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The Future of Fitness Education & Certification (Athletech)

Posted: Feb 29, 2024 in In the News

This article originally appeared in Athletech on February 29, 2024.


The Future of Fitness Education & Certification

By Joy Keller

The fitness industry’s benchmark for excellence is continuously shifting, highlighting the critical need for fitness professionals to stay informed. Fitness education and certification is on the cusp of a new era, fueled by technological innovation, evolving client expectations and a deepening comprehension of wellness.

Ahead of IHRSA 2024 and other upcoming fitness industry trade shows, Athletech News spoke with leading organizations shaping the industry’s future, including the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). These players are driving innovation by launching new products, services and initiatives designed to improve fitness professionals’ skills, employability and influence.

As we step into 2024, the blend of technological advancements, a focus on wellness over traditional fitness training, and the introduction of innovative programs and tools promise to redefine professional excellence in our industry. 

ACE Commits to AI Education & Community Building

The American Council on Exercise (ACE), founded in 1985, provides NCCA-accredited certifications, continuing education and evidence-based health information. Sarah Beavins, ACE’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing, said that ACE is dedicated to keeping health and exercise professionals equipped with timely, relevant information, and named artificial intelligence (AI)/fitness technology as one area of focus in 2024.

She referenced a recent report from Future Data Stats in which the global AI in Fitness and Wellness Market was valued at $7.80 billion in 2022, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.5%, reaching $30.56 billion by 2030.

“AI can be an assistive tool in developing personalized recommendations and adaptive programs for clients, and all exercise professionals and health coaches should understand the ins and outs of this emerging technology,” Beavins said. “AI also has the power to help health and exercise professionals run a more efficient business, while growing and maintaining their clientele.”

Another area of focus for ACE is building a unique community where health and exercise professionals have a trusted, safe place to connect. Beavins mentioned the recently launched ACE Pro Connect 2.0 app, which “allows like-minded health and exercise professionals to share ideas, talk through pressing issues and gain insights to build their career.”

Beavins also highlighted ACE’s goal to create timely educational content that helps exercise professionals and health coaches navigate the evolving landscape of weight management and GLP-1 drugs and announced that ACE will be offering a 200-hour yoga certification this year. 

ACE is also actively working to ensure that those in the LGBTQIA+ community experience a welcoming and inclusive fitness environment. The organization offers several EDI education resources, including courses, webinars and LGBTQIA+-specific live conversations so fitness professionals will be equipped with not just the knowledge but the tools to serve individuals who have not always felt welcome in a health or fitness setting.


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