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This past weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in an event I’ve longed to attend since I became a fitness instructor: the IDEA World convention. IDEA has a reputation for being the “best of the best” as far as fitness educational conferences are concerned, and many of my world colleagues have attended and presented at IDEA. Before I get started with my recap, I wanted to thank my two sponsors for giving me the opportunity to attend: IDEA and Reebok. I’ve been working with IDEA as an Inspired Advisor so my conference pass was complimentary, and through my partnership with Reebok, they provided my hotel, expenses and transportation. Throughout the weekend, I rocked my Reebok gear and also attended a few meetings with fellow Inspired Advisors, including these lovely ladies:
Something that I was looking forward to the most throughout the weekend was the chance to take classes and learn from powerhouse instructors, including some of my favorites: Chalene Johnson, Shaun T., Tory Horton and Jay Blahnik. I also learned from new-to-me instructors and had an amazing time.
Here are some of the conference session highlights:
(warning: super long and photo bomb post ahead)
Les Mills GRIT
As you guys know, I’ve been dying to try one of the new Les Mills’ GRIT classes, which combines strength, plyometrics and high-intensity interval training. We don’t have any classes yet in Tucson, but I was able to take a class at IDEA. Julie and I ended up missing the first half (strength) because we were doing another event with Reebok at the Expo, but ended up being glad because the cardio portion alone killed us. We were sweaty beasts afterwards! The drills consisted of powerful movements, including sprints (where you had to weave and dodge around your neighbors, who were also sprinting), squat jumps, pushups and jumping lunges. I loved that the moves were basic but got your heart rate up extremely fast. Also, the time for the drills decreased for each round, which made it easier to trick your body into finishing strong, even if you were tired. (And man, I was spent after a full day of classes already!)
Equinox presents: Animal Flow
This class was something I’ve never heard of, but had explored the idea of animal-based movement classes with my boss at work. It was a “flow,” so after learning the core moves (static beast, loaded beast, crab, foot under, knee kick-throughs and lunges), the instructor would call out each move and you’d flow from one to the next. I especially loved the fact that they encouraged animal sounds during the session… always a recipe for a good time 😉 The movements were dynamic and required core stabilization– an awesome strength and core workout.
Reebok Fitness Fusion
This was my first session of the conference, and the best possible way to start things. The instructor was from Spain, and an absolute fireball of talent and energy. She taught us a complex step combo, building onto the moves and stylizing them with dance movements (like flamenco hands). As you can imagine, I was in heaven. The only bummer was that we were in a carpeted room so I almost fell and broke my face a few times, but got in a great workout. The funny thing is that I could have called the active portion good after that -I was drenched in sweat- but nope, we were just getting started.
Chalene Johnson’s TurboKick
This is one of the sessions I was looking forward to the most. As you all know, I’m a HUGE TurboFire and Chalene fan, and was so stoked to finally be able to take a class from her in person. It totally exceeded my high expectations. The session was packed -the line wrapped around the room to get in- and Chalene herself was at the door to greet everyone (“Hi! Thanks for being here! So happy to see you”) and hand us each a glowing star wand to use during the Turbo session. She had a little “fitness rave” as she called it, and the room was dark, the music was blasting as we all kicked, punched, and “whoop”-ed with our glowsticks. Amazeballs.
We did a few combos, a few fire drills (similar to those in TurboFire) and the energy in the room was out of control. She’s a huge inspiration, a very talented instructor, and absolutely gorgeous. She’s SUPER petite, too. I’m 5’5 and she came up to my shoulders. I have to say this was my favorite session.
Tony Horton’s Speed, Balance and Range of Motion
I was familiar with Tony Horton from his P90x series, but had never done one of his workouts. I was missing out! Not only is he a sexy beast, but he’s a nut. His jokes made the class a lot more fun, and we were all being tortured from the exercises. I loved the format of this class, because it alternated between speed, balance and range of motion.
