Expert Answers 2014

NSCA experts answer your FAQs. Today, we look to Jay Dawes, Timothy Vagen, Diane Vives, and Nick Winkelman to answer the question, “How Do I Take My Personal Training Career to the Next Level?”



Jay Dawes is an Assistant Professor of Strength and Conditioning at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He has worked as a strength/performance coach, personal trainer, educator, and post-rehabilitation specialist for over 15 years, and continues to act as a performance consultant for a wide variety of athletes, law enforcement officers, and those in physically demanding occupations. He is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® with Distinction (CSCS,*D®) and a NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer® with Distinction (NSCA-CPT,*D®), the American College of Sports Medicine as a Health Fitness Specialist (ACSM-HFS), United States of America Weightlifting (USAW) as a Club Coach, and the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association as a Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Coach. Additionally, Dawes was recognized as a Fellow of the NSCA in 2009.

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Timothy Vagen, CSCS


Tim Vagen is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) who is the founder and owner of Unlimited Athlete, an athletic development company, in Kent, WA. He has over 24 years of clinical and field experience teaching athletes in many sports to move more efficiently. His clients include: National Football League (NFL), Canadian Football League (CFL), Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), Major League Baseball (MLB), soccer clubs, elite swimmers, elite gymnasts, Seattle Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), United States Secret Service, and was a consultant to the United States Rugby team. Vagen has trained Olympic medalists, national champion figure skaters and swimmers, and state champion high school athletes. He has had numerous appearances on television and radio broadcasts regarding strength training and movement and is a highly sought-after speaker and writer. Vagen is also a very accomplished soccer and rowing coach. He is also a member of the American Swim Coaches Association. His background as an elite rower helps him understand his athletes. He is results-oriented and strives for top performance from all of his athletes.

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Diane Vives, MS, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D


Diane Vives is the Owner and Director of Vives Training Systems and Fit4Austin in Austin, TX. She is an internationally recognized presenter who focuses on providing integration strategies based on science and experience. Currently, she works with Functional Movement Systems (FMS) and serves on the Under Armour Performance Training Council. She has served on the Board of Directors for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). She currently serves as a mentor and educator on her website www. and authored the “SMARTsets” DVD series and “Training the Female Athlete” DVD and ebook series. DVD series and

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Nick Winkelman, MSc, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D


Nick Winkelman is the Director of Training Systems and Education for EXOS (formerly Athletes’ Performance) located in Phoenix, AZ. He oversees the Performance Education Department which delivers a three-phase mentorship program to over 500 participants a year across six continents. Winkelman has a parallel role as the Director of Training Systems where he is responsible for the sustained growth and development of the EXOS Training System across all facilities and remote coaching locations. This role also includes program development, product analysis and integration, and off-site performance consulting. As a strength and conditioning coach, he oversees the speed and testing component of the EXOS National Football League (NFL) Combine Development Program. Winkelman received his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science through Oregon State University and his Master’s degree in Strength and Conditioning through Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia. He is currently pursuing his Doctorate degree through Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals with a dissertation focus in motor learning and sprinting. He is an internationally recognized speaker on all topics pertaining to human performance and has multiple publications, as well as a position where he serves as the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) State Director for Arizona.

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