Monday, August 14, 2017

2017 IDEA World and BlogFest Recap

The "Super Bowl of fitness conventions" took place last month in Las Vegas, and I'm still flying high on all of the energy I got from it. The IDEA World Fitness Convention is an absolute must for any fitness professional. You need to go at least once. I go every two years because that's what works for me. I get so much information and inspiration from this conference that, realistically, it's almost impossible to process everything. Hence, the recap delay.

But I want to tell you all about it now. Let's talk about what I learned, and why you should attend.

fitness, blogger, convention, idea fit, sweat pink, fit approach

Whenever I attend a conference, I do my homework first. I research sessions and pick those that will help me be the best trainer/instructor/fitness director that I can be. I also pick a few sessions that will entertain and/or motivate me—because it can't be all work and no play, eh? Essentially, this leads to a list of goals and things I'm looking forward to.

This also gives me an easy way to process the convention when I get home.

Let's take a look:

1) Vegas, baby!
Oh, Vegas. You crazy, weird, jaw-dropping and highly entertaining little place. It was my first time. I highly recommend the Aria casino. I didn't stay there, but I spent a lot of time walking around the place. It's beautiful. And the restaurants are Aria are delicious. Specifically, the buffet, Julian Serrano's Tapas and Five50 Pizza Bar. I want to go back just so I can eat at all of these places again. Which, by the way, is why I don't have any pictures of the food I ate—because I was too focused on it. But here's a picture of me in front of the Las Vegas sign because #tourist:

A post shared by Tara (@adailydoseoffit) on

And also, the Bellagio fountains because #vegas:

vegas, nevada, eiffel tower, paris
2) Dinner with the Momentum Jewelry Crew
It's always fun to connect with other health and fitness bloggers. And to meet some of the brands we get the opportunity to work with. I've been a huge fan of Momentum for a very long time. Amy (the owner) is absolutely wonderful. She and I shared a hotel room, and spent a lot of time talking about the Momentum Jewelry blog. Long story short, fun things are coming and I'm going to be working with her very closely to facilitate the posts. More on that later!

3) Energetic and Educational Sessions
I don't even know where to start. I did a G2S Workout full of ground-to-standing exercises. At one point, I was doing forward rolls. Toward the end, I was on the ground with my hands behind my back prisoner-style trying to stand up without using my arms. I love non-traditional exercises like that. They really emphasize functional training that strengthens activities of daily living. I also did a Schwinn cycling workout with Amy Dixon that left me in a pile of sweat:

Schwinn cycling, IDEA World Fitness Convention, spinning instructor, continuing education
Spinning is a class that drains me physically and mentally. I love it, but it's not a class I can plan very easily for a variety of reasons, so taking sessions like this A) gives me new teaching and cueing techniques, and B) totally motivates me to get in the saddle. Also awesome: Indo-Row, which taught me how to row correctly and efficiently. It was the most time I've ever spent on a rower, and it was probably one of the best workouts I did at the conference.

I also listened to a lecture for Group Fitness Directors, which gave me some tools to effectively manage a staff that works less than part time. It was nice to hear that some of my struggles are not unique, and pretty commonplace in this industry!

Bloggers, this is where I tell you that BlogFest is full of educational and inspirational sessions, too! I sat in on a few sessions that addressed SEO and how to make old content new...seriously, so good. If you're new to the fitness blogging scene, this is absolutely a conference you need to attend it's incredibly welcoming (and because you get IDEA World, too).

4) Kick It With Kaisa

Vital Proteions, IDEA World Fitness Convention, BlogFest
OMG. This session was everything. KaisaFit is so awesome, strong and motivating...and the best part, she's all that in person, too. So many big-name fitness folks are super high on their fame. But this girl, she's real. And in it for the right reasons. I enjoyed every minute of her workout. After it, she talked about Vital Proteins, a company she originally approached because she loves their stuff that much. Her favorite product was a collagen powder, which I ended up buying at the expo.

collagen, supplements, IDEA World, fitness convention, KaisaFit
So many people are buzzing about the benefits of collagen: Bone and joint health, skin and hair improvements, more energy, etc. I'm not big on supplements, but like what this can do for me. Kaisa talked about the Lavender and Honey Beauty Water, which sounds and tastes pretty good. I thought maybe it could also help me drink more water, which it has.

5) Brands, brands and more brands!
You won't find a better expo at any other fitness convention! It's part of the reason they call it the "Super Bowl of fitness conventions," I'm sure. I spent all my free time wandering up and down the aisles, and came home with a giant bag full of goodies to prove it. Some highlights:

Keiser: They didn't have any bikes on the fitness floor, but my Schwinn session (on Schwinn bikes) reinforced my belief in Keiser cycling bikes as being the best.

La Colombe Coffee Roasters: They had a Starbucks on site, which I hit up in the morning, but samples from La Colombe kept me going throughout the afternoon.

Prana: I literally bought something from their booth on three separate occasions. They wouldn't have my size in something, then they would. And everything was 50% off, so I basically had to keep buying.

Trigger Point: The vibrating foam roller is epic. My calf muscles were tights, so I just sat there for a bit and let the vibration release them. It was relaxing, even more so because you don't have to actually roll over the vibrating foam roller. Ah, so nice. Might have to get a demo version for the running store I work at.

TRX: Always a great booth to walk by! With all those straps out, people were constantly at play, so I got some awesome ideas to use with my clients.

Takeya: Say what you will about your Swell bottles, I think Takeya bottles are equally impressive and I absolutely love, love, love mine. Plus, it's pink.

pink water bottle, rowing machine, new balance, fitness convention, idea world
But that's only six reasons why the expo was so awesome. I can't even begin to list all the little toys I saw that I now want...various types of sandbags and weighted hammers being at the top of the list.

If I don't have you convinced yet, here are five reasons you need to attend IDEA World:

1) You'll learn from the leaders in the fitness industry.
2) You'll earn a bulk of your continuing education credits.
3) There is never a dull moment.
4) New and upcoming equipment is yours to play with.
5) The crowd is welcome, supportive, and inspirational.

Trust me, it's worth the cost and the trip just need to go.

Question: Have you ever been to a fitness or blogging convention? If so, which one and what was your experience?

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