Hi friends! I hope you have had a great day so far. Since we are well into the afternoon, I’m going to skip the small talk and get right to the wordy post I’ve prepared for today. You’ve been warned.
The first two days of the conference were focused on two of my very favorite things merged into one showcase room: fitness and blogging. Thanks to Sweat Pink, bloggers from all over the country gathered to discuss the business, meet new friends, and network with brands.
Need to catch up?
As fun as BlogFest was for me to attend, I have to be honest in saying that I was most excited to join the rest of the community of fitness professionals at the IDEA World Fitness Convention on Saturday and Sunday!
If I could go back and re-do my trip, I would have flown in earlier to take advantage of the complimentary certification workshops on Wednesday, and flown home on the red eye Saturday night to cut down on hotel costs. I attended two great sessions on Sunday, and I could have also opted to complete a certification workshop then, but my brain and body were completely fried at that point. Next year (if I get the chance to go), I will keep this in mind and plan accordingly.
IDEA is one of the most popular and well-respected fitness educational conferences out there. As a personal trainer, I strive to continue my education in fitness and learn as much as I can to bring home to my gym, clients and blog readers.
Throughout the conference, there were over 400 sessions led by fitness and nutrition experts. It was hard to narrow down everything I wanted to do into a day and a half, but I’m pleased with what I ended up picking and attending.
I’ll try to keep my recap as brief (yet informative) as possible!
2015 IDEA World Fitness Convention:
My Saturday started with a 7 a.m. breakfast at Starbucks followed by a 7:30 a.m. TRX Multimodality Circuits session with my conference roomie, Ashley.
We ended up spending the entire day together after we looked over the session lists. We have very similar interests, and I was so happy to have a partner in crime by my side the whole time!
The Modality Circuits session began with a short lecture, led by TRX master instructor Michael Piercy, MS. He was very knowledgeable and went through the history of suspension training on the TRX, then briefly showcased the functionalities of all basic movements.
For those of you new to these yellow and black straps, the TRX Suspension Trainer is a simple, yet extremely effective workout system that leverages gravity and your bodyweight to perform hundreds of exercises. You’re in control of how much you want to challenge yourself on each exercise, all by adjusting your body position to add or decrease resistance.
You can do anything from full body squat rows to biceps curls and triceps extensions. It’s a great tool to have in a gym, and in a perfect world I would own one at home, too.
Once we were all on the same page, we were led through a workout circuit that took us on and off of the TRX straps for about 45 minutes. We broke up into groups and rotated from an exercise on the TRX straps to using other equipment like training ropes, sandbags, jam balls, and kettlebells. I felt very much at home (or… at my gym home) here!
One thing that was completely new to me was the Samurai Strike. The Rip Trainers were much heavier than they looked, and I wasn’t as strong or coordinated as I expected to be while using them. It was a true challenge to hold your core stable and resist the natural rotation and resistance of the strike.
Luckily, there were trainers there to help guide me in the right direction.
While I became inspired by a variety of exercises, the biggest takeaway I remember from the class is the concept of “chasing the plank.”
Before we even started, Michael had everyone go through the basic cues for a standard plank hold. (Think about placing your elbows under your shoulders, keeping your legs straight, your core tight, your shoulders pressed away from your ears, your head neutral, and your back steady by avoiding a round or sag.) Throughout any exercise you get into, think about all of those cues and find your plank when you return to a neutral position.
(Ashley completing oblique twists, and quite literally chasing her plank from side to side.)
We had plenty of workout sessions to come, so we quietly excused ourselves from the second circuit of exercises and observed while taking notes in the back for the last half hour of class.
Next up was a workout I was pumped to try: BODYSHRED with Jillian Michaels herself!
Ashley was able to get a small group of us into the press section, and we were the very first ones to enter the room! I was very thankful for her after seeing the long line of 600+ people who joined us.
I went into this workout knowing I wasn’t going to get the same experience I would in a smaller session. It’s almost impossible to do everything instructed when you are surrounded by so many and fearful of taking someone’s eye out! Regardless, it’s always fun to try new types of workouts, especially from fitness icons who created them.
Jillian was awesome. I mean, I expected her to be in crazy great shape, but she was even stronger (yet still petite) and beastlier than I pictured her to be in person. She was our keynote speaker at BlogFest last year, so I already knew I was going to love her. She’s hilarious, inspiring, and super motivating!
This year, we had an hour of her time, and she used 30 minutes for the workout.
JILLIAN MICHAELS BODYSHRED™ is a high intensity and endurance based workout that gets you incredibly sweaty and tired in just thirty minutes. Jillian created a 3-2-1 interval approach that goes as follows:
– 3 minutes of strength
– 2 minutes of cardio
– 1 minute of abs
She claims this style of exercise will “shed fat, define muscle, transform the look of your entire physique, and dramatically enhance your overall health and athletic performance.” After just one session, I believe her!
