Rob Wagner

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Building the Pragmatic Workout Program Part III

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Rob Wagner
University of Pennsylvania's strength and fitness coach

Rob Wagner is in his 14th season as the University of Pennsylvania's strength and fitness coach. He is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and main duties include developing and implementing strength and conditioning programs for Penn's 33 varsity athletic teams and managing the Weiss Weight Room, a 5,000 square-foot facility located inside Franklin Field and for use by varsity athletes.

Beyond the doors of Penn Wagner is an author and nationwide speaker on weightlifting where his main audience includes competitive lifters, collegiate and high school coaches and athletes. He has been a member of USA Powerlifting since the organization's original inception in 1984. He is currently in his third year as chairman of USA Powerlifting's coaching committee and is also a contributing writer to USA Powerlifting magazine.

Wagner's accolades extend well beyond the teaching arena. He is a six-time National Powerlifting Champion in three different weight classes, earning titles in 1986, 1991, 1993 1997, 2001 and 2002. He also claimed the top prize at the 1993 World Powerlifting Championship after winning the American Drug Free Powerlifting association's National Championship in the 181 lbs. Division, and was a six-time member of the USA National Powerlifting team (1993, 1996-98, 2000-02). In World Championship competitions, Wagner captured the gold medal in the squat in 1996 and 2002, a silver medal in 2001 and a bronze medal overall in 2002. In 2001 he represented the USA at the World Games in Akita, Japan and placed fourth in the 198 lbs weight class at the World Championships held in Finland. He has also been a two-time gold medallist in the 1996 and 2000 Pan American Powerlifting Championships.

Wagner earned his bachelor's degree from Salisbury State College in 1987, and in the same year, he set a then-IPF junior world record at 165 lbs. by lifting 688 lbs. His IPF junior world record stood for 16 years (1987-2002). Wagner also holds American records at 181 lbs. (766 lbs.) and 198 lbs. (799 lbs.) and held the record at 165 lbs. (690 lbs.).

Wagner was a two-year captain of the Salisbury State football team and helped his squad to the Division III National Championship game in 1986. He holds a master's degree in education from Salisbury as well, and is currently enrolled in the Kinesiology doctoral program at Temple University, where he is completing his dissertation.