Starting this fall, students will have access to a new emphasis, new equipment, a new Human Performance Lab director, and new courses in the Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation at Pittsburg State University, all with an eye toward careers in strength and conditioning and related fields.
Demand for employees in such fields is growing significantly and at a much faster rate than many professions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It will continue through at least 2028.
Pittsburg State’s new emphasis is designed to prepare students for several career and advanced education options:
- to work with athletes as strength and conditioning coaches at the middle school, high school, collegiate, and professional levels.
- to work as fitness professionals, which includes personal training, corporate and community wellness, and fitness management.
- to apply to master’s or doctoral-level graduate programs.
Students who complete the new emphasis will be prepared to sit for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the industry standard for strength coaches.
They also will be prepared to sit for the Certified Personal Trainer exam from the American College of Sports Medicine, the most respected certification in the field.
Pittsburg State’s Human Performance Lab has been outfitted with new strength training and aerobic equipment from Rogue that students use daily in class. The lab has technology to measure jump height (Jumpmat), velocity and power during strength training and ballistic training (Tendo), body composition (BodPod, Tanita), and aerobic capacity (Echo bikes).
The students also will use timing gates to test speed and agility, giving them important insight into the factors of athletic performance.
New Human Performance Lab Director
Directing the lab is Assistant Professor David Boffey, who has a Ph.D. in exercise physiology and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and certified personal trainer. He has published scientific articles in the fields of strength and conditioning research and sports science.
He was a strength coach at the high school and DII levels before coming to Pittsburg State, and has worked as a personal trainer and fitness director at commercial gyms. Boffey also has certifications as a USA weightlifting coach, tactical strength and conditioning facilitator, corrective exercise specialist, and functional movement screen practitioner.
Starting this fall, students may enroll in two new in-person courses at Pittsburg State:
EXSCI*440*01 – Science and Skills for the Fitness Professional (3 credits)
- The purpose of this course is to apply the fundamental scientific truths of how the body responds and adapts to exercise. Students will learn exercise selection and technique methods for beginner to advanced levels, and how to instruct others through regressions and progressions. Semester-long projects include creating, following, and evaluating exercise programs for themselves and other students.
EXSCI*440*02 – Strength and Conditioning (3 credits)
- The purpose of this course is to provide the scientific rationale for the strength and conditioning of athletes. Special attention is paid to program design and effective communication, crucial aspects of effective strength coaching. Labs provide opportunities for hands-on learning of strength, power, speed, and agility modalities, and students will demonstrate, explain, and coach these movements.
https://www.pittstate.edu/gorillaconnection/index.htmlThe exercise science program at Pittsburg State has been recognized by the NSCA as an Education Recognition Program since 2011.