Personal Trainer of the Year

The Personal Trainer of the Year Award recognizes an NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) or Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS) for exemplary service to the advancement of the personal training industry.

Nominations for the Personal Trainer of the Year Award are available online from March 1 through March 15 of every year. The award is presented annually at the NSCA's National Conference.

Congratulations to our 2018 winner!

Chad Landers, CSCS, RCPT*E

Chad Landers is a 1991 graduate of the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology.

He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and in 2007 became the first American to graduate with a Diploma in Sports Nutrition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Chad has been a personal trainer in Los Angeles for 25 years, and has owned his gym, Push Private Fitness, for more than 15 years. 

He is the former CA State co-chair of USA Powerlifting (USAPL), and is a USAPL Masters Athlete, Coach and State Referee. 

Chad lives in Studio City, CA and is married to two-time Oscar-winning Sound Editor, Karen Baker Landers.

Chad Lander's photo
Chad Lander's photo

Award Eligibility

Current NSCA-CPT or CSCS certification
Be a current member for two consecutive years
Actively working as a personal trainer for at least 20 hours a week
Shall not have won this award previously
3 letters of recommendation from certified NSCA members in good standing
Nominated by a current member

Additionally, all nominees must qualify using an evaluation criteria (PDF download) and submit a cover letter, resume/CV, and supporting documentation to nominations@nsca.com. Qualifying nominees will also be asked for media/public relations/communication officer contact information, a high resolution head shot (1MB or larger), a shot bio, Twitter handle (optional), and a signed media release.

Past Award Recipients Include:

2017 - Michael Rickett, MS, CSCS,*D, CSPS, NSCA-CPT, RCPT*D 2007 - Jeffrey Segal, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
2016 - Nick Tumminello, NSCA-CPT 2006 - Michael Yu Seril, MS, NSCA-CPT
2015 - Brandi Binkley, MS, NSCA-CPT 2005 - Michael Ranieri, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D
2014 - Heath R. Pierce, MEd, RSCC, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D, HFS 2004 - Maria Teresa Mendizabal, NSCA-CPT,*D
2013 - Chat Williams, MS, CSCS,*D, CSPS, NSCA-CPT, FNSCA 2003 - Gina Lombardi, NSCA-CPT,*D
2012 - Robert C. Linkul, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT 2002 - Patrick Hagerman, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D
2011 - Brad Schoenfeld, CSCS, NSCA-CPT 2001 - Anthony A. Abbott, EdD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D
2009 - Mark Nutting, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D 2000 - J. Henry Drought, MS, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D
2008 - Benjamin Greenfield, MS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT  

How is the recipient selected?

  1. All nominee criteria sheets are reviewed by the NSCA Awards Staff Liaison for minimum eligibility requirements.
  2. Any nominee not meeting the minimum eligibility requirements are notified by NSCA with the requirement not met.
  3. NSCA Awards Staff Liaison reviews, against NSCA records, the NSCA involvement sections of the nominee criteria sheets who have met the minimum eligibility requirements.
    • Items not able to be verified through record or supporting documentation are noted.
    • Nominee criteria sheet points are not changed to reflect any items unable to be verified.
  4. Once the review of all nominees are complete, an application packet containing the cover letter, CV/Resume, supporting documentation, and criteria sheet of each applicate are submitted to the Personal Trainer Special Interest Group Chair.
  5. The Chair will review the packet and separate out the top three nominees bases on points.
  6. The nominees will be submitted to the Personal Trainers Executive Council for vote.
  7. Votes are collected by the Chair.
  8. The Chair will tally the vote and submit it to the Awards Staff Liaison.
  9. The Awards Staff Liaison will send out regret and congratulation notifications.
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