Posted: 11/09/17

TAMIU Grad Gutiérrez Earns Coveted NSCA Certification


Globe at TAMIU Entrance
Dr. Brett Nickerson  

Cesar Gutiérrez, 2017 Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) graduate, has a passion for fitness and loves a challenge. 

The former high school football player said that when his TAMIU faculty mentor Dr. Brett Nickerson, assistant professor of Kinesiology, suggested he was ready for his next challenge, seeking one of the most sought-after certifications in the field of Exercise Science as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) …he rose to the challenge.

The Certification is offered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), a nonprofit professional organization dedicated to advancing the strength and conditioning profession around the world. 

“I had taken KINE 4399 Topics in Kinesiology: Strength Training and Conditioning, and really enjoyed the class.  Dr. Nickerson really helped me connect to the course materials, and one day he assured me that I was ready to take the exam.

“As I studied for the exam, I soon saw that virtually everything connected to my classes at TAMIU: from research in testing strength and conditioning, sprint, body composition, vertical jump and agility, to anaerobic capacity testing…even the practical experiences, made the study materials and eventually the test come to life for me,” Gutiérrez explained.

Nickerson said that in Gutiérrez he saw a younger version of himself and knew that Gutiérrez had the right stuff.  Nickerson himself is also CSCS-certified and helped Gutiérrez establish a rigorous study routine.

“The test is extremely hard -- the review textbook has 24 chapters -- and contains two different sections:  Scientific Foundations and Practical Applications. In order to receive the Certification, you must pass both sections. Many aren’t able to do this on the first attempt, but Cesar did so.  

“ By passing, he joins a very select group and is considered one of the most qualified individuals for strength training and conditioning in town.  To my knowledge, we are the only two individuals here to have secured CSCS certification,” Nickerson said.

CSCS-certified individuals are able to apply scientific knowledge to train athletes with the primary goal of improved athletic performance. They can conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs, and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention. The certification program is

Gutiérrez says he believes many doors are now open to him, and he is already lining up his next challenge.

“This gives me an opportunity to help others reach their full potential…the doors are really wide open to me.  And I’d also like to seek a graduate degree in Exercise Physiology and maybe one day be a Strength Coach.  I also want to encourage other TAMIU students to study for and consider CSCS certification…their TAMIU courses will prepare them.  And I don’t want to be the only one certified,” he smiled.

Nickerson said he’s gratified that his student has excelled.

“He’s a unique individual and a real pioneer, and I’m tremendously proud of his accomplishment,” Nickerson concluded.

For additional information on TAMIU Kinesiology study in the College of Education’s department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, contact Dr. Nickerson at 956.326.2696, email brett.nickerson@tamiu.edu, or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, suite 435.

Spring Registration for Spring 2018 is now underway at TAMIU.

To learn more about NSCA, visit https://www.nsca.com/about-us/

Dr. Brett Nickerson believed Cesar Gutierrez had the potential to earn elite certification...mission accomplished
Dr. Brett Nickerson believed Cesar Gutiérrez had the potential to earn elite certification...mission accomplished.