Dr. Thomas Nesser is a specialist in exercise science and Education Board Chair with a Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota, an MS in Exercise Science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and a BA in Sports Science from St. Olaf College. He holds certifications from the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Since 2013, he has held various professional positions, including Professor, Associate Professor, and Interim Department Chair at Indiana State University, and Assistant Professor at Dakota State University.
The biggest challenge I've faced in my career is dealing with a toxic work environment where colleagues don't share the same interests and will bully or be mean if you disagree. You have to rise above it and continue working hard, otherwise the bully wins. Transcript: "Probably the biggest challenge that I have had, and that's dealing with a toxic work environment. Colleagues that don't share your interests, and because they don't share or don't agree or you don't agree with their beliefs, with their decisions, they are mean. They'll lash out. They will bully. So when you are newer in the career, in the field, in the office, wherever you might be, where senior employees, senior colleagues, when they should be reaching out and helping and mentoring, they put a target on your back and they continuously pester and annoy and aggravate. I've had to deal with this multiple times throughout my career, and it's a challenge. It is definitely a challenge, and it makes it difficult to move forward in your career, to just participate. But you have to rise above it. You have to make yourself get up and participate and do the best you can on the job. Otherwise they win, and you cannot let the bully win."
If you feel stress in the shoulder while doing incline bench press, make sure the angle of the bench is not too high and that your elbows are close to your sides. Transcript: "The likelihood while you're feeling the stress in the shoulder on your incline bench, you may have to look at the angle of the bench. If the angle is up too high, that might be putting too much emphasis on the deltoids rather than on the chest. So you may feel it more in the chest, in your upper chest, if you lower the incline, so make the bench a little bit flatter, as well make sure that you do not allow your elbows to flare out to the sides. Keep your elbows closer in to your sides while you complete the exercise and see if that doesn't assist with putting the emphasis back on the upper pectoralis."
I don't have any home exercise equipment, but if I did, I would keep it simple and make sure to use it regularly so it doesn't collect dust. Transcript: "I don't have home exercise equipment. I don't use, I don't have it, I don't use it. I have equipment facilities at my employment so I'm fortunate in that regards. Anything that I might have at home if need be I would simply just have a bar for doing pull-ups, different push-ups, anything along those lines. As far as home equipment, home gym such, don't go too crazy with it. Keep it simple, keep it basic. You don't need a lot of bells and whistles but most importantly whatever you get make sure it's something that you use. You're not going to get bored with it within a week or two and then it just sits in the corner collecting dust."
Don't underestimate the amount of work involved in the academic life - teaching, service commitments and research - and don't let others fool you into thinking that an 8-hour day is enough. Transcript: "Probably the one piece of advice, the academic life, it's not glamorous. And being able to just going into the classroom to teach, because that's what you like to do, that's only a part of the job. What you don't realize is the amount of service work, the committees, the meetings, everything has to go through multiple layers to get something approved. It can become tiresome, it can become tedious trying to get approval. Everything happens quick, and then on top of teaching, and then on top of your service commitments, then you're also required to research. And suddenly you find out that a straight eight hour day is not enough. One little piece of advice I will share, don't tell anybody your teaching schedule, because they think you don't do anything else between classes. We all know that's not true. But it's not all peaches and cream, it's a lot of work, and it can get stressful."
Face-to-face classes are better because they provide direct interaction with the instructor and help keep students accountable. Online classes are good for those who can't travel, but don't offer the same level of support. Transcript: "I believe that classes need to be completed face-to-face. Online classes are wonderful for people that can't travel or can't get to a campus for a face-to-face class, but when it comes to online classes you do not have that one-on-one interaction with the instructor. There is much more communication and you can ask direct questions to help better understanding and there's a little bit more obligation to attend class when it's face-to-face. When it's online it's a lot easier to forget or disregard and it's very easy to get behind on assignments, projects, whatever they might be. So face-to-face classes are a much better way to go because you can have that direct interaction with the instructor."
I have always enjoyed the fitness, health and wellness industry. My original career goal was to be a strength and conditioning coach, but as I went to school and continued my education, different opportunities became available for me. As such, I now focus on teaching others who have the same interest in the field of strength, conditioning, and human performance. Transcript: "So, the career choice was really based off of personal interest. I've always enjoyed the fitness, health, and wellness industry. I've always enjoyed exercise, specifically weight training. My original career goal was to be a strength and conditioning coach. However, as I went to school and continued with my education, a different opportunity became available for me. All of my degrees are in exercise science and kinesiology, so it just was my interest. And an opportunity became available to me, so I just kept moving in that path. And I'm still in the fitness and wellness, but now that I'm on the education side, I'm now teaching others that have that same interest. So I can use my interest and my passion of the field, specifically strength, conditioning, and human performance, and then relate that information to those students that are also interested in a career in health, wellness, strength, conditioning, performance, even those that want to go on to a professional-based program."