Strength Coach Round Table Discussion:
How did you get started in the Strength and Conditioning World?
Brendon: My start in this business is almost the same as everyone else… I played sports growing up my whole life and the weight room became a second home to me. My passion first and foremost was football… but after realizing I was just an average athlete (sometimes you just have to be real with yourself) and I’d never play in the Pro’s, I decided to pursue my next passion, the weight room.
By the time I was a senior in high school I had put on some serious mass… 250 lbs of it. I knew I was heading to college so I dropped the weight with hard work, diet, & exercise (read about the transformation here)… Losing 68 lbs felt incredible and I looked incredible. The gym was now not only a passion, but a life saver.
Going into college I had no idea what I wanted to be… I applied everywhere as an engineer because their starting salary right out of school was $60,000 +. I chose the University of Massachusetts and I can vividly remember picking classes at orientation… Calculus 3 & 4, Strength of Materials, Statistics, Soil Mechanics… that’s when it hit me. Is this really what I want to do for the rest of my life. What do you really love? What could you wake up and do every single day and be happy? My answer: exercise.
That day I switched every class to that of a Kinesiology major and the rest is history. Sophomore year of college I did my first internship with Power Source at Cushing Academy. The groups were small, it was 3 times a week, 5 hours a day. My second internship in the summer of my junior year was my first real taste of what it’s like to be in the strength & conditioning field. At Athletic Evolution we were there 4 days a week, 14 hours a day, and saw almost 400 + athletes throughout the day. This was strength & conditioning… long days, lots of athletes, lots of coaching. Then this past summer after my graduation I was asked to come back and help out at Athletic Evolution as a full time strength coach.
As summer came to an end, I was offered a job. But I declined, something was missing. That’s when I sent Coach Boyle an email about doing an internship at the #1 Gym In America. The next day I was in MBSC, and within a month I had a job & I’ve been there ever since. One decision, and one email changed my life drastically. Some may say that it was luck, but I truly feel that “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. My education & experience was my preparation and my opportunity was an internship at MBSC. I have absolutely loved every minute being there and it’s true “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”. So please, just follow your dreams because they will always lead you where you need to go.
Brendon is NSCA-PT Certified. Recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a B.S. in Kinesiology, Brendon is currently working at Boyle’s Strength & Conditioning in Woburn, MA.
Kevin: It started with me getting a job at Gold’s Gym in high school. My sophomore year I took a job working the front desk and got more and more interested in strength training. From here I relentlessly began a quest to get big. Around the same time I got shoulder surgery due to an injury sustained playing football. In interest of preventing further injury, I began training furiously and researching on how to get stronger without getting hurt.
I knew when applying to school that I wanted to study kinesiology. I ended up at UMass Amherst enrolled in the kinesiology program. During my sophomore year I discovered Mike Boyle thanks to an older trainer at Gold’s Gym. I applied for my internship and since then my life has never been the same. Since becoming a part of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, my life has completely changed. I have learned more in less time than I could ever imagined and went from training no-one three years ago to training people 6 days a week 12-15 hours a day.
Kevin is certified through NSCA with his CSCS. Kevin is a recent graduate of University of Massachusetts with a B.S. in Kinesiology and a minor in psychology. Kevin completed his internship at Boyle’s Strength & Conditioning in 2008 and in 2009 and continues to work there as a strength and conditioning coach and personal trainer.
Henry: Ever since I started running track, I was always into human performance. I wanted to get better so I started lifting weights in high school. When I got into college, I was running for a DI track team and I was introduced to a different environment. During one season, I got injured so I couldn’t run anymore; all I could do was lift. Then it started to snowball from there. I started reading about strength and conditioning which at the time I considered weight lifting. I learned more of the science behind it and that it was more than weight lifting.
As I started reading more, I read a good amount of Mike Boyle’s articles. When I found out he had a facility near me, I applied to intern there for a summer. And from there, as I was finishing off my curriculum at my university, I did another internship at Athlete’s Performance. It was not until my internship at Holy Cross that my passion really started for coaching and strength and conditioning. The following summer, I did an internship at Cressey Performance that educated me and allowed to see different perspectives and methodologies of strength and conditioning.
I am glad that I had so many opportunities at these internships. However, looking back I did not appreciate my first two internships for what they were; I was too young and inexperienced. Now I can see how much they’ve helped me develop as a strength coach.
Ana: Growing up I always was into sports. I played soccer and basketball in high school. When I played club soccer, we went to a facility for prevention of injury and conditioning. It was always in the back of my head that that was something I was interested in. In college, I played soccer and studied Business Management. I started doing extra workouts on my own to make my way to the starting position. In the meantime, business school wasn’t cutting it for me, I was more interested in working out.
When I transferred to UMass Amherst, I went for the kinesiology program. I was there for two weeks, doing my own thing, running a lot! But something was missing- competition and the team atmosphere. I saw a flyer for the Rowing Team and walked on. My junior year I lost 12 pounds to be on the lightweight squad. It taught me a lot about strength and conditioning, tapering, training cycles, and taking care of my body. My experience from rowing is where the majority of my experience comes from. The leadership role that I held on that team, really showed me what my passion is. I interned at B&S Sports Science and Athletic Evolution, where I learned about facility management and coaching. I fell in love with strength and conditioning because it made a difference, on and off the field. Now I am at FitCorp and I pass on my passion for strength and conditioning to the members and clients. Enthusiasm is contagious!
For additional great reads check out these:
Kevin Carr: Epic Snow Day Workout Video
Brendon Rearick: Drills for Better Posture and Shoulder Health