Featured Blogs
  • Bring the ACSM Annual Meeting into Your Classroom

    by Caitlin Kinser | Jan 10, 2023

    Recorded lectures enhance learning opportunities

    acsm annual meeting videos in the classroomAs educators, we endeavor to facilitate meaningful classroom learning experiences. A perennial topic of discussion among educators within ACSM is this: How can we engage our students in ways that will drive connection, deepen their knowledge and align with the things that matter to them? Incorporating scientific and professional development content from the ACSM Annual Meeting into classroom instruction is a way to start, and an accessible way to do this is by mindfully embedding conference session recordings into course activities.

    How did I arrive at this opinion?

    In 2011, I brought the first of many groups of undergraduate students to the ACSM annual meeting. They were not college seniors traveling to present research as a culminating experience in their undergraduate career. Instead, they were second year students taking their first exercise physiology course during an accelerated “maymester” academic term. As part of the course, they attended conference sessions and then processed their experience in assignments aimed to help them integrate new information into their understanding and perspectives on course concepts.

    In response to their experience at the annual meeting, students expressed increased motivation to learn, confidence in their growing expertise, interest in conducting research and commitment to pursuing careers related to exercise and sports sciences. Yes, the experience of being at a professional meeting among scholars and practitioners was impactful, but they also pointed to the “a-ha” moments they experienced when attending conference sessions as particularly influential.

    Obviously there was no way to scale this experience beyond one small group of students every May. If only I could bring a little of that “a-ha” magic to all of students during the academic year. I discovered that ACSM had a YouTube channel where presentations from the annual meeting, health & fitness summit, and other ACSM meetings were posted—a small goldmine of presentations by preeminent, engaging scholars. I curated a collection to incorporate into one of my courses for required viewing, and titled it the “Keynote Lecture Series” in the syllabus. The response from students was beyond my expectations.

    What are some ways you can bring ACSM conference “magic” to your course(s)?

    The resources available to ACSM members has expanded tremendously. There is now a platform on the ACSM website where we can access keynote, named lecture, clinical track and nutritional track sessions.

    There are so many ways you can use these recordings to enhance the educational experiences of your students. First, choose a conference presentation that relates to an important course concept and watch the presentation together or assign viewing outside of class, and then use the viewing as a jumping off point for discussion or course assignments.

    Here are a few ideas you can use to leverage the experience of watching a 2021 or 2022 ACSM conference recording:

    • Take a “What, So What, Now What?” approach. Instruct students to take notes during their viewing on the below topics, and following their viewing discuss their responses to these questions in class or in a reflective writing assignment.
      • What are the key points of the lecture and how do they connect to what they’ve been learning in the course?
      • So what? Does the session expand their existing knowledge? Challenge conventional thought? Redefine their understanding? If so, how?
      • Now what? Is there a real-world application of these findings? What new directions could they propose for research in this topic?
    • Prompt students to search for the scholarly publications cited in the presentation and choose one or a handful for presentation or discussion in class. This is a great idea for group presentations or journal club-style discussions that students can lead. You could even use this as a jumping off point to assign a narrative review or annotated bibliography.
    • Prompt students to find press coverage of findings presented in the conference session. Lead learning activities to evaluate the press coverage for accuracy and bias. You could even assign students to write their own news article about an aspect of the research presented.
    • If recommendations are made within the conference session, assign students to create social media posts communicating those recommendations to the audience for whom they are intended, such as the general public or clinicians (e.g., Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook).

    Have these ideas started the gears turning in your own head? The possibilities are endless!

    Keynotes and featured lectures from the 2022 and 2021 ACSM Annual Meetings are available for ACSM members at no additional cost. They are available to nonmembers for a fee. CECs are available with the 2022 Annual Meeting content and additional recorded content from the 2021 Annual Meeting are both available at a member and nonmember rate. 

    ACSM's 2022 Annual Meeting Keynotes and Featured Lectures (FREE for ACSM members, $200 for nonmembers)

    ACSM’s 2022 Annual Meeting Keynotes and Featured Lectures | 12 CEC-version ($150 for ACSM members, $300 for nonmembers)

    ACSM’s 2021 Annual Meeting: Keynotes and President’s Lectures (FREE for ACSM members, $150 for nonmembers)

    ACSM’s 2021 Annual Meeting: Clinical Sessions ($75 for ACSM members, $150 nonmembers)

    ACSM’s 2021 Annual Meeting: Nutrition Sessions ($75 for ACSM members, $150 nonmembers)

    Kimberly ReichKimberly Reich, Ph.D., ACSM-EPis an associate professor in the department of exercise science at High Point University in High Point, NC where she is the supervisor for HPU’s Exercise is Medicine on Campus Leadership Team. Dr. Reich’s research focuses primarily on health behavior in individuals and communities. Her work explores resources designed to aid in the adoption and maintenance of physical activity and healthy eating. She is a former chair of the ACSM Exercise Science Education Special Interest Group, former SEACSM executive committee member, and currently serves on the ACSM Annual Meeting program committee.

