American Society of Exercise Physiologists
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Issue: #2 February 2009
Dear Exercise Physiologists,

Thank you for being part of our community. ASEP is the specific voice for (historically under-represented) Exercise Physiologists. Please use this Newsletter as a link to ASEP resources from scientific journals to professional papers, to employment and related opportunities. And be sure to click on "More On Us" at the left for the ASEP-newsletter's parent web site.
Also, members please consider the ASEP Annual 2009 DUES Renewal Notice on the ASEP web site.  

Finally, don't miss the Annual ASEP Conference coming April 2-4, in Wichita Falls, Texas, 2009! Details available at
-Lonnie Lowery and Jonathan Mike, ASEP-Newsletter Editors 
 Editor's Corner

editorialCharacteristics of Successful Exercise Physiologists

You can't stop people from thinking - but you can start them.  --FRANK A. DUSCH
Occasionally, it crosses my mind that exercise physiologists aren't thinking what it takes to be successful. Of course, every exercise physiologist should be Board Certified through the American Society of Exercise Physiologists. The mindset of all professionals should be centered on professionalism and credibility. Hence, from the ASEP perspective, consider what a successful exercise physiologists means:
  1. Character-Based
    Credible exercise physiologists are character-based, meaning they do the right things for the right reasons.  They are honorable healthcare professionals with high ethical standards and great integrity.  They tell the truth to their clients, and they conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. 
  2. Competent
    Successful exercise physiologists are competent.  That is why they seek out an accredited exercise physiology program so that they will graduate with a thorough understanding of the scientific evidence that undergirds exercise as medicine.  They know how to develop safe exercise prescriptions that produce positive and progressive changes in the client's state of mind and body.   This is also why they are continually looking for innovative ways of empowering their clients.
  3. Commitment
    As lifelong students of healthcare and lifestyle, they are credible exercise physiologists who are highly committed members of the American Society of Exercise Physiologists.  They understand the importance of the ASEP vision, and the ASEP leadership's willingness to put in the time required to make the Society as "the" professional organization of exercise physiologists.  Hence, it is more than reasonable to conclude that they have a true passion for exercise physiology, healthcare, and athletics.  They also have incredible reserves of energy and resiliency which enables them to weather the storms of politics, indifference, and adversity.  
  4. Accountable
    Credible exercise physiologists are also accountable.  They sincerely want the public to know they are accountable to the ASEP Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.  That is why they invested the time to get the best education.  Further, this concern for a solid scientific education carries over into their hands-on laboratory skills.
  5. Standards
    Board Certified exercise physiologists build confidence in their clients and colleagues.  They help others to understand that exercise is important to good mental and physical health.  They set high standards for themselves and their clients while being patient in helping others develop and improve.
  6. Communicator
    Credible exercise physiologists are excellent communicators.  They are honest and direct when communicating with clients and colleagues.  They continually remind and refocus clients and athletes on what they need to do to be successful.
  7. Proactive
    Because of their ability to listen, credible exercise physiologists are aware of the present-day concerns and conflicts pertaining to professional development, and they act proactively in dealing with their problems and challenges.
  8. Professional Philosophy
    Board Certified exercise physiologists have a sound philosophy of professionalism, the need for accountability, critical thinking, and scientific research.  Their thinking is stable, engaging, and flexible. Being a credible exercise physiologist is certainly a challenging task, but it's not impossible.  
If you are willing to change your thinking, you can start to think about Board Certification, accountability, and success.  If you consider what it takes to be a successful exercise physiologist, you can change your future.  And changing your future - based on this thinking - can change the profession of exercise physiology as well as those who are part of it.

Tommy Boone, PhD, MPH, FASEP, EPC
The College of St.Scholastica
Department of Exercise Physiology
Duluth, MN 55811
Ask the EP 
Q. Dear "EP", could you briefly describe and give some possible mechanisms involved with the aging process, specifically on skeletal muscle mass?  

