"It is obvious that the management of the gym has the highest standards when it comes to staffing the facility with the most knowledgeable and experienced personnel possible."

"Every day in every way I am getting better and better. Since coming to Armstrong Athletic Club I am able to do things that most people take for granted."

"I have exceeded my fitness goals. I feel stronger and more self-confident than I ever thought possible."


Armstrong Athletic Club’s Professional Staff and their Credentials

The professional staff at Armstrong Athletic Club is very well diversified within the health care and fitness industries. Each of the staff members has acquired a bachelors or masters education within a health related field which is required in order for them to be credentialed as a Certified Athletic Trainer or a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Together with education and experience our staff is able to provide our member population with the knowledge, direction, and training it takes to be successful in achieving their goals whether it be training for an athletic event, rehabilitating an orthopedic injury, improving your body’s flexibility and balance, and most importantly to improve your quality of life! Below you will find information regarding the credentials that our professional staff hold along with links to our certifying professional organizations.

What is a Certified Athletic Trainer?

Certified athletic trainers are allied health care professionals educated and trained in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries. Their primary practice area, as defined by the American Medical Association, is physical medicine and rehabilitation. Granted, certified athletic trainers are best known for keeping star running backs and other college and professional athletes on the field. But in today’s health care environment, they can help students and employees avoid injury and illness through supervision and prevention while also reducing downtime after injuries occur. The result is fewer lost or restricted days for your star athlete or top manufacturing line operator if an unavoidable injury occurs.

The certified athletic trainer’s education prepares him/her for a career in the allied health care field. Continuing education and experience working with athletes and non-athletes alike help an AT continually improve patient skills. Certified athletic trainers have proved especially capable in the following areas:

  • Significantly reducing re-injury rates
  • Reducing time loss from non-surgical injuries
  • Treating musculoskeletal injuries

    Achieving all of this with the same or better outcomes than other allied health care professionals

There’s a good reason company heads, hospital directors and school administrators are turning to certified athletic trainers to help improve health care conditions and cut costs at their respective locales. Much of it has to do with the clinical and academic education required to become an AT. All certified athletic trainers or licensed athletic trainers must hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and 70 percent of ATs have a master’s degree or a doctorate degree. The curricula and continuing education cover such areas as:

  • Pathology
  • Assessment of injury and illness
  • General medical conditions and disabilities
  • Emergency care
  • Pharmacology
  • Injury prevention and risk management
  • Medical/legal issues

After degree completion, ATs must pass a national certification exam designed to test athletic trainers’ ability to resolve cases similar to those they might encounter in actual practice. The examination covers topics within the six practice domains of athletic training: Prevention; Clinical Evaluation and Diagnosis; Immediate Care; Treatment, Rehabilitation and Reconditioning; Organization and Administration; and Professional Development. Medically related continuing education course work is required in order to maintain certification and, in most states, licensure.

The U.S. Department of Labor and the American Medical Association classify certified athletic trainers as allied health care professionals. ATs are regulated in 44 states. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), founded in 1950 with 200 members, now has a worldwide membership of 30,000. More than 80 percent of all certified athletic trainers belong to NATA.

Certified athletic trainers have proven value at the clinic level. Their education, clinical experience and health care expertise mean they are capable of performing many duties to help patients achieve a faster recovery. Clinics outsource athletic training services to businesses, secondary schools, colleges, universities and professional teams. Additionally, one midwest community health network has used ATs in many roles, including: working directly with occupational health physicians, providing ergonomic analysis, education and training throughout the clinical network, coordinating and/or implementing all employee on-the job rehabilitation services, and Managing and operating the fitness center

Testimonials from employers:

"I realized early on in my career that ATCs are the only health care professionals who devote their entire education and professional lives to taking care of active people. My patients experience excellent outcomes as a result of therapy provided by ATCs. My patients love working with them. ATCs are a value added service to my practice. I could not do without them."

- Thomas D. Kohl, MD, Family Practice Physician; Director, Sports Medicine, Comprehensive Athletic Treatment Center, Wyomissing, PA

" I am a Pediatrician who specializes in Pediatric Emergency Medicine and have a personal interest in Sports Medicine. I have had the opportunity to work closely with Athletic Trainers as the mother of three teenage athletes. I have relied on them to provide the guidance for rehabbing injuries, for taping joints and providing guidance to prevent re-injury. I have also witnessed Athletic Trainers on the sidelines/court side making quick assessments of severity of injury and initiating therapy to prevent further injury."

"Professionally I have had the honor of working with an experienced Athletic Trainer as part of our comprehensive Sports Medicine program. This athletic trainer is a vital part of the assessment, therapeutic and educational team. Not only does she teach the patients/parents about the injury and rehab program but she plays a crucial part in the education of medical students, residents and fellows. Education of pediatric residents in the area of Sports Medicine is fundamentally important as more and more young children are becoming year-round athletes. Our Athletic Trainer provides the expertise we need when dealing with these young athletes."

