National Academy of Sports Medicine(r) (NASM) and Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) Present Lineup of Nationally Recognized Speakers for Annual Optima Conference

Experts in fitness, wellness, sports, and more to speak at award-winning fitness and wellness conference taking place October 13-15

GILBERT, Ariz., October 12, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), the worldwide leaders in fitness certifications, are excited to announce a diverse lineup of speakers for the eighth annual Optima Conference taking place virtually October 13-15, 2022.

“Our fitness and wellness community is expanding as more people than ever before are focused on how they can lead healthier and happier lives,” said Laurie McCartney, President of Fitness and Wellness for Ascend Learning, where she oversees NASM and AFAA. “By bringing together the leading experts and innovators, Optima offers an abundance of learning opportunities for fitness and wellness professionals and enthusiasts who are looking for new and better ways to help transform lives, including their own.”

The roster of over 75 speakers provides a variety of health and fitness experts who will share insights on a wide range of topics – from wellness and nutrition to bodybuilding and sports medicine.

Featured speakers include:

  • Sunny Andrews, MD, one of the fittest doctors in the world, is a surgery resident, IFBB Wellness pro, fitness model, coach, nutritionist, world champion physique competitor, and successful entrepreneur.

  • Alan Aragon, MS, holds a master’s degree in human nutrition and is a nutrition researcher and educator with 25 years of success in the field. His most notable clients include “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Derek Fisher, and Pete Sampras.

  • Allison Brager, PhD, specializes in sleep, circadian rhythms, and neuroscience research. As an elite athlete, Allison has leveraged her experience to help develop the first mental health handbook for the NCAA.

  • Bill Campbell, PhD, is a professor of exercise science and director of the Performance & Physique Enhancement Laboratory at the University of South Florida. He has published over 200 scientific papers and abstracts in the areas of physique enhancement, sports nutrition, and resistance training.

  • Tasha Edwards, MS, has 17 years of experience in the industry as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor of multiple modalities. She holds a master’s degree in counseling and utilizes her background in sociology and psychology to provide health and wellness services to help people live their best lives.

  • Guillermo Escalante, DSc, MBA, is an associate professor of kinesiology and dean fellow for the College of Natural Sciences at California State University San Bernardino. He is the lead subject matter expert for NASM’s Physique and Bodybuilding Coach Program, as well as an associate editor of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

  • Ryan Glatt, MSc, is a personal trainer and brain-health coach with over a decade of experience in the fitness industry. Ryan has created the Brain Health Trainer course, which is the first comprehensive course to be released on the topic of brain health and exercise.

  • Joel Jamieson is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on conditioning and heart rate variability (HRV). With more than 20 years of experience as a coach, author, lecturer, and fitness entrepreneur, Joel has trained countless world champions and Olympic competitors.

  • Emily Splichal, DPM, is a functional podiatrist and human movement specialist, the founder of EBFA Global, creator of the Barefoot Training Specialist® certification. With over 20 years in the fitness industry, Splichal has dedicated her medical career to studying postural alignment and human movement as it relates to barefoot science, foot-to-core integration, and sensory integration.

  • Phil Weber is a leadership consultant, speaker, author, and executive coach. Phil coached for the Phoenix Suns, NY Knicks, and New Orleans Pelicans. He was an offensive advisor for the Miami Heat during three consecutive runs to the NBA Finals, including two World Championships.

The event’s keynote speaker is Kelly McGonigal who is best known for her TED Talk, “How to Make Stress Your Friend,” which has over 20 million views. She is also the author of several books including The Willpower Instinct, The Upside of Stress, and The Joy of Movement.

To learn more about the Optima Conference speakers and the topics of their sessions, visit

Registered attendees will have free access to more than 100 educational sessions, workouts, and networking events. There is also the option to purchase a Full Access Pass with Continuing Education Units (CEUs) which grants attendees the opportunity to earn up to 1.9 NASM or 19 AFAA CEUs.

The Optima Conference was awarded a Gold Stevie International Business Award for “Best Educational Conference” in 2021, making it one of the top events for members of the fitness and wellness industry. Last year, the conference welcomed more than 10,000 attendees from all facets of the fitness industry including personal trainers, wellness coaches, athletes, massage therapists, and health club managers.

About NASM: National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) is a global leader in fitness education and certifications. Building on over 35 years of expertise, NASM programs create a roadmap for fitness professionals to help their clients achieve better physical and mental performance in athletics and everyday life. NASM provides an industry-first training system, with the Optimum Performance Training (OPT™) model, creating robust courses and content based solely on science-backed research. NASM has educated over 1.4 million fitness professionals in over 100 countries, creating a global space for optimal wellbeing and fitness. Learn more at

About AFAA: Since 1983, AFAA has issued over 350,000 certifications in 73 countries, providing generations with the practical skills, science and hands-on experience necessary for effective group leaders and trainers to motivate and inspire others to move toward healthier and happier lives. A global leader in fitness certification, AFAA upholds Basic Exercise Standards and Guidelines for safe fitness practice. To learn more about AFAA, visit or call 1.800.446.AFAA. For news and industry insights, follow us on Facebook or Twitter at @AFAA_fit.

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Chloe Blair
Uproar PR for NASM

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