Copyright ©1997-2003 American Society of Exercise Physiologists. All Rights Reserved.
Past Issues


Vol 7 No 1 January  2003 
ISSN 1097-9743
Happy New Year ! 

Can you believe it?  2003 -- Wow...time does fly by and with it ASEP is still hard at work on behalf of its members and exercise physiology.  We have the dates for the 5th ASEP National meeting! 

5th ASEP National Meeting
April 4-5, 2003

-Click here for information-

In speaking with Dr. Tommy Boone, Chair of the Board of Accreditation, he said that ASEP plans to initiate the accreditation steps on "three" and maybe "four" colleges/universities this spring.  Isn't that exciting!  He also said that the "Exercise Physiologist Certified" (EPC) exam was given during December 2002 at the College of St. Scholastica.  We now have seven new board certified exercise physiologists.  To obtain the complete list of the EPCs click here.  For those of you interested in obtaining more information about the ASEP certification, click here

Mr. Pat Ayres, President of the Minnesota Association of Exercise Physiologists (MNAEP) concluded an important state meeting at St. Scholastica on December 13th.  He submitted a summary of the meeting to me, and I am including it in this month's newsletter.  I think it is very informative and, perhaps, could be a general format for state meetings to help with identifying the critical mass of exercise physiologists in each of the states affilitated with ASEP. 

I asked Dr. Boone if he would write an essay about exercise physiology for the January newsletter.  The tiltle is "Speaking From the Heart".  I think this is a good idea, and I plan to ask a different exercise physiologist each month to contribute a brief (or an engaging) essay on exercise physiology.  We need more interaction and communication among the members of ASEP.

Lastly, don't forget that ASEP membership is on a calendar year basis (January through December).  The 2003 Dues Renewal Notice was sent out from the ASEP National Office several weeks ago.  If you did not get the renewal notice, please print a copy of one in this newsletter and send it along with your check to the ASEP National Office.

Well, that is about it.  Have a great year!  Stay committed, and take look at the

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Jesse Pittsley
Editor, ASEPNewsletter 

MNAEP 2002 
Annual Meeting Summary
Patrick Ayres, MS, CSCS, EPC
President, MNAEP

The Minnesota Association of Exercise Physiologists (MNAEP) held its annual meeting at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth on 12/13/02.  That’s right – Friday the 13th.   As it turned out, the meeting was a great success.  Everyone in attendance went away with an increased understanding of what exercise physiologists do in the state of Minnesota.  Hence, the primary focus of the meeting was to share personal and professional work experiences and to give students the opportunity to ask questions related to salary, work responsibilities, job market, expectations, and frustrations.  Approximately 60 undergraduate and graduate students from the College of St. Scholastica attended the 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. meeting. 

As the MNAEP President, I had the opportunity to open the meeting by reminding attendees that we were taking part in a historical event.  Although the MNAEP was founded several years ago, this was the First Annual MNAEP Meeting.  Looking back, I realize that a lot has happen in the five years since the First Annual ASEP National Meeting (which also took place in Mitchell Auditorium at the College of St. Scholastica).  There are now seven ASEP-affiliated state associations, 70+ Board Certified Exercise Physiologists (EPC), and four universities/colleges with accredited undergraduate programs in exercise physiology.  These are both stepping-stones to the ultimate goal, which is state licensure.  I felt it was important to repeat the theme from the First Annual National Meeting, “Teamwork – Together We Can Achieve The Extraordinary.”  What is so true is that we have done just that, and we should be very proud of the effort.  Please note that the following content represents a brief summary of each of the eight speakers present at the meeting.

Jody Ruotsalainen, a master prepared exercise physiologist, shared his professional challenges following graduation from St. Scholastica.  He wanted to work in clinical exercise physiology in the Duluth area.  In anticipation of the work ahead of him, Jody described his personal approach to searching for a job.  Dozens of resumes were sent to exercise physiology-type jobs.  Meantime, he worked as a scrap metal yard worker making more than he did as a clinical stress test technician.   One of his resumes paid off when he was hired in Virginia, MN to help create a cardiac rehabilitation program.  The only draw back was the commute of two hours daily in order for his family to stay in Duluth.  Eventually, his persistence in locating a job in Duluth paid off when an opening for a Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist occurred at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth. Jody’s tenacity was the key to finding several jobs in his area of interest.  It was also the reason that eventually allowed him the opportunity to live in Duluth where his wife works.  Aside from the loans and hours of study, Jody is still proud to be an exercise physiologist and wouldn’t change one thing.

Mitch Smith is a Clinical Research Associate for Guidant Corporation; a company located in the twin city area of Minnesota.  As an exercise physiologist, who is completing his master’s degree in exercise physiology from St. Scholastica, he is one of several exercise physiologists working at Guidant.  His primary work is in the medical device field.  It is a somewhat new area of work for exercise physiologists.  But, given the diverse academic background of the employees, exercise physiologists are acknowledged as having a strong research base.  As an exercise physiologist, Mitch described his relationship with other researchers, medical doctors, management, and those who market the products.  In particular, he described the research that went into the development of the “dual-paced” implantable pacemaker.  It is rather complicated but interesting since the use of exercise physiology concepts were woven into the overall analysis and evaluation of the product.  He stated that the pay scale for exercise physiologists in the medical device companies is higher than in most cardiac or clinical settings.  He also discussed the benefits and limitations to the business side of the marketing the products.  Long hours and deadlines for product analysis were common in the industry.  There also appears to be a considerable opportunity for exercise physiologists in the sales aspect of the company, which may be more lucrative (since it is based on commissions). 

