Lawrence Weiss

Lawrence Weiss

EXSS Academic Coordinator/ Professor/ SHS Director of Graduate Programs

(901) 678-4648
(901) 678-3591
Fieldhouse 314
Office Hours
By Appointment

About Lawrence Weiss

Dr. Weiss received his doctorate in 1979 from the University of Georgia with a major in physical education and a concentration in exercise science. His dissertation addressed sex differences in acute endogenous anabolic-androgenic steroid hormone responses to heavy-resistance lifting. Since that time, his research has delved into developing new protocols for monitoring muscle-mechanical performance and body composition in humans, and in using those protocols to identify adaptations to different types of heavy-resistance exercise. During his seven years at what is now Georgia Southern University, the local hospital (Bulloch Memorial) provided him with the opportunity to develop procedures for quantifying gross measures of extremity skeletal muscle and subcutaneous fat using diagnostic ultrasound. He concurrently focused on examining muscle-mechanical performance changes consequent to various heavy-resistance training interventions. In 1986, he moved to The University of Memphis, but unfortunately, lost access to the diagnostic ultrasound equipment. Subsequently, Dr. Weiss worked for several years to develop water displacement as a functional alternative to hydrostatic weighing for assessing two-component total body composition, resulting in the development of a functional prototype (volumeter). Concurrent research ventures by Dr. Weiss were primarily associated with the development and application of new testing protocols for assessing aggregate muscle/joint actions while controlling the velocity at which motion occurs. Analogous single-joint systems had been in wide-spread clinical and research use since their commercial introduction in the early 70s, but multiple-joint diagnostic systems were largely untested. Dr. Weiss was intrigued by this opportunity because movements could be manipulated over a velocity spectrum, and unlike isolated joint actions, could more nearly emulate kinetic chain patterns characteristic of both everyday life and athletic performance. He used this technology and the measurement protocols developed to investigate the effects of various training programs on both vertical jumping performance and predictors of it in young men and women. Dr. Weiss now addresses these same issues using alternative technological approaches that enable investigators to manipulate loads (load-spectrum testing) while kinematic (velocity, acceleration), kinetic (mechanical power, force), and related factors are directly measured or calculated via inverse dynamics. These approaches further enhance the emulation of natural movement patterns during testing. He is concurrently examining various structural measures such as different foot moment arms, lower-limb segment lengths, Q-angle, and body composition to see if they further explain jumping performance. Professor Weiss founded and currently directs the Human Performance Laboratories as well as one of its constituents, the Musculoskeletal Analysis Laboratory. Academically, Dr. Weiss served from 1994 to 2003 as Coordinator for the Exercise Science and Health Promotion Academic Unit, and, subsequent to departmental consolidation and realignment, as Coordinator for the Exercise and Sport Science Academic Unit from 2003 to 2008. He has resumed the role of EXSS Coordinator as of 2015. Dr. Weiss served as Graduate Coordinator for the Department of Health and Sport Sciences from 2009 to 2015 and is now Director of Graduate Programs for the School of Health Studies.


B.S., cum laude Health and Physical Education - Old Dominion University - 1974
M.Ed. Physical Education, Concentration in Exercise Science - The University of Georgia - 1975
Ed.D. Physical Education, Concentration in Exercise Science - The University of Georgia - 1979