Human Performance/Strength and Conditioning

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Are you interested in optimizing sports performance or health and fitness?

Learn the tools to be successful as a strength and conditioning coach or fitness professional.

This emphasis will prepare undergraduate students in Exercise Science to work with athletes as strength coaches and the general population as fitness professionals.

Many students within this program apply to Master’s programs in exercise science, strength and conditioning, and sports science.

Strength coaches work with athletes from middle school, high school, collegiate and professional levels.

Earn Certifications

Students will be prepared to sit for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the industry standard for strength coaches.

The NSCA has recognized the Exercise Science program at Pittsburg State University as an Education Recognition Program (ERP) since 2011. The purpose of the ERP is to support students during their education and set them up for successful careers by sharing industry resources and connections.

The emphasis will also prepare students for careers as fitness professionals, which includes personal training, corporate and community wellness, and fitness management.

Students will be prepared to sit for the Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) exam from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the most respected certification in the field.

Additional information

  • Human Performance Laboratory
  • The Classroom: Hands-on Approach
  • Career Options
  • Research
  • Dr. David Boffey

The Human Performance Laboratory is equipped with Rogue strength training and aerobic equipment that students use daily in class.

Technology for performance/sports science testing and research:

  • Rogue Olympic plates, barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, and bands: strength training and velocity-based training
  • JumpMat: measure jump height
  • Tendo Unit: velocity and power during strength training and ballistic training
  • Brower Timing Gates: measure speed and agility
  • Rogue Echo Bikes: aerobic and anaerobic testing

In the classroom and lab, students learn program design and effective communication, two of the most crucial aspects of strength and conditioning. Labs provide opportunities for the hands-on learning of strength, power, speed, and agility exercises, as well as requiring students to demonstrate, explain and coach these movements.

Students also apply exercise selection and technique methods for beginner to advanced levels, by instructing others through regressions and progressions. Semester-long projects include creating, following, and evaluating exercise programs for themselves and other students.

As an Exercise Science major with an emphasis in Human Performance/Strength Conditioning, students choose from a wide variety of career options post-graduation. 
  • Strength and Conditioning Coach

  • Director of Performance

  • Sports Scientist

  • Personal Trainer

  • Fitness Professional/Instructor

Faculty and students in the Human Performance Laboratory work with Pitt State Football to develop player profiles on a variety of performance tests. The Strength and Conditioning staff works with the Exercise Science program to maximize player strengths and minimize weaknesses and risk factors for injury.

The lab is also conducting a study with the Pitt State Army ROTC. The purpose of the study is to examine factors affecting success on the new Army Combat Fitness Test. They are measuring cadets’ body composition, upper body and lower body strength and power, using equipment in the lab including a Jump Mat and Tendo device for speed and power measurements.

David Boffey, PhD, CSCS,*D, CPT is the Director of the Human Performance Laboratory. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) since 2011. He has published articles in the fields of strength and conditioning research and sports science. Dr. Boffey was a strength coach at the high school and DII levels, and has worked as a Personal Trainer and Fitness Director at commercial gyms. Dr. Boffey also maintains certifications as a USA Weightlifting Coach (Level 2), Tactical Strength and Conditioning-Facilitator (TSAC-F), Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM-CES), and Functional Movement Screen (FMS) practitioner.

Contact/For More Information:

To learn more about the HPSC emphasis, please email Dr. David Boffey,

Director of the Human Performance Laboratory (

About Health, Human Performance, and Recreation Department

The Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation (HHPR) is located in the new Student Recreation Center. The HHPR faculty possess a wide array of specializations. The department offers undergraduate degree programs in Exercise Science, Recreation Services, Sport and Hospitality Management, and Physical Education, seven minors and certificates in Dance, Coaching, and Hospitality Management, as well as a graduate program in HHPR. Within each of the degree programs, there are emphases/concentration areas from which students select the professional paths that best fit their needs.

Learn more about our program objectives.

Health, Human Performance, and Recreation Homepage

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