Get to Know Erik Schulz '16

Dec 16, 2015

by Danika Thiele '17

Sometimes change is needed for success. Some people simply prefer the close and personal relationships offered by small schools like Florida Southern. We spoke to one student who has found his fit in our close-knit community and through that has quickly advanced to accomplish great things in his field.

Why FSC?

I chose FSC after going to Florida State University for three semesters. I knew I wanted an environment where I could interact with my teachers and other students in a constructive way. FSC had the right student to teacher ratio and the major I was interested in studying. I knew the smaller class sizes would help provide a great learning environment for me.

On working with Professors

Dr. Terrell has helped me immensely to learn and grow in the exercise science field. She is extremely knowledgeable and has a passion for health and exercise science that motivated me to learn as much as I could. She helped reinvent the major here and made it much more challenging and engaging for her students. Dr. Terrell also does a great job of being available for students outside of class if they need help. 

I've heard you've recently received your CSCS Certification. How did you achieve this and what courses at FSC helped you?

Passing my Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I've done to date. I used a book required in some exercise science classes and a few practice exams provided by Dr. Terrell to study, which helped tremendously. Classes such as Anatomy & Physiology, Exercise Physiology, and Fitness and Prescription were extremely helpful in preparing for the CSCS. 

Why did you want to become CSCS certified?

I wanted to become CSCS certified to expand my knowledge in the exercise science field. To pass it you have to study a lot and have a really good understanding of body mechanics, proper exercise technique, and what’s going on within the body at all times. I also wanted to have a certification that shows employers and potential clients the work ethic I have in the exercise science field. 

How has taking classes at FSC helped with your career path?

The classes provided at FSC have helped a great deal with my career path. Once Dr. Terrell came, she really reinvented the exercise science major and brought a great enthusiasm to the program. She and Dr. Allen have really done a great job of creating an open door environment where I can talk to them about anything at almost any time. 

Erik Schulz working with a student in the Wellness Center.

You recently presented at the Gulf Coast Fitness Expo? Can you tell me more about that?

I was fortunate to present at the Gulf Coast Fitness Expo at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette last month thanks to my boss, and Florida Southern’s Wellness Center Fitness Coordinator, Abby Elias. (She presented the opportunity to me and I put together a presentation proposal on how/why to train personal training clients with athletic movements.) The expo accepted it and I was able to speak in front of both students and professionals on how to properly progress/regress clients with difficult movement. It was my first time doing a speech in front of a group that weren't my peers here at school and I am very thankful I was able to do that because I think stepping outside of your comfort zone is the only way to really grow. 

What new things did you learn at the expo?

The expo had tons of great speakers that I was able to hear and talk to. Many were hands on presentations such as "How to properly use the kettlebell" and "Learning about Muscle Activation Techniques." These were extremely informative and allowed you not only to meet professionals in the industry but to learn hands on how to do the movements. There were also people there who were accomplished professionals that worked with pro teams and collegiate programs for many years. It was a great opportunity. 

In what ways can you apply the new skills you've learned at the expo to your career?

I have already started implementing some of the things I've learned at the expo into client programs of my own. Many of the hands on presentations involved using the bosu ball and kettlebells. A few presenters also talked about how to connect the physical therapy world and the personal training worlds, which got me thinking about business connections and ideas that could help both the client and the professionals working with them. The expo also had several topics I listened to that I had never heard of and was eager to learn more about, or even choose as a career. Muscle activation technique (MAT) was one of the topics that I was amazed by and couldn't wait to learn more about. 

On preparation for the future

My end goal for my career, as I see it now, would be to own/operate my own strength and conditioning facility that combines the best of all worlds pertaining to health. Strength and conditioning is only one component of what we can do as health professionals. I would love to run a facility that has strength and conditioning, physical therapy, nutrition consulting, and other aspects that some places may not have, such as muscle activation techniques.

FSC has helped prepare me for my future career both academically and socially. Knowing as much as you can in your profession is extremely important, and FSC has prepared me for that by challenging me in the classroom. The classes I took were applicable to real world situations I dealt with in personal training and working with athletes in my internship. I think the social aspect of exercise science sometimes gets overlooked. The small classes and the face-to-face time I had with my teachers helped me learn how to treat everyone as if they weren't strangers. For my profession it’s important to know how to interact with clients and groups of athletes in a fun and constructive manner. The learning environment here at FSC definitely allowed me to work with a large variety of students and clients that I believe prepared me for my career.