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Exercise Physiology Curriculum's Missing Component

The undergraduate curriculum for most exercise physiology/exercise science/sports medicine programs are very challenging and comprehensive. There is an extremely large body of material to study and become proficient in such as biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, strength and conditioning, and much more. There is often little room in these curriculum for elective courses or additional liberal arts courses. There is a crucial component that is partly or completely missing from these required courses. That void in the program is mastering the business aspect of the health, sports medicine, and fitness industries.

Many students in these programs are taught that to be successful, they must simply excel in the core classes of the curriculum and participate in observation hours, internships, and work experience. These are all crucial components to overall success but the instructors and program directors do not seem to address the need for business and sales experience and proficiency in addition to the basic requirements. Many students in exercise science are not good salesmen and that is partly due to the lack of education on this subject. To me, it seems like a no-brainer because no matter what your job or career involves, you will always have to sell yourself or your ideas to others. You can have the most industry skill out there but if you have no business or sales experience you will always be limited in what you can achieve.


I graduated with honors from an Exercise Physiology curriculum at Merrimack College but I made it a point during my education (and presently) to improve my own business and sales skills. Because of my major I was not allowed to take any Business Courses (as if I had any room in my schedule to take them anyways) but I made the best out of the situation. I took microeconomics and macroeconomics instead of the much easier sociology courses that most of my classmates took. I took the Famous American Entrepreneurs instead of the irrelevant Native American Spirituality class that most others chose.


But most importantly, I participated first hand in work positions that involved sales, business management, and entrepreneurship. There is never a better way to improve than by educating yourself and then being "baptized by fire" and practicing your business and sales skill. The problem is that without business and management mandated in the program, a lot of students will end up with a less than complete education and their success will be limited by it. Overall, there needs to be at least 1-2 more business, sales, or management courses in all of these curriculum so that expertise in this realm will be a majority instead of the exception. 

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