• Trainer Talk with Patrick Hagerman
    Dr. Patrick Hagerman, EdD, FNSCA, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, HFI, is the Director of Sport Skill Development for Quest Personal Training. He has been a professor of exercise and sports science, a university-level strength and conditioning coach, a personal trainer, and an athlete. Dr. Hagerman is assistant editor-in-chief of the Strength and Conditioning Journal and the author of four other books. He has written chapters for numerous textbooks, and has published more than 20 articles on strength and conditioning.
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  • TrainerTalkBannerTrainer Talk | Patrick HagermanPatrick Hagerman, EdD, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, FNSCA
    Dr. Patrick Hagerman, EdD, FNSCA, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, HFI, is the Director of Sport Skill Development for Quest Personal Training. He has been a professor of exercise and sports science, a university level strength and conditioning coach, a personal trainer, and an athlete. He is a Fellow of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a past member of its Board of Directors. In 2002 he won the Personal Trainer of the Year (NSCA) award. He is certified by the NSCA and ACSM; is a USA Triathlon– and USA Weightlifting– certified coach; and has competed in triathlon, cycling, windsurfing, and adventure racing for over 25 years. Dr. Hagerman is assistant editor-in-chief of the Strength and Conditioning Journal and the author of four other books. He has written chapters for numerous textbooks, and has published more than 20 articles on strength and conditioning.

    1. Describe a typical day in your life.
    I start my day at 6:00 am with a two mile walk around my neighborhood, then get my kids (four-year old daughter and five-year old son) up and off to school. I usually spend the next couple of hours working on book or article writing projects, returning client emails, and putting together new programs for clients. The rest of the day is spent building custom cars and trucks, as I also own a hot rod shop (Scotlea Hot Rods). Work day ends at 4:00 pm so I can pick up my kids from school, spend a few hours playing with them, get them in bed, then another two mile walk around the neighborhood, a little time with my wife, then I go to bed around 11:00 pm.
    My personal training is all done via phone or email, as my clients live all over the country and are all accomplished athletes that do not need hands-on training, but just need direction and guidance on their training programs.2. Can you identify a key turning point in your life/career that put you on your current path?
    My career has taken many paths, but I remember a time during my undergraduate days when I had yet to seriously pick a major, and a professor of mine sat me down and told me to “stop screwing around and focus.” I remember that conversation because he said he saw something in me and that if I got serious I could really do something—so I did. He pushed me to go to graduate school, in which I focused on exercise science, then on to finish my doctorate. Over the years, I’ve worked as a full time personal trainer, gym owner, college professor, and triathlon coach. Each career change came as a result of keeping an open mind and challenging myself, while always remembering why I do it all—to help people be healthy and fit enough to survive life’s challenges. My current split career comes as the result of having a father who designs and builds race cars, so I learned that trade and love of cars from him; and when the opportunity presented itself, I followed both my passions.

    3. Do you have any mentors?
    In the coaching field, Ray Ganong at the University of Louisville got me interested in coaching and introduced me to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Dan Wathen, Gina Lombardi, Tony Abbott, Tom Baechle, Jeff Chandler, and Lee Brown have all been inspirations and a great help in pushing me to be more involved in the industry, and allowing me to steal some of their great ideas and vast knowledge.

    4. Why did you choose the NSCA when selecting your certification?
    When I joined the NSCA 20 years ago, I already had an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certification, and the NSCA was the only other major organization providing the educational materials I needed. I got the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification in 1995 and the NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) in 1997. I chose the NSCA personal trainer certification because at that time, I was involved in its development and knew that it was a rigorous exam that would stand up above the others that were being offered.

    5. Describe your area of expertise?
    I am most versed in training triathletes and stroke survivors because I am a member of both those groups. I get to work with some of the most physically fit athletes, and some of the most physically challenged people—two completely different groups with completely different needs, but I understand them both.

    6. What advice do you have for up-and-coming trainers who are interested in developing their career in the fitness industry?
    Do not stop learning. I have 20+ years of experience in this field, 13 years of college experience, three degrees, five books authored, chapters in both NSCA Essentials texts, and many articles; yet I am constantly learning something new. No matter what you think you know, there is still a lot to learn. Talk to other trainers, watch other trainers, ask questions, and try new things. I would also recommend holding yourself up as a professional.; I have seen a lot of trainers come and go simply because they were looking to make a quick buck in what they thought was an easy field. Dress professionally (not in gym clothes), keep yourself informed of the latest research (not just trends and fads), and teach your clients more than just how to do an exercise correctly. Remember that you will not always be there to spot them, so teach them a lifelong skill.

    7. If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?
    Do not try and do everything. At one time, I had built the largest personal training company in the state, started spending more time managing than training, decided to buy a full service gym, and ended up behind a desk and miserable all day. I ended up closing it all and going back to just me and a client in a small 1,000 square foot studio, which was perfect for me. If you love training people, get good at that and stick with it. There is always more to learn and teach your clients, you do not need to also be a massage therapist, sell t-shirts and equipment, have a juice-bar, or whatever else—just be a great trainer and you will have a great career.

    8. Tell us about yourself – what catches your interest, what do you do for fun, etc.
    I play with my family and there is never enough time for that. My kids are just getting to the age of team sports, so I have become a coach for their soccer team and a cheerleader during basketball, and I also watch my daughter’s dance practices and my son’s karate events. When I get me-time, I walk or catch up on my favorite TV shows for some down time.

    9. Do you have any upcoming speaking engagements, products, etc?
    No.
  • Disclaimer: The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) encourages the exchange of diverse opinions. The ideas, comments, and materials presented herein do not necessarily reflect the NSCA’s official position on an issue. The NSCA assumes no responsibility for any statements made by authors, whether as fact, opinion, or otherwise. 
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