A couple of examples:
Punches to burpees (speed), warrior 3 to half moon (balance), low side lunge and shoot the basket (range of motion)
Sprints (speed), side plank with knee raise (balance), donkey kicks with a kick through (range of motion)
We did each speed round 3 times: very slowly (to get a feel for the move and warm up), slightly faster, and then as fast as we could go. Each portion was 1 minute.
This style of training is something I’m going to implement in my own classes and workouts.
During the BeachBody showcase, we also got to do a live Insanity workout with Shaun T. It rocked my world. He has a way of pushing you to work your very hardest, and loved how genuine he was in the Q&A session.
To be totally honest, I didn’t learn a ton from this lecture, but I really enjoyed it. It always makes me excited to hear fitness professionals giving a sage and balanced approach to nutrition, which is exactly what the presenter did. Julieanna Heaver is a registered diectician, a vegan, and gave tons of meal ideas and strategies for getting in a healthy vegan diet. Even tough she obviously loves and believes in the vegan lifestyle, there wasn’t a single part of her talk that said, “Everyone should be a vegan.” Instead, she said that different things work for different people, but “there’s one thing we can all agree on: we should all eat more fruits and veggies.” She was a joy to listen to- super fun and animated- and I’m excited to check out some of her recipes, since they’re all whole ingredient meals with gluten-free options.
Equinox presents: SHOCKWAVE
Jay Blahnik (one of my faves) was one of the trainers for this circuit-style workout. You work with a team and alternate between upper body, core, lower body and carido, which is indoor rowing (aka it kills me). The coolest thing about this workout is the friendly competitive spirit: You can’t rotate to the next round until ALL the rowers have completed their set distance. This means that everyone is cheering for each other, especially because you want to switch to the next exercise station. For each round, the meters required for the rowing portion decreases, which makes you work faster to row. The rounds become shorter, but even more intense. I’d love to take this class if it was offered in Tucson.
ZUMBA: Mexican Fiesta
As you can imagine, this was kind of my dream class. I’m Mexican, I’m obsessed with Zumba, and this session was a Zumba class set to traditional Mexican music. The icing on the tres leeches cake: when they asked me onstage to join them for a quebradita. So fun!
NASM: Fast Fat Loss
I signed up for this lecture because the term “fast” caught my attention. It seems that so many people are looking for a quick solution (a healthy one doesn’t exist) to lose body fat/weight. For this lecture, “fast” was defined as a 3-month time period. Music to my ears 🙂 The presenter was from NASM, which is the organization I’ve been studying with for my new PT certification, and gave a lot of helpful info regarding roadblocks we all face with body fat or weight loss, how to overcome these obstacles, and a 3-month cardio/strength plan for losing fat. He also emphasized foods to focus on (all whole foods, lots of protein, minimal sugar, salt and unhealthy fats).
Here are the tips for the 3-month plan he included:
(of course, check with a doc before making any fitness or nutrition changes)
Cardio: minimum 3 hours up to 10 hours per week
Month 1: Zone 1 (can hold conversation)
Month 2: Zone 1 and Zone 2 (hard sustainable cardio)
Month 3: Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3 (breathless)
ONLY use Zone 3 cardio maximum 2 times per week. Be sure to take at least one full rest day each week.
Month 1: Focus on stabilization, slow tempo reps, higher reps (12-20), 1-3 sets, short rest periods
Month 2: Focus on strength, 2-4 supersets, 30-60 second rest periods, take out metabolic exercises
Month 3: Focus on Power, 3-5 supersets, make sure to use good technique and form as always
Some smart fat loss tips:
-Use a normal-sized dinner plate. Restaurant plates are 12 inches in diameter– 8 inches is normal
-Don’t drink calories
-Focus on whole foods
-Protein with every meal
I feel like I could recap everything because I enjoyed it all so much, but those were the highlights 🙂 My next recap post will feature to Expo and some more fun stuff from the conference.
Hope you have a wonderful night!