Collaboration Delivers New Classes and Online Content to Expand REI Outdoor School Fitness Offerings
01.20.2015

SEATTLE & SAN DIEGO – REI and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) have joined forces to invigorate the personal fitness landscape. Beginning in February, people who love the outdoors will have access to specialized training for mountain climbing, backpacking and 5-10K runs in select REI store communities.

The partnership between REI and ACE brings a deeper level of fitness expertise to REI Outdoor School, the co-op’s signature outdoor education program, while enabling ACE to engage REI’s active members and customers in safe and effective exercise programming.

To kick off the partnership, ACE developed a progressive training series of classes exclusively for REI. The classes help people improve their personal fitness and achieve their outdoor goals, from crossing the finish line to reaching the mountain summit and beyond. Additionally, ACE contributed a set of informative, consumer-oriented articles to REI’s online Expert Advice pages.

“The people who come to REI want to get fit so they can enjoy the outdoor activities they love,” said Rebecca Bear, Outdoor Programs and Outreach Manager at REI. “By joining forces with ACE and integrating its training expertise into our REI Outdoor School class lineup, we’re providing customers with fun and energizing new ways to train for their next big run, ride or climb.”

The training series classes are led by NCCA-certified fitness professionals and structured as small-group sessions over a seven-week period. This unique format offers personalized attention in a social atmosphere that encourages progress toward common goals. Classes launching next month include:

  • Mountain Climbing Training Series: Building Strength and Fitness to Reach Your Summit
  • Backpacking Training Series: Get Fit for Your Weekend Trips and Thru Hikes
  • 5K - 10K Run Training Series: Enhance Your Run with Improved Strength and Fitness

Each class incorporates an initial baseline fitness assessment and six 45- to 60-minute field training sessions. Participants receive instruction in stability and mobility, strength training, balance and cardiovascular conditioning. Priced competitively with conventional fitness programming options, registration begins at $120 for REI members and $150 for non-members.

“REI is a trusted name in outdoor recreation with a large national reach and a strong base of members and customers who enjoy being active,” said ACE President and CEO Scott Goudeseune. “Collaborating with the co-op enables us to expand access to well-qualified fitness professionals who are delivering evidence-based programming and content designed to help people live their most fit lives.”

In the coming months, REI will launch additional training series classes focused on cycling, mountain biking, skiing and snowboarding. Beyond the training series, the co-op is also rolling out an expanded set of single-session classes and outings focused on running, hiking, yoga and other fitness activities. For more information on REI classes and outings, visit REI.com/learn.

About REI
REI is a $2 billion national multichannel retail co-op headquartered outside of Seattle. With more than 5 million active members, REI serves the needs of outdoor adventurers through innovative, quality products; inspiring classes and trips; and integrated customer service that allows shoppers to buy great gear and clothing in any way they want. REI has 138 stores in 33 states and REI.com and REI.com/outlet. Anyone may shop with REI, while members pay a one-time $20 fee to receive a share in the company’s profits through an annual member refund based on patronage. Membership in the co-op also includes special promotions and discounts on REI Adventures trips and REI Outdoor School classes.

About ACE
The nonprofit American Council on Exercise (ACE) educates, certifies, and represents more than 55,000 fitness professionals, health coaches, and other allied health professionals. ACE advocates for a new intersection of fitness and healthcare, bringing the highly qualified professionals that ACE represents into the healthcare continuum so they can contribute to the national solution to physical inactivity and obesity. ACE is the largest certifier in its space; all four of its primary certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the gold standard in the U.S. for assessing professional competence. ACE also plays an important public-service role, conducting research and making available science-based information and resources on safe and effective physical activity and sustainable behavior change.

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