Our Grads: Building Better Fitness

Dec 11, 2020

David Friedman, a Doctor of Health Science graduate, envisions ways to help clients achieve holistic health.

david friedman

A journey that started for David Friedman 10 years ago as an undergraduate at Cal U ends this semester when he earns his doctorate in health science and exercise leadership, his third degree from the University. 

“I got a personal training certification from American College of Sports Medicine, and it opened my eyes more to what I still had to learn,” said Friedman, of Los Angeles, Calif. 

Cal U offers certifications that are endorsed by the ACSM, a connection that led Friedman to enroll in the bachelor’s in sport management program in 2015. He earned his master’s degree in exercise science with a concentration in rehabilitation science in 2017. 

“I started my health and fitness journey because I wanted to do something I was passionate about,” Friedman said. “My future is to take what I’ve learned and create a health and fitness movement, to provide information and education that can change people’s perspectives on health and fitness.” 

The health and wellness advocate and personal trainer envisions developing a human performance institute that prioritizes changing his clients both mentally and physically. 

“If a client’s goal is to lose 10 pounds, anybody can do that,” Friedman said. “I want them to examine the longevity of what they’re trying to do. Can they see themselves living this lifestyle in 10 years? Can they stick with it? Is it sustainable? 

“Health and fitness is a multi-billion-dollar industry, so why is our health and fitness getting worse? You hire a trainer, but once the honeymoon phase goes away, you start the cycle over again. A trainer should make an impact.” 

Developing leaders in the field of health science is the purpose of the program, according to Dr. Marc Federico, professor in the Department of Exercise Sciences and Sport Studies. 

“This program focuses on ways to communicate information,” Federico said. “It is based on each student’s position and their expectations.” 

Each Doctor of Health Science graduate is required to complete either a dissertation or portfolio. This semester, each graduate chose the portfolio option, which includes scholarship, teaching and leadership. 

Friedman researched techniques to enhance running performance and their practical applications. 

“I learned to think critically at a high level,” Friedman said, “and that came from learning how to consume research and to apply theories and ideas in my practice as a trainer.”