Photographs by Len Spoden

It wasn’t the initial thunderclap outside the Los Angeles Convention Center that grabbed everyone’s attention. In a noisy city like L.A., the boom could easily have been a bus wheel thumping into a pothole. But when lightning followed in staccato step with torrential rain and more rumbling—and then even more dramatic bolts—people looked up. Real “weather” of such force doesn’t often grace Southern California in any season, much less in mid-July.

Like lightning to a rod, close to 12,000 attendees were drawn to the 2015 IDEA World Fitness Convention’s 380 educational sessions and to its largest and most diverse Fitness and Nutrition Expo to date. People gave energy; they took energy; and they saved up the best of it to inspire clients at home and to transform businesses with new ideas.

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Personal Training: Science, Small Groups and Smiles

Personal training continues its take professionalism to new heights. As a result, allied health professions are opening their arms wider to include educated personal trainers as valued members of the wellness team. This year’s session selection reflected a deep pool of knowledge that has the potential to reset industry standards for inspiration and results. Here are some program highlights:

While body weight training has enjoyed a renaissance, equipment is still popular because it enables personal trainers to motivate clients in novel and unique ways. Everything from suspension devices to battle ropes to sand bells were represented at this year’s show. However, a medicine ball is just a medicine ball without proper information about how to use it—and there was no shortage of good information. In his session “SGT Ken’s Hyperwear® Games: There Can Be Only One™,” for example, Sergeant Ken Weichert meticulously reviewed progressions and regressions for each piece of circuit equipment before letting attendees loose to have fun.

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Food and Nutrition: Common Sense Prevails

Experts from all walks of health and fitness—from Canadian obesity expert Yoni Freedhoff, MD, to Exos™ coach Mark Verstegen, MS, and many specialists spanning the continuum—shared the perspective that getting real about nutrition and related behavior change will open new doors for fitness pros, coaches and clients alike. Much can be achieved through common sense grounded in bona fide research, while fads, diets, hyperbole and bandwagoning are to be avoided.

A panel session moderated by IDEA Editor in Chief Sandy Todd Webster showcased the “keep calm and be sensible” approaches of Freedhoff, natural chef Teri Mosey, PhD, and Chris Mohr, PhD, RD. It covered the 10 most common trends unfolding in food and nutrition today and gave attendees a chance to ask about issues that trouble them and their clients in this often confusing and contradictory field.

Freedhoff said this about snacking: “I think the most important question when considering snacking is what a person is snacking on. What matters is not, ‘Is it good or bad?’ but, ‘What are you having?’ and, ultimately, ‘Does snacking allow you as an individual to do better with dietary choices?’ If it does, then it’s good; and if it doesn’t, it’s not.”

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IDEA World Fitness BlogFest With Sweat Pink™

Only in its second year, BlogFest had 12% more attendees than its sold-out inaugural event in 2014. This year’s event attracted both fitness professionals and enthusiasts who were hungry for accurate, researched information, blogging tips, networking and tweeting events, access to the expo hall and convention, workouts with celebrities, and one-on-one time with sponsors such as siggi’s®, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Propel®, Merrithew™, KaiaFIT and ReebokONE.

Blogger Alicia Orozco ( was a returning fitness enthusiast from Long Beach, California, who loved the professional atmosphere. “By being together, IDEA World and BlogFest have a unique advantage over any other blogging or fitness conventions. I got the best of both worlds. It’s so inspiring, and you get so much information. Plus, we got one-on-one time with companies we want to work with. Everything totally exceeded my expectations—the mini-workout breaks, the freebies, and just being able to talk to other bloggers and think about blogging for 2 days straight—icing on the cake.”

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IDEA World Fitness & Nutrition Expo

Nearly 12,000 people passed through the doors over the course of the Expo’s 3 days. This was a huge turnout in what was IDEA World’s largest and most diverse trade show to date.

With more food vendors than ever (59), the 2015 IDEA World Fitness & Nutrition Expo had a plethora of options for eaters of all kinds. Combine that abundance with apparel, technology, services, programs, education, assessments, brand workouts, equipment, accessories and celebrity book-signings, and it was easy to understand why some attendees stayed in the Expo from opening to closing time.

Of the 300 exhibitors, 125 were at IDEA World Fitness for the first time, and they were busy fielding questions, giving out samples, testing new gear and programs, and sharing information.

For some extra-deluxe real-time respiration, Expo hall visitors headed to the eXertainment stage, or to the IDEA World Main Stage, where they could either learn more about specific brands or work out with performers during mini workouts or demos.

For more information, please see “2015 IDEA World Fitness Convention™: A 5-Day Lesson in How to Bottle Lightning” in the online IDEA Library or in the October 2015 issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.

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Joy Keller

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master.

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