NESTA is a professional fitness association offering a wide range of primary, advanced and specialized educational courses and certification programs.

AN OVERVIEW: NESTA was established in 1992 in Southern California.  Today, NESTA is an international fitness association with over 55,000 members from around the world. Approximately 10% of our members are from outside the U.S. NESTA members and graduates have thriving careers in over 50 countries. Countries outside the U.S. with the highest number of NESTA certified trainers/coaches are Canada, Singapore, Japan, Australia, China and the UK. Our certifications are accepted and used globally. We welcome all students from around the world.

NESTA’s Triathlon Coaching Certification division is the International Triathlon Coaching Association (ITCA)
NESTA’s Mixed Martial Arts Coaching Certification division is the MMA Conditioning Association (MMACA)
NESTA’s Life Coaching and Wellness division is the Spencer Institute (SI)

NESTA Faculty & Advisors

Dr. John Spencer Ellis
President & CEO

John knew from the age of 12, when he received his first health club membership as a birthday gift from his father, that fitness & personal development would be his calling. His unique success story started in a 400 sq. ft. studio apartment where he slept on the floor. He had just $2,000. What began as a personal training business has grown into a multi-million dollar group of corporations providing a variety of fitness, personal development and entrepreneurial products and services globally. John has helped create over 500,000 jobs.

John competed in over 100 sports competitions including the Ironman triathlon and the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championships.  He also finished 5th at the U.S. National Run/Bike Championships and won the Montebello Cycling Classic and Roadrunner Inline Skating Competition. It was because of John’s love of cycling and triathlons that he created Endurance Plus, the name he gave his company in 1992. His passion for fitness education and business led him to develop the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA), which educates, certifies and provides business solutions for fitness, coaching and nutrition professionals. NESTA now has over 55,000 members throughout the world.

Fitness and Personal Development Expert:

Each week, over one million people enjoy a fitness and personal development program John developed. His systems are used in the top resorts, spas and fitness centers. John is the CEO of the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA), Personal Trainer Hall of Fame (PFHF), Fitness Hall of Fame (FHOF), Spencer Institute for Life Coaching (SI), International Triathlon Coaching Association (ITCA), and the Mixed Martial Arts Conditioning Association (MMACA). John created Adventure Boot Camp, the largest fitness boot camp system in the world. He also created Intense Mixed Performance Accelerated Cross Training (IMPACT), Kung-fu Fitness, TACTIX and co-developed Survival Combat Fitness (SCF). His programs are used by Cirque du Soleil, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, U.S. Secret Service, FBI and Coast Guard, and he’s consulted the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships).

John is the CEO of the Get America Fit Foundation (GAFF) (501c3), which educates the public about living a healthy life and provides exercise equipment for schools and helps military veterans with physical challenges. He also supports multiple additional charities.

Endurance Athlete:
John has ridden his bicycle enough miles to circle Earth. He competed in cycling, running, skating and triathlon events for over 10 years.

Martial Artist:
John has earned a 2nd degree black belt in Kung-fu, black belt in Ninjutsu, purple belt in Tae Kwon Do, blue belt in Krav Maga, and blue belt in Kempo Karate and blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He’s also trained in Muay Thai for years.  John is a certified instructor of self-defense, fitness kickboxing and fitness boxing.

John holds two bachelor’s degrees (business & health science), an MBA with an emphasis in marketing, and a doctorate in education. He also completed doctoral level studies in naturopathic health education. He holds fifteen certifications including massage therapy, plyometrics, physical education, flexibility, nutrition coaching, water fitness, exercise rehabilitation, golf conditioning, Pilates, personal training, clinical hypnotherapy, sports hypnosis, PACE circuit training and yoga. His medical training includes a license in radiological technology, a medical assisting certification, and training in McKenzie rehabilitation. He has specialized training in ropes course facilitation and corporate team-building.

John has been featured on Oprah radio, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX, FOX Sports, FOX Reality, SPIKE and ESPN. He was featured as the fitness and lifestyle expert on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Orange County and Daybreak OC. John has also appeared on Starting Over, Life Moments, Camp Reality and America’s Premier Experts. He is the creator and executive producer of the awarding-winning documentary movie The Compass. He hosted the Ms. Fitness U.S.A. & World pageants on Fox Sports Net, The Fit Show, Health & Wellness Today, Core 360 Personal Gym infomercial, Personal Trainer TV, The OC Body, The Spencer Power Hour radio show, the now the Training & Coaching Lifestyle Podcast. John is featured in the movie Riches.

Print Media:
John is the former Fitness Editor for OC Flair magazine and has been featured or mentioned in the following publications: MMA Business, Muscle and Fitness, Businessweek, U.S. News and World Report, C magazine, IDEA Fitness Journal, Cosmopolitan, Fit, New York Times, Men’s Health, Better Homes and Gardens, Women’s World, Self and on the cover of Personal Fitness Professional Magazine. John is the publisher of Personal Trainer Magazine.