  • Preparing Students for Success on the ACSM Exercise Physiologist Certification Exam

    by Caitlin Kinser | Jan 09, 2023
    Preparing Students for Success on the ACSM Exercise Physiologist Certification Exam

    As a professor, I get a great sense of joy from seeing my students succeed: from seeing them do well on an exam, to graduating, finding that first job, getting into graduate school or passing a certification exam. Every year I hear stories from our graduates regarding how having the ACSM Exercise Physiologist (ACSM-EP) certification in addition to their BS in Exercise Science helped them to land a job.

    I have been teaching at Liberty University (LU) for 22 years now and this is the 14th year that our exercise science students have been taking the ACSM-EP certification exam (formerly the Health/Fitness Specialist certification). During this time, we have made changes and modifications to our curriculum and how we prepare the students for the certification exam. Over the course of the last five academic years, we have had a 95% pass rate (91%, 95%, 100%, 95%, and 93%) with 343 students passing the ACSM-EP exam during that time. I trust you will find the following tips on preparing students for the ACSM-EP exam to be of benefit for you and your students.

    I hope that your school’s exercise science program has been accredited through CAAHEP*. If so, great—the program should be covering all of the Job Task Analysis (JTA) items, which are found online in the ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist Exam Content Outline. If it is not accredited, I would recommend doing a brief self-study to determine if your program is addressing all of the Job Task Analysis items. This can be accomplished in a relatively short time frame and can be very helpful in assuring that your students are well versed in the material that will be covered on the ACSM-EP exam.

    A number of times we have had students that want to jump the gun and take the ACSM-EP exam before they are truly prepared to succeed. I have to remind the students to stay with the course sequencing. At LU the ACSM-EP exam is part of the curriculum (EXSC 485 Exercise Physiologist Workshop and Certification) and the students take it during their last semester of coursework. The ACSM-EP exam also serves as a gateway to internships. If sitting for the ACSM-EP exam is not built into your curriculum, encourage your students to take it at the end of their course work.

    Prior to the ACSM-EP exam your students should be doing some sort of focused study. At LU in the students’ final semester of coursework, they enroll in EXSC 485. In this course the students have weekly readings for the ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, 11th (or current edition) and the ACSM’s Recourses for the Exercise Physiologist, 3rd (or current edition). Also, each week the students take one or more quizzes and complete a total of 20 quizzes during the semester. The students are required to earn an 80% or higher on each quiz and the quizzes can be taken multiple times. ACSM also has study tools available for students. One is an online course, ACSM Exercise Physiologist Certification Preparation Course, and the other is an interactive, online quizzing platform, PrepU for ACSM’s Resources for the Exercise Physiologist, 2nd Edition.

    For the last phase of student preparation for the ACSM-EP exam, I would recommend holding an in-person ACSM Exercise Physiologist workshop.  At LU, we host a workshop the first weekend of November and April every year and have been doing so for 10+ years. The workshop serves as a great review for the students, and it lets them know how much they actually know as well as some areas to focus on during their final bit of study. The week following the workshop the students sit for the exam.


    *Beginning in 2027, the ACSM-EP certification exam and the ACSM Clinical Exercise Physiologist certification exam will require a baccalaureate degree (or higher) in Exercise Science, or equivalent, from a regionally accredited college or university and CAAHEP accredited program for eligibility. Learn more.

    Learn about the programmatic accreditation process, benefits and associated costs.

    Read FAQs about programmatic accreditation.


    james schoffstallJames E. Schoffstall, Ed.D., FACSM, ACSM-EP, ACSM-RCEP, has been a teaching at Liberty University for the past 20+ years and holds the rank of Professor. He has served in the roles of Director of the Human Performance Lab, Director of the Exercise Science Program, and is currently the Chair of the Allied Health Professions Department. Dr. Schoffstall is certified as an Exercise Physiologist and Clinical Exercise Physiologist through the ACSM, and is a Fellow of the ACSM. He has served as a Director of the ACSM Exercise Physiologist workshop for the past 10 years. He has served as an Associate Editor of ACSMs Resources for the Exercise Physiologist, 2nd Edition. Dr. Schoffstall has also served as an exercise physiology curriculum designer for the Chinese Association of Sports Medicine.

  • Staying Ready: A Real-World AED Response

    by Caitlin Kinser | Jan 03, 2023
    Staying Ready: A Real-World AED Response, Headshot of Tony Maloney

    You never know when you’ll need to use your emergency training. That’s what ACSM member and Noblesville, Indiana, Orangetheory Fitness Head Coach Tony Maloney was reminded of in late October when a patron visiting from out of state collapsed suddenly in a mid-morning strength class. 

    Maloney had just finished the five-minute warm-up and started the initial working block. He was walking another client through a movement when he heard the visitor, an active man over the age of 60, fall to the floor. The coach immediately moved to render assistance, first establishing that though the man wasn’t unconscious per se, he was seemingly unable to speak. 

    “My first thought was sugar,” Maloney said. But he also cleared the area in case the man was having a seizure. Then the client became unresponsive. 

