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2016 IDEA® WORLD CONVENTION

A Global Boot Camp for Success, Purpose and Wellness. 14,000 pros from 55 countries came together to share and celebrate health, nutrition, fitness and inspiration.

If you ask a fitness professional whether energy is finite or infinite, the answer is clear. It's infinite, but only if you make the annual trek to the IDEA World Convention. Fitness consumers often marvel at how enthusiastic, inspirational and giving their personal trainers and group fitness instructors are. "How do they do it?" people ask each other in locker rooms across the globe. "Where do they get their energy?" The secret to staying relevant, passionate and educated is to stay connected with other like-minded professionals who are also dedicated to inspiring the world to fitness.

Close to 14,000 fitness and wellness professionals returned to the source: the 2016 IDEA World Convention, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, July 13–17, where they recharged with more than 370 educational sessions taught by the shapers and sea-changers of the industry. Two new events helped expand this year's program: the IDEA World Nutrition & Behavior Change Summit and the IDEA World Club & Studio Summit, evidence that fitness and wellness professionals are evolving in meaningful ways to help clients make lasting changes in their lives.

Energy becomes tangible when the world comes together to study, discuss and implement transformation. Read on to discover more about how optimal wellness is elevating the hearts, minds and bodies of millions, and let yourself be ignited.

Leadership Linchpins and Business Brilliance

The 5-hour rule, a concept put forward by the entrepreneurship firm Empact, delineates three areas leaders should focus on in order to see a positive return: reading, reflection and experimentation, three rules echoed during this year's event. Many presenters urged attendees to read, not only the latest research and industry publications, but also business and self-improvement books. And speakers emphasized that good leaders reflect on their mistakes, in order not to repeat them, and are smart enough to experiment, within parameters.

Here are a few additional management highlights from the impressive session grid:

  • Managers need to research Generation Z—the group that follows Millennials—and prepare for this fresh influx of talent. The goal is to discover best practices for motivating and engaging Generation Z to do their jobs well and get off on the right foot. Panelists in the session "The Future of Group Fitness: Programming for Success" agreed that it's important to keep passing the torch down the line. They also mentioned how boutique studios have helped traditional group exercise programs become more relevant, calling group fitness the "new linchpin of the fitness facility."
  • In "Seven Steps to Doubling Your Fitness Business Income," Sean Greeley, founder and CEO of NPE, a business coaching organization, urged attendees to rethink their selling strategies. "Raise your hand if you learned anything about selling," he said. The room was still. "That's right. Nobody is ever taught how to sell. And the reason so many fitness businesses don't grow is because they aren't able to effectively communicate value to the customer. Understand the purpose behind the product or service, and business growth [will] follow."
  • What fitness professional doesn't want to build a better business and enjoy life more? Leading entrepreneur Trina Gray presented her 12-month model for programming—including themed boot camps, unique group training client celebrations, nutrition offerings and special events—and gave a step-by-step look at the marketing formula that makes these offerings sing. The preconference session "Build a Stronger Business and Life in 12 Months—Work Smarter, Not Harder!" was chock-full of practical information.

    "It's not the workout that makes my club a success; it's the transformation we do, and the way we package things," said Gray. "Yes, we're talking about revenue, but we're also talking about people and our ability to give them the invitation to try us out and to try to change their lives. A business can be a storefront, a job or a crusade. Only one is worth your life's work," she said.

Personal Training: A Return to Foundations

If you were to ask yourself what you do, what would your answer be? Lisa Druxman, MA, founder of Fit4Mom®, explained that for a long time she focused on the "what" of her Stroller Strides® business: to provide fitness programs for moms. After reading Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (Portfolio 2011) by leadership and management consultant Simon Sinek, she dug a little deeper and asked herself why Stroller Strides exists.

"Our 'why' is to give women the strength for motherhood, at any stage of motherhood," she said in her session "Become the Expert and Explode Your Brand." This was part of the IDEA Success Academy, a forum designed to give entrepreneurs the tools and techniques to build a world-class business and career.

Druxman's presentation may have focused specifically on branding; however, she spoke to a theme that seemed to connect nearly all the sessions featured in both the summit and the personal training tracks: understanding the foundations of everything we do.

Structure and assessment. Building a solid house that will last is impossible without first laying a strong foundation. To demonstrate this, Jeremy McCann, owner of Range of Motion Fitness in Riverside, California, asked attendees to notice the areas in their bodies that were not in optimal alignment, including their feet. "Can you now see how pressures placed on the feet can potentially result in, say, a shoulder or neck issue? We must always start with the feet," Greeley said. His point: Start from the ground up in order to understand the limitations you and your clients possess.

