In a time when seven out of 10 Americans participate in little to no physical activity and consequently suffer from poor posture, muscular imbalances, excess weight and chronic pain, plus, the physical demands and skill levels of athletes continue to become more demanding, the requirements needed by certified personal trainers and sports performance coaches to meet the unique needs of all individuals continue to evolve.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine® (NASM®) does more than just prepare students for passing an exam; it prepares students for a successful and rewarding career as an elite health and fitness professional in a variety of fields.

Fact: Compared to other health and fitness certifying agencies, NASM provides the most applicable evidence-based education and training systems to health and fitness professionals

The Advantage: In today’s dynamic club environment, clients want the best, and you can provide that by hiring NASM-certified trainers. All NASM-certified trainers have proven their understanding of NASM’s training systems, programs and solutions that are tested in the lab and proven in the field. NASM ensures it provides solutions based on the latest science through third-party researchers at the NASM Research Institute at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. NASM works with elite fitness and sports organizations to implement and apply the results of years of research to make certain that each solution is effective in a real-world environment. The knowledge gained through the NASM curriculum provides a systematic and customized approach for each client.

A development model that is truly tested in the lab and proven in the field is just one of the unique items that NASM brings to its credentialed professionals.

Fact: NASM’s core approach to fitness and sports performance is based on scientific evidence and the exclusive Optimum Performance Training Model™ (OPT™). This revolutionary approach to fitness is easy to apply to any individual and is proven to improve bio-motor abilities. It builds high levels of dynamic flexibility and overall functional performance at any level to allow people to train, play and work harder.

The Advantage: Because the OPT model is systematic, safe and effective, it is the preferred choice of top health clubs. It is scalable, appropriate for all populations and goals, as well as reproducible across training staff. As a result, NASM-credentialed professionals have little difficulty finding a job in the health club setting and have 20 percent more earning potential than non-certified trainers, according to 2009 data from Simplyhired.com.

Fact: NASM is led by Dr. Micheal Clark, industry visionary and leader in the areas of fitness, sports performance and injury prevention.

The Advantage: As the creator of the OPT model, Dr. Clark’s methodology is used by thousands of professionals for millions of clients worldwide. The effectiveness of this approach is proven time and time again, and is adaptable to even the most unique needs of clients, no matter their fitness level.

Fact: Compared to other certifications, NASM is geared towards a serious trainer.

he Advantage: NASM offers the system needed for success. The word on the street is, “Trainers get certified. Real trainers get NASM certified.”

Fact: NASM provides a complete approach to health and fitness.

The Advantage: NASM’s education and training provide health and fitness professionals with the ability to deliver complete programming and integrated training. While traditional training programs utilize an exercise prescription strategy that emphasizes improving muscle strength, NASM’s integrated training approach was recently proven to be more effective than traditional training programs.

Fact: NASM provides lifelong learning tools for trainers and coaches at any level.

The Advantage: Health and fitness professionals at any level will benefit from NASM’s complete approach to the education process. Specializations are available to help trainers and coaches work with specific populations and with people targeting a specific goal. NASM-credentialed trainers and coaches have a complete knowledge of what is needed to achieve success for each club member.

Fact: NASM’s growing presence in the world of academia provides students with learning alternatives when preparing for a career as a health and fitness professional.

The Advantage: NASM offers a variety of education options to meet the diverse needs of aspiring and current fitness professionals. The valuable knowledge gained, no matter the format, is proven as the network of NASM-certified trainers expands and positively influences those wanting to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Fact: NASM is committed to elevating the level of professionalism in the health and fitness industry.

The Advantage: This commitment was reinforced when NASM joined the corporate family of Assessment Technologies Institute in 2009. Through its partnership with the leader in online education and testing, NASM’s curriculum continues as the most respected education source in the industry.

Quite simply, people want the best, so why not give it to them? NASM offers education to help make health and fitness professionals just that, the best.

To learn more, visit www.nasm.org or call 1-800-460-NASM (6276).

NASM credentials mean the most to sports professionals, club owners and fitness department managers because each requires comprehensive knowledge of human movement science, functional anatomy, physiology and kinesiology, as well as functional assessment and program design.

NASM is an advertiser in the April 2010 issue of Club Industry magazine and the May 14, 2010, Certification and Licensing Special Report e-newsletter.