Since becoming a certified personal trainer a few years ago, I decided to join IDEA Health and Fitness Association to take advantage of the many benefits it offers for fitness professionals. Every year they host a huge convention with hundreds of educational sessions that covers a myriad of topics from personal training to nutrition, business and marketing, group training, sports conditioning and so many more. At the same time as the convention is the IDEA World Fitness Blogfest with SweatPink. I heard about this event last year and really wanted to apply to attend this year but my husband’s work schedule was in flux so I couldn’t plan ahead. I look forward to reading about it from other bloggers who had the opportunity to go.
Fortunately, I had the chance to check out the expo this past weekend. I got up at 4am so I could be on the road by 5am to avoid the L.A. traffic. I made it to the convention center in about two hours with an hour to spare for coffee and figure out where to go for the boot camp class with Todd Durkin. There was a special event on Saturday called Fitness Fanatics where renowned fitness trainers held classes. I picked Todd Durkin because I’m a fan of his book The IMPACT! Body Plan: Build New Muscle, Flatten Your Belly & Get Your Mind Right! and have used his programs as part of my strength training. He has even become more popular as one of the trainers in the show Strong on NBC. I admit I haven’t had the time to watch it yet.
The TD Strong Boot Camp Experience
The class was held in one of the ballrooms at the JW Marriott walking distance from the convention center. I waited in line before the doors were opened and as I walked in, I was greeted by a number of hollering fitness trainers getting all the participants pumped up for the event. The moment I stepped in I felt I was about to witness a concert, a stage set up in the front with 3 huge screens, the DJ on the side of the stage mixing up hip-hop and dance music, strobe lights flashing in a darkened room.
The event was scheduled to start at 9am but TD didn’t come out on the stage until after a few minutes passed the hour, after a hyped-up intro from the DJ. His entrance was dramatic with the music, the loud cheers, and TD himself with his hood up slightly covering his face. He started with a few motivational words then started with a warm-up, many of them I was familiar with as they are the same warm-up exercises he has in his book The IMPACT! Body Plan
It was an hour long session, all bodyweight but worked every part of my body. He made sure every plane of movement was covered – sagittal, frontal, transverse. We did a variety of supersets of 3 different exercises in 3 minutes. My favorite started with the breakdancer to donkey kicks to stand and jump.
The final part of the boot camp was a relay ‘race’ where we lined up in rows and did our choice of exercises. TD finished with a group huddle, a few minutes of inspiring words and his signature chant. I was so invigorated after the session, I wanted more! Todd Durkin has an innate talent as a motivational speaker and one of the phrases he said that stuck with me was “Your biggest victories come from your biggest defeats”.
Zumba with The Brutez
Coming off of a high, I went to my next workout at the expo inside the Challenge arena. I stepped out of my comfort zone to try Zumba with two buffed dudes who are called ‘The Brutez’. They’re known as the dancing bodybuilders with hip-hop style moves. At first I was on the sidelines as an observer watching how much of a great time the participants were having. I let go of my inhibitions and decided to have a good time myself. Don’t get me wrong, I like to dance but I was a little unsure of my ability to follow choreography but once I was out on the floor, I was grooving like the rest of the crowd. It was so much fun!
TRX Boot Camp
My favorite piece of equipment for movement training is none other than TRX. They had an expansive booth at the expo with classes scheduled almost every hour. I was a little tired from the two workouts I’ve already done but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. I often work out with a TRX at home and at the gym but have not attended any group classes. For 30min, the TRX trainer Miguel had us sweating and muscles fatigueing from an awesome, yet challenging workout. I am even more inspired to pursue trainer courses so I can use it as part of my training arsenal.
I spent another half-hour walking around the expo to check the rest of the booths. Perhaps because it was around lunchtime, I was drawn to the nutrition booths who were offering samples of their products – bars, waters galore (coconut water, electrolyte water, seltzer water), wild seafood, yogurts, Arctic Zero frozen dessert (delish), and even Egglands Best was there with hard-boiled eggs on a stick!
Overall it was a worthwhile experience. However, I dreaded my drive home as it took twice as long (4hrs!!!) with traffic, construction, and accidents heading south. The day after, I started feeling the effects of DOMs in unfamiliar areas of my body which lasted through Monday. It validated that even as simple as bodyweight movements with the right amount of intensity can cause micro-tears in our muscles that lead to a stronger body.
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