Sean Sutter, a master prepared exercise physiologist who is also a board certified exercise physiologist (i.e., Exercise Physiologist Certified, EPC) through the American Society of Exercise Physiologists.  He is currently working at as Technical Support for the Medical Graphics Corporation; a builder of metabolic analyzers (located in St. Paul, MN).  Sean’s position involves assisting customers use of the metabolic cart and different types of oxygen analyzers.  He also troubleshoot the metabolic carts when parts and software fail to operate correctly.  Although Sean has only been in the present position for about three months, he is already enjoying the variety of challenges.  You could tell from his presentation that his work at Medical Graphics and his purpose in the work force seem to click.  He is the expert to “go to” when questions arise from the analysis of oxygen consumption and related physiological variables.  Previous to working at Medical Graphics, Sean worked for Arete HealthFit as a personal fitness trainer. Although he loved working with clients and helping them to achieve their fitness goals, the long hours did not suit his current lifestyle and personal agenda.  As just a side note, recently I learned from Dr. Tommy Boone, a professor at St. Scholastica, that when Sean was presented with an ECG/VO2 CardiO2 problem in the Graduate Laboratory, he went to work on it immediately.  There was no stopping him.  After three hours and several complete reloads of the software, he worked out the problem and saved the Department of Exercise Physiology a lot of money.

Nathan French, MA from St. Scholastica, is the Director of Training for Arete HealthFit in Edina, MN.  After working for LifeTime Fitness for a brief period, he decided he wanted to offer a science-based assessment and testing program to clients.  Since the scientific based approach isn’t usually cost effective for large health clubs, he knew that the business approach to being healthy and fit had to be developed.  He has been with Arete HealthFit since its inception in January of 2001.  The business has grown from two employees to five, and it is possible that it will be expanding to additional sites.  Nathan emphasized the that students should be sponges, and that they should place themselves in uncomfortable positions and take risks.  He presented several examples where such thinking was necessary for him, especially with the multi-faceted aspects of a new business that must deal with designing mailers, brochures, budgets, and marketing plans. If you are the adventurous type, someone who wants to own his/her own business, and have the work ethic to put in long and hard hours to build an integrated business for personal fitness, weight management, and athletic enhancement, the example set by Nathan French is an excellent one.

Chad Hedlund, a master prepared exercise physiologist from the College of St. Scholastica works for Cardiovascular Consultants in Robbinsdale, MN.  During his presentation, he discussed many aspects of his position.  Chad discussed the importance of a graduate education, especially courses in ECG/stress test protocols, clinical exercise physiology and cardiovascular physiology.  Working with other exercise physiologists, several from St. Scholastica, Chad and his colleagues are responsible for testing patients.  Their findings are summarized and presented to the medical doctors (13 cardiologists) who oversee the medical practice.  The cardiologists depend completely on the exercise physiologists, given their academic preparation (and the doctors don’t stand over their shoulders during the tests).  For students interested in working at medical facilities like Cardiovascular Consultants, Chad suggested that they should do an internship at such facilities.  He also spoke of the value in getting to know the employers and in making personal and professional contacts.  Networking is important.  In summary, Chad pointed out that (in addition to the standard medical treatments), the patients were encouraged to join a Phase 4 cardiac rehabilitation program.  Each patient has his/her own exercise prescription and other standard educational information is provided to assist in the on-going exercise therapy. 

Ryan Thomsen, MA degree in the exercise physiology from St. Scholastica, works for White Bear Racquet and Swim (located in White Bear Lake, MN).  Most of Ryan’s work day is spent addressing personal fitness training.  In addition to his responsibility for individual clients with documented disease, he is also responsible for the cardiovascular exercise assessments.  To hear Ryan speak about his position at White Bear Racquet and Swim, you can appreciate that he is extremely motivated and excited about working with clients with diverse physical (and emotional) needs.  Ryan was quick to point out that exercise physiologists more so than other fitness professionals are well equipped academically to address many of the issues and concerns faced by individuals of all ages, sizes, and gender.  As a member of the health club industry, Ryan discussed the certification game.  He has completed six certifications through several different organizations!  He realizes first-hand the benefit of being a board certified exercise physiologist and the importance of gaining more respect in the public sector.

Todd Comstock, a master prepared exercise physiologist from the College of St. Scholastica who is also a board certified exercise physiologist with ASEP, is presently in nursing school in the twin cities area.  After a few years working in Louisiana (near New Orleans), where he directed and designed exercise programs for a hospital fitness facility, he has returned to Minnesota.  His experiences in Louisiana opened his eyes to how little those in clinical settings know about exercise and what exercise physiologists are educated to do.  Todd described his work in Louisiana, especially the administrative experiences, the development of the exercise program, the writing and subsequent reviewing and follow-up of the exercise procedures for those in attendance.  Interestingly, given his desire to do more in cardiovascular rehabilitation, he believes that having a nursing degree along with exercise physiology credentials will set stage for increased work and professional opportunities. 

In summary, I felt that the meeting was a great success.  The presenters were fantastic and willing to describe many of their concerns yet desire to continue working as exercise physiologists in the state of Minnesota.  I wrapped up the meeting with a brief description of my job as a corporate fitness coordinator, where I spend at least one-half of my time during each day as an administrator, managing, creating and implementing programs.  After sharing my frustrations with past jobs, I expressed my feelings about critically evaluating our job satisfaction.  I responded to several questions, which had been repeated throughout the morning.  Specifically, why aren’t exercise physiologists recognized?  Also, there was the obvious question throughout the morning, that is, why are exercise physiologists not paid in relation to their education?  My response to both questions was directly related to the lack of time spent in the past working on professional issues. 

Credibility is specifically correlated with academic accreditation, a recognized certification geared exclusively for exercise physiologists, and state licensure.  I pointed out that once licensed and board certified, exercise physiologists will then have the legal rights to treat patients and to use exercise as a serious preventative medicine that should be then recognized by 3rd party payers.  I stressed the importance of being persistent, both in attitude and work related experiences.  I reminded everyone in attendance to read the article by Dr. Tommy Boone, entitled “The Lesson of Persistence” (published in the September 2002 ASEPNewsletter).  I made the point that the future of exercise physiology lies in the hands and hearts of the students.  They have the opportunity to influence their professors to not just accept but engage in the work of professionalism.  My final comment was:  “We must work hard, support one another, and continually push to better ourselves and our profession --  Teamwork - together we can achieve the extraordinary.” 

