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HPSS 3550 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

HPSS 3550 - Principles of Sports Fitness

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course covers the scientific training principles that must be used to improve conditioning and performance. The theory and practice of training for basic fitness or specific sports with views on how athletes train to improve sport participation and performance will be discussed. The course is designed for health professionals, physical education teachers, coaches, and other individuals who desire to know how to plan and manage effective fitness training programs.

Course Outcomes:

This course is designed to help students learn the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:

  1. The strategies for targeting and changing undesirable behaviors
  2. How the body produces energy needed for physical activity
  3. Use of the principle of readiness and the principle of adaptation
  4. Use of the principle of progressive overload and the principle of specificity
  5. How to assess flexibility, endurance, strength, and body composition.
  6. Use frequency, rest, intensity, duration, and tasks to improve fitness
  7. The most effective strategies for managing weight loss.
  8. The steps needed to put together a complete fitness-training program. 
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:


Course Topics:


Module 1 Fitness: Responses of the Body to Physical Activities

The Science of Fitness
Levels of Structural Complexity 

Module 2 The Dynamics of Fitness: Decreases, Maintenance, and Increases

The Principles of Fitness Training
Lifestyle Management and Behavior Modification
Health Benefits of Fitness Training

Module 3 Energy: Fuel, Work, and Fatigue

Energy Production and Work
Three ATP and Energy Producing Systems
Overcoming Fatigue
Three Phases of a Training Session
Periodization: Fitness Goals and Cycles

Module 4 Fitness Improvement: Essentials of Fitness Training

Proper Mechanics and Progressions for Best Results
Stretching: Range of Motion in Joints
Increasing Maximum Oxygen Consumption
Developing Muscular Strength, Endurance, and Power
Increasing Lean Mass and Decreasing Fat Mass


Module 5 The Ultimate Goal: A Complete Fitness

Five Steps for Developing a Fitness Plan
Readiness, Adaptation, Specificity, and Progressive Overload
Fitness Goals and Periodization
Maximum Oxygen Consumption: The Foundation of Fitness

Module 6 Flexibility: Effective Range of Motion in Joints

Joints and Joint Actions
Measuring Range of Motion
Benefits of Flexibility

Module 7 Cardiorespiratory Endurance: Sustained and Oxygenated Performance 

Heart, Lungs, Blood Vessels, and Blood
The Role of Oxygen in the Body
Maximum Oxygen Consumption

Module 8 Muscular Strength: Maximum Resistance and Maximum Repetitions

Maximum Resistance
Maximum Repetitions
Speed Resistance

Module 9 Body Composition: Percentages of Fat Mass and Lean Mass

Fat Mass
Lean Mass
Physical Activity and Body Composition

Module 10 More on the Ultimate Goal: The Complete Fitness-Training Program

Increases in Aerobic Fitness Training
Increases in Anaerobic Fitness Training
Increasing Lean Mass and Decreasing Fat Mass
Cool Down
More Sample Programs

Module 11 Creating, Implementing, and Evaluating a Complete Fitness Plan

Developing Your Individualized Fitness Plan
Implementing Your Fitness Plan
Evaluating the Progress of Your Fitness Plan
The Final Project 

Specific Course Requirements:

All students are required to sign an Informed Consent Form, which is provided by the instructor, during the first week of class. The Informed Consent Form states that there are risks of injury to persons participating in physical activity or exercise and that neither the RODP administrators and staff nor Tennessee State University Administrators and staff nor the instructors of this course, HPSS 3550 - Principles of Sport Fitness, will be held liable, if a student incurs injury to himself or herself while exercising. Participation of students enrolled in this class in the activities of this course is strictly voluntary; students who fail to participate may do so without penalty in any way. 

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

Instructors e-lectures (Section D of each Module) and handouts via e-mail and references on the Internet 

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

All quizzes will be provided and completed on line as scheduled; instructions will be given for each module, as the class progresses. 

Grading Procedures:

All assignments for Modules 1 - 10 and final the final project, Module 11, are required to be submitted to the instructor from each student on an individual basis. Although students are encouraged to assist each other all work must be performed independently. Appropriate time frames and due dates for requirements must be honored as they are scheduled. However, extensions of due dates may be granted for requests received up to the day before assignments are due. 

Graded work will be evaluated for correctness and completeness. Assignments and quizzes for lessons 1 - 10 are designed to facilitate the ability of students to learn and to understand important concepts and principles related to fitness training; the final examination or final project is a comprehensive test of what students have learned about the principles of sport fitness; it requires them to apply their knowledge of fitness by following the steps for creating a complete fitness-training program. The final project represents 28% of the final grade. 

Grading Scale:
A630-700 points
B560-629 points
C490-559 points
D420-489 points
F419 or less points
IClass participation; all assignments or final project not completed

Additional points may be awarded, at the discretion of the instructor, to all students' final grade, due to the degree of difficulty caused by the wide disparity that exist in students' prior experience and familiarity with fitness concepts. 

Assignments and Projects:
Assignment NameModulesPointsTotal Points
Beginning Assignments1-103 x 10 points each30
Discussion1-1010 x 5 points each50
Objectives1-1010 x 5 points each50
Modules Quizzes1-1010 x 15 points each150
Problems1-1010 x 20 points each200
Final Project111 @ 220 points220
  Total Points700

Additional points may be awarded, at the discretion of the instructor, to all students' final grade, due to the degree of difficulty caused by the wide disparity that exist in students' prior experience and familiarity with fitness concepts 

Class Participation:

Students must participate in all aspects of this course, including assignments, quizzes, and the final project. Specific instructions will be given on all assignments. It is imperative that each student accept full responsibility to maintain contact through online communications and make progress through the course as scheduled. They can only achieve this goal by logging on and devoting appropriate time to assignments. Failure to maintain proper contact an progress is problematical. 

Late Policy:

Students are expected to maintain punctuality by meeting all due dates. When this is done, there will be no reason to be concerned about punctuality; it is inherent in the schedule of this course. Problems related to due dates should be communicated, before not after the due date. 

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on July 12, 2021