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Lesson Plan: Oxygen Deficit, Steady State & EPOC

Lesson Title: Oxygen Deficit, Steady State, and EPOC

Grade Level: 11th-12th

Objective: Students will be able to understand the concepts of oxygen deficit, steady state, and EPOC and how they relate to physical activity, while addressing the following standards:

  • National Standards for K-12 Physical Education: Standard 1: The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.

  • Next Generation Science Standards: HS-LS1-7: Use a model to illustrate that cellular respiration is a chemical process whereby the bonds of food molecules and oxygen molecules are broken and the bonds in new compounds are formed, resulting in a net transfer of energy.

  • Common Core State Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.3: Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.



1. Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Ask the students what they know about oxygen deficit, steady state, and EPOC.

  • Explain that these are important concepts in understanding how the body uses energy during physical activity.

  • Show a video or images of athletes performing different types of physical activity and ask students to think about how these concepts might be at play.

2. Lecture and Discussion (20 minutes)

  • Use the PowerPoint from Teachers Pay Teachers to go over the concepts of oxygen deficit, steady state, and EPOC.

  • Discuss the characteristics of each concept, including how they relate to the body's use of oxygen and energy during physical activity.

  • Talk about how these concepts can be used to improve athletic performance and prevent injury.

3. Activity (30 minutes)

  • Divide the class into small groups and assign each group a different type of physical activity (e.g. sprinting, long-distance running, weightlifting).

  • Have the students use the exercise equipment to perform their assigned activity for a set amount of time (e.g. 5 minutes).

  • Use the stopwatch to time the activity and record how many reps or distance was achieved.

  • After each group has completed their activity, have them discuss how oxygen deficit, steady state, and EPOC might be at play during their activity.

4. Conclusion (10 minutes)

  • Ask the students to reflect on what they have learned about oxygen deficit, steady state, and EPOC and how it relates to physical activity and health.

  • Ask them to give an example of a real-life situation where an understanding of these concepts would be useful in promoting physical activity and preventing injury.

  • Wrap up the lesson by thanking the students for their participation and reminding them of the importance of understanding these concepts in physical activity and health.


  • Observe students during the activity to assess their understanding of oxygen deficit, steady state, and EPOC.

  • Have students write a short paragraph explaining how oxygen deficit, steady state, and EPOC might be at play during their assigned physical activity.

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