Speaking From the Heart
Tommy Boone, PhD, MPH, MA, FASEP, EPC
Professor and Chair
Director, Exercise Physiology Laboratories
The College of St. Scholastica
Duluth, MN 55811

“Sometimes the most important thing you can do is tell it like it is.” – William T. Boone, Jr. 
This is an article for exercise physiologists.  It is a personal statement of my thoughts, hopes, and expectations.  Perhaps, most college professors in my position would not do it this way.  They may even view this article as a mutilation of good common sense.  Some may even say it is a terrible tragedy; a person with some potential gone over the edge.  At times I wish I were different, but I am what I am.  My writing is from the heart.  So, if you wince at the truth, it is best that you do not read any further.

As a college professor, I find it difficult to excuse many of my colleagues not understanding that the prevailing status quo undermines exercise physiology.  I find it hard to understand that the tradition view of what we have done for years as college teachers does not allow for the ASEP view of the future of our students.  My friends would say to me, “My job is to do research.”  And, of course, I understand that research is important.  I do research, and I publish my work as well.  It is obvious that research by college teachers is important.  Writing grants and attending professional meetings are not only important, but often times required for promotion and tenure at many academic institutions.  This is common knowledge.  Those of us who are in the business of academics understand why we publish our work. 

Our Customers: Who Are They?
Yet, even though we are clear on the criteria for tenure, we are not equally responsible to our students.  They are our customers, although we really think of them as students only.  Think goodness that most of our students do not know many college teachers really are not interested in teaching.  In fact, many teachers will do just about anything possible to not teach “x” number of courses.  It appears that these teachers fail to understand that without students there is really very little reason for a department to exist.  Students therefore determine the future of exercise physiology.  Their willingness to pay for a college degree creates our jobs as a college teacher. 

Above all, a teaching position without students is a non-functional program.  Administrators understand this point all too well.  If a program is not generating a significant amount of money for the institution’s budget, it is just a matter of time that the program will be eliminated.  For those of us who have taught at the college level for many years have seen academic departments come and go.   Exercise physiology therefore cannot be defined just by our research efforts.  Collectively, we must join forces and recognize, first, that we are teachers.  Then, second, we are researchers and, yes, we do have a responsibility to engage in service activities within the institution as well as the community.  However, in almost every case, we are hired to teach.  This is not new or original thinking.  Students are an integral part of academia.

It is irresponsible to not care about “what it means to teach” and “what it means to teach students who depend on us” and “what it means to support the professional path of our development”.  Certainly, none of these statements is a meaningless abstraction.  Each defines our work if not our collection of thoughts, hopes, and dreams.  In fact, each time we take responsibility for helping our students, we help to actualize who we are, why we exist, and why our profession is important.  In short, by putting the spotlight on our students, we demonstrate to others the common understanding that we know why we are college teachers.  Why we are so slow in coming together on this point is perhaps a statement of our overall lack of intellectual awareness of the academy.  Everyone knows that our doctorate programs do little if any serious preparation for college teaching!

Why Are We Being Monitored?
Meantime, we are in a battle with other well established healthcare professionals.   Physical therapists, in particular, are monitoring the actions of the American Society of Exercise Physiologists [1].  Their monitoring of us raises the question:  “Why are they monitoring the professional organization of exercise physiologists (ASEP)?”  Is it that they are waiting to block our actions as we move towards licensure and, if so, why?  Do they think that we do not have the right to our own body of knowledge?  Do they think it is appropriate because they do have licensure to take our niche (i.e., physiology) from us and integrate it into their clinical knowledge?  These are very serious questions.  Each one needs answering.  What we do know is that physical therapists are making plans to incorporate more physiology into their academic studies and licensure.  What we do know is that physical therapists have blocked steps towards licensure by exercise physiologists outside of the ASEP organization.

What is especially interesting is simply this:  No one in exercise physiology is trying to practice physical therapy?  Has anyone witnessed the teaching of exercise physiology in a manner that would suggest anything other than what has been typically taught in exercise physiology courses?  I don’t think so.  Assuming I am correct, why are physical therapists monitoring the ASEP organization’s efforts regarding licensure?  Frankly, I don’t know.  I am uncomfortable with the idea, however.  While it should be obvious that we are adjusting to the issues and concerns of the public sector (in regards to our practice as exercise physiologists), apparently it isn’t obvious to others.  And, in particular, again, why physical therapists and a good number of our own exercise physiology colleagues do not get what the leadership of ASEP is doing on behalf of our students is beyond me?

Professionalism and Change
Fortunately, after the founding of ASEP in 1997, the path and steps towards exercise physiology professionalism are much clearer now than ever before.  The imagery and passion that ASEP members associate with the new exercise physiology is not only compelling but a necessity [2].  It drives us to determine our own future.  It is our beliefs that guide us and dictate our reality.  Now, strangely so, at the beginning of a new time (the 21st century) and, perhaps, a new way to think, we find ourselves no longer invisible.  We now know that we have the freedom to think as professionals.  As a result, we can now express our feelings however differently from those who have come before us.  These opportunities and new freedoms allow for a new exercise physiology that requires the strengths of our individuality yet our determined approach to professionalize who we are and what we do. 