Communication. Small-group training continues to experience growth and is an attractive program for personal trainers because it offers an opportunity to help more people—and make more money—in less time. However, these programs can fail—or worse, become dangerous to participants—if a coach can't communicate instructions effectively. Presenter Keli Roberts, owner of Real Fitness Inc. in Los Angeles, emphasized this point during "Teaching Strategies for Small-Group Training."

Irene Lewis-McCormick, MS, also a presenter, attended this session. She said one of her primary takeaways was that trainers need to pay more attention to the nonverbal cues participants give, because not all of them feel comfortable verbalizing how they feel. Perceiving what your clients aren't saying can be key to understanding how to serve them more effectively.

Motivation. San Diego-based Susan Fowler, author of Why Motivating People Doesn't Work …and What Does: The New Science of Leading, Energizing and Engaging (Berrett-Koehler 2014), challenged attendees to think critically about how they engage clients. She referenced a study in which individuals who worked with fitness coaches achieved poorer results when a coach was especially verbal.

"The participants felt that, when the coaches told them to keep going or push harder, the sessions became about the coach's wants and needs," she said. "The people interpreted the verbal coach as being selfish . . . Ask people what they've learned during the session. What did their bodies tell them? Every time we do a workout, we should be learning about ourselves."

Todd Durkin, MA, owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, echoed Fowler's statements in "Creating Your Purpose and Legacy—How to Live a Life Worth Telling a Story About."

He explained, "Ask people what their story is and listen to their response. We all need to learn how to listen better."

Nourishing the Mind: Nutrition Highlights

In addition to the inaugural Nutrition & Behavior Change Summit (see sidebar for more), the IDEA World program offered its usual rich array of evidence-based and practical information. Presenters feathered in personal-health cohorts like behavior change, mindfulness and planet sustainability as they related to sound nutrition.

Here are notes from a few of the many sessions:

  • Joe Weiss, MD, covered a lot of ground in his lecture "Food for Thought: Brain, Gut, Microbes, Diet," which summed up the latest in gut science, brain-gut connection and the wonder of the human microbiome. "Gut science, the microbiome, is going to change medicine," he said. "It's as revolutionary as discovering a lost continent—or even a whole new universe."
  • Chris Mohr, PhD, RD, clarified how to make the most of a workout by applying nutrition strategies before, during and after exercise. He presented the latest research—including recommendations for optimal recovery—and gave practical tips. As echoed in other sessions, Mohr told the cautionary tale of "overeating the workout," meaning, if you and your clients are fueling during exercise or in postworkout recovery, be cognizant of how much you are consuming. Try not to think of your workout as a special pass to eat more than usual.
  • In "Food Trends: Human & Planetary Sustainability," Michelle Ratcliffe, PhD, and Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RD, spoke passionately about the inextricable relationship between human health and planet health. We are the planet we eat from. A back-to-basics approach of growing, picking, cooking, eating and composting can together go a long way in extending both our lives and the life of the earth, they said.
  • In his IDEA debut presentation, "Protein Overload: Are You Eating More Than You Need?," Stanford's Christopher Gardner, PhD, demonstrated through data that Americans on average eat about twice the recommended amount of protein. He also cleared up misunderstandings about the amount and quality of protein in plant foods. Bottom line: They are a rich source of dietary protein containing all 20 amino acids, and they convey numerous additional health benefits. "Americans are justifiably confused about how much protein they need and from what sources to get it. In general, they get a lot, and with some qualifiers, a lot more than they need. There is tremendous room for a substantial shift from animal to plant protein."
  • In "Rebranding Exercise: It's Not About Weight," Yoni Freedhoff, MD, started with a point similar to Chris Mohr's—that we "can't outrun our forks," and that "eating back your exercise gets in the way." "We have to rebrand exercise and start talking more about things like body composition and strength training," said Freedhoff.
  • In "Mindset, Motivation and Changing Habits," Kara Mohr, PhD, RD, discussed "fixed" and "growth" mindsets, offering ways to evolve both through practices that foster clients' best qualities. She described strategies like doing a daily gratitude practice (e.g., keeping a gratitude journal), setting aside time for meditation and reflection, and being kinder to ourselves. One strategy: "Set a daily intention: Ask, 'How do I want to be in this day? How will I show up?' she suggested. "Get your mind right by recognizing and acknowledging challenging situations and understanding how you will show up for them."

Group Fitness Gains Ground

The friendship between personal training and group fitness has blossomed to the point where the two are sometimes inextricable. Many of this year's group fitness offerings were set up to work for both small and large groups, with quite a few new programs being equipment-based and team-based. In workshops, attendees tried out the latest equipment, including spring-loaded bars and plates, and a large Bulgarian bag. Not only were lines blurred in program design, but a number of classes had multiple teachers—some of them trainers, others with roots in group fitness. One class even had 12 celebrity instructors.

