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torelli
03-20-2003, 07:34 AM
Hi guys,
I am a sophmore in college and looking to get into the nutrition and exercise business, Will, Charles, and anyone else could you give me some pointers as to what credentials would be good to check out. I am at the University of California at Berkeley and my minor is Nutritional sciences my major is environmental science. I really am interested in optimal nutrition, whole health, physiology, and exercise.

Thanks guys and girls:rolleyes:

WillBrink
03-20-2003, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by torelli
Hi guys,
I am a sophmore in college and looking to get into the nutrition and exercise business, Will, Charles, and anyone else could you give me some pointers as to what credentials would be good to check out. I am at the University of California at Berkeley and my minor is Nutritional sciences my major is environmental science. I really am interested in optimal nutrition, whole health, physiology, and exercise.

Thanks guys and girls:rolleyes:

There is no particular way of getting into the biz. A degree that applies to nutrition is helpul of course. I know Berkley has a great nutrition dept.

erp7e
09-14-2003, 06:04 AM
I think your best bet is to go as far educationally as you can, and do research. At some point in the near future get your NSCA or similar-level (there are few good and a lot of crappy organizations out there) personal trainer certification, and/or become a CSCS, and then do personal trainer work on the side while you get your master's and doctorate. The most relevant degrees would probably be biochemistry, exercise physiology, or pharmacology. It would depend whether you wanted to get into the supplement biz or go the exercise/diet route. If you become a more prominant researcher for a major lab you can probably find a job with a supplement company, etc. As an exercise physiologist, you could do consultations, etc. or keep up the CSCS/personal trainer route

You can always wait for your big break, but I think it's better to educate and train yourself as much as possible.

I was in your situation as a sophomore in college, but elected to go the medical route. For the first couple of years of college, I was thinking the physical therapy route. As much as I liked therapeutic exercise and rehab, I found medical diagnosis and treatment more stimulating. So I'm in med school now at the University of Virginia (3rd year) and I plan on trying to find a niche in medicine that incorporates diet, exercise, and healthy lifestyle principles (e.g., Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism, a fellowship after Internal Med. residency).

So really there are a lot of routes you can take. It might be worth your while to work in an exercise phys or biochem research lab over the summer, and/or shadow a exercise physiologist, etc. so you can get an idea of what their job entails.

Whatever you do, don't just be another schmuck sitting around waiting to be "discovered" as the next Bill Phillips.

torelli
09-14-2003, 06:52 AM
Thanks for the great reply. I think what I am looking to do is finish a nutrition degree as an undergraduate and then take an extra year to become a registered dietary nutritionist.

After that I think I will look into NSCA or similar-level certification for training and start doing that.

I am not sure exactly what I want to do, but I feel it will most likely be working with people both in the gym and with whole foods.

I have not decided wether or not a full MD is what I want to do. We will see:D

erp7e
09-14-2003, 07:46 PM
Consider seriously either a master's or doctorate in your field of interest. In retrospect, I wouldn't recommend medical school to anybody unless they are insanely masochistic (like me). M.S. and Ph.D.'s are a lot more "chill" to get--not so insane.

There are plenty of qualified people out there with little education and a ton of experience (of course the latter is more important), I mean look at Bill Gates (college dropout). But in today's world, it's probably in your best interest to A) be as qualified and experienced as possible AND B) look good on paper (your resume). It's just the way the world works. Enjoy college, man, because it's pretty much downhill after that!!

torelli
09-14-2003, 09:12 PM
I agree with the MD thing. I did a program with some Med students and it just didn't look like me. I think I will definelty look into education past an undergraduate degree.

Most likely with a nutrition major and hopefully some background from a good training cert. I can get into some type of optimum health and or sport nutrition.

And yes college life is pretty nice, though at times it is tough to see through the clouds of exams, papers, etc... For the most part I wouldn't exchange it for anything:D

torelli
06-19-2004, 09:45 PM
Hi there,

erp7e

I have decided for now to finish my RD and go do a double master's in nutrition and exercise physiology. I want to work both in the clinical realm and the personal training world. Mostly try to mesh the two by working with forward thinking MD's, ND's, to get patients that can be helped through diet and exericise in the gym and eating correctly for their problems.


So I have a question for anyone who has any knowledge on the NSCA-CPT exam. I am going to study for the exam and was looking over the different materials online.