“The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”  -- William James
Change in how we think has taken place.  Now, our new thinking is changing the thinking of others.  But, is the change taking place fast enough?  In all actuality, ASEP has made almost unbelievable inroads into major changes in just a few years of operation.  What we want to do, however, is make change happen faster.  And, the problem here is that we do not have the strengths that associate with a larger critical mass.  For several years now, I have said that it is inappropriate for exercise physiologists to not support ASEP [3].  Their failure in committing to ASEP is their failure in demonstrating support for the professional development of exercise physiology.  Certainly, this failure borders on a sense of integrity or, if you will, the lack of integrity.  There is the very real likelihood that some exercise physiologists do not have the strength and resolve to act in accordance with the new exercise physiology vision, goals and objectives.  It may also be a question of trust.

The Meaning of Professionalization 
What I have learned is that creating a profession is not easy.  No one actually said it would be easy.  It is a long march from the beginning point that, in some cases, goes on forever [4], which is the very definition and meaning of “professionalization”.  By comparison, the leadership of ASEP has spawned an unending process that requires by its very nature commitment, conviction, and trust as well as frustration and hard work. There can be no exaggerating the work before us.  Perhaps, the point is this: 

Bringing a better future into being for our students is an unending process of personal and professional commitment.  All of us hope and expect something special.  This is what it means when colleagues come together in the spirit of freedom of speech.  It may not be stated explicitly in our field of work, but it is in large measure about change that we have created.  It is by looking within us through our own experiences that we can (and will) learn about the evolution of our beliefs.  We are all part of a community (or society) of exercise physiologists.  We have come to believe that our vision is attainable.  Nothing is impossible for us anymore.  There are no superpowers of thought, experience, or organizational design that have power over our will to move into the 21st century as professionals.
Belief Is Power!
Not coincidentally, belief in something itself is powerful.  The ASEP belief that we have the right to determine our future originates from within us.  What a marvelous thought.  We are becoming what we think.  Certainly this idea is neither new nor complete without understanding its purpose.  And, yet after expressing these interlocking thoughts and expectations, there are academic exercise physiologists whose actions fly directly in the face of the ASEP views [5].  It can therefore be argued that they have not moved away from their old mental views of the field, which raises the questions:  “Are they living in another world?  Do they not understand the entire genre of healthcare professions?” 

The salient point that has to be underlined again and again is that doing nothing (or supporting the wrong agenda) does not justify silence or failure to nurture the most fundamental need of exercise physiology – professionalism on behalf of our students and exercise physiology.  There is no question that other healthcare professionals understand exactly this point.  Hence, before we can collectively improve our conditions, to establish the ideal of an absolute civil opportunity for all of our students, we must proceed with outstretched hands to those who are not thinking as we are.  Our future lies within our ability to reveal to others the possibilities of unimaginable options. 

I Want To Believe, But...
Most recently, someone close to me at work said, “We must learn to have faith in each other.”  I agreed with my colleague.  It is natural to want to believe in my colleagues and their willingness to work on behalf of exercise physiology.  I want to believe that our collective conviction is more than lukewarm.  I want to believe that our beliefs are something special that grants extensive security powers for our students.  In short, I believe that we have the power to transform exercise physiology.  Despite this power, not everyone believes we have it.  We need everyone on the same page, however.  In fact, it is inevitable that the members of a new profession must transcend the unique academic and personal differences.

Above all, exercise physiologists must clarify the confusion that largely explains why there has been so little real effort to embrace a new way of thinking about exercise physiology.  For example, when academics speak of exercise physiology, they usually mean the graduate programs of study.  While these programs are important, college begins at the undergraduate level.  Students look for what the undergraduate degree means, both as a profession and as a financial opportunity.  True sensitivity to these points of view is lacking with most college teachers.  Instead, they appear more sensitive to an acknowledge diversity that exists within the undergraduate programs.  It also appears that they are not interested in making the necessary changes in the undergraduate curriculum to update the programs.  This is a problem because the customers (i.e., the students) want to buy into a credible program.  And, of course, many teachers are not telling the students about the weaknesses in the product.  Rather, they say, “This is a great degree.  When you finish, you can go on to physical therapy or nursing.” 

The College Degree
Indeed, what is the point of an undergraduate degree in exercise science when the very professors in the field are suggesting that the degree is not designed for a career but more as a stepping stone to another major.  This is a good example of the absurdity of shielding students from the deficiency of exercise science programs.  Otherwise, there is no question that the aim of marketing the program is simply that of acquiring a “science” background from which you can then go on to some other program of study.  Personally, this idea is a static point of view.  It is an unfortunate dead end road resulting from our lack of direction in the past.  And, unfortunately, there are no viable options of defense against the “no change” nor is there the necessary shedding of blood (as in hard work and commitment) to construct a new reality for our students.  There are not even support systems to help the students, except of course “you should get a graduate degree”. 

Those who hold this view believe it is in the best interest of the students.  Frankly, it is little more than an obvious alignment with the mainstay consensual position of many college teachers.  Point blank: with this kind of thinking, it is no wonder that our students are in trouble (which is to say, exercise physiology is in trouble).  In other words, it is clear to students and to their parents that an academic degree should link with a job in the public sector.  It allows for respect with one’s work and the ability to make a living.  Yes, it also sets the stage for graduate school (but, in this case, it should be a choice nor a mandate).  Understandably, it is the teachers in our colleges and universities who are responsible for making the connection between an academic degree and opportunities for profitable jobs.  This is, in effect, an important (if not the) definition of the purpose of a college education.

Academic Exercise Physiology
This may sound obvious to some.  It may be an incredible way to think to others.  The trouble is that we have not come to terms with “what is our business” and “how should we express control over what we do”.  Unless we come up with the answers to these questions, the decision-makers in other healthcare fields of work will no doubt decide and act on the basis of their own interests.  They will do what is important to protecting themselves, however wrong or misdirected.  Hence, the answer to the question, “What is our business as academic exercise physiologists?”  is our first responsibility. 