John delivered the Commencement Speech for (IVC) Irvine Valley College and shared the stage/screen with the following luminaries: Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Leigh Steinberg, Daymond John, Barbara De Angelis, Jon Biel, DC Cordova, Lewis Howes, Denis Waitley, Frank Maguire, Michael Gerber, Les Brown, Joe Vitale, Simon T. Bailey, John Assaraf, Brian Tracy, Larry Benet, Dr. John Demartini, Marie Diamond, Topher Morrison, Martin Rooney, Kevin Nations, Peter Thomson, Gary Goldstein, Dr. Robi Ludwig, Ryan Lee, T. Harv Eker, Dr. Bruce Lipton, and many others. He has also been an expert panelist for TEDmed and fitness expert for eHow.

New Rules of Success, The Compass, The Code, How Badly Do You Want It, Peak Vitality, Power of Champions, The Wellness Code, The Ultimate Life Coach Business Book, Collaboration Economy, Rapid Body Makeover and the forthcoming Health and Wellness Today.

John has collaborated on books with other leading experts such as Dr. Oz, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. John Gray, Eckhart Tolle, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Michael Beckwith, Kevin Harrington, Yanik Silver and Mariel Hemingway.

Awards and Recognitions:
Amazon #1 Best Selling Author “Rapid Body Makeover”
Amazon #1 Best Selling Author “The Wellness Code”
Amazon #1 Best Selling Author “New Rules of Success”
Amazon #8 Best Selling Author “Collaboration Economy”
Personal Trainer Hall of Fame Inductee (2012)
Nominated for induction to the National Fitness Hall of Fame (2011)
Best Health Book: Nautilus Book Award “Peak Vitality”
Best Self-Help / Motivational Book: US Book News “Peak Vitality”
Top 10 New Release: Hudson News “The Compass” book
Communicator Award “The Compass” movie
Telly Award “The Compass” movie
Quilly Award from the National Academy of Best Selling Authors
Nominated for the California Community College Distinguished Alumni Award
Named One of the Top 100 Most Influential Personal Trainers of All Time
Named One of the Top 100 Fitness Entrepreneurs in the World
Named Outstanding Member of IDEA Association of Fitness Professionals
Named Top 40 Fitness Blog of 2013

Scott Gaines, MS
Senior Vice President

Scott Gaines has over 15 years experience in the fitness industry. He is the Senior Vice President of the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA) as well as an adjunct professor of Functional Biomechanics at A.T. Still University. Scott oversees the development of NESTA’s educational programs for fitness professional and is the author and contributor to many of them. He is a national speaker on fitness in areas such as biomechanics and cardiovascular program design. Scott’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Human Movement with an emphasis in Corrective Exercise from A. T. Still University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine. He is also an experienced martial arts instructor with a 3rddegree black belt in the traditional Korean art of Tang Soo Do.


Chris Mohr, RD, LD, MS, PhD
Registered Dietitian/Exercise Physiologist

Christopher R. Mohr is an internationally recognized nutrition expert and is one of the most sought after dietitians in the country.  He is the consulting Sports Nutritionist for the Cincinnati Bengals and a nutrition spokesperson and consultant to a number of media outlets and corporations including Gatorade, The Dairy Council, Clif Bar, and Nordic Naturals. Dr. Mohr is the Sports Nutritionist for Under Armour’s Combine 360 Training Council and has worked with all levels of athletes, from young athletes through the pros, soccer moms to high level CEO’s and celebrities.

Through his company Mohr Results, Inc., he and his Team of Exercise Physiologists, Personal Trainers and Dietitians have worked with 1000‘s of individuals to help them reach their physical goals through high performance nutrition and training.  Dr. Mohr has been a featured speaker around the world, from Turkey to Iceland, Canada to Indonesia and almost all of the 50 states in between.  He often appears on TV as a nutritional guest expert, including an appearance with Chef Emeril Lagasse and another on the Montel Williams Show.

Dr. Mohr worked alongside celebrity LL Cool J as the nutrition expert for the NY Times Bestselling book, LL Cool J’s Platinum Workout, wrote the nutrition program for celebrity Mario Lopez’s Knockout Fitness and worked side by side with Fitness Celebrity Denise Austin to create the entire nutrition component of her bestselling book Denise’s Daily Dozen:The Easy, Every Day Program to Lose Up to 12 Pounds in 2 Weeks.

He is on the Advisory Board for Men’s Fitness Magazine and, the largest health site on the web.  He has written over 500 articles for consumer publications, such as Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Prevention, Fitness, Weight Watchers, and Fitness, to name a few.

On a professional level, Dr. Mohr has Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Nutrition from The Pennsylvania State University and University of Massachusetts, respectively. He earned his PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh and is a Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

Outside of professional education and experience, Dr. Mohr understands high performance nutrition on a personal level.  From an overweight kid who was trying to simply “make weight” to play football … to an Ironman Finisher, he understands firsthand how to apply performance nutrition principles to reach ones goals.  Dr. Mohr understands what it takes to eat to win and more importantly, how to translate the complex field of nutrition and dietary supplements into results.