-- Leslie Mihalov, MD, Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Associate Director, Pediatric Residency Program, Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH

"I am a primary care sports medicine specialist and I work in the high school, college and clinic settings in sports medicine. I have worked closely with athletic trainers for 18 years. Athletic trainers play an indispensable role in the care of athletes in all of those settings. In the high school setting, the athletic trainers are frequently the main point person in initially evaluating and treating sports injuries. Athletic trainers have to be well-versed in treating problems from blisters to life-threatening problems such as heat illness and cardiac arrest. The key component is preparation for the worst problems that can occur."

"Athletic trainers need to disseminate information in an understandable way for parents, athletes and coaches. They play an essential role in patient information in the world of sports medicine. They also oversee rehabilitation, appropriate strength conditioning and nutritional programs."

"In summary, athletic trainers are an essential part of the health care team in sports medicine. They play a central role both by their actions and their preparation."

-- Joe Congeni, M.D. Medical Director of Sports Medicine, Akron Children's Hospital, Akron, OH

"The educational background of a certified athletic trainer is the perfect preparation for assisting an orthopedic surgeon. The knowledge of musculoskeletal anatomy, function and clinical experience in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders is virtually unmatched, even amongst medical students. I believe that ATCs are the best physician extenders, and I use them in that role daily."

-- Ron Clark, MD, Valparaiso (IN) Orthopaedic Clinic

"I always believed that the ATC was a perfect fit for industry because of the very nature of the injuries being musculoskeletal. The early intervention of sprains and strains by an ATC has a huge impact on cost. Athletic trainers also fit this setting because of their training and ergonomic curiosity. ATCs find out why injuries happen and then come up with creative ways to treat and train the "industrial athlete" who has to work 8+ hours a day not just a 2 hour practice."

- Ken Kopke, AT retired, Founder, President, Athletic Training Services, Inc.

What is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)?


The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) program was created in 1985 to identify individuals who possess the knowledge and skills to design and implement safe and effective strength and conditioning programs for athletes in a team setting. The credentialing program encourages a higher level of competence among practitioners and raises the quality of strength training and conditioning programs provided by those who are CSCS certified. Today, more than 21,000 professionals from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds hold this prestigious credential. This diverse group includes strength coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, personal trainers, physicians, chiropractors, researchers and educators.

The NSCA Certification Commission® is the only fitness organization to be nationally accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) since 1993. This means that an unbiased third party (NCCA) has reviewed our Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) and NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer® (NSCA-CPT®) certification programs and verified that they are valid and reliable and demonstrate key characteristics of competency requirements for personal trainers and strength and conditioning specialists.

Since the NSCA’s inception in 1978, the organization has had a focus on strength train­ing and conditioning. The certification exams focus on the “real-world” responsibilities of personal trainers and strength and conditioning professionals. The exams have been validated; this process signifies that individuals are tested over the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to be competent in their respective professional career areas.

The CSCS and NSCA-CPT credentials have gained the reputation among employers and industry experts as being the most respected and preferred fitness-related credentials.

The exams are considered to be the most difficult in the industry to earn, which is one of the reasons why they are highly respected and why those who have acquired these credentials display a great deal of pride in having earned them. The pass rate for the CSCS exam is 65.5%, and the pass rate for the NSCA-CPT exam is 54.9%.

Testimonials from employers:

Obtaining the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification gives athletic trainers the opportunity to establish themselves as leaders in their allied health profession and open doors for themselves professionally. When hiring, I seek out CSCS certified athletic trainers because they have demonstrated they possess the knowledge needed to develop sport-specific strength training and conditioning programs for athletes."

--Dr. Don Chu, PT, ATC, CSCS,*D; NSCA-CPT,*D

"Obtaining the prestigious CSCS credential is both challenging and rewarding for athletic trainers. The reliability and credibility of the exam identifies the professionals who have the specialized expertise needed to design safe and effective, performance enhancing strength training and conditioning programs for athletes, which directly translates into enhanced career opportunities for athletic trainers."

--Dr. Bill Holcomb, ATC, CSCS,*D

"Sports medicine professionals recognize how the CSCS exam identifies individuals who have demonstrated their level of competence and knowledge in strength training and conditioning that can be trusted. By hiring CSCS certified athletic trainers, I feel I provide my athletes with a competitive edge in the training room as well as in our strength and conditioning facility."

--Mr. Dan Wathen, ATC, CSCS,*D; NSCA-CPT,*D

"In these times of information and education, the NSCA Certification Commission's Credentials assure both - that is their real power. To be successful in the fitness industry, the CSCS and NSCA-CPT credentials should be the credentials of choice for every fitness professional."

--Juan Carlos Santana, MEd, CSCS,*D

"As an internationally recognized consultant, I convince every club owner and manager with whom I consult that the CSCS or the NSCA-CPT credential must be required for a personal trainer to be promoted to the senior level, which entitles them to a higher pay scale and the potential to be promoted to a management position with their organization."

--Bob Esquerre, NSCA-CP

You can visit our certifying organizations by following these links:

National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA): www.nata.org

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) www.nsca-lift.org