American College of Sports Medicine

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American College of Sports Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world.

Founded in 1954, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) promotes and integrates scientific research, education, and practical applications of sports medicine and exercise science to maintain and enhance physical performance, fitness, health, and quality of life. The ACSM national headquarters moved to Indianapolis in 1984, joining organizations such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Federation of State High School Associations, and national sport-specific governing bodies.

Members of ACSM work in a wide range of medical specialties, allied health professions, and scientific disciplines, and are committed to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of sports-related injuries and the advancement of the science of exercise.


The current (2014-2015) ACSM elected offices are held by:

  • President:Carol Ewing Garber, Ph.D., FACSM, Columbia University
  • President-elect: Lawrence Armstrong, Ph.D., FACSM, University of Connecticut
  • Immediate Past President: William Dexter, M.D., FACSM, Maine Medical Center
  • Second Past President: Janet Walberg Rankin, Ph.D., FACSM, Virginia Tech University

ACSM History[edit]

The founding meeting of the "Federation of Sports Medicine" took place in New York City at the Hotel Statler on April 22, 1954, as part of the afternoon program of the American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (AAHPER). The following year, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) was officially incorporated, and 11 individuals were designated as founders. This group was composed of seven men and one woman with careers in physical education, and three physicians. The physical educators were Clifford Brownell, Ph.D. Ernst Jok, M.D., Peter Karpovich, M.D., Leonard Larson, Ph.D. Grover Mueller, M.S., Neils Neilson, Ph.D, Josephine Rathbone, Ph.D. and Arthur Steinhaus, Ph.D. Although they had training in physical education or were employed in departments of physical education, Jokl, Larson, Karpovich, and Steinhaus were primarily involved in research dealing with the physiology of exercise. The physicians were Louis Bishop, M.D., Albert Hyman, M.D., and Joseph Wolffe, M.D. All three were practicing cardiologists.


ACSM members represent more than 70 disciplines in sports medicine and exercise science.

ACSM membership is offered in six categories:

  • Clinicians
  • Academicians
  • Scientists
  • Health & Fitness Professionals
  • Students
  • International

Regional Chapters[edit]

ACSM has 12 Regional Chapters throughout the United States that ensure easy access to regional educational meetings.

ACSM's 12 Regional Chapters are:

  • Alaska ACSM Regional Chapter
  • Central States ACSM Regional Chapter
  • Greater New York ACSM Regional Chapter
  • Mid-Atlantic ACSM Regional Chapter
  • Midwest ACSM Regional Chapter
  • New England ACSM Regional Chapter
  • Northland ACSM Regional Chapter
  • Northwest ACSM Regional Chapter
  • Rocky Mountain ACSM Regional Chapter
  • Southeast ACSM Regional Chapter
  • Southwest ACSM Regional Chapter
  • Texas ACSM Regional Chapter

ACSM Journals, Books, and Publications[edit]

The American College of Sports Medicine has a scientifically-based, well-respected publishing program made up of books and journals dating back to 1975. The four journals, several books and various multimedia resources serve ACSM’s diverse audiences. ACSM is well known for credible, science-based content in all the books and journals, including the standard reference ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription.


ACSM’s four leading scholarly journals provide access to cutting-edge research, relevant clinical reports and recent health-and-fitness information.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® Stay in the know with ACSM’s cutting-edge research. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (MSSE), ACSM's flagship monthly journal, is the leading multidisciplinary original research journal for members. Each issue features original investigations, clinical studies and comprehensive reviews on current topics in sports medicine and exercise science. MSSE is a leading journal in the field with an impact factor placing it #5 in the Sports Sciences category. Featured topics include: • Sports medicine practice • Physiology • Epidemiology • Biodynamics • Physical fitness and performance

Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews Learn from the brightest minds in the business. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews (ESSR), a quarterly review publication for members, provides premier reviews of the most contemporary scientific, medical and research-based topics in sports medicine and exercise science. The journal provides the most relevant, topical information for practical and research applications. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews consists of articles for readers with a broad interest in scientific issues related to exercise, movement, physical activity and/or sport. ESSR has an impact factor of 5.283 as reported by the Thomson Reuters IF for 2012 placing it #2 in the Sports Sciences category.

