Coach Frey,

Thanks for all of the great advice you dole out in these Q&A's; it's extremely helpful. You gave me some advice on recommended reading materials several months ago, and they've been a huge help so far.

I had several questions that seem appropriate for you given your background. (Apologies in advance if I get long winded).

  1. I have a bachelor's degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in sports management, so the bulk of my formal education was business related with a smattering of science thrown in. I'm also a recent CSCS, and I have learned far more on the science side in the last two years since finishing school. In terms of professional development, at this point would you say that it would be more beneficial to pursue a master's degree in a field like exercise science or biomechanics, or would it be more beneficial to volunteer/intern/work with a respected and knowledgeable coach or gym? Eventually I would prefer to work independently or through a training facility, not as a college or university-employed coach, if that makes a difference.
  2. I currently reside in Dubuque, Iowa, and I believe I read somewhere that you went to school and coached in Iowa in a nearby area for a while. Did you have any coaches or mentors in that region that were a big influence and that you would recommend for me to try to get in contact with? 
  3. Lastly, I'm planning on competing in my first meet this summer which will be a UPA meet in Dubuque, conveniently. Being my first meet, I'm just focused on completing my lifts and getting a total, but in your experience is there anything unique to the UPA in terms of rules or meet day structure that I should be prepared for?

Thanks in advance!

- Joel


  1. If you do not intend to work at the collegiate level, then I think the master's degree will not be necessary (even though it can help with credibility—though, only skin deep). I would focus more time on volunteering, working, interning, networking with fellow professionals, etc. Knowledge through doing and networking will be key for you. Your business degree will also help with opening a gym, but you need to know how to market yourself and the other ins-and-outs. Learn the do's and don'ts from other gym owners. Practical knowledge will do you more good than the books. Books are just the base.
  2. The strength coach at Loras College in town is a buddy of mine. I went to undergraduate with him and trained with him while I was the strength director at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, IA. I would recommend getting in contact with him and seeing if he would take you on as an intern, or at least just talk some business. Great resource and friend!
  3. I love competing in the UPA and at Bill Carpenter's meets. It's a great venue and a very well ran meet. I'm actually looking to do the meet as well. But the rules are pretty standard. I would always recommend showing up early, giving yourself plenty of time to warm-up, and if you have concerns, just ask someone there to help. Powerlifters are usually pretty friendly and willing to help. If I'm there, feel free to ask anything you need. I'm always willing to help, and I remember my first meet. If it weren't for Becca Swanson, I wouldn't have had a good one.

Good luck and if you have any more questions, just let me know!

- Jeremy Frey