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.

Current members are encouraged to nominate a deserving individual for this award. Self-nominations are accepted. Award eligibility requirements are outlined below. Nominations are being accepted through December 11.

Congratulations to the 2020 winner!

Alexis Batrakoulis, MS, CSCS, CSPS, NSCA-CPT, RCPT*E

Batrakoulis is an internationally renowned fitness expert involving in the health/fitness and strength conditioning industries in the past 25 years. He currently works as a freelance personal trainer and exercise physiologist, educator, subject matter expert, author, and speaker having presented in over 40 different countries across four continents and is based in Greece. He holds a B.S. in Physical Education and Sports Science, an M.S. in Exercise and Health, and is preparing to earn a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Thessaly. He has authored over 20 international peer-reviewed publications on exercise, including research articles, abstracts, and textbook chapters. His primary research interests focus on the study of high-intensity interval neuromuscular training in obesity. Recently, he was selected to author a chapter in each of the latest editions of the NSCA’s and ACSM’s Personal Training textbooks. He is the Founder of the International Obesity Exercise Training Institute teaching internationally approved continuing education courses on exercise and health for fitness professionals around the world and also is an ACE International Master Trainer. He was named as the 2018 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and was the 2019 IDEA Fitness Innovation Award recipient. Additionally, he serves as a member on three ACSM Committees (Exercise is Medicine Credential, Professional Education, and International Health & Fitness Summit Program) and is the Deputy Director of the Professional Standards Committee of EuropeActive in charge of EREPS. He also serves as a member of the NSCA Personal Training Quarterly Editorial Review Panel, NSCA Personal Trainers Special Interest Group Executive Council, and NSCA Membership Committee. Furthermore, he is the CSCS and NSCA-CPT Sponsor for the NSCA Education Recognition Program in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Thessaly directed by Dr. Ioannis Fatouros.

View Batrakoulis' Press Release.

Award Eligibility

Current Member for 5 consecutive years*
NSCA-CPT or CSCS
Resume or CV
20 hrs/wk minimum as PT with documentation of client load (Client names are to remain anonymous. If employed, signed letter of support from employer (on letterhead, if available). If self-employed, notarized schedule omitting clients names.)
3 letters of recommendation from certified NSCA members in good standing

*Consectutive membership is counted back from the date the award is to be conferred.

Additional requirements listed in the General Awards Criteria, include but not limited to, nominee must be nominated by a member in good standing and nominees will be sent a criteria sheet to fill out that must be returned before the required deadline. 

Past Award Recipients Include:

2019 - Melody Schoenfeld, MA, CSCS,*D, RCPT*E  Triplett and Schoenfeld
2018 - Chad Landers, CSCS, RCPT*E  Haff and Landers
2017 - Michael Rickett, MS, CSCS,*D, CSPS, NSCA-CPT, RCPT*D  Haff and Rickett
2016 - Nick Tumminello, NSCA-CPT  Haff and Tumminello
2015 - Brandi Binkley, MS, NSCA-CPT  Binkley
2014 - Heath R. Pierce, MEd, RSCC, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D, HFS  
2013 - Chat Williams, MS, CSCS,*D, CSPS, NSCA-CPT, FNSCA  
2012 - Robert C. Linkul, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT  
2011 - Brad Schoenfeld, CSCS, NSCA-CPT  
2009 - Mark Nutting, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D  
2008 - Benjamin Greenfield, MS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT  
2007 - Jeffrey Segal, CSCS, NSCA-CPT  
2006 - Michael Yu Seril, MS, NSCA-CPT  
2005 - Michael Ranieri, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D  
2004 - Maria Teresa Mendizabal, NSCA-CPT,*D  
2003 - Gina Lombardi, NSCA-CPT,*D  
2002 - Patrick Hagerman, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D  
2001 - Anthony A. Abbott, EdD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D  
2000 - J. Henry Drought, MS, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D  

How is the recipient selected?

1. The process for selection shall be as follows:
    a. Nominations must be received before the established deadline.
    b. NSCA Headquarters will verify of eligibility requirements, minimum category requirements, and overall points for nominees have been met.
    c. Qualified nominees will be notified.
        i. If there are no qualifying nominees, the award will not be given.
    d. Top three nominees based on points for the award will be sent to the Personal Trainers SIG Chair. The Chair will:
        i. Determine if any of the nominees are part of the current Executive Council.
            1. If none are, the Chair will submit the nominees to the Council for vote. The Chair may participate in this vote.
            2. If members of the Council have been nominated and rank in the top three, the Chair will create an impartial Task Force of five to vote on the winner. The Chair may not participate in this vote.
                a. The Task Force will be comprised of >50% Chair selected NSCA members and <50% past award winners.
        ii. If the Chair is a nominee:
            1. The top three nominees will be submitted to the Chair of the Membership Committee for committee vote.
            2. The Chair will notify NSCA Headquarters and the Awards and Honors Committee Chair of recipient. The Executive Council will not notify the selected recipient.
2. The Awards and Honors Committee Chair will:
    a. Notify the Board of Directors of the recipient.
3. The NSCA Headquarters will:
    a. Notify the recipient of the award.
    b. Send regret notifications.
    c. Create a Press Release announcement of the winner.
    d. Will verify attendance at the National Conference awards banquet.

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