Mark Teahan
Educational Coordinator

Mark Teahan brings 10 years of experience to NESTA He began his journey into this evolving field after finishing curriculum at The University of Utah in Salt Lake City in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science and immediately launched a successful career in the fitness industry upon relocating back to his roots in the Southern California area.

Mark has been fulfilling the role of wellness coach in the mid-Atlantic region as well as in California. His client list is impressive, including Coca–Cola Enterprises, Baltimore Aircoil Company, Roadway Freight, Conway Freight, xPedx Paper and The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers in Washington, DC. Mark was fortunate to gain access into the Wellness industry during its infancy and has contributed to the process of refining the corporate wellness genre overall. Mark has applied his skills and expertise to help many workers who came to value their own health through highly refined coaching techniques that inspire change while delivering results.

Mark holds multiple certifications in the industry, and is an instructor for NESTA and its Personal Fitness Trainer designation (PFT). To date, Mark has certified over 500 Personal Fitness Trainers and has therefore had a direct influence in the fitness industry as he travels from coast to coast and all points in between. He believes in the value of life quality by keeping people moving and healthy, regardless of circumstance or situation.


Norma Shechtman
Group Exercise Coordinator

Norma Shechtman, BS, MS, MA has talents and expertise that are well documented, ultimately leading to the ACE (American Council on Exercise) Fitness Professional of the Year Award on March 1, 2003. Previously, in 2002, Norma was nominated as one of the top three fitness professionals in the world from ACE. She holds a bachelors and masters degree in education and a masters degree in kinesiology. Norma holds certifications in Pilates, personal training, group fitness, kickboxing, indoor cycling, water fitness and many others. In addition, Norma travels the world presenting the latest training information to fitness professionals.


Janet Olsen, ATC
Certified Athletic Trainer

Janet Olsen, ATC holds a BS in Athletic Training from CSU Sacramento and teaching credentials in Physical Education and Biology. Her 12 years experience in an outpatient orthopedic physical therapy clinic, led to her current position as the Head Certified Athletic Trainer at Irvine Valley College where she has been a faculty member in the Sports Medicine and Fitness Certificate programs since 1990. Janet was drawn to sports medicine during her 10 years as a competitive club and collegiate gymnast. She served as Staff Athletic Trainer at the 2003 World Gymnastics Championships and 2004 U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials.  She has mentored hundreds of student interns that have successfully pursued careers in athletic training, physical therapy and the fitness industry.


Jack H. Bauerle
Sports Medicine/ Certified Athletic Trainer

Jack H. Bauerle, MS, ATC, CSCS earned his Bachelor’s degree and his Jack H. Bauerle, MS, ATC, CSCSMaster’s degree in sports medicine with an emphasis in Athletic Training from Chapman University. He served as the Head Athletic Trainer and Head Strength Coach to Chapman University from 1989-1993 as a division II NCAA sanctioned school. In 1994 Chapman moved to Division III and implemented Football. His responsibilities included Head Athletic Trainer to the football program and Adjunct Professor to [then] the Movement and Exercise Science Department. In 1998, Jack accepted a full time faculty appointment where he relinquished his Athletic ties to pursue academia in the department of Kinesiology. He was later appointed the Program Director of the Athletic Training Curriculum with the significant responsibility of pursuing NATA Accreditation with CAAHEP (Commission of Accreditation on Allied Health Educational Programs). He spearheaded and secured the Candidacy Status of the National Accreditation during January 2000.

Jack has also held appointments in the fitness industry as a fitness technician and current consultant in the local Orange County area. He partakes in regional and national speaking engagements in the sports medicine arena. Jack still manages his ties to Chapman University as an adjunct professor to the Athletic Training and Physical Education Department.


Phil Black
Water Fitness Specialist/Business Advisor

Phil Black, BA, MBA has been in the fitness industry for over twelve years. While he has extensive experience as a collegiate athlete, certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, inventor, and fitness entrepreneur, his passion and expertise lies in unconventional water-based training. Phil was a Navy SEAL officer for nearly six years, spending the last two years as a Navy SEAL Instructor in Coronado, CA. He received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Phil lives and works in San Diego with his wife and twin sons. Phil co-developed the soon-to-be-released Aqualogix Water Fitness Certification & Business Program.


Kelley Peviani
Yoga Instructor

Kelley Peviani, BA, MA is our Sport Yoga™, Sport Yoga Kid’s™ and Strength Yoga™ instructor. She has been practicing yoga for nine years and teaching for three. Kelley has been a certified yoga instructor since 2001. She has taught yoga to all ages, children and adults, in health clubs, spas, resorts, assisted living facilities, community centers, schools, and even a modeling agency in Southern California. Kelley is passionate about sharing her knowledge and expertise about yoga with others. Her compassionate approach to teaching enables her to instruct and communicate effectively with all ages and types of people. Over the years, she has studied with many talented instructors including Rodney Yee and Shiva Rey. In the past, she has also taught Ballet, jazz, and lyrical dance, creative movement, art, and acting. Kelley is currently continuing her yoga studies at the University of California at Irvine. She also holds a masters degree in education.