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Sept. 3 - Armstrong Becomes First University in the Nation to offer New Tactical Strength and Conditioning Program

Armstrong Atlantic State University’s College of Health Professions announces a new course and certification addition to the Master of Science in Sports Medicine (MSSM) degree. The new Tactical Strength and Conditioning (TSAC) coursework will give Armstrong students experience and expertise to physically train military, law enforcement and other emergency personnel to help those in the tactical field improve performance and decrease injury risk. Armstrong is the first university in the country to offer the TSAC-F in a university setting and leads the discipline in the growing field of tactical physical training.

“The development of the Tactical Strength and Conditioning course further defines the unique niche of our MSSM program in the field of strength and conditioning,” said David Ward, dean of Armstrong’s College of Health Professions. “By offering this course, our graduate students will have the opportunity to develop knowledge and hands-on skills that will allow them to excel in this dynamic and evolving field.”

The Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator program was developed in collaboration with the National Strength and Conditioning Association, which administers the TSAC Facilitator certification exam. The scope of the program is the application of scientific knowledge to physical training in fields that typically require a great deal of grueling physical activity often in emergency scenarios. Students will learn to conduct needs analyses, physical testing practices and will study the design and implementation of safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs. After the course, students will have the opportunity to take the certification exam and become a TSAC Facilitator, which will qualify them to work in any related tactical field. Many master’s students will be able to become facilitators even before they graduate from the MSSM program.

Garth Spendiff, an expert in the field of tactical strength and conditioning, teaches Armstrong’s TSAC course. Spendiff was instrumental in developing the TSAC program with the NSCA and is recognized nationally for his expertise. He was formerly the Exercise Physiology and Training Director at the Federal Law Enforcement Center in St. Simons Island, Ga., and is currently an independent contractor for the United States Customs and Border Protection Service.

The ultimate goal of the TSAC Program is to optimize job performance for tactical athletes and tactical facilitators. Since 2005, the program has been achieving that goal through a combination of cutting-edge research, proven training methods and field experience, leading to reduced injury risks and increased strength, power, speed, agility and aerobic and anaerobic fitness.

The NSCA together with leaders in SWAT, special operations forces, conventional military, law enforcement and fire and rescue developed this program with one end in mind: to provide the highest level of physical training possible to those who serve and protect our country and local communities.

Armstrong’s MSSM curriculum is one of 10 graduate programs in the United States that meets the curricular and experiential competencies for NSCA’s Educational Recognition Program.

Courses, practical experience and research projects in the degree program involve an interdisciplinary group of full-time and part-time faculty with specialties in strength and conditioning, athletic training, exercise physiology, sports/orthopedic/cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy, engineering, medical technology, computer-based applications, respiratory physiology and international education. In addition, students have practical experiences in a variety of settings such as medical technology, physical and respiratory therapy and cadaver laboratories, and have the option of gaining valuable experience in collegiate strength and conditioning centers, worksite health promotion programs, youth sport facilities, hospital-based wellness centers and sports training institutes in the Savannah area.

The field of strength and physical training for tactical operators is rapidly growing. Students in the strength and conditioning concentration of Armstrong’s MSSM program will be at the vanguard of the field as they complete their degrees and meet another crucial need in health professions and sports medicine.

For more information on the program, visit, or contact the program coordinator Bryan Riemann at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 912.344.2934.

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