Life Fitness and FitPro Name the World's Top Personal Trainer to Watch

Global Search Recognizes Trainer From Texas, USA, as the World's Best

SCHILLER PARK, IL--(Marketwire - Nov 5, 2012) -  Life Fitness, the global leader in commercial fitness equipment manufacturing and FitPro North America, a premier provider of high-quality educational resources for fitness professionals, have named Joanne Blackerby as the world's top Personal Trainer to Watch. Blackerby was selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 nominees in the contest's second year, along with 10 other finalists from around the world. A nationally certified fitness trainer with more than 20 years experience in the industry, Blackerby specializes in full-body workouts and is known to be one of the toughest, yet most down-to-earth trainers in Texas, U.S.A.

"We are proud to recognize personal trainers who have demonstrated their commitment to the fitness industry and are continually recognized by their peers for their innovation and motivation," said Chris Clawson, president of Life Fitness. "The trainers we are honoring embody the same mission Life Fitness stands for -- helping people live healthier lives -- and we're pleased to help them further that mission in their individual communities."

The Personal Trainers to Watch program, which launched in April with a global call for entries, is designed to recognize and reward personal trainers who have demonstrated a commitment to fitness and helping their clients achieve a healthy lifestyle. Nominees were judged by a panel of five industry experts who evaluated each candidate on client motivation and retention techniques, community service and fitness accomplishments.

Blackerby impressed the judges with her entrepreneurial spirit, creative motivational techniques and dedication to improving her community through health and fitness initiatives.

"I started in the fitness industry because I believed that health and fitness could not only change bodies, but it could nurture communities," said Blackerby. "By providing education and guidance, I've been lucky enough to help people transform their lives. This award validates what I've worked so hard to achieve, and I couldn't appreciate it more." 

As a wife and mother of three, Blackerby loves trail running, teaching children's exercise classes and volunteering in the school lunch room when she's not training in her gym, Spirit Fitness Training. With a range in certifications including ACE, YogaFit, ViPR and TRX, Blackerby spends more than 40 hours per week with clients.

In addition to international recognition as the 2012 Personal Trainer to Watch, Blackerby won $5,000 USD toward her personal training business, a select piece of Life Fitness equipment, a personalized award plaque and a one-year membership and continuing education course package from world-renowned educational resource PTontheNet.

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

  • Tonja Barugh - West Byfleet, Surrey, U.K.
  • Katie Bulmer-Cooke - Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, U.K.
  • Benjamin "Apollos" Crawford- Orlando, Fla., U.S.
  • Annelise DiGiacomo- Issaquah, Wash., U.S.
  • Hayley Hollander- Las Vegas, N.V., U.S.
  • Mary Beth Knight - Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
  • John Sinclair - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • Zahin Singh - Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Shawn Slade - London, Ontario, Canada
  • Ryan Wilkins - Riverside, N.J., U.S.

Hollander was also named the Fan Favorite, based on public votes through the Life Fitness Facebook page in October.

"Personal trainers can sometimes be the most positive influence in a person's life to make a change for the better," said Andy Jackson, FitPro global commercial director. "That change can range from their personal health, their confidence level and overall appreciation for life. We thank and congratulate all of our winners."

A video of all the winners can be viewed at

About Life Fitness
Life Fitness is the global leader in providing commercial 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 FitPro
FitPro North America is the premier provider of high quality educational resources for fitness professionals, including personal trainers, group fitness instructors, coaches, fitness managers and health club owners. Specializing in continuing education and expert resources, FitPro North America was founded on the premise that a well-educated fitness professional will inspire clients and succeed.

Life Fitness is a registered trademark of Brunswick Corporation.
Life Fitness, 5100 River Road, Schiller Park, IL 60176. Phone: 847.288.3300,

Follow Life Fitness on Twitter at or join the Facebook fan page at