Hi! I’m Travis. I’m a Philadelphia-based personal trainer, author, and PhD in Health & Rehabilitation Sciences.
After graduating from college in 2012, I was burned out. I’d majored in physics (yes, I’m a huge nerd!) and needed a break from the rigors of academia.
My college graduation also coincided with the end of my swimming career – a career in which I set two Paralympic American records for swimmers with an amputation.
Although I was hanging up my Speedo and goggles, I knew I wanted to continue to be involved with athletics. So I became a personal trainer. I’d been strength training since I was 15 years old. Spending my days helping others get stronger was the perfect reprieve from quantum mechanics.
A year later, reinvigorated, I enrolled in a master’s degree in Biomechanics – the ideal blend of exercise and physics. And this past April, I completed my PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Not by coincidence, my dissertation research was on risk factors for injury in college swimmers. You can call me Dr. Pollen if you want, but Travis is cool, too. ☺️
My PhD took me full circle, as it combined biomechanics with rehabilitation, a field I’d been intimately involved with my entire life, having been born missing my left leg.
I see my professional niche in two areas. First, bridging the gap between rehabilitation and performance. Oftentimes, athletes complete physical therapy but aren’t quite ready to return to their sport. In fact, I recently co-founded a company, 3M Athletic Performance, that helps these athletes!
Second, I aim to reduce the chasm between research and practice. One of my favorite pastimes is translating scientific mumbo jumbo about exercise and rehab into digestible infographics for social media. I coauthored my first book last year, Speed Training For Hockey, and have a second book underway. I also review a study every few months for a research review for physical therapists called Physio Network.
As a trainer, I’ve done it all: one-on-one training in a commercial gym, semi-private training in a boutique training studio, team training in a sports performance facility for young athletes, in-home training, and online training. Nowadays, I’m focusing my training time online, as it allows me to help the most people without geography as a barrier.
When I’m not reading research, making infographics, or corresponding with online training clients, you can often find me at the rock gym. I’ve been bouldering for about four years and recently competed in my first adaptive bouldering competition!
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