The answer is not obvious as it should be.  It has taken ASEP several years to agree on the “Standards of Professional Practice” [6].   Part of the difficulty has been the acceptance of the all-encompassing possibilities of our scientific body of knowledge to the public sector (and not just to athletes or heart patients).  This brings me to also state that our practice is directly defined by the public sector.  We must know the difference that makes a difference between a technician oriented program and a comprehensive, professional academic degree.  This applies to all exercise physiologists, although at the present time a part of us realizes this is completely at odds with their view of change.

Correctness Of Change
Some wonder if they can change.  They think change is harder than it is.  The truth is that we are changing our thoughts and feelings all the time.  When we pick up a book, listen to a tape, or a research presentation and like what we hear, it is generally just a matter of time that we take on a new or modified approach to what we have been doing.  So, why is it that when it comes to exercise physiology, we may want to change but we don’t.  Is it because we are struggling to figure out exactly how to approach change within exercise physiology?  Is it possible that we have put too much energy into them versus us?   Glenn [7] states that “…this confusion can be straightened out by saying both this course of action and that course of action is right.  The correctness of one does not necessarily negate the correctness of the other.” 

Understanding that both can co-exist helps to stop the polarization, thus allowing for opportunity to work (and change) together.  This may seem a bit contrary to my writings on this topic but, remember, from the beginning ASEP has always looked for corporation.  It does not have to always be “you are wrong and we are right or we are wrong and you are right.”  The burden of change is upon all exercise physiologists.  Compatibility is a possibility.  Members of ASEP can expect to and look forward to joining together with other organizations to produce a new exercise physiology throughout the world.  Infrastructural matchmaking is a high priority for the ASEP Board of Directors.  They see it as a welcome evolution essential to pushing the practice of exercise physiology beyond previous performance.  It challenges all of us to push our thinking beyond the limits of our brief history.

Students Define Our Business
What is our reason for being?  What is our mission?  The answer to each question is the same.  A clear and enduring vision that distinguishes an organization is a declaration for being.  The ASEP vision is our business and purpose within the organization.  It is a statement of philosophy and beliefs about managing the standards and resources to rally members about their own future. 

Our business is exercise physiology.  Our mission is credibility.  Our reason reflects what our students want (and need).  It is the student who determines the future of exercise physiology.  It is the student who is willing to pay the tuition for the education and all that which is part of it (e.g., department resources, faculty, equipment).  The student buys into the exercise physiology product with the expectation of what it means.  Faculty are, in effect, held accountable to the students’ interest through their teaching, hands-on experiences, and relationships with colleagues and professional organizations.  In other words, it is important that they do the right things if they are to earn the respect and loyalty of the students.

The ASEP Mission
The mission of ASEP is to serve all the students (and exercise physiologists) of the United States, and indeed the world, as the organization for the professional development of exercise physiology.  ASEP exists to expand the scientific body of knowledge; to teach professionalism at all levels in the application of exercise physiology to the public sector; to improve credibility through a recognized code of ethics and standards of professional practice; and to secure our future as healthcare practitioners through board certification, accreditation, and licensure.

To fulfill this mission, the ASEP organization must provide high quality undergraduate instruction to students engaged in academic study and laboratory inquiry, while committed to intellectual freedom, professional integrity, and to those values that foster professionalism.  This mission imposes special responsibilities upon the administration, faculty, staff, and students, and other administrative structures within ASEP in their service and decision-making on behalf of the American Society of Exercise Physiologists.

Challenge To Legitimacy
The ability to discuss “how to develop fitness” or “how to get rid of the extra fat around your waist” is more than physical appearance or a person’s opinion.  It is a matter of competence achieved in a meaningful way to enhance academic knowledge and hands-on skills to meet the healthcare needs of the public sector.  Practitioners can graduate from exercise physiology programs of study with competence defined by ethical and legal aspects of a professional education.  Or, a person may graduate from related or not so related area of study and not be a professional or a credible practitioner.  There are far more of the latter type, and this is a problem.  Not anyone should be allowed or encouraged to engage in the practice of exercise physiology.  Competence is not only required to protect the public, but it is expected as well.

Exercise physiologists have been challenged to their legitimacy and rightly so.  Every person who is responsible for the analysis and suggestion to change how a person is living (i.e., regarding diet, exercise, stress) must be held accountable for the information that is given.  Non-doctorate prepared exercise physiologists should be credible practitioners as generalists, given that they are responsible for a broad range of knowledge and application to a client population.  Doctorate-prepared exercise physiologists are specialists who have developed competence in the art of teaching and doing research.  The job of the specialist is to ensure that the job of the generalist is guided by ethical standards and ethical responsibilities.  This is why college teachers must become part of the ASEP effort to professionalize exercise physiology.

Boundaries of Competence
An exercise physiologist can be competent either as a generalist or as a specialist.  The point of the ASEP accreditation is to ensure professional competence and job opportunities with an undergraduate degree.  Unlike past thinking, neither the master’s degree nor the doctorate degree should be considered the only criterion measure of competence.  This is a key issue and concern for the doctorate-prepared person.

However, the problem is at least twofold: First, we have so-called fitness experts or, as they generally prefer, fitness professionals, who market themselves as competent and all knowing.  They have the answers to “whatever” the problem may be.  Their product (such as a new bicycle or a new supplement) is usually the answer to everyone’s problems.  Many of these individuals do not have credible academic degrees.  The problem here is the lack of ethical standards that guide in safeguarding the pubic.  It is not that the undergraduate degree itself is insufficient or lacking as a measure of competence.  Second, for the doctorate-prepared individuals who refer to themselves as professionals, there are the questions: “Are they competent?  That is, should the doctorate degree be required to practice exercise physiology?”  These questions are important, although ASEP has worked through the answers in assessing competence.  The Board of Directors is confident that with accreditation of the undergraduate academic programs, students will have the necessary hands-on skills and knowledge to practice with competence. 

