Lawrence Weiss, EdD
Professor | Director of Academic Programs | Unit Coordinator
About Lawrence Weiss
Lawrence Weiss, EdD 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 focused on three interrelated fronts: 1) new protocol development for monitoring muscle-mechanical performance and body composition in humans, 2) using those and existing protocols to identify adaptations to different types of heavy-resistance exercise, and 3) identifying physical characteristics that contribute to human jumping ability.
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 measuring muscle-mechanical performance using isoinertial and isokinetic protocols to examine 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 the prospect of analyzing multiple-joint movements 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 segmental dimensions, static and dynamic Q-angles, 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 (now Director Emeritus). Academically, Dr. Weiss served from 1994 to 2003 as coordinator for the exercise science and health promotion academic unit, and after departmental consolidation and realignment, as coordinator for the exercise, sport & movement sciences academic unit from 2003 to 2008. He has resumed the role of ESMS coordinator as of 2015. Dr. Weiss also serves as director of academic programs for the College of Health Sciences, overseeing all undergraduate and graduate programs in CHS.
EdD Physical Education, Concentration in Exercise Science - University of Georgia
MEd Physical Education, Concentration in Exercise Science - University of Georgia - 1975
BS Health and Physical Education - Old Dominion University - 1974