Fall 2023 - BPK 310 D100

Exercise/Work Physiology (3)

Class Number: 5077

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Wed, 1:30–2:20 p.m.

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Fri, 12:30–2:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 13, 2023
    Wed, 12:00–3:00 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    BPK 205, MBB 201 (or 231). Recommended: BPK 201.



The study of human physiological responses and adaptations to acute and chronic exercise/work. Cardiorespiratory, cellular and metabolic adaptations will be studied and discussed in detail.



**The following planned schedule is tentative & subject to change**



Lecture topics





Course introduction
1.1 Course experience

1.2 Bioenergetics: cellular

1.3 Bioenergetics: whole-body

Hawley 2015

Westerblad 2010


Canvas Quiz 1 (survey)



Assessing task demand

2.1 Muscle physiology & task demand

2.2 Applied neuromuscular physiology: motor unit & muscle fibre typing

2.3 Applied neuromuscular physiology: principles of motor unit recruitment


Canvas Quiz 2 (readings)



Occupational physiology

3.1 Physiology of work

3.2 & 3.3 Pre-employment tests and standards

Jamnik 2013

Canvas Quiz 3 (Jamnik, material from weeks 1-2)

   Assignment 1: Occupational physiology


Cellular-level energy supply

4.1 Energy systems

4.2 Metabolic biochemistry

4.3 Catabolism of macronutrients





Systemic energy supply

5.1 Ventilatory physiology

5.2 Cardiac physiology in exercise

5.3 Vascular physiology in exercise

McKenzie 2012

Burnley & Jones 2007

Canvas Quiz 4 (McKenzie reading)

Assignment 1 due; end of midterm material



Defence of whole-body homeostasis

6.1 VO2max, VO2 kinetics, metabolic thresholds

6.2 Principles of homeostasis, autonomic control of ventilation and cardiovascular function

6.3 Neuroendocrine responses to exercise and substrate mobilization





Midterm exam

7.1 Exam review: review study questions

7.2 Midterm in class


Midterm exam (in-class & take-home portions)



Defence of whole-body homeostasis

8.1 Midterm recap

8.2 Sports physiology and athlete monitoring

8.3 Negative effects of exercise (adverse events, fatigue)

Davison 2009


Assignment 2: Sports physiology


Exercise training adaptations

9.1 Recovery kinetics

9.2 Training principles

9.3 Signal transduction principles





Exercise training adaptations

10.1 Cellular basis of adaptation

10.2 Muscle, metabolic, CV adaptations

10.3 Neural adaptations [possibly exercise and immunity]

Egan 2013


Assignment 2 due



Clinical exercise physiology

11.1 Detraining, deconditioning, disease

11.2 Interaction of exercise, diseases, and their treatments

11.3 CPET diagnostics


Canvas Quiz 5 (training adaptations)

Assignment 3: Clinical exercise physiology


Environmental factors modifying exercise stress & adaptations:

12. 1 Barometric pressure & hypoxia

12. 2 Temperature biophysics & measurement

12.3 Temperature physiology

Reading on CPET TBD





Special populations

13.1 Pediatric and older adult populations

13.2 Sex differences

13.3 Exam review



Assignment 3 due


Q&A session during exam week




Exam period

Final exam



Final exam



1.       Define, distinguish, and estimate energy, work, power, and efficiency as they apply to exercise and physically demanding tasks.

2.       Predict motor unit/muscle fibre recruitment and rate coding exhibited during different muscle contraction types and exercise modalities, and the effects of modulatory factors                such as fatigue.

3.       Describe the biochemical processes that consume energy and those that supply energy, and the control processes that ensure they are matched.

a.       Apply bioenergetic principles (thermodynamics and kinetics) to explain and calculate cellular energy transduction during exercise.

b.       Describe how cellular-level energy consumption integrates to whole-body energy expenditure.

4.       Predict the cardiovascular, ventilatory, and neuroendocrine adjustments to defend homeostasis in response to different exercise and environmental factors, in particular the           mobilization and transport of oxygen, substrates, and metabolites at the whole-body level.

5.       Describe the negative effects of exercise, including fatigue, muscle damage, and dehydration, and the time courses of their post-exercise recoveries.

6.       Evaluate the risks of adverse events during exercise and propose mitigation strategies.

7.       Describe the mechanisms of training-induced adaptations at the cellular and systems levels:

a.       Cellular: explain in detail the basis of cellular plasticity as it applies to skeletal muscle and apply the concepts to other cell types.

b.       Systems: explain in detail the cardiac, vascular, respiratory, and metabolic adaptations to training and acclimation to environmental stressors.

c.       Describe the neural adaptations to endurance, strength, and power training.

d.       Describe the effects and mechanisms of detraining and deconditioning.

8.       Predict how exogenous factors (e.g., environmental factors, age & sex) modify exercise load, acute responses, and tolerance, as well as adaptations to chronic exposure.

a.       Evaluate acclimation strategies.

9.       Assess the physiological demands of an occupational, recreational, or sport task and develop a valid pre-screening or job placement assessment protocol.

10.   Interpret physiological data collected during exercise for prescribing training, assessing physiological function, diagnosing disease, or determining performance limiters.

a.       Select appropriate technologies to assess energy expenditure, cardiac strain, strength & power requirements, and tolerance to environmental factors.

11.   Apply concepts of clinical exercise physiology to research the roles of exercise in diagnosing and treating chronic diseases.


  • Assignments 30%
  • Quizzes 10%
  • Midterm Exam 25%
  • Final Exam 35%


The teaching of the course will be led by Dr. Dave Clarke, but Dr. Alexandra Coates, a new faculty member in BPK, will contribute to the teaching of the course.


  • Prerequisite: BPK (or KIN) 205, MBB 201 (or 231).
  • Recommended: BPK (or KIN) 201.



Required readings in the form of review articles are prescribed to supplement lecture material or because they are needed for completing the assignments. They are listed in the “Readings” column in the course outline below and posted in the “Files” page in Canvas in the Readings > Required Readings folder.


The following textbooks have been placed on reserve in the Bennett Library. Much of the material presented in the lecture slides will be drawn from these textbooks.

Brooks, G. A., Fahey, T. D., Baldwin, K. M. (2005). Exercise Physiology: Human Bioenergetics and Its Applications. Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Silverthorn, D. U. Human physiology: an integrated approach. Boston: Pearson Education [any edition should suffice; the 7th ed. (2016) is placed on reserve]

Alberts, B. et al. (2019) Essential Cell Biology, 5th ed. New York: Garland Science.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

It is the responsibility of the student to keep their BPK course outlines if they plan on furthering their education.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.