Travis Barnes came to the convention as a first-time attendee and presenter. The CEO and personal coach of Journey Fitness in Elmira, Corning and Ithaca, New York, was enthusiastic about the vast selection of programming. "You could literally learn about anything you wanted at IDEA," he said. "This was the Ritz of fitness education."

Here are some highlights:

  • Blending seems to be a trend for class formatting and fitness technology as well. Companies like Intel® and Exos®, for example, are teaming up to teach fitness pros how to collect, interpret and then individualize data. Apple Watch is rolling out new fitness features that can link trainers, medical pros, exercisers, friends and teammates. "Metrics" is becoming a key word in many indoor cycling classes and performance-based circuits.
  • Another trend is the continued dominance of dance workouts. International influences were in abundance, with Israeli music coming from one room, New York club music from another, pop music from a third, and Latin hustle from down the hall. Many experts agree that dance is on the rise and predict that in 2017 very specialized, niche dance workouts inspired by celebrities, TV shows and movies will become popular. While complex choreography made a return in various sessions, presenters taught in small blocks that gave attendees time to master each segment.
  • Programming for both boomers and older adults behind them is a mainstay. Presenters were clearly treating these age groups as unique and separate entities, and the proffered lectures and workshops were numerous and packed with attendees. As the first generation of exercisers to continue moving post—college age, boomers are driving this trend, both as professionals and as consumers.
  • Equipment remains a vital part of group fitness, although the body itself is still the best "equipment" option. Attendees learned a variety of ways to train classes with balls, bags, foam rollers, barres, balance apparatus and more.
  • Indoor cycling keeps its space as a top option for cardiovascular fitness and community building. Sessions focused on the finer aspects of leading a rewarding ride, including music mapping, cuing, stage-building and recovery, which is an often-overlooked part of instructor training.
  • Attendees got a taste of what's hot in top fitness facilities around the world with Club Spotlight, offering creative classes from Equinox, Holiday Sports Club Japan, Life Time™ and 24 Hour Fitness®.

Mind-Body: Technique, Flow and Form

Mind-body specialists dove deep into experiential learning at this year's event, as presenters honed in on techniques to help clients go deeper into poses and connect more fully with the present moment. A perfect union of theory and practice created a unique web of professional education.

  • In her session "Peak Pilates®: Connect the Dots," Zoey Trap, MSc, encouraged attendees to apply current research to their "Pilates darlings" and understand that as we learn more about the body, it's normal and healthy to upgrade techniques. Case in point: She challenged instructors to rethink common poses like tabletop. She also suggested that cuing bones is more effective than cuing muscles. "Instead of asking students to activate their adductors, ask them to move their femurs or thigh bones inward, and notice any differences."
  • Many sessions focused on refining alignment and adjustment skills. Stacy McCarthy taught attendees how to adjust with confidence and compassion during "Yoga: Adjust Me Puhleeeeeze!" One of her take-home messages: Blend teaching styles to reach more students. "A well-balanced teacher can effectively teach a class utilizing auditory, visual and kinesthetic learning styles," she said. "The most fulfilling classes happen when the teacher blends all three."
  • Leslee Bender urged attendees to teach barre based "on the science of movement" in the session "Barre Biomechanics 2016, by Savvier." Bender demonstrated the many ways barre is taught ineffectively, and she challenged teachers to focus on integration, dynamic sequencing and function.


OPEN CEREMONIES

What You Go Through, You Grow Through

Laugh, laugh; goosebumps; cry; laugh; cry, cry, cry, sniff, wipe eyes; laugh; laugh hysterically; more goosebumps. This is the cadence of a typical IDEA Opening Ceremonies (if there is such a thing), and this year it was more the case than ever.

After the 2016 IDEA World Fitness Awards presentation—an inspiring passing of the torch from the previous year's recipients to those newly minted as our industry's best and brightest, as voted by a panel of their peers—the morning unfurled in all of its glory.

For full coverage of the 2016 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year (Sergeant Ken Weichert), IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year (Carol Michaels), and IDEA Program Director of the Year (Grace DeSimone), please refer to the Warm-Up and a full feature about the recipients, in the September issue.

Keynote: Jack Canfield

Best known for his blockbuster Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, keynote Jack Canfield, MS, shared his proven secrets for achieving peak performance and optimal success in all areas of life. What many people don't know is that the original book, which unlocked so many doors for him, was rejected 144 times before a publisher took a chance on it.

It's no surprise, then, that the crux of Canfield's message includes a big dose of pep-talking about persistence and the dogged pursuit of what you want in life. "You can't ask someone to do your pushups for you. Everything I'm going to teach you to do here today are things you have to do. They are not delegatable," he told the packed Showcase Room.