In addition to the degree, it is important that the right certification is required to demonstrate readiness to undertake certain tasks.  The ASEP board certification is the professional link to understanding the boundaries of competence.  With it, we can be assured that the exercise physiologist is credible and trustworthy.  Without it, an individual may very well have a lot of knowledge about fitness and other related aspects of health and wellness.  The individual is not an exercise physiologist though.

Being Held Liable
Accreditation is at the center of professional training programs.  It demonstrates the functional relationship of a course of study to competent practitioners.  This topic is an area that needs considerable study and analysis.  Perhaps the administrators of educational training programs do not realize that the programs may be held legally liable for turning out incompetent practitioners, especially when the graduates’ perception of their education encompasses the title exercise physiologist.  I believe the program can be sued if the graduates are incompetent [8, p. 306]. 

Most professional programs ensure minimal competence by three methods: registry, certification, and licensure (in the order of importance).  It is generally not possible to regulate practice by registration.  A voluntary listing of individuals who call themselves exercise physiologists or who engage in the practice of exercise physiology represents the least degree of control.  These individuals and those with “weekend warrior certifications” represent a major risk to the public’s perception of exercise physiology.

Certification is also voluntary, but there is a major distinction.  Corey and colleagues state, “Certification confirms that the practitioner has met a set of minimum standards established by the certification agency.”   Standards are defined as specific educational requirements and training from exercise physiology professionals.   The “Exercise Physiologist Certified” (EPC) exam is the professional certification of ASEP to determine which candidates have met the standards.  It is the only board certification test to determine which candidate deserves to title, exercise physiologist.

Licensure is not voluntary for the person who wishes to practice in a field regulated by licensure.   For example, the physical therapy student who has completed the academic requirement cannot practice physical therapy since licensure statutes govern professional practice.  Similar to certification, licensure speaks specifically to what can and cannot be done.  But, different from certification are the legal statutes that govern the unique practice [9].  Like certification, licensure assumes the practitioner has completed minimum educational requirements.

Regulation Is Important 
Credentials are important.  The fact that we are unregulated outside of the ASEP organization is a problem.  The fact that academic exercise physiologists do not seem to care is a concern that warrants evaluation.  Why academic exercise physiologists appear oblivious to our effort to distinguish our students is likely a function of deep self-deception.  On one hand, it is a paradox.  On another, it is so commonplace a response that it borders on an attitude that cannot be defended. 

Within ASEP, the EPC exam is directly linked to the official standards of professional practice.  Until licensure becomes reality, we must look to the EPC to protect the public from mis-information, quackery, and fraud.  This is an important argument.  Another one is that the EPC exam is designed to identify competent exercise physiologists.  This argument is centered directly on the belief that the exam promotes a sense of professional identity. 

With recognized exercise physiologists mindlessly assuming that some other way is correct, while equally smart and mindfully exercise physiologists have determined a completely different path, it may seem to be an impossible and crude hoax to our students.  Just about all distortions of “what ought to be” are confusing.  The majority seeks a sense of comfort without understanding the role of confirmational bias.  Others, including scholars and skeptics, are tired of exhausting time and ideas in testimony in hopes of witnessing change. 

In the world of academics and measures of new thinking, we have made a confirmed performance that has defined us not just as experts in sports training and rehabilitation of heart patients but in issues that surround health and wellness, too.   For present purpose, academic exercise physiologists have done their well in the scientific community.  They have, however, failed at understanding the common sense rationale for the presence of ASEP.  The caveat here is critical: 

“When academic exercise physiologists think or feel they have embraced the wrong ideas, many demonstrate defensive pessimism by trying to defend themselves.”  -- William T. Boone, Jr.
The Barrier and Challenge
The ideal of a professional organization of exercise physiologists with the absolute right to control the field is tempered by the understanding of groupthink [10].  This established way of thinking is intensified by the quasi-independent, yet destabilizing influence of the purposeful warfare of those who refuse to acknowledge the opinions of ASEP.  Their proclivity towards oppression is inescapable.  To understand their true intentions is to understand the need for commitment to change.

Actualizing the rights of exercise physiologists begins with the obligation to individually and collectively work together to support their efforts to change inadequate thinking.  Hence, when we fail to do so, the basic barrier to discharging one’s professional obligations leads to negative feelings.  There can be no worse feelings than powerlessness and a sense of inadequacy in one’s practice [11].  Obviously, the gatekeeping function of the academic exercise physiologists is less than a positive sense of collegiality with non-doctorate professionals in the field. 

Non-doctorates have a different scope of practice than the doctorate-prepared professionals.  Their scope of recognized duties for our profession is usually set by circumstances defined by our tradition.  Practitioners who believe in the new exercise physiology are confused.  The non-doctorates do not understand why their professors pretend in class to know about the field, yet continue to make important errors in judgment about work without the doctorate.  Correction of this problem may embarrass many individuals or their institutions.  But, regardless of the potential ramifications or risk, the professional exercise physiologist must recognize that not to change is to continue an accessory to the conduct.  In fact, if the college teacher must become a “whistle-blower” --  then, by all means do so on behalf of our students.

“Whistle-blowing is a process of gatekeeping, a function of role duty and professionalism that cannot be ignored.”  -- Raymond S. Edge and John R. Groves 
Market Research
The reaction to the work of exercise physiologists in the public sector is partly a function of the failure of college teachers assessing the value and necessity of non-doctorates in health and fitness programs.  Sure, they know that their students work in a variety of different kinds of jobs.  Their knowledge however is by default.  It is not by having carried out a market analysis based on a thorough market research, which shows that exercise physiologists as important healthcare practitioners.  Nobody seems to have an inkling that exercise physiologists are not physical educators. 

