June 23, 2016
During the school year Chris Murphy ’16 works as a strength and conditioning coach for UT’s athletes, including Haley Pigott ‘18 of the women’s soccer team.
While at UT, Chris Murphy ’16 walks around the weight room in the Martinez Athletics Center with a clipboard in hand and a spreadsheet of exercise movements, calculated weights and personal records carefully noted.
He’s precise, having spent hours researching the best movements not only for building strength, but for preventing injury in the student athletes he helps condition as well as his personal training clients at the former McNiff Fitness Center.
This summer Murphy headed a little further north to the Florida panhandle where he is working with professional athletes, tactical athletes in the military and college and high school athletes looking for a professional career. He’s a performance specialist intern with EXOS, a company that empowers individuals by improving health and performance.
“I’m listening to some of the best coaches in the industry talk about what they are passionate about within strength and conditioning,” said Murphy, a human performance major from Clearwater, FL. “You can really see the desire they have to impact their athletes’ lives, and this is something that will always resonate with me.”
Murphy played NCAA Division I soccer in Connecticut as well as one summer of fourth-tier professional soccer in the U.S. before coming to UT to finish his degree. When he graduates in December, his dream is to be a strength and conditioning coach for a professional or college team — soccer or rugby being his top choices.
While at EXOS, he starts his day early at 5 a.m. so he can get in a workout before his internship begins at 7:30 a.m.
“My morning responsibilities included prepping our pre-/post-workout nutrition for our tactical athletes. This includes a pre-workout shooter of amino acids and beta alanine and our post-workout shake that is designed by our dietician based on their specific goals,” he said.
“After that we prep our first session of the day, which is a movement skills session meaning we are working on our linear and multidirectional movement out on the turf,” Murphy said. “Our second group of the day starts at 10, which is our elite group of professional and college athletes. We set up both their movement session and weight room session, because they do both back-to-back.”
He then works with the tactical athletes in the weight room and ends the day training the high school athletes. Murphy said one of the most rewarding parts of this internship is seeing everything he has studied in the classroom come to life.
“My most favorite moment has to be seeing some of our military guys, who come in barely being able to walk due to injury or chronic pain, be able to leave with the ability to sprint and move with such freedom from the combined efforts of the dieticians, physical therapist, athletic trainers and strength coaches,” Murphy said. “This truly shows the importance of communication between various jobs in the sports medicine field. This internship has really cemented my career choice.”
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