    Maloney and a patron with a medical background both checked for a pulse — neither could find one. That’s when Maloney retrieved the automated external defibrillator (AED) that was on the wall a mere five feet away. After he’d set it up and run a diagnostic, the machine advised a shock. Maloney moved everyone away and administered one. Then he began chest compressions. 

    “It was strange,” Maloney said. “You really only see it in the movies, but he came to after about 90 seconds of delivering compressions.” 

    It was just then that EMS first responders arrived. 

    While Maloney was attending to the client, Orangetheory staff and patrons had been working concurrently to make sure emergency services were inbound. When EMS loaded the man into an ambulance, he was, by Maloney’s estimation, “halfway coherent.” Though for privacy reasons, the coach wasn’t able to get a full picture of the outcome, he later learned that the man had been released. 

    Maloney first earned an ACSM certification back in 2009. Since then, he has worked with the college in various capacities to advocate for certification, including photo and video shoots. He’s also the ACSM-EP committee chair. 

    He was subsequently recognized for his lifesaving efforts by both the fire department and the city, receiving the Noblesville Fire Department Civilian Certificate of Recognition from the fire chief and the City of Noblesville Partner in Progress from the mayor.  


    Still, Maloney remains humble: “It was a team effort.” 

    And critically, the studio had done its due diligence: All Orangetheory patrons, even those dropping in from other locations, fill out a form that includes a brief medical history before they’re allowed to participate in a workout. The EMS responders informed Maloney that this information was particularly helpful, allowing them to tailor their response and be better prepared to react to the situation they were arriving at. 

    “We had all the info they needed to know right in hand when they walked through the door,” Maloney said. “I give a lot of props to the team and my studio manager, Tori.” 

    Further, Maloney himself had reviewed the client’s intake documents — the man had had a prior heart attack but had been cleared for exercise by a physician — and had been keeping an eye on him. So though the fall was sudden, Maloney wasn’t taken completely by surprise. 

    The Orangetheory team also runs regular drills to prepare for just such an emergency, always working to speed up their response time and making sure to thoroughly document their efforts. They also stress the importance of ensuring the AED is online and ready. 

    “Come in, turn on the lights and check the AED,” Maloney said. 

    Still, he’s taken the time to assess and learn from this particular incident. He noted two improvements came to mind: One, he should have remained with the client and assigned someone else to bring him the AED rather than retrieving it himself. Fortunately, it was only a few feet away. Two, he would have preferred that he’d designated one person to make the 911 call. As it happened, three or four patrons as well as the front desk phoned them. 

    In this line of work, you never know what you might encounter during a class. Fortunately, there are ways to prepare. Run your emergency drills. Keep an AED on hand. Review your clients’ medical histories. 

    “Practice,” Maloney said. “And know your people.” 

    For more information on the importance of AEDs, check out ACSM's two pronouncements:

    American College of Sports Medicine Expert Consensus Statement to Update Recommendations for Screening, Staffing, and Emergency Policies to Prevent Cardiovascular Events at Health Fitness Facilities (CSMR, June 2020)

    Increasing the Availability of Automated External Defibrillators at Sporting Events: A Call to Action from the American College of Sports Medicine (CSMR, August 2021)

    Download and print this free AED poster to alert your employees and clients to the location of the AED in your facility. 

  • Exercise and Sports Sciences Reviews Unveils New Cover Art

    by Caitlin Kinser | Dec 12, 2022

    ESSR unveils new cover artACSM is excited to announce a fresh new look for Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews (ESSR), thanks to the diligent work of the publication team and longtime ACSM designer Dave Brewer. The new cover made its debut on the January 2023 issue.

    ESSR had its start in 1972 as annual hardcover volume and in 2000 transitioned to a quarterly journal, a publication schedule it retains to this day. The latest redesign took into account extensive reader surveys and competitor analyses.

    Then came the brainstorming: “The first step was to deconstruct the old cover down to the basic elements and then experimenting with different groupings/positions with the journal title,” Dave says.

    After much ideating and iterating, Dave came up with a series of conceptual designs that he shared with the team. Once these were narrowed down to a few top picks, and after incorporating further feedback, he shared them with a wider group of constituents for final approval.

    The design the team landed on has been well-received within the ACSM community.

    “I’m thrilled with the new and contemporary cover of Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews,” says ESSR Editor-in-Chief Sandra Hunter, Ph.D., FACSM. “The design team did a fabulous job … resulting in a strong cover redesign that appropriately houses the cutting-edge and forward-thinking review articles in sports medicine and exercise science. It’s an exciting time to be a contributor to the high-quality journals of ACSM.”

    ACSM Publications Committee Chair Karyn Hamilton, Ph.D., R.D., FACSM, agrees.

    “What an exciting time for ACSM Membership!” she says. “Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews has a brand new look, a talented new editor-in-chief with outstanding new ideas for the journal, and a continued commitment to publishing the most relevant scientific, medical and research-based topics emerging in the field.”

    ESSR Cover Evolution

    Read the New Issue