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The award honors the former founder and chief executive of Life Fitness and his dedication to the fitness industry and ALS Research.

Gilbert, AZ, May 23, 2024 – National Academy of Sports Medicine® (NASM), the global leader in evidence-based learning and certifications for fitness and wellness professionals, announces legendary fitness mogul Augie Nieto as the 2024 Don Wildman Commitment to Excellence Award recipient. Created in 2021, this annual award from NASM honors the lives, legacies, and contributions of top fitness leaders in the industry.

The Don Wildman Commitment to Excellence Award, named after the fitness trailblazer, celebrates individuals whose lives embody the spirit of innovation and determination that Wildman himself championed. Augie Nieto’s relentless pursuit of excellence in the fitness industry and his extraordinary efforts to find a cure for ALS mirror the passion and impact that Don Wildman had on the world of fitness and beyond. Wildman and Nieto were close friends and shared a dedication to improving lives through fitness. Their approach to life’s challenges and inspiring personal stories highlight the reasons Nieto is this year’s esteemed recipient.

Augie Nieto, a visionary in the fitness industry and a 2008 Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame inductee, revolutionized exercise with his co-founding of Lifecycle, Inc., now Life Fitness, at just 22 years old. Under his leadership, Life Fitness became the world’s leading commercial fitness equipment manufacturer, setting new standards for innovation and quality.

After being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2005, Nieto channeled his entrepreneurial spirit into the quest for a cure, raising nearly $200 million to fund research. Furthering his commitment, Nieto established “Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS”, which has raised over $95 million.

His legacy endures in the countless gyms and fitness enthusiasts who benefit from his life’s work, as well as in the ongoing battle against ALS, which he fought courageously until his passing in February of 2023 year at the age of 65.

“Augie has changed many lives through his work to find a cure for this devastating disease and he is missed every day,” said Lynne Nieto, Chairman of Augie’s Quest. “He was dedicated to improving the health and wellness of those around him, and it’s our privilege to accept this award on behalf of Augie and his legacy.”

NASM has been a steadfast supporter of Augie’s Quest, which is focused on raising funds and awareness needed to advance research and fast-track effective treatments to cure ALS. Augie’s Quest has funded research that led to the development of a promising ALS treatment in development (Tegoprubart, formerly AT-1501), and marks the first time in history a non-profit organization research project has reached this stage of drug development.

“Augie’s story will continue to inspire others inside and outside of the ALS community, and it’s a privilege to present his family with this award,” said Colleen Morris, VP of Strategic Marketing at NASM. “His legacy is a testament to what it means to be a relentless leader in fighting for a cure, while making our fitness and wellness industry better for all in the process.”

About NASM

National Academy of Sports Medicine® (NASM) is a global leader in evidence-based learning and certifications for fitness and wellness professionals. Building on over 35 years of expertise, NASM programs create a roadmap for fitness and wellness 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. Learn more at

About Augie’s Quest

In March 2005, Nieto was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. After diagnosis, he partnered with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and created “Augie’s Quest” with the sole purpose of finding a cure for ALS. Funds he raised went completely to research, as administrative costs were covered by MDA. In 2014, Augie’s Quest officially transitioned from MDA to the ALS Therapy Development Institute, a non-profit biotech and in 2018, Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS became a stand-alone non-profit. Since 2006, Augie’s Quest and ALS TDI have raised over $150 million for research under Augie’s leadership.

Media Contact for NASM:
Daniele Spring
Uproar PR for NASM 

Media Contact for Augie’s Quest:

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