I am a nutrition major so I do not get any real exercise science in school. I understand their book "Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning" is a great book and know I will buy it.

What about their other book "Essentials of Personal Training?"

After that does anyone know about their other review material such as the review kit with CD's and the like.

As of now I am thinking their two big text books listed above and then getting their practice exams too. Maybe seeing what the exam is like and deciding if I should get any of the other stuff.

Any help would be great. Thanks

Oh ya, and this would be my first CPT course. :D

erp7e
06-19-2004, 11:25 PM
If you know the Essentials of ST&C book, and know it well, you will do well on the CSCS exam. It's a big book with a ton of material, but not terribly difficult reading. Pretty much everything on the test is from there. I've taken a few of the mock exams out of curiosity and done well on them.

One thing to not overlook is exercise technique. People get caught up in physiology and forget to learn technique well. If you've trained people before in some context that helps. I would recommend that book and do several practice tests and you should be fine.

WillBrink
06-20-2004, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by torelli
Thanks for the great reply. I think what I am looking to do is finish a nutrition degree as an undergraduate and then take an extra year to become a registered dietary nutritionist.

After that I think I will look into NSCA or similar-level certification for training and start doing that.

I am not sure exactly what I want to do, but I feel it will most likely be working with people both in the gym and with whole foods.

I have not decided wether or not a full MD is what I want to do. We will see:D

Personally I would advise against getting the RD degree. You would be better off getting a hard science degree like biochem, physiology, etc. Learning about the basics of nutrition is the easy part, learning about what really makes the body tick is the hard part. Much of what you will learn in an RD program is either out of date or simply wrong, and does not focus enough on the real sciences vs figuring out how many old people missed their vegis for the day. Unless you really have your heart set on being an RD, I would not major in that. Between you an me, RDs tend to get very little respect in the scientific community.

erp7e
06-20-2004, 06:00 PM
It depends what you want to do. If you are going to be a CSCS and be more hands-on, and just want to have some nutrition background for your clients, the RD is okay. RD's are generally in the business of "practical nutrition."

But if you really want to make an impact and do research you're better off with say a biochem PhD. Nowadays, most people in basic sciences skip the Master's and go straight to the doctorate unless there is some reason you do not want to do the dissertation.

As far as RDs not being up to date (often true), it is the person's fault, not the RD program's fault. Half of what they teach us in med school is completely obsolete in less than ten years. It is the individual's responsiblity to keep up with the literature and keep education a life long process. Unfortunately, the number of scholarly people who become a dietitician is rather low.

torelli
06-21-2004, 05:16 PM
Thanks for your thoughts guys.

I will definetly make sure I take some practice exams and do will on the test, I don't think it will be a problem.

As for the RD, I would have to say that Berkeley has a great program with a lot of chemistry (2 full years) Biochem (1 full year) Biology (1 full year), and then does a lot on food processing methods and toxicology. The additional RD related courses are somewhat looked at as a joke by many of the professors since the vast majority of the professors in the nutrition field of study are more "hard" science types.

Personally I think my interests lie more on the clinical and hands-on stuff, than research and lab work. An environment that inlcudes working with MD's and a gym is pretty much heaven to me.

I do want to study exercise physiology and nutrition in graduate school, and will have to look into the whole process of Phd, of which I have not done yet.

Will, as for the RD, I am still trying to figure out its applicability, I realize that what you "know" is much more important, for right now I am looking at the internship you have to do more as to make contacts in the community that I decide I want to start working in. I am still not fully sure on how much pull it has.

Once again,
Thanks

torelli
06-25-2004, 06:05 PM
I was wondering if anyone can think of an ADVANTAGE of getting the Registered Dietician certification.

right now I see it as 1. Another credential (though this has little sway in my book.
2. More importantly I will be able to do the RD internship in an area that I would like to make contacts. The RD internship allows me to meet both faculty in a university setting and a hospital setting to make connections.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

erp7e
06-25-2004, 07:40 PM
Not really. 1) The credential doesn't hold a lot of weight, even in the athletic community. 2) You can make good connections pursuing other degrees/certifications. Working in a lab getting a PhD for example, you will be able to meet people with a lot of influence who can help your career.

Ditto for any "personal trainer" certification, except CSCS. I don't care how reputable the organization is, when someone says they are a "certified personal trainer" it's hard not to roll my eyes. YES there are some fantastic trainers--but it isn't because of their ACE certification--it's because they're bright and motivated individuals.

