Otago Polytechnic

Physical Conditioning



This discipline, often termed Strength and Conditioning, incorporates sports science and sports medicine to support athletes and establish training schedules. It has long been a part of professional sport, for team sports and for individual athletes.

Academic Leader for Physical Conditioning – Matthew Blair

What is physical conditioning?

Physical conditioning involves planning schedules and sessions.

Our programmes cover:

  • Screening (health, wellness, training background and goals)
  • Physical monitoring (assessments of conditioning components)
  • Schedules (training plans aligned to screening and monitoring outcomes)
  • Preparation strategies for physical activity
  • Physical programmes: aerobic, anaerobic and gym or field-based
  • Special topics (gender, youth, travel and acclimatisation)

Skills you will develop

In our postgraduate programmes in strength and conditioning you will develop your skills in:

  • Developing physical training schedules and programmes
  • Use of microtechnology, e.g. GPS and Gymaware
  • Evaluating athletes' needs
  • Appreciating team dynamics
  • Reporting measures in a coach and athlete-friendly manner
  • Communication skills

Internship partners

You will do an internship, contributing to the success of a high-performing team.

Our internship hosts include:

  • USA Rugby
  • Dartmouth College (USA)
  • Fiji, Tonga and Samoa rugby unions
  • Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (South Africa)
  • High Performance Sport NZ
  • Lincoln University High Performance
  • Other New Zealand or international hosts by negotiation

Career outcomes

Physical conditioning skills are used in a variety of professional and amateur sporting organisations throughout the world. Our graduates have worked with:

  • Mitre 10 Rugby
  • World Series 7s rugby teams (Tier 1 and 2)
  • International Tier 2 rugby teams
  • Japanese top league rugby teams
  • High Performance Sport NZ
  • Professional cricket e.g. Volts

Graduates with a postgraduate diploma or a Master of Applied Science focused on Physical Conditioning will be eligible for accreditation with the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association.


Explore our postgraduate programmes.