When Emily Pappas was young, she realized that she was not a naturally great athlete. Her lack of athletic ability did not stop her from joining the team even though she often found herself sitting on the bench.
“I always felt like I was an athlete at heart and that I’ve really understood being an athlete really had something to do with having this drive inside of you to improve and to push herself.”
That drive pushed her to improve each and every day. It also motivated her to become an adjunct professor at Temple University and to open Relentless Athletics, an organization that focuses on strength training. She may not have shined on the field or court, but she set out to push herself academically. With her passion for science, she studied biology and biochemistry at Drexel University. While pursuing her degree, she also pushed herself in fitness and started to run, but noticed something was off.
“I kept breaking down and getting injured. And unfortunately, it didn’t really have a presence in my life. That explained to me just a simple relationship between stress and recovery and the importance of nutrition and the importance of improving your body’s capacity to handle those high workloads.”
Once Pappas realized this relationship and the importance to her body, she immersed herself in physiology and understanding the human body.
“During that time, I got exposed to the sport of weightlifting. I like to say weightlifting is a sport for all sports because not only does it make you stronger and more powerful, more importantly, it teaches you body awareness and coordination.”
After graduating from Temple University with a masters degree in Exercise Physiology, Pappas opened Relentless Athletics, where she shows female athletes, coaches and parents the necessity of strength training and the benefits of weightlifting.
“Our favorite motto here is that you know sport is stressful but playing sport is not enough to prepare your body for the stressors of that sport. Instead we need to improve our physical capacity. And the only way to do that is through strength training, specifically weightlifting.”
Pappas currently trains members of the USA field hockey team, countless NCAA Division I players and even a luger who recently qualified for the Youth Olympics as a member of Team USA. Relentless Athletics provides them and many other young athletes with a specific program that enables them to be healthy and achieve their goals on and off the field.
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