Above all, the professors who are running the academic programs need to spend time outside of the classroom.  They need to study the unknown to discover the unexpected.  For example, what is the marketplace of job opportunities?  Where are the potential customers?  How much are they willing to pay for services?  Answers to these questions are important to the success of the students.  Networking is vital, too.  In fact, it is, above all, the capital investment in the entrepreneurial application of exercise physiology.  The remedy is simple:  the key to managing change lies in the conscientious effort to integrate academics with the healthcare industry (i.e., Where do exercise physiologists fit in?”).

The Need for ASEP
The 21st century exercise physiologists need the support of the ASEP organization.  This is something very different from the past.  All new achievements and performance require professional responsibility and authority, especially with the questions:  “Are we making the best contribution to the health and welfare of the public sector?” “Is our commitment to healthcare an equal appreciation of our need and commitment to responsible professional effectiveness?”  “What opportunities are there without embracing professionalism?”  The exercise physiology niche requires a genuine strategy to maintain standards and a “service” truly designed to “benefit” the client.  And, in so doing, we benefit who and what we are.  It is all a relatively simple matter of “thinking clearly” to operationalize our specialized knowledge of the field.  Our focus on the new exercise physiology is a powerful force in our need to change and to be successful.  The old exercise physiology is a sure road to failure.

“The most common cause of failure is inability or unwillingness to change with the demands of a new position.  The knowledge worker who keeps on doing what he has done successfully before he moved is almost bound to fail.”  -- Peter Drucker
We need to get beyond our past if we are to deal effectively with the types of problems facing our students.  ASEP is about creating, stimulating, and facilitating common directions out of complex and difficult feelings.  And, it is doing these things with scarce resources and interconnected problems.  The truth is that it is still possible to think beyond the limits, rules, and absolutes known today.  All this is possible because it is a belief in something important.  Anyone with the intensity and belief and, thus the dedication to commit to ASEP understands its relation to great works of art, inventions, and scientific discoveries [12]. 

1. Hillegass, E. (2002). Vice President’s Report: June 2002. [Online].
2. Boone, T. (2002). Imagination, Passion, and the Intangible: A Window on the Future of Exercise Physiology. Professionalization of Exercise Physiologyonline. Vol 5, No 12, December [Online].
3. Boone, T. (2002). A New Academic Paradigm for Exercise Physiology Teachers. Professionalization of Exercise Physiologyonline. Vol 5, No 9, September [Online].
4. Moloney, M.M. (1986). Professionalization of Nursing: Current Issues and Trends. New York, NY: J.B. Lippincott Company.
5. Boone, T. (2002). The Exercise Physiology Code of Ethics: A Dilemma or a Standard of Conduct? Professionalization of Exercise Physiologyonline. Vol 5, No 11, November [Online].
6. American Society of Exercise Physiologists (2002). ASEP Board of Certification Standards of Professional Practice. [Online].
7. Glenn, J.C. (1989). Future Mind: Artificial Intelligence. Washington, DC: Acropolis Books, Ltd., p. 71.
8.Corey, G., Corey, M.S. & Callanan, P. (2003). Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions.  Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
9. Sweeney, T.J. (1995). Accreditation, Credentialing, Professionalization: The Role of Specialties. Journal of Counseling and Development. Vol 74, No 2, pp. 117-125.
10. Boone, T. (2001). If We Will Just Listen, We Will Know What To Do. Professionalization of Exercise Physiologyonline. Vol 4, No 4, April [Online].
11. Davis, A.J., Aroskar, M.A., Liaschenko, J. & Drought, T.S. (1997). Ethical Dilemmas and Nursing practice. Stamford, CT: Appleton & Lange.
12. Bennis, W. (1989). Why Leaders Can't Lead: The Unconscious Conspiracy Continues. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

American Society of Exercise Physiologists
2002 Dues Renewal Notice

ASEP membership is on a calendar year basis (Jan – Dec).  Renew now to continue your membership through December 31, 2003.  Remittance of the full amount of member dues for your category will serve as verification that you continue to be eligible for that membership status.

1. Professional Member ($70)
2. Certified Professional Member ($60) Note: this means EPC
3. Affiliate Member ($85)
4. International Member ($60)
5. Student Member ($40)
6. Sustaining Member ($160)
7. Fellow Member ($70)

Only U.S. funds will be accepted.  Make all checks payable to either ASEP or the American Society of Exercise Physiologists.  Please mail the check to the following address:

 ASEP National Office
 c/o Dr. Boone
 Department of Exercise Physiology
 The College of St. Scholastica
 1200 Kenwood Ave
 Duluth, MN 55811

The American Society of Exercise Physiologists is the professional organization of exercise physiologists.  If you need assistance or have questions about your membership, please call the ASEP National Office (218) 723-6297.

Please make any changes in name, address, email address, or membership information when sending your check to the National Office.  Be sure to renew as early as possible to continue all of your membership benefits.

Visit the new ASEP Web Site ( for the news about Board Certification of exercise physiologists. or academic accreditation of undergraduate programs.  Note: This website will remain active for an undetermined period of time. 

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Position #1: FACULTY POSITION IN EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY [Department of Biological Sciences at Benedictine University]


Position #3: Assistant Professor Tenure Track Position at The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN.


The Department of Biological Sciences at Benedictine University is looking to fill a tenure-track position at the ASSISTANT PROFESSOR level beginning fall 2003. 

Qualifications:  Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology or related field with teaching experience is required. 

Duties and Responsibilities: Teaching courses in the Masters of Clinical Exercise Physiology program and related courses at the undergraduate level, course development, a faculty/student research program in the laboratory and/or collaboration with professionals in the biomedical community.  Limited extramural funding is available to support faculty/student research. 

Application Process:  Please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of teaching and research interests, and three letters of recommendation to Nicole Diehl, Employee Services, Benedictine University, 5700 College Road, Lisle, IL 60532.  Phone (630) 829-6015.  Fax: 630-960-9946.

