Gary Sforzo

Professor Emeritus, Health Sciences and Human Performance
School: School of Health Sciences and Human Performance
Specialty: Exercise Physiology; Health & Wellness Coaching

Brief Biographic:

I am Professor Emeritus after serving at Ithaca College in the Department of Exercise & Sport Sciences for 35 years.  As Professor Emeritus, I contining to do research and consult while publishing and presenting in scholarly outlets.  My interests are focused on exercise physiology and the field of health and wellness coaching.  During my career I have given over 100 professional presentations and published over 50 peer-reviewed articles.

Ithaca College provided a wonderful place for my career endeavors because it allowed opportunities for sharing the latest wellness and exercise physiology information with interested students and colleagues.  Moreover, my position allowed me to work with others pursuing research to create new knowledge in these very exciting fields.   Exercise Physiology was always my passion, but finding and doing work in health and wellness coaching (since 2009) provided a tremendous impetus for many new career endeavors.

Outside of work, I loved hiking the beautiful parks in the area with my lifelong partner and wife Colleen.  I also enjoy golfing at the local courses in the summertime.  Running, and 3-4 days/week in the Ithaca College Wellness Clinic, helped me maintain fitness.  My family and roots are in NYC - Brooklyn and Long Island.  I have two wonderful sons who are living in Los Angeles and Chicago and we visit each other as often as we can.  I am thankful for all these blessings and opportunities.


Ph.D., Physiology of Exercise, May 1984
Support Areas: Biochemistry, Physiology, Psychology of Sport
University of Maryland, College Park, MD

M.S., Physical Education, specializing in Exercise Physiology, August 1980
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

B.S., Physical Education, Minor: Education, June 1979
City University of New York, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, New York

Courses Taught:

ExSS-32100  Exercise Physiology
ExSS-46400  Cardiopulmonary Assessment for Exercise
ExSS-44800  Pathophysiology, Limited Capacity and Exercise
ExSS-64800  Advanced Mechanisms of  Strength & Conditioning
ExSS-47300 & -47400  Internship in Clinical Exercise Science

Research Interests:

I am most interested in maximizing the effects of exercise programming for health, wellness, and performance. I believe exercise programming for older adults is critical.  I am also very involved in health and wellness coaching (HWC), consulting with outside agencies to complete HWC research.   With colleagues, I have recently published several articles on exercise in young adults, health coaching, and papers highlighting foam rolling and post-activation potentiation during power training.  This is an exciting time for research in health coaching, exercise physiology, and sport performance sciences - with many new projects in the hopper!

Recent Scholarship:

Sforzo, GA, Diggin, D. Enhancing Wellness During Young Adulthood.  ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal  24: 32-37, 2020.  doi: 10.1249/FIT.0000000000000605 

Sforzo, GA, Kaye, MP, Harenberg, S, et al. Compendium of Health and Wellness Coaching: 2019 Addendum. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine 14(2):155-168, 2020.  doi:10.1177/1559827619850489

Dayan, PD, Sforzo, GA, Boisseau,N,. OquendoPereira-Lancha, L., & Herbert-Lancha, A. A New Clinical Perspective: Treating obesity with nutritional coaching versus energy-restricted diets. Nutrition 60:147-151, 2019.

Sforzo, GA &  Moore, M.  A New Resource for Health & Fitness Professionals.  ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal. 22:36-38, 2018.

Phillips, J, Diggin D, King, DL, & Sforzo, GA. Effect of Varying Self-Myofascial Release Duration on Subsequent Athletic Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2018.  doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000002751. 

McLaren, T, King, DL, & Sforzo, GA. “Sustainability and repeatability of postactivation potentiation,” Sports Med Phys Fitness 57:930-935, 2017.

Sforzo, GA et al.  A Compendium of the Health Coaching Literature.  Amer. J. Lifestyle Med., 2017.

Pryor, JL, Wolf, T, Sforzo, GA, & Swensen, T. The effect of betaine on nitrate and cardiovascular response to exercise” Intern. J. Exercise Science 10(4):550-559. eCollection 2017.

Hackshaw, KV, Plans-Pujolras, M, Rodriguez-Saona LE, Moore MA, Jackson, EK, Sforzo, GA, & Buffington, CA.  “A pilot study of health and wellness coaching for fibromyalgia,” BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 17:457-466, 2016.

Polak, R, Sforzo, GA, Dill, D, Phillips, EM, & Moore, M. “Credentialed Chefs as Certified Wellness Coaches: Call for Action,”  Eating Behaviors 19: 65–67, 2015.

Sforzo, GA, Moore, M, & Scholtz, M.  “Delivering Change that Lasts: Health and Wellness Coaching Competencies for Personal Trainers,” ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, 19:20-26, 2015.

Sforzo, GA, Kaye, M, Ayers, G &  Hill, M.  “Effective tobacco cessation via health coaching,” Global Advances Health & Med. J. 4:38-45, 2014.

McConnel, P, Froelinger, B, Garland, E, Ives, J, & Sforzo, GA.  Auditory driving of the nervous system:  Listening to theta-frequency binaural beat post-exercise increases parasympathetic activation. Frontiers in Psych. 5:1-8, 2014.

Serviente, C & Sforzo, GA "Waist Circumference: A simple yet complicated clinical measure."  ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal, 17:29-34, 2013.

Wolever, RQ, Simmons, LA, Sforzo, GA, et al.  “The systematic review of the literature on health and wellness coaching: Defining a key behavioral intervention in healthcare,” Global Advances Health & Med. J. 3:34-530, 2013.

Sforzo, GA “The study of health coaching: The Ithaca project, research design, and future directions,”  Global Advances Health & Med. J. 2:44-50, 2013.

Sforzo, GA, Kaye, M, Ngai, N, &. Calleri, D. “Free Choice Access to Multi-Point Wellness Education and Related Services Positively Impact Employee Wellness: A Randomized and Controlled Trial“  J. Occup. & Environ. Med. 54:471-477, 2012.

Czapla, R, Sforzo, GA & King, DL. "Optimizing power output by varying repetition tempo."  J. of Strength & Conditioning Research 25:3029-3034, 2011. 

Johnson, I, Ives, JC, &  Sforzo, GA. “Components of reactive agility in football players.” J. Sport & Exerc Psych, 33:S80, 2011.

Sforzo, GA, Dubey, A, & Swensen, T. “Manipulating the Extent of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness” ACSM  Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, 2011. (Med Sci Sports Exerc 43(5):s1617).