Physiological Adaptations for Performance


The overall purpose of this module is to develop students’ understanding of the core physiological concepts that underpin performance. This will be achieved by explicitly addressing students’ knowledge of biochemical, cardiovascular and neuromuscular bases for performance and training the body for endurance, team and strength. Throughout this module, students will utilise both physiological and biomechanical equipment to allow them to explore and collect physiological data in relation to enhancing sports performance outcomes.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with an understanding of the physiology underpinning sports performance and its adaptation to training and ergogenic aids.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Critically evaluate the role of different physiological systems in performance

2.  Analyse the physiological outcomes of training

3.  Explain performance enhancement and evaluate different physiological strategies to improve performance

4.  Synthesise performance testing with physiological concepts and training outcomes

Indicative Content

1 Biochemistry of performance

Students will explore the core concepts of energy production during sport and exercise, the metabolic processes and the rate limiting steps for performance and the metabolic adaptations to training.

2 Cardiovascular system and performance

Students will learn about cardiac output and blood flow regulation and cardiovascular adaptation to training.

3 Neuromuscular system and performance

Students will learn about the contractile mechanism, motor unit activation, neuromuscular fatigue and strength, power and speed performance.

4 Doping and performance

Students will develop an understanding of the role of doping in elite sport and the physiological adaptations to doping.

5 Training for performance

Students will explore different training modalities to improve endurance and anaerobic power and strength and how to plan energy specific programmes.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Teaching and learning strategies focus on developing students’ skills in accordance with Abertay graduate attributes. This module particularly focuses on the aspect of the Intellectual; understanding how the subject is evolving while critically evaluating information and identifying information gaps. The aspect of Professional is also focused on; problems solving, tackling complex issues, and focused on continued learning and professional development. A significant proportion of contact time will be provided in the form of small group discussions and practical activities where students will relate taught materials to their own experiences in sport and exercise. This focus on self−directed learning and students own experiences will encourage the application of knowledge to real life situations and the ability understand and evaluate the links between the two. Assessment will focus on not just the content knowledge but will be delivered in a mode that emphasises the ability to apply physiology in a practical environment, exploring test data collection, analysis and training design.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 14
Tutorial/Seminar 14
Supervised Practical Activity 36
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 40
Independent 96

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.