Current Sports Medicine Reports Respond to the needs of your patients. Current Sports Medicine Reports (CSMR), a bimonthly journal for physician members, responds to unique information needs by addressing two sports medicine topics in-depth each issue. This is one of the most thorough reviews of current sports medicine literature you’ll find out there. Categories include: • Head, Neck, and Spine • General Medical Conditions • Chest and Abdominal Conditions • Environmental Conditions • Sideline and Event Management • Training, Prevention, and Rehabilitation • Nutrition & Ergogenic aids • Exercise is Medicine • Extremity and Joint Conditions • Sport-Specific Illness and Injury • Competitive Sports • Special Populations

ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal® Know what’s hot, and what’s not, in the health and fitness field. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, a bimonthly journal for members of ACSM's Alliance of Health and Fitness Professionals, responds to the practical information needs of fitness instructors, personal trainers, exercise leaders, program directors and other front-line health and fitness professionals. Each issue includes: • Latest exercise science and nutrition research. • Current topics of interest for health, medical, wellness, and fitness industries. • CEC opportunities. • Information on ACSM certification workshops and ACSM Approved Providers. • ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal has been mentioned in several international news and magazine publications including the New York Times for coverage of hot topics such as the 7-Minute Workout.


ACSM publishes several books and multimedia resources to serve a variety of readers across the spectrum of students and teachers, researchers, M.D.’s and clinicians, public health professionals and those in the health and fitness industry. ACSM is best known for ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, first published in 1975.

Some of ACSM’s most popular titles include:

• ACSM’s Behavioral Aspects of Physical Activity and Exercise

• ACSM’s Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities

• ACSM's Health/Fitness Facility Standards and Guidelines

• ACSM’s Introduction to Exercise Science

• ACSM’s Resources for the Health/Fitness Specialist

• ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer


ACSM holds two major conferences each year, dedicated to continuing education for professionals. The 2013 Annual Meeting was held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Other meetings include roundtable specialty conferences, Team Physician courses, and Regional Chapter meetings.


The American College of Sports Medicine was the first organization to certify health fitness professionals. With more than 25,000 health fitness professionals in 44 countries, we are the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. ACSM establishes the exercise guidelines that all other certifications use for training and certification, and therefore, continues to set the standards in the fitness industry. We are dedicated to providing the latest in clinical research and cases, ensuring the continued education of our practitioners.

ACSM offers eight different certifications for fitness and clinical exercise professionals.


The American College of Sports Medicine Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization affiliated with and developed to support the American College of Sports Medicine, Inc.

Awards & Scholarships: Each year the ACSM Foundation awards approximately $100,000 in research awards and scholarships. To sustain and build these funds, the Foundation conducts ongoing fundraising efforts.

Board of Directors: Current ACSM Foundation President, Jim Pivarnik, Ph.D., FACSM serves as Professor of Epidemiology and Kinesiology at Michigan State University. Officers of the ACSM Foundation board also include Dave Hillery, Treasurer and James R. Whitehead, Secretary & CEO/EVP of ACSM, Inc. Corporate representatives on the ACSM Foundation board include: Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Dairy Research Institute, eSigma Solutions, Anytime Fitness, LLC, and TogoRun. Partner representatives include Henry S. Miller, Jr., M.D., FACSM from Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University and Regional Chapters Trustee, Lynn Darby, Ph.D., FACSM.

Policy Priorities[edit]

ACSM supports evidence-based public policy that encourages healthy lifestyles and the safe enjoyment of sports and other physical activities. In addition, ACSM members serve as expert resources for federal, state and local policy makers, ensuring that decisions are founded on the latest research.

ACSM advocates on several different issues on the federal, state and local level. It is through this advocacy that ACSM is able to affect positive change that results in healthy lifestyles. Whether it’s physical activity guidelines legislation on the federal level or concussion legislation on the state level, ACSM plays an active role in policy discussions.

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