So if it's cred you're after, really, consider getting a CSCS and at least a master's in exercise phys or biochem.

Boxer
06-25-2004, 10:11 PM
Torelli I don't know what the deal is in the US but RD's are the only kind of nutrition experts hired by hospitals here.

torelli
06-25-2004, 11:30 PM
Thanks,

I am already looking into masters programs in exercise physiology and nutrition/biochem.

I think you are right Boxer in that RD's are the only nutritionists allowed in hospital settings. While I am not very interested in working full-time in a hospital I would like to work with a group of practicing doctors. So i think in that case the RD would also help me out, though I may be wrong there.

erp7e
06-26-2004, 07:12 PM
Maybe there's some miscommunication here, yes, RD's are hired by hospitals to be nutritionists in the U.S. If that's what you want to do then go for it. My point is if you really want to go far with your career a master's or PhD and getting into research will take you a lot farther. Do you want to read the book...or rewrite the book?

torelli
06-26-2004, 07:22 PM
Both,

I love working with people and searching for the truth.

As I stated earlier my dream job is working both in a clinic with a group of practicing health officials and a gym (basically I want to find a group of doctors that are forward thinking and want to add in an exercise/nutrition aspect to their clinic).

Along with that I love reviewing research done and writting on the topics. I don't know if actually heading up specific research is what I want to do, but I do for example love running through journals and putting together review articles disspelling the ADA diet.

That is why I think that the RD may be of help to me for the clinical aspect (before I was thinking the MD or ND route), while the masters programs would behove me for the research reviews and causing some noise in the health world and in the end help re-write the books.

erp7e
06-26-2004, 08:01 PM
"My dream job is working both in a clinic with a group of practicing health officials and a gym (basically I want to find a group of doctors that are forward thinking and want to add in an exercise/nutrition aspect to their clinic)."

If I'm a doc looking at resumes for that position, and I see a PhD in exercise physiology who has published a good deal and additionally has a lot of practical experience training athletes, normal people, and sick people, he or she is going to get my interest.

The books get rewritten when studies are published. Also, by doing your own research you learn how to critique others well, it expands your mind.

I'm not knocking being an RD, I'm just giving you my take on what I think is your best course to get where you want to go. It sounds like you're very bright and motivated and want to go far in life.

torelli
06-27-2004, 01:06 AM
I agree with you erp7e. I do want to go far in life. I just do not want to be held back by anything when I decide I need to be here or there doing this or that in the health field.

That is why I played with the idea of becoming an MD for so long. I know I will not get any extra education from the RD. I am just weighing out the advantages it will give me if I want to work in a clinic and hands on in the future that is all.

I fully expect to re-write a lot of the books, I love and admire the works of people like Will Brink, people at the Mayo Clinic, and other forward thinkers like Bryan Haycock and John Beradi.

I appreciate your input (and quick responses). Again I just do not want to be stuck in a situation later on where the masters degree or Phd would not let me do something (like work in a hospital) where if I spend the extra 9 months in an internship and get the RD I could.

erp7e
06-27-2004, 04:06 PM
Understood. From my experience working in the medical setting, I don't believe the degrees I mentioned would ever hold you back. One solution is to do both. Get your RD, use it to do what you can with it, while working on your master's or PhD. In that case nothing will hold you back.

Good luck, and get as much education as you can while you're young!:D

torelli
06-27-2004, 04:44 PM
Thank you,

I have just started studying for my CSCS which I plan to take in the next couple of months.

After I graduate from Berkeley with nutrition I see myself doing a double masters in nutrition/exercise physiology. Along with it doing an internship for the RD. I can't see any other way for me to be able to do clinical work if I want to without the RD (unless I go get an MD or ND).

I don't know if I will continue to a phD or not, or what else may be in store for me. I know I will do the masters programs for sure and have already started looking into them.

Other than that I will just keep my eyes open. Everyones help here has been great to help me understand where RD's fit into the picture in the health world. It has also helped me decide that just getting the RD would not put me in the setting I want to be in to really make myself heard.

I have always wondered too what Will B. has for "formal" education other than graduating from Harvard?

erp7e
06-27-2004, 05:42 PM
I can't speak for Will and don't know his extent of educational background, but really at this point it matters little because of the enormous experience he has.

A degree opens doors, but for him the doors are already flung wide open.

