Julian Brenman ‘20
If you aspire to get in shape, tone your muscles, start lifting weights, or achieve any other fitness goal in this new year, our new strength and conditioning trainer, Victor “Vic” Szwanki, is just the man to guide you. Vic joined Friends’ Central over the summer, and in this position supports students and staff in any of their strength and conditioning needs. He will collaborate closely with Athletic Director Michelle Crowley and Athletic Trainer Kevin Bolton to reimagine our fitness program with the goal of making it more expansive, inclusive, and accessible to all members of our community.
Born and raised in Ocean City, New Jersey, Vic has always had a passion for athletics. He shares, “When I was younger, I was an athlete. I did sports all year long, every season, all kinds of different sports, and was even a world-champion competitive weight lifter in high school. Yet, I was very prone to injury. After being injured on multiple occasions, and eventually, not being able to make it back because of injury, I decided that I didn’t want that to happen to other people, so I went into the field to prevent that.”
Vic began his athletic training and strength coaching journey at the age of 18. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training at Rowan University, and then pursued a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology at Temple University, where he was awarded the Otho Davis scholarship for young sports professionals. His career highlights include serving as an athletic trainer for the Kansas City Chiefs, the fencing team of Temple University, as well as being an athletic trainer for Temple University football, a position he still holds.
As a strength and conditioning coach, Vic has worked with countless models, actors, lifters, NFL DI and DIII players, MLB players, DI squash players, and children with disabilities. This past year, he had the privilege of working as a strength and conditioning coach at the number one fitness program for adults in the nation, Mike Boyle’s Thrive program. In addition, Vic is a concussion researcher, and has been published three times.
Vic plans to use his outgoing personality to make our fitness program even more outstanding. He explains, “I want everyone in this school to know they have access to a strong fitness program that can meet their personal goals. I never want students to be intimidated by fitness, and I encourage everyone to visit the fitness room.” The coach also says, “People should become masters of their bodies. If people stretch themselves too much, they could get hurt, which is not what I want.”
On a personal note, Vic warns the school about his sarcastic nature. “I may be sarcastic, but I’m having fun with people and if I’m not being happy go lucky or sarcastic, than something’s wrong with me.” When not immersed in his work, Vic stays active himself by visiting the gym, playing sports, cooking, reading, playing with his Catahoula Leopard Hound, Hurley, and of course, going surfing, which is his all-time favorite pastime. Vic makes his home in Fishtown, and during school hours can be found in the fitness room, located in the basement of the Shimada Athletic Center.