This morning I drank
a small cup of fully leaded coffee. The last time I ingested caffeine purposely
was 2-1/2 years ago and it wired me so hard I was up for almost 48 hours.
Before that, it had been 11 years since my last cup of coffee. But after 5 days
of 2010 IDEA World Fitness Convention in Los Angeles, I needed something to
light a fire under me. When you run on pure adrenaline for several days, you
eventually hit the wall, and today was my day for the collision. What a week! This
convention set an incredibly high benchmark for all it stands for: excellent fitness
education, innovation, product knowledge, networking and plain old fun. Nothing
I’ve seen in the industry holds a candle to the array of sensory experiences I
had the privilege of witnessing and experiencing over the last few days in LA.Beginning with
meeting US Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and joining a symbolic walk for
fitness with her and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the week exploded from the start. On the same day,
IDEA CEO Peter Davis unveiled the much-anticipated IDEA FitnessConnect, a
powerful professional fitness directory platform that has 14 major
certification agency verification partners (13 of which are NCCA-accredited)
that will verify the certification status of all the fitness professionals
listed. Finally, a way to separate the “posers” from the professionals!The directory has
many tools to help you be more successful and devote more time to what you’re
best at—training your clients. If you haven’t filled out your profile yet, go
to http://www.ideafit/fitnessconnect. Watch this fun, informative video to
get a better idea of what it’s all about. This service is absolutely FREE and
will connect you to syndication partners with an estimated 16 million consumers
looking at your profile by the end of the year.The tradeshow was a
blockbuster with 150 vendors selling the latest in fitness equipment and
technology, but the real star of the show was the education, which had IDEA’s
hallmark base of research made practical and immediately usable. With more than
350 sessions taught by the most elite corps of fitness educators ever
assembled, this year's program was incredibly rich and diverse. Sessions
focused on metabolic, body leverage, and multi-planar training methodologies
and fresh equipment-based techniques, as well as innovations in research, group
exercise, business/career, nutrition, Pilates, yoga, mind-body and water
fitness. If you couldn’t find something that interested you, you truly were not
looking hard enough.Here are several of
the trends that ran throughout the programming and in conversations I had with
the professionals attending:
- We need to put fun
into fitness for end users (and for our professional longevity). Your clients
work all day, so when they come to you, training shouldn’t seem like work, it
should surprise, delight and challenge them. Seeing innovative concepts on the
program such as parkour—the physical discipline of
training to get around any obstacle in your path by using only the human body
and the objects in the environment—support this need for playfulness. Watching
this class and the joy it elicited in participants was like seeing a bunch of
kids on a playground. Speaking of playgrounds...further supporting the notion of fun were Rodney Corn’s “Metabolic
Playground” and Jay Dawes’ “Metabolic Conditioning Games—Playing Your Way into
Shape” plus a wide array of other sessions.
- Get to the heart of the matter for your
clients. Spend less time giving them information they already know. Stop giving
or allowing them excuses for why they aren’t improving. Challenge them. Be
their guide, but don’t mollycoddle. Make clients accountable for their health
and fitness. Dare them to own it.
- Workouts are getting more adventurous,
attainable and exciting. There is no one-size-fits-all approach in any part of
the industry. “What makes one person’s heart tick may not do it for the next,”
said newly minted IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year Carol Murphy. “Find what
makes their heart tick. Get them excited.”
- We’ve reached only a small fraction of
the potential fitness market. As Jonathan Ross, 2010 IDEA Personal Trainer of
the year observed, “We are the special population. We are the weirdos because we
love exercise.” There are millions of untapped customers who need assistance.
- Ross identified a few trends he sees in
- Better movement first. Teach clients how
to move correctly before you do anything else. Biomechanics need to be promoted
to top priority in training.
- Better results; less effort. “It’s all
about making fitness more accessible to people,” he said. "Anything that removes
barriers such as time and money or making it more portable, can help make this
- Life is going to get harder for the
professional “posers.” By this he means personal trainers who put on a show
while training who have no education to back it. Certification organizations
are raising the bar, (and so are tools such as IDEA FitnessConnect) which means
that recently certified professionals will certainly walk onto the scene with
far more education than the “fakers” will ever have.
a philosophy standpoint, Peter Twist, 2010 IDEA Program Director of the Year,
feels that anything that gets people moving is a success. “There is no bad
exercise,” he said. “We’re in the business of building the human spirit. If you
can shift attitude, it pays forward.”
conditioning for kids is hot. Parents understand there is a difference between
sport conditioning and regular conditioning, says Twist. “There is a lot of opportunity
- Exercise is medicine. The fitness industry needs to get more support and buy-in from the
training has staying power. “Technology is making people more sedentary.
Personal training may be the only way people get movement in the future, which will
likely make personal trainers more in demand,” says Twist.
and regeneration. What are we doing with athletes and older adults to help
rejuvenate them after training?
function. What portable tools can we utilize to provide high energy expenditure
in a shorter amount of time?
programming as a way to tackle childhood obesity and family education about
health, nutrition and exercise.
Knowing that IDEA
raises the bar every year, I will save up another year’s worth of caffeine
avoidance so I can again savor a cup of Joe to help me recover from next year’s
IDEA World event at the same venue in Los Angeles (August 10-14).I’ll take mine with
cream--the cream of the crop IDEA attracts. How do you want yours? Until then, for all you do to Inspire the World
to Fitness, IDEA salutes you!