Vol 2 No 12
December, 1998
ISSN 1097-9743 
ASEPNewsletter is devoted to informative articles and news items about exercise physiology. It is a monthly magazine of news, opinions, exercise physiology professionals, and events that shape exercise physiology. While it contains views and opinions of the Editor who oversees the ASEP Internet Websites, visitors can have a voice as well. We welcome interested practitioners, researchers, and academicians to e-mail the Publisher their thoughts and ideas or to respond directly via the ASEP Public Forum
January 1999
Just the Editor
Be the voice of the profession
Exercise physiology careers
UPDATE: The Society is on center
Reflections and goals
The conversion from SM to EP
Being prepared
Meet the future
Be the Voice of the Profession
The ASEPNewsletter is seeking guest editorials -- brief commentaries on a wide variety of issues. Everyone involved in health, fitness, rehabilitation, and sports, including medical, business, management, psychology, teachers, and students -- is welcome to share insights, concerns, points and counterpoints on any issue that impinges upon the exercise physiology profession, including the following:
  • the changing role of exercise physiology
  • professional directions
  • clinical workplace dilemmas
  • ethical issues
  • politics and organizations
  • licensure and regulatory issues
  • certification
  • education
  • technology
  • professional associations
  • mentoring
  • relationship among exercise physiology professionals
  • healthcare providers
  • healthcare workers
To contribute a guest editorial, send, FAX (218)723-6472), or e-mail ( an essay and a brief biography. Send your contribution to ASEP National Office, College of St. Scholastica, Department of Exercise Physiology, 1200 Kenwood Ave., Duluth, MN 55811.

Exercise Physiology Careers
Traditionally, non-PhD exercise physiology (EP) professionals have found jobs in fitness facilities and clinics as strength and conditioning instructors, personal trainers, and clinical exercise physiologists. However, aside from going back to school to get the PhD to teach in college, "Are there other untapped opportunities as consultants, counselors, or specialists in new roles? "

While the PhD is the top of the line degree in the field, not everyone is interested in getting the PhD degree! Also, if every student in the field got the PhD degree, there simply would not be enough jobs. Without jobs, the profession crashes and burns. Hence, the sky's the limit only to the extent there are jobs for exercise physiologists.

Back to the earlier question, "Are there other untapped opportunities....?" While some professionals have benefitted from the advent of the computer in requiring new roles and jobs, exercise physiology is not one of them. Yet, what they do have in common with other society changes and concerns is the ever-present issues of health and fitness (and yes, rehabilitation).

Aside from the psychologist telling the patient that exercise relieves stress, the nutritionist focusing on diet, the nurse addressing other more general health issues, the physical therapist speaking about gait and rehabilitation and so forth. The interesting point is that not one of the other professions is as academically prepared as the exercise physiologist to address all of the issues of health-fitness and disease interconnectedness.

Many of the new roles of exercise physiologists will have to be generated from within by the advent of national certification in the exercise physiology profession. With increased professional recognition (i.e., one with credibility), new forms of professional expertise and work will create different kinds of jobs -- from business health-fitness specialists to analysis of the same, for example, in sports apparel stores. As to the latter, it would be interesting indeed to see exercise physiologists in the malls of America. Why not? Why not have a complete testing laboratory set up in the store where people can be tested for their cardiovascular ability as one would for their eyes before purchasing glasses?

The Society is interested in defining careers and professional roles for exercise physiologists. Members believe that the climate is right and the demand will increase and broaden for all types of rewarding and financially good jobs. Exercise physiologists need to review what has been, where we are, and leave ourselves open to possibilities. Going with the flow may open up opportunities outside of the hospital setting. Assessing and advising others about their health and fitness can and should take place beyond the walls of the college laboratory.

The message is a big plus for nontraditional types of jobs. My first reaction then is to think outside of the back box. Ask questions and dream of new challenges. Just because it has not been enough is not a reason to look the other way. Together, we can create a whole new way of accessing unique, gratifying, and challenging careers.

UPDATE: The Society is on Center
In 1997, the Society was founded in the state of Minnesota at the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN. The organization has been met with considerable work on behalf of its members to lay the groundwork for a national Society of exercise physiologists. It is in reality, the "Making of the next generation of American Exercise Physiologists."

The Society is building connectivity among exercise physiologists in the United States as well as worldwide. Collectively, all exercise physiologists will change what is to what can be! Planned certification of exercise physiologists based on a successful completion of a national examination along with accreditation of academic programs will improve the quality of the profession and client/patient relationship and/or care.

With better professional preparedness, the initial step in the process of professionalization will be completed. Following this, other matters of excellence and opportunities for improvement in regard to a successful integration into the public sector will be realized with continued support of all exercise physiologists.

