• TrainerTalkBannerTrainer Talk | Karen GallivanKaryn Gallivan, MS, ATC, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
    Karyn Gallivan is a Certified Athletic Trainer with experience in athletic training, strength and conditioning, personal fitness training, and post-rehabilitation training of clients with orthopedic and metabolic issues. With international speaking experience, Gallivan focuses on continuing education for health professionals and training the next generation of health and fitness professionals.

    1. Describe a typical day in your life…
    Currently, I spend most of my time teaching undergraduate students. I teach students who are on the path to becoming personal trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. It is interesting in that many of these students already have some experience in the fitness field—ranging from being an athlete to “helping their friends with their workout programs.” Also, I have quite a mix of traditional college-aged students along with those in the age range of 30-55 that are now pursuing a second career. I like this mix of students because the mix of experiences helps to advance the discussion with each new topic.

    2. Can you identify a key turning point in your life/career that put you on your current path?
    I am an athletic trainer by education, but early in my career, I was given the opportunity to teach personal trainers with a mix of classroom and practical application modalities. What I really appreciated from this experience was the chance to really use the entire breadth of my education and experience-to-date to help make a difference in the relatively new field of personal training.

    3. Do you have any mentors?
    Yes—we all need mentors. Not surprisingly, my mentors were teachers who were able to teach and encourage me along the way. In addition, these talented people were able to see all of the possibilities that are available for those with my educational credentials and individual talent. Instead of feeling like I was “boxed in” regarding career choices, I was able to use my education to work in many aspects of fitness and sports medicine.

    4. Why did you choose the NSCA when selecting your certification?
    One of my main professional objectives has always been to do what I could to further the professions in the fitness and sports medicine arenas. The NSCA has always been a respected organization and I have always appreciated their agenda of both advancing research and applying that research to the practice of fitness and strength and conditioning.

    5. Describe your area of expertise?
    I am a certified athletic trainer with experience in athletic training, strength and conditioning, personal fitness training, and post-rehabilitation training of clients with orthopedic and metabolic issues. If I had to pick an area of expertise, I think I would pick two: post-rehabilitation fitness and conditioning and teaching.

    6. What advice do you have for up-and-coming trainers who are interested in developing their career in the fitness industry?
    My advice for up-and-coming personal trainers is always the same—I advise students to get a great education and pair that with a well-respected certification or two (NSCA certainly fits the bill) and put yourself in a situation where you can learn from someone who is successful and has a lot of experience in the field. This will convey that you are well qualified and that you also respect the profession enough to have the proper education, credentials, and experience.

    7. If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?
    I have had such a great career so there is not much I would change. However, if I knew all of the many twists and turns my career would take before truly finding my passion (teaching), I would tell myself to just soak in each experience and be patient—you are moving toward that one thing that will be your life’s work, and that all of these experiences are necessary.

    8. Tell us about yourself – what catches your interest, what do you do for fun, etc.
    Along with one of my sisters, I recently completed the first year of our running streak. Currently we are at 375 days and counting, and during this time, we have trained and run in six half marathons. As a professional in this industry, I was reluctant to commit to a streak of consecutive running days. But it turns out that if you are reasonable about it, it can be done safely. Plus, we should all be moving for at least 15-20 minutes each day anyways.

    9. Do you have any upcoming speaking engagements, products, etc? Please provide a short description and why someone should attend.
    I am part of the faculty for PESI HealthCare. We teach one-day seminars for personal trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, and most allied health professions. I am updating two seminars, Functional Assessments and Exercise Programming, and Strength and Conditioning programs for those with Orthopedic Issues and Metabolic/Lifestyle Diseases. 

    You can look for those on the schedule in mid-2014. Currently, I will be teaching in February in the Los Angeles area on the topic of falls and balance; “Falls are largely preventable if the underlying deconditioning, pathology, and risk factors are identified and managed. As we age, statistics show that balance is affected and falls increase. Fortunately, most causes of falls and instability can be treated successfully, resulting in improved mobility and reduced risk of falls.” This program will provide up-to-date, relevant evaluation, and treatment techniques for improving balance, especially in older clients/patients.