Dr. David Behm
Kinetics and Recreation- Memorial University of Newfoundland
What do you wish you had known when you were in graduate school?
I wish I had better critiquing capabilities as a graduate student in
order to better differentiate between poor, mediocre, and excellent
What information/ advice did you learn in graduate school that has been most influential?
The most important advice would have been to continually ask
why? Much of my research has been generated when I walk into a gym or read and
article about a new device or a new training regime and ask why might this work
or why might it not work? Exercise scientists do not always lead the pack and
many times, it is our responsibility to validate ideas that have originated
from the public. Exercise fads and devices come and go and while some fads do
not build upon or improve the existing procedures, some can and it is our job
at times to distinguish between the wheat and the chaff.
Where do you think exercise physiology graduates are most needed?
Medicine needs more of a preventive medicine approach but
medical doctors are not provided with enough exercise is medicine type
information. There is only so much you can learn in four years. Exercise
physiologists need to play abider role in rehabilitation as well as their
present role in rehabilitation and fitness and conditioning.
Where do you see your overall area of research in the next 5 years?
I will continue to examine the neural mechanisms of fatigue
as evidenced through non-local muscle fatigue effects as well as other
responses. For example we have shown non-local stretching responses; that is
stretch the upper body and the lower body gains an increase in range of motion
and vice versa. We are just beginning to demonstrate non-local potentiation
response with a conditioning exercise of one muscle causing performance
potentiation in another distant muscle. We have also reported that treating one
limb with massage reduces pain in another limb. These non-local effects may be
very important for training and rehabilitation and understanding basic central
nervous system mechanisms.
Outside of your own interests, what area of exercise science/ physiology do you find most exciting right now?
I am excited by all aspects of exercise physiology but of
course my bias is foe muscle physiological effects and mechanisms.
Why is being a CSEP Academic Member important to you?
I feel a duty to
contribute to my field within a Canadian context. I hope that my research in a
small way benefits all Canadians from average individuals interested in health
and fitness to elite athletes. The ability to meet and interact with other
Canadian researchers with similar interests definitely benefits my research capabilities.
CSEP Academic Member Guide