For every Will Brink or Charles Poliquin without a PhD though, there are hundreds of thousands who have not been as successful, either because they don't have the intelligence and motivation that Brink/Poliquin do, or they just are unlucky, or a combination. My best advice is don't bet on your chances of being the next Brink or Poliquin...get as much education as you can to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack.

PS I know it goes back and forth every year, I think UVa bested Berkeley for best public university in the nation this year:D I didn't go here for undergrad, so it's irrelevant...but, just talkin' smack...

torelli
06-28-2004, 11:29 PM
erp7e, I agree about the Brink/Poliquin thing.

I am just interested in Will's story sincehe really does know his stuff and continues to stay on top of everything.

I am in a good situation to continue on with school thanks to my parents planning ahead for me when I was born. I know at least a masters is in the future.

I checked up on the polls and US News and World report put UVa and Berkeley both as #1 this year for best public school (in the general poll) and then put Berkeley and Uva both at 21 for the general poll including private schools.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/ranknatudoc_brief.php

But when it really comes down to it would you rather be in hot/muggy Virginia or the sunny west coast! ;)

erp7e
06-29-2004, 11:08 PM
Best of luck with your educational endeavors...really there's no right or wrong path; it depends where you want to go. Don't let money hold you down; I've borrowed every penny for medical school and I'm not worried. Education is more important than immediately getting out and making money. Look back when you're 50 and you'll be happy you did.

Good point about location of schools...although I think "hot and muggy" was the last thing on my mind when I trudged through the snow at 4 AM to preround on surgery last winter. What I was thinking was, "There's no F**KING WAY I'm ever going into surgery." But I assume Cali weather is much nicer.

Totally moot of course, since I never went here for undergrad and therefore am not a true "Hoo." The med school's #25 overall, not shabby I guess. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/rankings/med/brief/mdrrank_brief.php

Interesting trivia on my undergraduate alma mater, Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. (now #4--#2 when I was there damnit--among universities in the south: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/univmas/umsouth/tier1/t1univmas_s_brief.php) but more importantly...

Only one Division I football team in NCAA history has an undefeated record. Stetson had a team for one year in the 1920's, went undefeated and won the national championship. The next spring, a player broke his neck in practice and football was deemed too dangerous...at the time of course it was not the money making machine it is today...and they dissolved the football program. Stetson football...STILL undefeated.

Other trivia about the town it's in, DeLand...it was the site of Arthur Jones' original Nautilus compound. You wouldn't think there's this weight training culture in this random small Florida town. I worked out at famed boxing trainer Raymond Long's gym when I was there.

WillBrink
06-30-2004, 02:24 AM
Originally posted by torelli
erp7e, I agree about the Brink/Poliquin thing.

I am just interested in Will's story sincehe really does know his stuff and continues to stay on top of everything.

I am in a good situation to continue on with school thanks to my parents planning ahead for me when I was born. I know at least a masters is in the future.

I checked up on the polls and US News and World report put UVa and Berkeley both as #1 this year for best public school (in the general poll) and then put Berkeley and Uva both at 21 for the general poll including private schools.

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/ranknatudoc_brief.php

But when it really comes down to it would you rather be in hot/muggy Virginia or the sunny west coast! ;)

Well what part of my story are you interested in? Not sure what I can tell you but I am happy to try kid. :D

WillBrink
06-30-2004, 02:33 AM
Originally posted by erp7e
I can't speak for Will and don't know his extent of educational background, but really at this point it matters little because of the enormous experience he has.

A degree opens doors, but for him the doors are already flung wide open.

For every Will Brink or Charles Poliquin without a PhD though, there are hundreds of thousands who have not been as successful, either because they don't have the intelligence and motivation that Brink/Poliquin do, or they just are unlucky, or a combination. My best advice is don't bet on your chances of being the next Brink or Poliquin...get as much education as you can to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack.

PS I know it goes back and forth every year, I think UVa bested Berkeley for best public university in the nation this year:D I didn't go here for undergrad, so it's irrelevant...but, just talkin' smack...

Erp, to your comments:

"I can't speak for Will and don't know his extent of educational background, but really at this point it matters little because of the enormous experience he has."

I have an ALB from Harvard University with a concentration in the Natural Sciences. It was basically liberal arts degree which followed a pre med track (but with more chem and less physics). Most of the people I studied with were on their way to Harvard Med and others. However, I probably have enough credits for two masters, but I kept changing schools and majors, so I have a ton of credits that went no where. Never had an interest in med school as i know and work with too many unhappy doctors!

