Life Fitness and the American Council on Exercise (ACE(R)) Name America's Top Personal Trainer to Watch

Nationwide Search Recognizes Trainer From Ohio as Country's Best

SCHILLER PARK, IL--(Marketwire - Oct 13, 2011) - Life Fitness, the global leader in commercial fitness equipment manufacturing and the American Council on Exercise, (ACE) America's leading authority on fitness and the largest nonprofit fitness certification, education and training organization in the world, have named Nicole Nichols as America's top Personal Trainer to Watch. Nichols was selected after a six-month, nationwide competition that also recognized ten other finalists from around the country. An ACE-certified personal trainer, Nichols is currently the Fitness Expert and Managing Editor at, a healthy lifestyle website with 11 million members that provides nutrition, health and fitness tools at no cost.

"This award recognizes personal trainers who have demonstrated a significant commitment to fitness and in helping their clients achieve a lasting lifestyle change," said Chris Clawson, president of Life Fitness. "We are especially thrilled to recognize this group of hard-working personal trainers who embody Life Fitness' core values and we look forward to continuing this important recognition program for years to come."

"Nicole and the 10 talented finalists were chosen because they consistently go above and beyond for their clients and make significant strides in their communities to increase physical activity," said Scott Goudeseune, CEO of the American Council on Exercise. "As role models they exemplify ACE's quality standards for fitness education and we are pleased to congratulate them and look forward to our continued work together in the fight against the obesity epidemic."

"I am beyond honored and grateful to be recognized by these two outstanding organizations, and to be in the company of the world-class trainers also honored," said Nichols, 29 from Cincinnati, Ohio. "I'm delighted by Life Fitness and ACE's underlying affirmation of the online medium as a powerful tool to improve the health and lives of people through fitness. Maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle and helping people achieve their personal fitness goals always have been my passions, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be pursuing them in a profession that does so much good for so many."

Nichols, who started her career as a personal trainer eight years ago, has designed and taught health programs on eating disorders, body image, self-acceptance and strength training for women, exercise for seniors and prenatal exercise. In addition, she has created more than 50 free workout videos which have been viewed more than 15 million times on YouTube.

In addition to being named Life Fitness and ACE's Personal Trainer to Watch, Nichols also took the top spot in a Fan Favorite competition on Facebook, receiving more than 3,500 votes among 40 semi-finalists.

The Personal Trainers to Watch program was created to recognize personal trainers nationwide who have demonstrated a growing commitment to fitness and to helping their clients achieve a lasting lifestyle change through educating and encouraging people to make physical activity an integral part of their everyday lives. Program entrants were evaluated on motivational technique, community service and fitness accomplishments.

In addition to receiving the award at a special recognition ceremony at the 26th annual Club Industry Show in Chicago on October 14, Nichols won a $5,000 check, Life Fitness equipment and an ACE Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach certification package.

Personal Trainers to Watch Finalists
Ten finalists were also selected along with Nichols by an elite panel of industry influencers1. The finalists include:

  • Kathy Ekdahl -- Hudson, MA
  • Carol Michaels -- Short Hills, NJ
  • Mike Koskiniemi -- Marquette, MI
  • Darren Pangle -- Katy, TX
  • Irv Rubenstein -- Nashville, TN
  • Collin Eugene Baldwin -- Fayetteville, NC
  • Laura Acosta -- Gainesville, FL
  • Linda M. Cook -- Springboro, OH
  • Jessica Shutters -- Kingsport, TN
  • Dominique Wakefield -- Berrien Springs, MI

"Personal trainers are the unsung heroes in America's ongoing battle to get and stay fit," said Life Fitness' Clawson. "Many times, they are the difference in a person's health and well-being. They help make great things happen -- and they do it every day in clubs and gyms across America."

The Personal Trainers to Watch awards ceremony will be held on Friday, October 14, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. at the 26th Annual Club Industry Show in Chicago.

About Life Fitness
Life Fitness is the global leader in providing fitness equipment. The company manufactures and sells strength and cardiovascular equipment under the brand names Life Fitness and Hammer Strength and distributes its equipment in more than 120 countries. Headquartered outside Chicago, in Schiller Park, Ill., Life Fitness is a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC).

About the American Council on Exercise
The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America's premier fitness education, certification and training organization, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting Americans against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and is the world's largest nonprofit fitness certifying organization. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE website at

Life Fitness is a registered trademark of Brunswick Corporation.

Life Fitness, 5100 River Road, Schiller Park, IL 60176. Phone: 847.288.3300,

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Sandra Fine
rbb PR for ACE