• Matthew Brzycki
  • Matthew Brzycki
  • Lecturer
  • Area: Strength and Conditioning
  • End Degree: B.S., Health and Physical Education
  • Specialization: Fitness Management

Courses Taught
        01:377:170   Principles of Strength and Conditioning

Educational Interests

Strength and conditioning, fitness and nutrition.

Professional Background

Matt Brzycki, BS, has more than 40 years of experience at the collegiate level as an administrator, an instructor and a coach. This includes work as a Health Fitness Supervisor at Princeton University (1983 to 1984); Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at Rutgers University (1984 to 1990); and a variety of positions at Princeton University including Strength Coach and Health Fitness Coordinator (1990 to 1993); Coordinator of Health Fitness, Strength and Conditioning (1993 to 2001); Coordinator of Recreational Fitness and Wellness Programs (2001 to 2007); and his current role as Assistant Director of Campus Recreation, Fitness (2007 to present).

He served in the US Marine Corps from 1975 to 1979, earning various distinctions that include the Leatherneck Award (for rifle marksmanship during basic training; 1975), meritorious promotion to the rank of sergeant (1978), Meritorious Mast (1978), Good Conduct Medal (1978), Certificate of Merit (for "successfully completing a demanding and vigorous tour of duty as a Marine Drill Instructor"; 1979), Drill Instructor Ribbon (retroactive to 1979) and rifle expert badge (three awards; 1975, 1977 and 1978). After completing his four-year enlistment, Matt enrolled at The Pennsylvania State University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education in 1983. In college, he was a competitive powerlifter and bodybuilder.

Matt has authored eight books, co-authored seven books and edited two books. In addition, he has authored more than 530 articles/columns on strength and fitness that have been featured in 48 different print publications, including American Fitness; Athletic Business; Athletic Journal; Coach and Athletic Director; Fitness Management; Jersey Firefighters; The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance; LAW and ORDER; Martial Arts Training; Muscular Development; New Jersey COPS; The New Jersey Police Chief; Pennsylvania Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance; Powerlifting Canada; Strength and Health; S.W.A.T; Tactical Response; Texas Coach; Training and Conditioning; Women's Sports and Fitness; and Wrestling USA.

He has given presentations at more than 100 conferences, clinics and camps throughout the United States and Canada, including the New Jersey Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Annual Convention (1992 and 2009); National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Region I Conference (1995, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2013, 2020 and 2022); NSCA Strength and Conditioning Conference for Football (1996); Toronto Football Clinic (1997); American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Summit and Exposition (1999); Tampa Bay Buccaneer Strength and Conditioning Seminar (1999); Operational Tactics National SWAT/Sniper Symposium (2002, 2003 and 2004); FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (2005); Athletic Business Conference and Expo (2009); Michigan State University Strength and Conditioning Clinic (2013); and US Air Force Expeditionary Operations School Professional Development and Team Building Conference (2019). In addition, Matt has given presentations to more than two dozen organizations and groups, including the US Secret Service Academy (2004); the Central Intelligence Agency (2007); the US Customs and Border Protection (2007); the Pentagon (2023); the Princeton University Class of 2018 Last Lecture Series (2018); and the Princeton University Wintersession (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023).

Matt has been a coadjutant/lecturer for the Department of Kinesiology and Health at Rutgers University from 1990 to 2000 (then known as the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies) and 2012 to the present, teaching Principles of Strength and Conditioning. In 22 years of teaching at Rutgers, more than 1,875 undergraduate students have taken his course. He taught a similar course for the Department of Health and Physical Education at The College of New Jersey from 1996 to 1999.

Matt co-developed two certification courses: the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) Fitness Specialist certification and the Youth Fitness Instructor/Trainer (YouthFIT™) certification.

He served on the Alumni Society Board of Directors of the College of Health and Human Development at The Pennsylvania State University from 2001 to 2007, chairing the Awards Committee during his final two years. Matt was appointed by the governor to serve on the New Jersey Council of Physical Fitness and Sports from 2004 to 2005 and the New Jersey Obesity Prevention Task Force from 2004 to 2006.

