Young Sub Kwon



Dr. Kwon is the director of Human Performance Lab at Humboldt. Before coming to Humboldt, he was the principle investigator of the Washburn university major research grant funded study entitled Developing Specific Tactical (Physical and Psychological) Readiness Tests and Training Programs for Local SWAT and Law Enforcement Units and Fitness Measure and Health Outcome in Rural School District. He also served as a Kansas representative and administrative council member of central states chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) 2011-2012. He is a vice president of Korean Association of Certified Exercise Professionals and an editorial committee member of The Asian Journal of Kinesiology.



Dr. Kwon is a research pioneer in the area of temperature and high-intensity exercise physiology. During his doctoral course work, he was an investigator of two funded research studies supported by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Peak Soldier Performance (PSP) program to investigate the potential military applications of a novel cooling technology Stanford had developed. Dr. Kwon’ work was met with great interest in the field, as well as the general public media. NBC News Health reported Dr. Kwon’s study in 2010 ( The Wall Street Journal published a health column entitled Staying Cool While Exercising regarding his research ( The Los Angeles Times also reported his study in 2010( cooling- 20100723). Coverage of this research was also featured in one of the most reputable fitness journals, the ACSM’s Health & Fitness (September/October 2010 - Volume 14 - Issue 5 - p 2).


Consulting:/Community Based Projects:


The Department of Kinesiology is currently conducting a research project to develop fitness assessments and physical training programs for local firefighters and campus police officers. Below is a summary of final outcomes report

Title of Research: Developing Specific Physical Fitness Tests and Training Programs for Local Firefighters.

Supported by College of Professional Studies Faculty Research Fund

The Department of Kinesiology at Cal Poly Humboldt was contacted by both the Arcata Fire District and Humboldt Bay Fire one and half years ago to discuss if fitness assessment and exercise training for firefighters would be a beneficial project our department would consider. Discussions determined that a collaborative project would yield a number of benefits for both areas.

Tremendous time and effort was spent preparing initial assessments, testing each firefighter several times this summer, and developing fitness assessments.  This program has provided a significant amount of research for presentations and publications for years to come, and has been a valuable service to firefighters in Humboldt county areas.  This testing was expanded to include the Cal Poly Humboldt Police Department, and continues to be an ongoing venture with them to date.  Future research will branch out into field research that will produce standardized assessments and testing that can eventually be applied to other firefighters and law enforcement units.

Two important roles of a university are research and community service.  Developing specific fitness assessments and skills tests for firefighters and police officers provides significant research that expands the body of knowledge in the areas of Exercise Physiology, Human Performance and hard workers training like firefighters and law enforcement officers.

In addition, the project is a great community service that will continue to benefit local firefighter departments and law enforcement agencies by helping them become better prepared to meet the physical and mental challenges of their jobs. This collaboration also provides unique opportunities for Cal Poly Humboldt Kinesiology majors to do relevant research and service alongside department faculty. Two Faculty, three graduate students, three internship students, more than 10 volunteer Kinesiology major undergraduate students, and community members have been involved.

One abstract of the project entitled Physical Activities, Fitness and Somatotypical Characteristics of a North Coast of California Firefighter Team was accepted at The Western Society for Kinesiology and Wellness (WSKW) 60th Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada October 7-9, 2015, and Dr. Young Sub Kwon was also invited to present this project at the conference. Two graduate students will use data from this project for their thesis projects. Dr. Kwon is going to submit the proposal of 2016 CSU Faculty-Student Collaborative Research: New Investigator Grant for next year budget for this project.

This study is also met with great interest in the field, as well as the general public media. North Coast NEWS and News Channel 3 reported. Humboldt Now also reported this study. Humboldt Journalist Aileen and Photographer Kellie are completing this project story that pertains to the relationship between the Human Performance Lab and Arcata Fire District.

AFD put HPL personnel including Dr. Kwon and three graduate students (Gil, Jack, and Anna) in structural fire personal protective equipment and brought us into a controlled live fire environment. AFD also run us through a series of drills to demonstrate the common environment that a firefighter faces. We have a great appreciation for the environment and tasks a firefighter has to face on a daily basis. This should result in a more comprehensive research project and create a better experience for those going through this study program.


Anna Welch, John Packer II, and Young Sub Kwon. Health-Related Fitness Characteristics of Law Enforcement Officers: A Preliminary Study (Manuscript submitted to Workplace Health & Risk, Official Publication of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses)

Creating and Raising the Fitness Bar. Retrieved August 13, 2015, from 

Firefighters get unique opportunity in live fire training. Retrieved August 13, 2015, from 

Gil Spitz, Sean Campbell, and Young Sub Kwon. Health-Related Fitness Characteristics of Rural Firefighters: A Preliminary Study (1st revision submitted to Workplace Health & Risk, Official Publication of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses)

Cal Poly Humboldt collects groundbreaking research. Retrieved August 13, 2015, from 

Humboldt conducts fitness study to develop new training programs. Retrieved August 13, 2015, from

Yoo, A. (2015, September 1). Fitter for duty. Humboldt: The magazine of Cal Poly Humboldt.


Kwon, Y.S., Welch, A., & Spitz, G. (2017). Fitness Characteristics of Rural Firefighters and Law enforcement officers: A preliminary study. Keynote presented at the 7th Institute of Physical Education International Conference, Bangkok, Thailand.

Kwon, Y.S. & So, H.S (2016). Anthropometric and physical fitness characteristics of rural law enforcement officers and firefighters. Oral presented at the 7th Asia Conference of Kinesiology, Incheon, Korea.