The Society is on center! Just think, the Society has its first official Student Chapter of ASEP at the University of New Mexico. Sharon Griffin, a PhD candidate in exercise physiology at UNM put together the documents. So, now we have the By-Laws and Constitution for developing ASEP Student Chapters throughout the Colleges and Universities in the United States. This is big!

The Student Chapters should become one of the most important implementations of the Society. The By-Laws and Constitution are on the ASEP Table of Contents. If you are a student or a college teacher interested in developing an ASEP Student Chapter at your college, please print the information from the websites, confer with college officials, and get back to us, either Dr. Robert Robergs or me.

ASEP is on center!

Reflections and Goals
With the recent First ASEP National Meeting completed and everyone back at their designated places, it seems the right time for a brief reflection. Up front, the goal was to have a meeting of interested exercise physiologists. It happened and, from it, certain individuals ended up accepted obligations for future development of the Society. The opportunity for students to meet with the academic and clinical exercise physiologists was great. Even some rather serious brainstorming took place at the meeting, and also some thinking was done a bit different from the thinking that usually takes place at the traditional types of meetings.

While an analysis of comprehensive list of future goals would be a nice discussion for the members, the following list of future goals should be our first priority:

  • Develop a more highly effective internal and external communication system among exercise physiologists.
  • Develop a comprehensive communication and marketing plan to promote the Society.
  • Increase student, clinically-based and academic faculty involvement in the advancement of exercise physiology.
  • Identify expectations of committee chairs and members to ensure that a continuing development of ASEP issues is realized.
  • Identify a list of specific and measurable outcomes for exercise physiology students via a nationally arranged certification test.
  • Propose an expansion of the Society to include exercise physiologists worldwide and, in particular, the purpose of coming together every five years to connect and join forces.

The Conversion from SM to EP!
In today's changing health, fitness, rehabilitation, and athletic environment, there is now the opportunity to join an exercise physiology (EP) organization. But, although this first-time ever offer exists, there are some exercise physiologists who appear somewhat disenchanted with a changing exercise physiology profession. They are still incline to substitute SM (sports medicine) for EP!

Even EPs who have come to understand that SM is not EP still have some hard steps to take in joining the American Society of Exercise Physiologists. They will take the steps, however, because the decision is right. It is just a matter of time. The Society understands the exercise physiologist's desire to professionalize the art, products, and programs of exercise physiology. It brings together, therefore, the partnership and professional strength other professions have achieved decades earlier.

In defense of those who still refuse to see the light, I can understand to some extent the challenge of giving up beliefs held for a long time. But, that is exactly the turning point in finally making progress towards recognizing the importance of professional development and giving it back to exercise physiologists. Eventually exercise physiologists had to come forth on the front-line to assume responsibility for credentialing requirements.

Society members would appreciate hearing about your concerns and how we may help you and others in accordance with ASEP objectives. Unification of exercise physiologists is imperative to our quality, satisfaction, and achievements. It also empowers us to continue the evolution of SM/ES/EP to a comprehensive EP profession.

Being Prepared?
In an era of "not if, but when" essentially every professional responsible to the public stands a chance of being accused of "something." And, any allegation can be devastating to both one's professional reputation and one's personal assets. Hence, the Board of Directors is expected to move this issue to the front burner.

Making a decision is big deal, however. The Board will have to determine who and why we are willing to trust our professional reputation and personal assets with. Soon it will start gathering information about different companies. The goal will be to evaluate and make recommendations. There is a difference among companies. Rather than moving too quickly on this issue, the Board plans to pull together all aspects of how a company is responsible to ASEP members.

Meet the Future
What is the reality of the future? How will concepts like profession, professionalism, and professionalization evolve when the way in which exercise physiology relate to one another changes dramatically? Is your profession in which you work still exercise science and sports medicine, or is it exercise physiology? Will your profession be defined by you and those like you who, perhaps, belong to the Society, or will it be defined by others? The questions may seem like silly questions to some, but they are important considerations when we observe the way our profession has been defined.

Not long ago the exercise physiologist's "life as usual" was not questioned. People within the profession believed in the notion of sports medicine first and exercise physiology second. The idea of reshaping the profession just never seemed to surface much less be understood and, unfortuately, that was our loss. Eventually, though, there had to be a reality of common interest and access to ideas beyond sports medicine; ideas with the potential to empower all who can get on board.

Meet the future is a direct change in the way we have thought about what we do as exercise physiologists. It is an expanding concept that communicates positive feelings of hope and diversity. It appeals to a much larger audience than before, and with it, is a major shift from "life as usual." Now, the consensus within the profession and, to the credit of those who have evolved with the process, is that a significant infrastructure exists to build a major national force of change. It is no longer an experiment, but a constituency to be contented with.

Ambitious. Yes, but anyone with the drive and motivation to undertake the work of providing a better future for all exercise physiologists is a valuable resource. Unlike the past, we now know who we are, and the future is better as recognized exercise physiologists who subscribe to the belief that what we do is important.

ASEP Table of Contents