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Rodney Gaines, MS, PhD, ACSM EP-C, NSCA CSCS

Collegiate Associate Professor
  • Graduate Program Director
  • Focus area(s): Body composition; obesity; and health/wellness


Ph.D., Education Curriculum and Instruction/Health Promotion, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2001

M.S., Exercise Science/Cardiac Rehabilitation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1996

B.S., Business Finance, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1989


August 2023 – present: Collegiate Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

January 2018 – May 2023: Assistant Professor, Hampton University, Hampton, VA

July 2016 – December 2017: Teaching Professor, Kinesiology, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI

July 2014  June 2016: Associate Professor, Exercise Science, Norfolk State University, Norfolk, VA

July 2009 – July 2014: Associate Professor and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA

Selected Major Awards

  • 2023 – AAU Senior Physique Athlete of the Year and Overall Male Athlete of the year award
  • 2022 – Inducted into the AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame
  • 2022 – ACSM Leadership and Diversity Level III Recognition
  • 2021 – Phi Epsilon Kappa Advisor of the Year Award
  • 2019 – VAHPERD College Professor of the Year Award


Program Focus

My primary focus of research is in body composition, obesity, and health/wellness. I recently conducted a study on nutrition and hydration practices in Women Softball players.  

My future research will continue to look at practices of bodybuilders and strength athletes, and will also involve investigating the use of performance enhancement drugs by bodybuilders and other athletes.