The only equipment required for BODYSHRED is a light set of dumbbells, and we were all provided with two water bottles to sub in and do the trick. It was fun and challenging enough to hate all at the same time.
After two back-to-back workout sessions, it was safe to say that lunch and a new change of clothes were well deserved.
We all lived off of snacks from BlogFest and the EXPO throughout the weekend, and Saturday was no exception. I’m pretty sure I had a snack in my hand at all times. I wasn’t incredibly hungry by the time our lunch break rolled around, so the group of us pictured above (minus Gina… she had to get back to San Diego!) quickly walked upstairs to our hotel room to change, then over to Red Mango for a smoothie.
I made sure to add extra protein and energy into mine. 😉
We had about an hour of free time left, so we went through the EXPO, tried a lot of products, talked to some companies, and loaded up on a ton of snacks.
EXPOS are always exciting for me, but I have to say that this one didn’t quite measure up to what I remembered from last year. We did, however, get our booties kicked even further from my friends at the SPRI booth.
We ran into my former personal trainer from my dance team days in Orlando (Hi Jeff!), and he somehow talked us into performing a set of :30 challenges that ranged from heavy lifting and box jumps to agility exercises and ladder drills. I didn’t do so well on those presses, but I actually tied for first on the ladder! Go figure.
In a hurry, we dashed off to our next session, Nutrition in the News – The Truth Behind the Media Headlines taught by Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD.
In two hours, he covered this year’s hottest nutrition topics and did a great job at sorting through the hype of recent trends like going going paleo and gluten-free.
I had four pages of notes, so here is my best attempt to condense them down and share the highlights:
• Grains are great for you! Some of the best you can eat are quinoa, buckwheat, and farro.
• Eat as much as you want, as long as you fill up half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.
• Add more Omega 3 foods into your diet! Think fish, seafood, almonds, nuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds.
• What does your protein intake look like? Most people skimp on protein in the mornings and consume way too much before bed. Here is what an ideal day of protein content looks like.
(slide courtesy of the session led by Mohr)
• Make sure you are getting enough probiotics! Great sources include cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, Kefir, kimchi, and kombucha.
• Keep fruit out on your kitchen counter. If it’s visible, you will eat more of it.
• On supplements vs. food: supplements (like protein powders or shakes) fill in the gaps when you aren’t able to get enough, but real food will always supply more nutrients you need.
• Coffee is one highest sources of antioxidants! It is considered to be a drug, however, and should be enjoyed in moderation.
Questions & Answers
What diet is best?
The only diet for you or your client is one you can stick with. Try to concentrate on portion control over calorie consumption. Use your fist as a portion guide. At the end of the day, REAL FOOD always wins.
Which fish is better, wild or farmed?
Eating any fish is better than no fish. Eat what you can afford!
Is it really better to eat 3 meals a day instead of 6 smaller meals?
You have to go for what’s practical. It’s all about overall calorie consumption, rather than how often you get calories. What is realistic is different for each person.
I probably ate three different snacks throughout the session, but I felt good about my choices of almonds, turkey jerky, and Greek yogurt as he lectured. Win!
I was really looking forward to our final session of the day.
Ashley and I rounded out the end of Day Three with an informative session on foam rolling and massaging called Roll, Regenerate, Revitalize led by Brian Nunez of SPRI.
We were instructed to bring our “tight, sore and knotted muscles” to this session, and that we did. During the hour and a half workshop, we learned effective softening, lengthening, and strengthening methods for regaining joint mobility and muscle flexibility.
We used a variety of equipment like the foam roller, stick roller, ball roller, and straps, and I truly enjoyed stretching and working out my sore muscles under his instruction and to the sounds of Bob Marley. It was a relaxing, yet enlightening class that I will be back to share more about later on.
Just like that, our first full day of IDEA sessions was over and we were more than ready for a hot meal and time to unwind. Ashley and I took our time getting ready and dressed in (clean but comfortable) leggings to meet a few friends for dinner at Fleming’s Steakhouse.
Watching our budget, we shared an assortment of appetizers off of the happy hour menu.
Baked Brie (<-amazing!) Ahi Tacos & Filet Flatbread
We walked by Red Mango on our way home and decided to also grab fro yo… for good measure.
We were only a couple of sessions away from closing this year’s experience of IDEA, and were making sure to take it all in while we were there.
I have one more session of information from Sunday that I would like to share with you, but I’ll save that for a post of its own down the road. Stay tuned!
Do you have any more questions about the IDEA World Fitness Convention or IDEA World Fitness BlogFest? Feel free to ask them below in the comments section, and check out my Do’s and Don’ts of Attending the IDEA World Fitness Convention post from last year that might cover some.
I hope to see you there next year!
Disclosure: As an IDEA Inspired Advisor, my ticket to attend this conference was covered by IDEA. My travel and accommodations, however, were not sponsored. Anything I chose to share about my days at the conference is up to me. Thank you for stopping by and reading about my experience!