NNEK24007U Human Performance Optimization

Volume 2024/2025

The aim of this course is to provide an in-depth understanding of strategies, and their physiological underpinnings, to improve sports performance in athletes. This involves both acute strategies (i.e., methods immediately before or during competition) and prolonged interventions (e.g., intensified training, tapering and hypoxia) that can enhance performance in already well-trained individuals.

Learning Outcome

During the course, the student will achieve:

 Knowledge about:

  • Adaptations that occur during periods of specific training and their importance for performance.
  • Factors that limit performance and how ergogenic substances affect performance and training response.
  • Research methods to investigate performance from a human physiological perspective.



  • Proficiency in research methods for determining performance and fatigue development.
  • Design and assessment of human physiological experiments to investigate relevant issues related to performance optimization.
  • Be able to critically analyze research data pertaining to human performance.



  • Critically assess how periods of different forms of intensified training or altered training stimuli can potentially enhance performance in various sports.
  • Critically evaluate potential translational aspects of scientific articles in relation to individual needs of an athlete. This includes the ability to assess the mechanisms through which training with altered or additional stimuli, intensified training periods, pre-competition recovery, or supplementation with ergogenic substances can enhance an athlete's physiological capacity and performance.

Will be on Absalon before the start of the course.

Knowledge about human physiology and exercise physiology is recommended.
Lectures, project-based work, supervision and feedback.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 26
  • Preparation
  • 80
  • Project work
  • 55
  • Exam Preparation
  • 44
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral exam on basis of previous submission, 20 min.
Type of assessment details
During the course, students, working in groups of 2-4, will prepare a project report (up to a maximum of 15 standard pages), which serves as the basis for the individual oral examination, lasting 20 minutes, including assessment. The oral examination consists of an independent presentation of the project work, followed by a discussion in which the entire syllabus is incorporated.

In order to acces the oral exam the submission (group project report) must be submitted during the course.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal assessors.

The original report can be used or a new individual report can be developed. The report has to be submitted one week before re-exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcome.