Welcome to the official Tom Purvis site!

The purpose of this site is to introduce Tom, some of his accomplishments, several of his contributions, and a few of his numerous failures (which includes “80’s hair” into the 90’s) to those of you who may be relatively new to or unfamiliar with the world of the Exercise Professional.
Tom has been educating personal trainers nationally and internationally since 1989. Trainers entering the field in the past decade probably have not yet heard of Tom. In the past 10-12 years he has dramatically reduced his travel commitments to focus on a few long-term projects …as well as life. Nevertheless his monthly classes at RTS® (the Resistance Training Specialist® program) are regularly sold out, every seat occupied by only the most committed and forward-thinking trainers, therapists, and specialists from around world.
Joe Dowdell, celebrity trainer and owner of an elite NYC-based training and performance facility has called RTS “the best kept secret in exercise professional education”. Tom is who professionals seek when they are truly serious about training others as a legitimate career choice (not just as a default job). His students are committed to taking responsibility for an individual’s idiosyncratic needs and making client-defined decisions. They build exceptional businesses… especially with clients who are physically compromised in any way.
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The primary focus of Tom’s presentations has historically been Exercise Mechanics, which he began researching and teaching in 1986. Ben Wilde, an international presenter from the UK has described the mechanical analysis, exercise progression, and exercise delivery skills taught exclusively at RTS as “truly world class!”
Prior to his keynote address at the 2003 Mayo Clinic Sport Medicine Symposium Tom was respectfully introduced by Dr. Ed Laskowski as a “contrarian”  […one who takes an opposing view, especially one who rejects the majority opinion.]
Perhaps one of Tom’s greatest gifts is his innate tendency to question popular opinion and beliefs. He regularly functions under the premise that if it’s popular it’s probably wrong, and if what’s popular happens to be marginally accurate, it will be misemployed, misrepresented, and exploited because it really isn’t understood, usually due to the masses’ lack of tolerance for details and lack of concern for context.
Some students find Tom’s teaching style “hilarious”, while others find him “unsettling” (he leans more toward Letterman sarcasm than Leno congeniality). But his passion for detail, context, and clarity while maintaining “big picture” perspective is what helps students clearly define, explore, and think for themselves in order to better navigate the many self-supporting sound bites, grossly inaccurate generalizations, and pseudo-scientific rationales that proliferate throughout the world of exercise (statements like “exercise is about movement patterns,” “shear is bad,” “squats are closed chain,” “functional is about transfer” …just to state a few.)
Tom has always viewed the trainers he teaches as evolving towards true healthcare professionals (whereas medicine is disease care and the mindless, weight-slinging, externally measured/monitored traditional exercise offered by most trainers and coaches is often as orthopedically injurious in the long term as the sport it pretends to mimic or for which it is supposed to prepare). He encourages exercise professionals to self-regulate by setting and upholding the highest standards of practice and to continually pursue levels of knowledge far beyond those currently offered by the vast array of certifications and educational organizations, including universities.
This common theme extends throughout virtually all Tom’s endeavors and remains a driving force in his work, vastly separating his exploration, thought processes, and delivery of exercise from the rest of the industry.