A. Aging involves a diminished capacity to regulate the internal environment. In other words, physiological control mechanisms do not work as well in old people. Various physiological, cellular, and genetics factors also influence the aging process such as decreased cardiovascular and respiratory changes, problems associated with cell division, and abnormalities in genetic function of cells. Therefore, it is imperative to gain a thorough understanding of the effects of senescence on skeletal muscle mass.
There has been considerable research in recent years on aging and physical activity and exercise. This topic is of particular concern to students of exercise physiology because aging represents a large percentage of the population as students are very likely to have interaction among these individuals. The average age of the American population is 36 years, which is up from 33 years in 1990. By 2030, 70 million people in the United States will be 65 years of age or older, and the group of people aged 85 and older will be the fastest growing segment of the population. By 2050, the average life expectancy of Americans will be 84.3 and 79.7 years for women and men, respectively. (Dechenes 2004).
Aging has been associated with a loss of muscle mass that is referred to as 'sarcopenia'. This decrease in muscle tissue begins around the age of 50 years, but becomes more dramatic beyond the 60th year of life. Loss of muscle mass among the aged directly results in diminished muscle function. Decreased strength and power contribute to the high incidence of accidental falls observed among the elderly and can compromise quality of life. Moreover, sarcopenia has been linked to several chronic afflictions that are common among the aged, including osteoporosis, insulin resistance and arthritis. Loss of muscle fiber number is the principal cause of sarcopenia, although fiber atrophy - particularly among type II fibers - is also involved. Several physiological mechanisms have been implicated in the development of sarcopenia (Table 1). Denervation results in the loss of motor units and thus, muscle fibers. A decrease in the production of anabolic hormones such as testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 impairs the capacity of skeletal muscle to incorporate amino acids and synthesize proteins. An increase in the release of catabolic agents, specifically interleukin-6, amplifies the rate of muscle wasting among the elderly. Given the demographic trends evident in most western societies,( i.e. increased number of those considered aged ), management interventions for sarcopenia must become a major goal of the healthcare profession.

Table 1. Physiological mechanisms involved in sarcopenia
  1. Denervation Apoptosis of muscle fibers, re-innervation of surviving fibers
  2. Decreased density and function of mitochondria
  3. Decreased ATP production, reduced muscle protein synthesis
  4. Decreased mRNA transcript content
  5. Decreased mitochondrial proteins, myofibrillar proteins
  6. Decreased circulating testosterone
  7. Decreased muscle protein accretion Decreased circulating growth hormone .
  8. Decreased muscle protein accretion
  9. Decreased circulating IGF-1 Increased rate of muscle protein degradation
  10. Decreased number of satellite cells
  11. Decreased muscle fiber size
  12. Decreased proliferation of satellite cells. Decreased capacity for repair from normal 'wear and tear' muscle damage
  13. Decreased autocrine synthesis of MGF.
  14. Decreased proliferative capacity of satellite cells Inflammation, increased production of IL-6 Increased rate of muscle protein degradation 


ATP = adenosine triphosphate; IGF-1 = insulin-like growth factor-1; IL-6 = interleukin-6; MGF = mechanogrowth factor; mRNA = messenger RNA.
** Adapted from:  Deschenes, Michael R.  Effects of Aging on Muscle Fibre Type and Size.   Sports Medicine. 34(12):809-824, 2004.

~Jonathan Mike, CSCS,
Doctoral Student, Assistant Editor

Opportunities Related to Exercise Physiology

The Department of Kinesiology at the University of New Hampshire... is currently seeking applicants for a tenure track appointment in Exercise Science at the Assistant or Associate Professor level. ...more information...
NOTE: ASEP Board of Directors with approval of The Center for Exercise Physiology-online developed the "EPC Petition Guidelines" for doctorate exercise physiologists to become Board Certified.
Hotel Accommodations for the ASEP 2009 Conference (CLICK HERE)

Thank you for perusing our opinions, facts and opportunities in this edition of the ASEP-Newsletter.

Lonnie Lowery
American Society of Exercise Physiologists

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