

Course Timetable     :    Tuesdays, 17:30-20:30 SITE G0103

Professor                     :    Zach Ferraro MSc, PhD CEP

Office                             :    Ottawa Hospital, Dept Ob/Gyn – Women’s Health Centr Riverside campus 7th Floor

Contact Info               :

Office Hours               :    By appointment only for MNT 348

Website                       :

Twitter                        :    @DrFerraro


Course Description

Principles of fitness training: periodization, progression, overload, warm-up, overtraining, etc. Basic fitness testing used in the field. Training methods to develop strength, endurance, speed, agility, coordination, flexibility. Practical application of fitness methods for healthy individuals and those with health problems (obesity, hypertension, diabetes, etc.)

Specific objectives of the course

  • Use fundamental physiological principles to derive an appropriate approach to physical training
  • Understand the latest research findings on common controversial topics within the field of fitness training
  • Develop (and defend from a physiological/scientific point of view) basic programs for warm-up/warm-down sessions, as well as aerobic and resistance training
  • Be confident adapting training and physical activity programs to individuals with special cases (pregnancy) and complex conditions (obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes)


Recommended Reading

  • Baechle, T.R. and Earle, R.W. (2008) Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. 3rd Edition (NSCA). Champaign, IL, Human Kinetics.
  • American College of Sport Medicine (2010). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (8th Edition). Philadelphia, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Bompa, T.O. and Haff, G.G. (2009) Periodization, Theory and Methodology of Training. 5th Edition.Champaign, IL, Human Kinetics.

Course Evaluation

Mid-term Exam                           30% final mark

Assignments                                 30% final mark (3×10% each)

Final Exam                                     40% final mark


Course Outline

Date Topic
Sept. 10 Introduction

Why is physical activity so important?

Physical activity vs. Sedentary behaviour

Fundamental principles of training

Warm-up & stretching


Sept. 17Aerobic exercise prescription

Aerobic fitness – What is it and how do we improve it?

– How do we evaluate it?


Anaerobic exercise prescription

Resistance Training – Variable manipulation, Periodization models


Assignment #1 (10%) – DESIGN A WARM-UP & WARM-DOWN


Sept. 24Physical activity & energy balance

Weight loss/maintenance – Diet vs. Exercise



Foundations of Personal Training

Basic exercises (machines, free weights)

Body weight training

Lenny Sabourin, BSc HK

Manager Instructional Fitness/Wellness Programs

University of Ottawa




Oct. 1Fundamental athletic moves

Power lifting techniques (squat, deadlift, bench press)


Demonstration by: Adrian Stotesbury BSc HK

World record holder

Oct. 8Plyometric training

Speed, Agility and Speed Endurance Training


Oct. 15


Study Week


Oct. 22



Olympic lifting techniques (clean, snatch)


Demonstration by: Dan Robitaille

Former PAN-AM Games Champion



 Assignment #3 (10%) – Weight lifting instructional video OR Public service announcement video


Oct. 29Midterm Exam


Nov. 5Ergogenic Aids – steroid hormones (testosterone) & peptides (insulin, GH, IGF)

Supplements – fact vs. fiction (HINT: if it works, it’s illegal)

Altitude Training

Blood Doping


Nov. 12Exercise and Chronic disease management


Cardiovascular disease


Nov. 19Training in the Heat & Estimating Hydration Requirements

Guest lecture: Ollie Jay MSc, PhD

Thermal energetics specialist

Professor, University of Ottawa

Nov 26Exercise prescription for pregnant women

How does exercise improve maternal-fetal outcomes?

Managing gestational weight gain

Special considerations – elite athletes


Dec. 3


Evidence-based weight management strategies

The role of exercise – why it’s not about what you ‘burn’?

Post-exercise nutrition – Maximizing anabolic potential

Hot Topics, Myths (if time permits)

Q & A



Exams (70%)

The mid-term exam (30%) will be held on October 29th. The final exam (40%) will be cumulative – that is, it will concern all material covered both before and after the mid-term.  Both exams will be based on course readings, in-class discussions and lecture notes.


***Note: Exams will not be deferred for the purpose of travel. Deferrals are only grant in case of medical emergencies supported by a Doctor’s certificate. If you are booking a holiday during December you should wait to find out when your exam has been scheduled.


Assignments (30%)

  • You will be required to complete and submit 3 (THREE) assignments throughout the semester. Assignments 1 and 2 will be 2-3 pages (single or double spaced, your choice, including figures, tables, references) and assignment 3 will be recorded on video (3mins max) addressing the following (specific details will be provided when the assignment is set):
    1. Designing a warm-up and warm-down plan (start: Sept.17; Due: Sept.24)
    2. Designing a simple aerobic and resistance (concurrent) training program (start: Sept.24; Due Oct.8)
    3. Design and record a weight lifting instructional video OR Public service announcement video (start: Oct.22; Due Nov.12)


  • Reports and video may be done in groups of 2-4 people (no more or less) – same groups throughout semester; everyone receives the SAME grade so pick your groups wisely and share the work load
  • Each report and the video is worth 10% each
  • The deadline for each report and the video is 17:30 EST. Paper copies of the report must be submitted at the start of class on the dates noted above. The video for assignment 3 must be saved as a .MP4 file, saved on a CD with group members names and student #s written in black marker on the front of the disk and submitted at the start of class. It is the students’ responsibility to ensure that the video is functional and capable of being viewed on a standard PC.
  • Any assignment received after 17:30 EST on the date it is due will be considered late and subject to a 10% per day penalty, up to 3 days (30% deduction) after which a grade of zero (0) will be assigned for that assignment.
  • Academic Fraud, any form of academic dishonesty, including cheating and plagiarism, will be reported to the School of Human Kinetics according to the policies set by the University of Ottawa:






A pdf of the class notes will be posted on the Blackboard Learn website.


Other useful information

Student Appeal Process -The Academic Appeal Centre is a free service to assist students with their Academic career. If you have any questions concerning grades reviews, academic fraud, degree requirements or any other questions concerning academics, just drop by, call or email the Centre:


Academic Appeal Centre

Room 101 in the University Centre

562-5800 ext. 2350


Students with Physical or Learning Disabilities – Students who require accommodations or academic support because of a physical or learning disability, or any condition that affects their ability to learn, are invited to register with ACCESS SERVICE:


In person:                    University Centre 339

Telephone:                   613-562-5976

TTY:                            613-562-5214




Students can then meet with an Access Service specialist to identify their individual needs and to discuss appropriate interventions.


Student Mentoring Program – The Faculty of Health Science Student Mentoring program is your gateway to success during university and beyond!


In collaboration with the Student Academic Success Services (SASS), the Faculty of Health Sciences Student Mentoring Program aims to motivate student academic, personal and professional excellence, foster a sense of community and promote the inclusion, autonomy and retention of all students enrolled at the Faculty of Health Sciences.


The faculty of Health Science Mentoring Centre offers a wide array of services, free of charge, to suit students’ needs that include:

  • Individualized mentoring
  • Study groups – Anatomy & Physiology, Chemistry, Math, and Pathophysiology
  • Website hosted on Blackboard Vista
  • Discussion Forums
  • Online Mentoring


Main office:    Montpetit Hall, room 238

Telephone:       613-562-5800 x 4937