"A degree opens doors, but for him the doors are already flung wide open."

I agree 100%.

"For every Will Brink or Charles Poliquin without a PhD though, there are hundreds of thousands who have not been as successful, either because they don't have the intelligence and motivation that Brink/Poliquin do, or they just are unlucky, or a combination."

Maybe even millions. I agree 100%. You can't have too much education, only too little.

> My best advice is don't bet on your chances of being the next Brink or Poliquin...get as much education as you can to set yourself apart from the >rest of the pack.

Agree 100%. Even for myself I have no doubt that a PhD would help me greatly. No matter my experience and knowledge, there are plenty of places the door is closed to me due to a lack of a PhD.

torelli
06-30-2004, 05:28 AM
Thanks Will,

I agree with erp7e too. That is why I am really considering getting the RD credential since it will allow me to work in clinical settings. Having it will just open one more door for me.

Then I can pursue a more academic route (masters, possibly Phd, etc...).

My comments towards your "formal" education was more of personal interest since I have only found on your website that you graduated from Harvard.

Thank you for your comments, it seems you are a "self made man" as far as not have any formal degree past your undergraduate work.

I admire people like that. I can only imagine that you have worked your way into the industry and learned a lot through personal interest and motivation. The things you know about the health industry I sure would shock us all.

Do you know of any good masters programs that put together exercise physiology and nutrition/biochem?

Or any must have books or resources? (I am now reading Musashi and definite keeper so far!)

I can't really think of anything else to ask, I know feel I need to get back to studying my O-chem so I can learn it all too!

Thank you

WillBrink
06-30-2004, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by torelli
Thanks Will,

I agree with erp7e too. That is why I am really considering getting the RD credential since it will allow me to work in clinical settings. Having it will just open one more door for me.

Then I can pursue a more academic route (masters, possibly Phd, etc...).

My comments towards your "formal" education was more of personal interest since I have only found on your website that you graduated from Harvard.

Thank you for your comments, it seems you are a "self made man" as far as not have any formal degree past your undergraduate work.

I admire people like that. I can only imagine that you have worked your way into the industry and learned a lot through personal interest and motivation. The things you know about the health industry I sure would shock us all.

Do you know of any good masters programs that put together exercise physiology and nutrition/biochem?

Or any must have books or resources? (I am now reading Musashi and definite keeper so far!)

I can't really think of anything else to ask, I know feel I need to get back to studying my O-chem so I can learn it all too!

Thank you

If you really want to be taken seriously by the scientific community, be involved in research, etc, you will need an MS RD, with the MS in some “hard” science. I don’t follow what is out there for programs these days. Musashi may be the best book I ever read.

erp7e
06-30-2004, 06:16 PM
The best graduate programs in exercise phys and related fields in the U.S. are probably at U Colorado-Boulder. Other strong programs are at U Wash-Seattle, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, U Florida, Baylor, UT-Austin, UT-San Antonio, Stanford, UCLA, and U Alabama-Birmingham. I'm sure I missed a couple good ones but those come to mind. There are some notable programs in Canada, as well, if you're interested (e.g. York U).

If you are serious about your studies, I would recommend either of these books:

Molecular Biology of the Cell, Alberts
Biochemistry, Mathews

As far as exercise phys, McArdle is a good primer but eventually you will want to check out Lemura's book.

I'd also recommend Clinical Sports Medicine by Brukner, especially if you're going to be dealing with people with athletic injuries.

There really are no good landmark academic nutritional texts that I've been happy with.

Probably the best academic text on strength training is Strength & Power in Sport, by Komi et al.

It goes without saying that you need to know your anatomy well; I recommend Netter's atlas, as well as a good biomechanics text, check out Neuromechanics of Human Movement by Enoka.

It's also a good idea to start regularly reading the more prominant journals in the field, notably Med Sci Sp & Ex, J Nut Biochem, JAP, etc.

If you have any other questions about programs or resources, let me know.

torelli
06-30-2004, 07:28 PM
Thanks to both of you,

I will look into the books erp7e. I can get any of them for wholesale so that cuts the cost way down. I am also sure the Berkeley Library will have most of them.
:D

erp7e
07-01-2004, 01:56 AM
At the very least, you'll want your own Netter's at home.