SOURCE: National Academy of Sports Medicine

March 07, 2008 14:01 ET

American Specialty Health and the National Academy of Sports Medicine Unveil Innovative FitnessCoach Program

New Online Health and Fitness Resource Provides First-of-Its-Kind Programming Tools and Revenue Opportunities

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - March 7, 2008) - American Specialty Health (ASH) and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) today announced the launch of FitnessCoach®, an innovative Web-based health and fitness resource for both professionals and consumers. The new online platform will be unveiled during a co-presentation by NASM President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Micheal Clark and ASH Chief Health Services Officer Dr. Douglas Metz at the International Health, Racquetball and SportsClub Association (IHRSA) conference in San Diego on March 6, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Developed by ASH and NASM, FitnessCoach is comprised of two Web sites: FitnessCoachPro.com for health and fitness professionals (facilities and individuals) seeking greater education and revenue opportunities; and FitnessCoach.com for consumers seeking resources to help improve their health.

"Our participation at the IHRSA conference is the perfect time to introduce FitnessCoach," said Dr. Clark. "Fitness facility owners and managers attending the show will be excited to learn how the FitnessCoach business model will help them better serve their clients, grow their business, educate their staff, and generate more revenue."

"We believe FitnessCoach.com is a 'best in class' personal health improvement Web site for consumers. And FitnessCoachPro.com provides a unique opportunity for fitness clubs and their professionals to link with their customers and have access to industry-leading information and educational opportunities," said George DeVries, chairman and CEO of American Specialty Health.

Value to Professionals

For professionals, FitnessCoachPro allows them to expand their knowledge with access to in-depth health and fitness educational resources, as well as free continuing education courses and exclusive pricing on the NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) and Corrective Exercises Specialist (CES) advanced specializations. Furthermore, the platform allows professionals to:

--  Create customized resistance, cardio, and nutrition programs for
    clients.
--  Design easy-to-follow, individualized meal plans based on clients'
    goals, such as weight loss, weight gain, or moving to specialized dietary
    needs.
--  Monitor their clients' progress and manage all of their activities and
    progress in a centralized, automated environment.
    

The site also provides an array of features, including expert bylined articles, an exercise library, up-to-date glossary and research reviews.

The information and programming tools available through FitnessCoach are based on expertise developed by ASH in its health coaching and fitness programs and in clinically-tested studies conducted by the NASM Research Institute at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

FitnessCoachPro also offers new revenue streams for facilities and individual professionals with access to new business opportunities and new clients via a professional registry database. Professionals are able to increase their earning potential by securing new referrals through the FitnessCoach Professional Network.

"FitnessCoachPro serves as a tremendous resource for fitness facilities, allowing access for the entire staff of a member organization," said Ben Tucker, NASM Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "It allows the facility to better manage their clients, monitor their staff's educational path, and earn more revenue by referring consumers to join FitnessCoach.com."

Value to Consumers

For the consumer, FitnessCoach.com allows users to take an overall health assessment; input their health and fitness goals; create individualized exercise and meal plans; monitor their progress with health trackers; view their daily plans on their personal health calendar; and find the nearest health and fitness professional through a national directory. The program conveniently helps users execute the most effective fitness solutions on their terms and schedules -- either online or in-person -- through the professional directory and a forthcoming phone coaching application.

Consumers can receive a free seven-day trial to FitnessCoach.com with a promotional code from a participating FitnessCoachPro professional. Upon completion of the trial offer, paid memberships are available in three-, six-, and 12-month increments.

Following the presentation by Dr. Clark and Dr. Metz, IHRSA attendees are invited to booths 739 (ASH) or 3942 (NASM) for an interactive tour and demonstration of FitnessCoach. After the IHRSA conference, ASH and NASM will conduct a series of webinars for professionals seeking a demonstration of FitnessCoach applications, resources and benefits. Fitness facilities, individual professionals, and media interested in participating in a webinar can learn more at: www.nasm.org/FitnessCoach.aspx.

About ASH:

American Specialty Health Incorporated is one of the nation's premier personal health improvement organizations, providing specialty network administration, fitness programs and wellness programs to health plans, insurance carriers, employer groups, and trust funds nationwide. Based in San Diego, ASH has over 600 employees and covers more than 13 million members. For more information, call (800) 848-3555 or visit ASH online at www.ASHCompanies.com. FitnessCoach is a federally registered trademark of American Specialty Health Incorporated.

About NASM:

Since 1987, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has been the recognized global authority in certification, continuing education, solutions and tools for health, fitness, sports performance and sports medicine programs for professional trainers. Today, NASM serves more than 100,000 members in 80 countries. In addition to its evidence-based NCCA-accredited fitness certification program, Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), NASM also offers a progressive career track with access to Advanced Specializations, Continuing Education courses, and accredited Bachelor and Master Degree programs. The NASM educational continuum is designed to help today's health and fitness professional enhance their career while empowering their clients to live healthier lives. For more information, call (800) 460-NASM or visit http://www.nasm.org.

About Dr. Micheal Clark:

Recognized as one of the top physical therapists in the industry, Dr. Micheal Clark, DPT, MS, PT, CES, PES, CPT joined NASM in 2000 and soon after introduced the proprietary Optimum Performance Training™ (OPT) method used by thousands of health and fitness professionals worldwide. His innovation and leadership have redefined NASM as a global leader and authority in the health and fitness industry. Dr. Clark oversees NASM's new business development, product research and development, relationship management with partners and customers, the clinical practice. He also serves as the physical therapist to the NBA's Phoenix Suns and his list of athlete-clients includes a Major League Baseball Cy Young award winner, world champion figure skaters, National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Stars, NBA Most Valuable Players, National Football League All-Pros, national champions, Olympic gold medalists, and Hall of Fame athletes.

About Dr. Douglas Metz:

As chief health services officer and executive vice president at ASH, Dr. Douglas Metz oversees health services, which includes research, clinical product development and analyses. At ASH, Dr. Metz plays a critical role in implementing the national standards of the National Committee for Quality Assurance and URAC. Dr. Metz was elected to the URAC board of directors in 2004 and serves as the chairman of the URAC Standards Committee. Dr. Metz's articles have appeared in many professional and community publications, including Archives of Internal Medicine, Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, and Topics in Clinical Chiropractic, and he frequently lectures.

Contact Information