Trent J Herda

Trent Herda

Contact Info


Trent J. Herda, Ph.D., is an associate professor and is currently the Director of the Neuromechanics Laboratory and the Hawk Fitness Academy. Dr. Herda completed his doctoral work in exercise physiology at the University of Oklahoma under the mentorship of Dr. Joel Cramer. Dr. Herda received his BS (2005) degree in exercise science from the University of Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and MS (2007) degree from the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, in exercise physiology. Dr. Herda is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Dr. Herda specializes in neuromuscular physiology across the lifespan.


Research Interest(s) Dr. Herda's primary research interests include examining the effects of acute and chronic exercise and obesity on skeletal muscle composition and properties of motor units. Of particular interest to the Neuromechanics Laboratory is quantifying alterations in the composition of the muscle (muscle size, intramuscular fat, etc.) as a result of endurance- and resistance-training exercise interventions and, subsequently, the effects of changes in muscle composition may have on the neural costs to match force tasks. Dr. Herda also directs The Hawk Fitness Academy (HFA). HFA is a youth exercise program that is designed to improve muscle strength, agility and balance while teaching exercise techniques that can be used throughout adulthood. He has published over 80 peer reviewed scientific articles in journals such as Acta Physiologica, Journal of Neurophysiology, Clinical Neurophysiology, Experimental Physiology, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, European Journal of Applied Physiology, etc.

Research interests:

  • Neuromuscular PhysiologyChildhood ObesityAgingMotor Units

Awards & Honors

Docking Faculty Scholar Award
University of Kansas
2013 - 2020
The Joyce Elaine Pauls Morgan Outstanding Teaching Award
University of Kansas
2015 - 2016
NSCA Challenge Scholarship
NSCA National Conference, Las Vegas, NV
NSCA Student Research Award
Oral. NSCA National Conference, Las Vegas, NV
Doctoral Student Research Award Recipient
Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
G. Michael Sims Scholarship Award Recipient ($500)
Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman

Grants & Other Funded Activity

Hawk Fitness Academy Dr. Herda created the Hawk Fitness Academy and currently serves as the Director of the 6 week exercise program ( The youth (5 – 10 years of age) exercise program is designed to improve strength, coordination, and cardiovascular health. Children learn and perform exercise skills that will build confidence and will make it easier to continue exercise during preadolescence to adulthood.. Submitted 1/1/2017. Other. Status: Not Funded