Vol 5 No 1
January, 2001
ISSN 1097-9743

The ASEPNewsletter is devoted to informative articles and news itmes about exercise physiology. It is a monthly magazine of news, opinions, exercise physiology professionals, and events that shape exercise physiology.  We welcome interested practitioners, researchers, and academicians to e-mail the Publisher their thoughts and ideas or respond directly online via the ASEP Public Forum.

February, 2001

ASEP Certification Sites and Dates

Guidelines for the Accreditation of Undergraduate Programs in Exercise Physiology

The October  ASEPNewsletter "Revisited"

Journal of Exercise Physiologyonline

An Exercise Physiologist's “Contemporary” Interpretations Of The “Ugly and Creaking Edifices” Of the VO2 max Concept
Journal of Exercise Physiologyonline  [the October issue] 
8 research articles
The months for JEPonline are now Feb, May, August, Nov.  The next
issue is May 1.  There will be about 6-8 manuscripts for this issue.
Professionalization of Exercise Physiologyonline
"ONE" easy-reading article on professionaism for your new year's reading pleasure.

Dr. David Armstrong, an ASEP member, has created an "egroup" for ASEP exercise physiologists to discuss tissues and to stay in touch.

"Hello, You are invited to join an open forum for members of the American Society for Exercise Physiologists devoted to the free exchange on information and ideas related to exercise physiology.  To subscribe simply send email to:

David W. Armstrong, III
Moderator, ASEP_Member 

Dr. Robergs submitted a "Commentary about ASEP and ACSM" in response to several negative statements about the ASEP organization and its leadership. For a full-text, pdf format copy - click here.

Guidelines for the Accreditation of Undergraduate Programs in Exercise Physiology

Adopted by the American Society of Exercise Physiologists
Questions: Please contact


What's In a Name?
Tommy Boone, PhD, MPH
Professor and Chair
Department of Exercise Physiology
The College of St. Scholastica
Duluth, MN

Over the years, I have developed one main theme for what I do.  Simply stated, I'm an exercise physiologist.  I'm not a physical educator, kinesiologist, exercise scientist, exercise specialist, clinical exercise physiologist, or a physiologist.  I have come to this basic conclusion for two reasons.  One deals with the doctorate degree in exercise physiology from Florida State University.  The other focuses on what I've been doing since I left FSU and went on to teach at Wake Forest University, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the College of St. Scholastica. 

Having said this, however, I should point out that my bachelor's degree and the first of three master's degrees are in health and physical education.  I think this is important because I was a physical educator (as well as a gymnastics coach) when I taught at Northeast Louisiana State University and at the University of Florida.  I was also a health educator at the Tallahassee Community College.  I do understand what it means to graduate from a physical education department.  I also understand the types of courses required of physical education students, today and several decades ago (which interestingly hasn't changed all that much).

What has changed is the department name from physical education to kinesiology for the obvious reasons, or the change to exercise science.  Whether it is the traditional name or some other name, the curriculum is essentially unchanged.  It is clearly a physical education degree with the same types of physical education courses with, perhaps, a few science-based courses substituted for the original education courses.  However, even with the substitutions, the degree title is often times exactly the same as the tradition title -- physical education -- even though the students may think otherwise. 

Many faculty members who teach in these academic programs do not have a clear understanding of what has happened, both in the course changes and in the multitude of department names.  The entire "physical education-kinesiology-exercise science" name complex is a complete academic mess (1).  Worst yet, the academics simply don't seem to have any idea of the consequences of the mess.  As a matter of fact, most college teachers appear to be divorced from their students when it comes to discussing "what's in a name?" and the reality of an emerging profession of exercise physiology hasn't even crossed their minds. 

One thing we know is that college teachers do teach and, in general, appear to do a reasonably good job of doing so.  But, even excellence in teaching isn't desirable if the message is misplaced.  That is, what can the students do with the concepts, ideas, and content of the courses if the courses seem to be inappropriately aligned with the students' opportunity for jobs in the public sector?  This point may seem harsh but, in reality, what we need is more teachers with an understanding of the challenges before the students and less emphasis on research for personal promotion and/or tenure.

What is also needed is a commitment to doing something about "what's in a name?"  A person’s name, title, or position does matter.  Title is everything, especially to those who understand its impact on professional opportunities.  It is no longer acceptable to say to the students something like the following:  "It is not the program's name but the curriculum and the faculty that determine the quality and expertise of its graduates." (2)  Of course the curriculum and the faculty determine the quality, but the expertise of its graduates are recognized only by the "title" of a program.  Title does matter.  Ask any physical therapy student or a graduate of a physical therapy program.  The physical therapy or medical doctor title opens doors, provides job opportunities, and is associated with a certain respect for having accomplished a professionally recognized program of study.

Point in fact, if a physical education department should offer exactly the same courses that physical therapy students are required to take, can the graduates of the department refer to themselves as physical therapists?  Of course not.  To suggest otherwise is an appeal to ignorance or lack of knowledge.  Clearly, the value in a name (or title) lies not only in the course work led by good teachers but also the "actual" title granted to the students after having successfully completed the academic program.  It is exactly the reason for departments having individual names that are aligned with specific titles for academic degrees.  It is how things work.  To argue otherwise is a waste of time, misleading, and ethically questionable.

Whether we like it or not, the topic "What's in a name?" is directly linked to the quest by ASEP for leadership in exercise physiology.  How are we going to find ourselves if we don't have leaders to show us where to go?  We all possess a certain predisposition for leadership but we have failed to see it, even in ourselves.  Ask others where is our leadership and those who have published research are likely to be identified as leaders.   Hence, in exercise physiology, researchers are leaders.  While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, students also need leaders who understand the importance of professionalism and the professionalization of exercise physiology.

Students need leaders with the courage to accept that a person's professional title is important.  To say that it isn’t makes no sense at all.  Students need leadership who understands this point, and who have the ability to turn vision into results.  For me, our title as exercise physiologists creates our reality. 

1. Boone, T. (2000). Undergraduate programs in exercise science / exercise physiology: issues and concerns. [Online].

2. Golding, L.A. (2000). From the editor: what's in a name? ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal. (July/August). 4:4:1-2.

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