America's 'Next Fitness Star' is Boston PE teacher

Across the country, there are so many low-profile fitness heroes fighting the battle against childhood obesity we don't know about. Thanks to ExerciseTV, the on-demand network founded by fitness icon Jake Steinfeld of Body by Jake fame, we now know about Brandy Cruthird, winner of the "Next American Fitness Star" contest.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Across the country, there are so many low-profile fitness heroes fighting the battle against childhood obesity we don't know about. Thanks to ExerciseTV, the on-demand network founded by fitness icon Jake Steinfeld of Body by Jake fame, we now know about Brandy Cruthird, winner of the "Next American Fitness Star" contest.

As a reminder, Steinfeld held a contest in late 2006, including live auditions in Boston and Los Angeles, to choose someone whom he and his team would give the chance to become the next fitness personality a la Jake a couple of decades ago.

Cruthird, a physical education teacher in the Boston school system, was The Chosen One, selected in March from a field of about 1,000 applicants (although we're not sure they were all completely serious. Click here to see a Dec. 15, 2006, SNEWS® story, "ExerciseTV auditions 'America's Next Fitness Star.'") Cruthird will receive a one-year paid contract with ExerciseTV that includes appearing in an original fitness series on the network and hosting a monthly blog on exercisetv.tv, as well as a year's worth of New Balance footwear and apparel.

In addition to starting her own for-profit gym for adults, Cruthird also started a non-profit, free gym for kids. Cruthird said she felt saddened by the number of obese kids and as funding for physical education decreased, she wanted to find a way to help.

Initially, Cruthird approached Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts to provide families who couldn't afford a gym membership with her DVD. With the attention, she also went ahead and asked for help to open a kid's gym. Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BC/BS) agreed, and their combined efforts raised over $250,000 from United Way and Children's Hospital.

"I'm passionate that if you can get the parents involved, you can get the kids involved," Cruthird told SNEWS®.

Now, kids who have a prescription from a physician to join Cruthird's gym are fully covered by BC/BS for their membership. To make fitness fun, she offers activities such as Dance Dance Revolution, Cateye Game Bikes, a boxing ring, dance classes and other activities. For adults, she offers Baby Boot Camp and step classes, and Cruthird herself teaches the majority of the classes. She has also recently launched a number of groundbreaking programs to combat childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes.

"Our kids aren't exposed the way they should be. I wanted to create a world of fitness. Each of us is a fitness enthusiast," said Cruthird, a former Division 1 basketball player at James Madison University in Virginia who has always been a fitness enthusiast.

"When we launched the search for America's Next Fitness Star, we wanted to find an individual who would motivate people to be their best -- someone who demonstrates and believes, as I do, that fitness can be fun," said Jake Steinfeld in an announcement by the network. "Brandy is a fantastic health and fitness advocate who embodies that dynamic spirit, energy and commitment."

Related

ExerciseTV auditions "America's Next Fitness Star"

Could the next fitness TV star be a man who calls himself "The Denkster" and has an affinity for fluorescent weights? Wacky as it sounds, Alexander Denk has a shot to succeed Jake Steinfeld (of Body By Jake fame) as the next big thing in TV-based fitness programming. ExerciseTV, ...read more

ExerciseTV and Jake Steinfeld Introduce 'America's Next Fitness Star'

LOS ANGELES and BOSTON, March 13 -- Fitness icon Jake Steinfeld, founder of ExerciseTV, the first comprehensive on-demand network dedicated to fitness, sports training and motivational programming, announced today that the winner of the network's inaugural nationwide contest for ...read more

Schools tap federal grants to buy fitness equipment for PE

PE class is no longer about standing in the outfield or waiting for a turn at kickball. With the new PE, kids have the chance to hop on a treadmill, lift weights, take step classes, or track improvement with a heart rate monitor -- thanks partly to a federal grant program that ...read more

Lobby for PE attracts crowd, but few fitness reps

Lobbying on Capitol Hill last week brought out 87 advocates for school physical education, including sporting goods executives, management from full-line retailers and celebrity athletes, but only a trickle of fitness industry representatives. Nevertheless, a full day of talking ...read more

PE Day lobbying puts fitness on legislative forefront

A small army of athletes, manufacturers and retailers (plus SNEWS®) climbed up to Capitol Hill on May 5 to stress the importance of fitness and school PE to the government, making a splash with kids bouncing balls at a press conference before breaking into groups and heading off ...read more

PE Day lobbying event pushes to keep federal funding for youth fitness

For the fifth straight year, groups of athletes, manufacturers, retailers and teachers took to Capitol Hill to try to convince legislators not only to increase support for physical education in schools, but also to keep it alive -- all in the name of better youth fitness and ...read more

Fitness: Did you hear?...

>> In the ongoing legal battle between Icon and Nautilus over the Bowflex – a battle that has landed in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals -- no ruling has been issued as of Aug. 19. Nautilus filed a response with the court on Aug. 11 after the federal court two weeks earlier ...read more

Boston Marathon expo attracts fitness, running enthusiasts

Does a running expo seem out of the question for a fitness equipment or accessory company? Well, think again. The expo for the Boston Marathon will see some 22,000 runners walking its halls, especially since they must maneuver the aisles so they can pick up their numbers, shirts ...read more

CityVoter and ExerciseTV Partner to Launch Nationwide Search for America's Top Fitness Trainers

BOSTON and LOS ANGELES -- CityVoter Inc., provider of online guides and contest platforms for leading media companies, and ExerciseTV, the first comprehensive on-demand network dedicated to fitness, sports training and motivational programming, today announced a partnership to ...read more