High Intensity/Intermittent Effort PE Lesson (Phosphate Decrement)


Summary of Lesson Plan:

This lesson provides students with the opportunity to participate in a physical activity that is designed to enhance fitness and develop a skill-related fitness component. This lesson was designed for a Year 7/8 – 9/10 classes, has been tested with 7-10 classes and worked well with high student engagement.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Y5/6 Understanding Movement:

Y7/8 Understanding Movement:

Y9/10 Understanding Movement:

  • Design, implement and evaluate personalised plans for improving or maintaining their own and others’ physical activity and fitness levels (ACPMP102).
  • Analyse the impact of effort, space, time, objects and people when composing and performing movement sequences (ACPMP103).


Lesson Plan Sequence:

Introduction/Warm up:

  • Explain that, in sports requiring High Intensity-Intermittent efforts, findings highlight that preparing players based on the average demands of competition is likely to leave them underprepared for the most demanding passages of play. As such, coaches should incorporate drills that replicate the most intense repeated high-intensity demands of competition in order to prepare players for the worst-case scenarios expected during match-play. Egs: Rugby, Netball, Basketball, etc.
  • The Phosphate Decrement Test was designed to simulate the high intensity intermittent nature of team sports and as such remains an indicative measure of player preparedness for such demands. While the distances and recovery times may vary between games and levels of play, a standardized test can inform interested parties as to such fitness standards.



  • Explain the test structure: (May vary effort and dispatch times as desired. On the whistle* (or beep gun), students sprint over the 20m course until second whistle* 5 seconds later. Students assemble on the 30 metre line and about face for the next sprint 25 seconds later ie: 5 second Effort followed by 25 second Recovery. This is repeated 10 times. 10 x 5 second Sprints on 30 second Dispatch time = 5 minutes. (See Diagram below).
  • Provide each student with a High Intensity-Intermittent efforts Recording Sheet
  • Write names on sheets and partner with another student for recording i.e.: One partner runs while partner records, then reverse. Recorder stands approx. 10m back and adjacent to middle markers.
  • It is important that all efforts are at 100% intensity for most informative results
  • Adequate Warm Up should precede this test.



  • Calculate results on manual Recording Sheets and/or enter into Excel Sheet provided for automated calculations of Phosphate Decrement score
  • Class discussion about what students learnt from this learning experience.
  • What implications might these results have regarding individual fitness or suitability for a specific team position or sport


Assessment Ideas:

  • Students create and monitor personal fitness plans based on their performances
  • Students reflect on implications these results might have regarding individual fitness or suitability for a specific team position or sport.



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