Matt is a member of the West Coast Drill Instructor Association in San Diego; the All Veteran “Special Operations Team” of the Veterans Fitness Career College in Ladera Ranch, California; the Petersen Society (an organization for past members of the Alumni Society Board of Directors of the College of Health and Human Development at The Pennsylvania State University); and the Military Service and Veterans Network at Princeton University.

Awards and Achievements

1975: Earned the Leatherneck Award for having the highest score in rifle marksmanship in his platoon during basic training while at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.

1978: Graduated from Drill Instructor School, Class 5-78, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California at the age of 21; ranked #6 of the 28 Marines who successfully completed the training (which had an initial enrollment of 35 Marines in the program).

1984: Hired as the first-ever assistant strength coach at Rutgers University, overseeing the training of roughly 900 student-athletes in the 29 non-revenue sports while assisting with the three revenue sports (football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball).

1986: Accredited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS; certificate #86061).

1993: Introduced an equation (“the Brzycki formula”) to predict a one-repetition maximum (1-RM) from repetitions-to-fatigue in a paper that has been cited in more than 1,060 research studies (according to ResearchGate), making it one of the most highly popular equations of its kind and a favorite of recreational weightlifters across the world.

1999: Received a Certificate of Recognition from the International Association of Resistance Trainers (Ontario, Canada) for “outstanding achievement and contribution in exercise science.”

2001: Received a Certificate of Appreciation (Unsung Hero Award) from the Student Awards Committee “in recognition of service, encouragement, support and commitment in making Princeton University a better place for all students."

2001: Received an honorary certification from the International Association of Resistance Trainers (Ontario, Canada) for “contributions to exercise science and research and intellectual fortitude, ethics and standards of quality.”

2002, 2003 and 2004: Received a Certificate of Appreciation from Operational Tactics (Gaithersburg, Maryland) for instructing at the National SWAT/Sniper Symposium.

2008: Qualified for the 2009 Summer National Senior Games in track and field (400 meters, M50-54).

2012: Named as one of 16 “seasoned fitness industry experts and strategists” on the All Veteran “Special Operations Team” for the Veterans Fitness Career College (Ladera Ranch, California).

2012: Won the 50-59 Sprints Division of the 2012 USATF New Jersey Masters Men Track and Field Grand Prix.

2013: Ranked #65 in the US, #70 in North America and #191 in the world among men aged 55 to 59 in the 400-meter dash (with a time of 1:05.80).

2013: Won the 50-59 Sprints Division of the 2013 USATF New Jersey Masters Men Track and Field Grand Prix.

2018: Received a Citizen Award from the Princeton University Department of Public Safety for involvement in their fitness program.

2020: Received a COVID Award from Princeton University for “exhibit[ing] extraordinary and exceptional contributions and performance to support the University’s needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

2022: Named a fellow at Whitman College, Princeton University.

Selected Publications

Brzycki, Matt (1993). Strength Testing – Predicting a One-Rep Max from Reps-to-Fatigue. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 64:1, 88-90.

Authored eight books: A Practical Approach to Strength and Conditioning, 5th ed (1989, 1991, 1995, 2012 and 2018); Youth Strength and Conditioning (1995); Cross Training for Fitness (1997); Wrestling Strength: Prepare to Win (2002); Wrestling Strength: The Competitive Edge (2002); Wrestling Strength: Dare to Excel (2004); The Essential Guide to At-Home Training (2005); and Wrestling Strength: Accept the Challenge (2007).

Co-authored seven books: Conditioning for Basketball (1993); SWAT Fitness (2003); Conditioning for Baseball (2004); The Female Athlete: Train for Success (2004); The Female Athlete: Reach for Victory (2005); Dumbbell Training for Strength and Fitness (2006); and Youth Fitness: An Action Plan for Shaping America’s Kids (2008).

Edited two books: Maximize Your Training: Insights from Leading Strength and Fitness Professionals (1999) and Get Fit New Jersey! (2006).