Date Posted:  December 13, 2002.  Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Benedictine University is a liberal arts institution located in the east-west research corridor of metropolitan Chicago with nationally recognized undergraduate programs in the sciences and an established Exercise Physiology Masters program. 

Benedictine is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer; women and minority candidates are especially encouraged to apply.



Position: Professor of Health, Human Performance and Recreation with a specialization in Clinical Exercise Physiology and Nutrition.

Background:  As part of Baylor University’s 2012 Vision to enter into the top tier of American universities, the Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation (HHPR) within the School of Education has embarked on a mission to develop one of the country’s leading academic and research programs.  This includes development of a doctoral program and Center for Exercise, Nutrition, and Preventive Health Research.  The department is seeking an experienced educator/researcher to contribute to a multidisciplinary research team focusing on the role of exercise and nutrition on health, performance, and rehabilitation.

Qualifications:  Academic preparation in nutrition with an earned doctorate in clinical exercise physiology.  Significant experience and excellence in teaching exercise science, nutrition, clinical exercise physiology, and special population rehabilitation related courses to undergraduate and graduate students.  A strong commitment to mentor and professionally develop undergraduate, masters level, and/or doctoral level students.  Appropriate professional certifications (ACSM Program Director, ACSM registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP), and/or ASEP-EPC preferred) with significant clinical experience in developing and implementing exercise programs for patients with various medical conditions in which exercise and/or nutritional interventions may provide therapeutic benefit.  A strong record of conducting research related to the role of exercise and nutrition on health and performance in healthy, athletic and special populations. Experience collaborating on multidisciplinary clinical research trials.  A record of conducting community outreach programs and obtaining external funding to support clinical research efforts.  Experience serving in leadership roles within an academic department (e.g., program development, curriculum design/coordination, directing laboratories, etc.).  A record of serving in positions of leadership within professional organizations at the State, National, and/or International levels. A record of excellence in teaching, research, and professional service that merits the rank of Professor at a leading academic institution.

Responsibilities:   Teach undergraduate and graduate courses related to clinical exercise physiology, special population rehabilitation, and/or nutrition; provide leadership in curriculum development and administration of exercise physiology programs; mentor students at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels; seek and obtain extramural funding; conduct and publish research; engage in scholarly activities; develop a high risk special populations rehabilitation program; establish collaborative partnerships within the department, university, medical community, and public/private sector.

Salary and Beginning Date:  The salary will be commensurate with qualifications and professional experience. Preference will be given to applicants who are Christians and whose philosophy is compatible with the stated mission of the University to be a world-class institution dedicated to Christian principles and ideals.  The anticipated date of appointment is August 22, 2003.

Setting:  Baylor University was chartered by the Republic of Texas in 1845, making it the oldest continuously functioning institution of higher education in the state of Texas and the largest Baptist university in the world.  Over 13,000 students are enrolled on the 550-acre Waco, Texas campus, which includes the College of Arts and Sciences; the Schools of Business, Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Law, and Music; the Graduate School; and the Seminary. The Nursing School is located in Dallas. The university’s nationally recognized academic divisions provide 162 baccalaureate degree programs at the undergraduate level.  The University also offers 73 master’s degrees in 65 programs of study, one educational specialist degree, and 18 doctoral degree programs through the Graduate School, as well as the master of divinity and doctor of ministry degree through George W. Truett Theological Seminary and the juris doctor degree from Baylor’s Law School.  The School of Education is accredited by NCATE and offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees.  Additional information about the Department can be found at

Application:  The review of completed applications will begin February 24, 2003 and will continue until the position is filled.  Applicants should send a formal letter of application addressing how they meet the qualifications and responsibilities described above; a curriculum vitae; the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of five references; and, samples of research publications to:   Dr. Rusty Pippin, PhD, CHES; Assistant Chair, Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation; PO Box 97313, Waco, TX 76798-7313; e-mail:; Phone: 254/710-4007, Fax: 254/710-3527.

Baylor is a Baptist university affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. As an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity employer, Baylor encourages minorities, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities to apply.


Assistant Professor Position
In the Department of Exercise Physiology
The College of St. Scholastica
Duluth, MN 55811

The College of St. Scholastica is accepting applications for a tenure-track position in exercise physiology, starting Fall Semester 2003. 

Qualifications: Earned doctorate in exercise physiology or a related field.  Must have a strong commitment to teaching excellence in a number of exercise physiology courses, including but not limited to, applied exercise physiology, electrocardiography, and cardiac rehabilitation.  The candidate must have a record of publication in peer-reviewed journals. 

Job responsibilities: Teach exercise physiology courses, support the department’s initiative with the ASEP organization by assuming a leadership role in the ASEP Student Chapter, supervise graduate internships, advise students, serve on department and college-wide committees, support the ASEP organization and initiatives in the professionalization of exercise physiology, and engage in research and publish scientific papers. 

Salary and application information: Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and academic experience.  Evaluation of applications will be April 1, 2003.  Applications should include a letter of application, a current curriculum vitae (including e-mail address), copies of graduate study transcripts, and the names and contact information for three people who could be asked to write letters of recommendation. 

Send application materials to:  Dr. Tommy Boone, Chair of the Department of Exercise Physiology, The College of St. Scholastica, 1200 Kenwood Avenue, Duluth, MN 55811. 

Position will remain open until filled.  AA/EOE

Register for ASEP email updates

This monthly newsletter is designed to update the members of the ASEP organization and the general public on the current events regarding ASEP.  The newsletter will contain actions recently taken by the Board of Directors as well as any recent information, decisions, and future goals of ASEP.  There will be featured updates from the chairpersons of the leading ASEP committees, news briefs regarding the recent advances in the professional development of exercise physiology and guest editorials.  If you would like to contribute to this newsletter or if you are just looking for general information regarding ASEP, feel free to contact me at the following e-mail address.  Also, don't forget to sign up for the "ASEP E-mail Updates" of this newsletter. 

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