Gil Spitz, Anna M. Welch, Jack J. Thorpe, Taylor R. Lyon, Kwon YS. (2016) Physical Fitness Characteristics of Rural Firefighters on the Northern Coast of California. Poster presented at the 63rd American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts.

Kwon YS, Gil Spitz, Anna M. Welch. Optimizing Resistance During Multiple-Set Weight Training to Increase Training Volume for Rural Firefighters. Poster presented at the 63rd American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, Boston, Massachusetts, May 31-June 4, 2016

Kwon, Y.S. (2015).  Physical Activities, Fitness and Somatotypical Characteristics of a North Coast of California Firefighter Team. Paper presented at the 60th Western Society for Kinesiology & Wellness Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada

Kwon, Y.S. (2013) Presented a scientific paper entitled Physical Activities, Fitness and Somatoypical Characteristics of a Metropolitan Area Part-Time SWAT Team. The Western Society for Kinesiology & Wellness (WSKW) Annual Conference, Reno, Nevada, 9-11 October 2013


Dr. Kwon is an assistant professor and teaching Exercise Testing (KINS 450) and Physiology of Exercise (KINS 650) graduate classes in the Kinesiology Program.

My goal as a teacher is to prepare students with the knowledge and experience for a career in the fitness industry and to advance their critical thinking and communication skills. Here are a few personal beliefs that have shaped my teaching goals and philosophy.
• My goal as an instructor in exercise science is to provide students with the knowledge, skills and leadership to become professionally competent within the health and fitness industry. I encourage students to do critical thinking and problem solving as they apply the theories and concepts of exercise science. I have an open door policy in my office, so students always feel welcome to come and discuss course topics, questions, and their career goals. I would also encourage students to do perceptive interpretation and examination of the literature, while developing into highly qualified “Kinesiologist” (or exercise science professionals). I welcome students to ask questions regularly, which helps me to reflect on the knowledge and skills they are learning.
• I believe students should have self-esteem during class, so I encourage and praise them to build on their potential during class because I believe that these individuals are not just bodies in a room or numbers on a grade sheet. I care about the professional and academic preparation of my students, so I have helped and encouraged many undergraduate students to prepare taking most highly recognized certification exams in exercise science such National strength and Conditioning association (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and American College of Sports Medicine Association (ACSM) Exercise Physiologist and Clinical Exercise Physiologist Certifications. Before I came to Humboldt, our students who wanted to take these certification exams must go to Sacramento or Portland. I applied to host the CSCS exam to the Humboldt testing center to NSCA Certification committee, and NSCA has approved (December 13, 2014) the Exam in Humboldt, so it is much more convenient for Kinesiology students take this exam at the testing center in the Humboldt library. Student also can take ACSM certification exams at the Humboldt testing center since December 2014. I believe that all of our Exercise Science courses should provide a strong laboratory experience for the students. I am highly trained and familiar with any equipment and skills in an exercise physiology lab. This is incredibly valuable to an exercise program as it allows the students the opportunity to learn the necessary practical skills of the Exercise Science profession. Recently, with Department support, I applied for an NSCA Education Recognition Programs (ERP) Recognized Undergraduate Strength and Conditioning Program, and the exercise science/health promotion concentration been approved. I believe that this partnership is able to provide a proven network of professional support for our students as they embark on their careers in the Strength and Conditioning industry.
• The number of undergraduate kinesiology majors grew, making it one of the fastest-growing majors in the country. KINS 379, KINS 425, KINS 456 A/B, and KINS 460 HPL Lab Techniques are important core and major classes of the Department of Kinesiology. Lab experience is the one of the most important part of these courses; however, most CSU campuses do not have enough size of lab facilities (Place-bound Bottlenecks) and adequate equipment to provide hands-on lab activities to their Kinesiology major students due to the expensive costs (Facilities Bottlenecks). Two years ago, I applied CRT grant for virtual labs, and my Exercise Physiology virtual lab project proposal was accepted, which is the first RFP offered in the area of virtual labs in CSU system. I evaluated student’s outcomes and perceptions using virtual exercise physiology laboratories with traditional exercise physiology laboratories and received positive outcomes and perceptions. Students love virtual labs because these really make them to understand complicate concepts of exercise physiology
• Many of my class students could not purchase class textbooks. It may be because a publisher exercise physiology textbook fully bound is $ 150 or more, and I believe that many textbooks have out of date contents or have less relevant contents for students, so students are not really motivated to buy and read class textbooks. Therefore, I decided to write (as a co-author, my co-author is my doctoral degree advisor, Dr. Robert Robergs) our own textbook and have written a textbook entitled “A textbook of Exercise Physiology” since I met Liberian Kyle Morgan and Dean Cyril Oberlander to show my desire to write my own exercise physiology textbook last year. They helped and motivated me to write my own textbook, and I finished several chapters of exercise biochemistry parts of my exercise physiology textbook. I make use of textbooks as the basic source of content and use class time for activities that apply the content and practice skills. Therefore, I felt it is vital that students had no excuse for not reading the course text. I also would like to invade my virtual labs’ YouTube links to this open textbook.
• Lastly, I believe that teaching is more than a classroom activity. As duties such an advising,
mentoring, directing theses/projects, and curriculum development are all components of the teaching. I recognize the power and responsibility given to me, in directing the professional future of my students. Whether these students are at the undergraduate or master level, I have the power to develop their outlook on life and shape a path for them to strive to reach their professional aspirations. The satisfaction from teaching is not confined to the grade sheet, but has an arguably greater test in the employability of the students, and the eventual employment of the students in a field where they can use their exercise physiology training.

B.S. Physical Education, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea
M.S. Exercise Science, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea
Ph.D. Physical Education, Sports & Exercise Science, University of New Mexico
Young Sub Kwon
(707) 826-5944
KA 328