Canfield exhorted everyone to "eliminate the word can't," as "there is always a yes . . . but you have to ask, ask, ask, ask. You have to become an 'askhole.'" More laughter.

We all need to take 100% responsibility for our lives and our results, he said. When you start to act as if that's true, you start to see what you're doing that doesn't work, and you stop it. You start doing what does work, and you do more of it.

"Try it," he challenged. "For the next 30 days just act as if you had created it," he said.

2016 IDEA FITNESS INSPIRATION AWARD RECIPIENT: AMY VAN DYKEN-ROUEN

Jenna Wolfe, the 2015 IDEA Jack LaLanne Award recipient and most recently the TODAY show's lifestyle and fitness correspondent, presented the award to Amy Van Dyken-Rouen, six-time Olympic champion in swimming, who holds the distinction of being one of the few Olympians whose medals are all gold.

In 2014, Van Dyken-Rouen suffered a paralyzing spinal-cord injury, which subsequently prompted her to develop a foundation to support others with similar injuries. She has overcome considerable physical adversity and lives a healthy lifestyle while offering inspiration to others. With humor and self-deprecation that belie her inner strength, she admits that her days are not always easy: "You learn to push through pain. We used to say that about winning gold medals. Now we say that about moving a toe."

"There are days that are absolutely crappy. Awful. It takes me 20 minutes sometimes to get my pants on, but you know what? I do it myself. And I get to the gym, and I do what I can do, and I do it the best that I can do it."

She uses fitness as her escape and describes it as "everything" to her. "Once you have [fitness] in your life, you can't live without it. Every single day is a blessing. If you wake up and you're having a really bad day, I want you to think of me trying to put my pants on and imagine me in your face saying, 'Who are you to tell me what I can or can't do?'"

2016 IDEA JACK LALANNE AWARD RECIPIENT: TONY HORTON

P90X® creator and fitness personality Tony Horton was honored with the 2016 IDEA Jack LaLanne award, presented by 90-year-old Elaine LaLanne, who called Horton a "true fitness icon."

In a sweet moment and despite a recent shoulder injury, per tradition LaLanne got down on the ground and did six pushups head to head with Horton. At one point during the exercise she exclaimed, "Oh, my shoe is coming off!" More laughter, as she came up with her shoe in hand.

Horton paid homage to the award's eponymous namesake: "Superman wanted to be Jack LaLanne, but he got stuck just being Superman. The reason we are all in this room right now, whether we know it or not, is because of Jack LaLanne. It's the reason I'm here. It's the reason why I came West. It's the reason I started exercising."

A self-described 98-pound weakling as a child and teen, Horton started weightlifting in college and then discovered good nutrition. Humble beginnings as a personal trainer charging $20 for sessions in his garage, plus a lot of hard work, morphed over time into training the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Usher, Tom Petty, Annie Lennox and a host of other celebrities. His association with Beachbody® and development of P90X® sealed his status as a true star.

"What is a C-minus student with a speech impediment doing onstage at the IDEA World Convention receiving the Jack LaLanne Award?" he asked as he pinched his arm twice in a personal reality-check moment. "All of you know exactly what I'm talking about when I say that if you exercise every day, you improve today."

IDEA WORLD CLUB & STUDIO SUMMIT SETS A WINNING PACE

For the first time in its history, IDEA World hosted an event-within-an-event dedicated to those intent on creating a top-notch fitness facility. The 4-day IDEA World Club & Studio Summit offered attendees a rare chance to learn from 20 innovative business and brand experts.

Online marketer Ryan Lee mystified attendees by suggesting during "Seven-Figure Laws of Leadership" that their best path to success was to get out of the fitness industry. The massive audience collectively scratched their heads. "What I mean by that is to look at successful companies outside of the fitness world. What can you learn from Netflix that you can apply to your business?"

New York Times best-selling author Lewis Howes shared something he does every morning and night that has remarkably influenced his own success: Practice gratitude. When you pay attention to what you're grateful for, amazing things begin to happen, he said during "The School of Greatness—Hustle, Passion, Focus and Vision."

The entrepreneurs agreed that the simple act of paying attention to your faults, your intuition and your heart can lead to epiphanies, breakthroughs and a better understanding of what is needed to build a fulfilling, meaningful business.

THE eXERTAINMENT STAGE

If you'd visited the eXertainment Stage around lunchtime on Thursday, you would have been forgiven for thinking you had stumbled into a stepping demo from "Stomp the Yard." It was actually a Soul Clap Fitness demo led by creator Khalid Freeman, a theatre and cinema actor, dancer and choreographer. Using soul music, Freeman combined stepping, clapping rhythms and military moves to lead participants in a "body percussion" dance workout.

And that was just one of more than 40 free workouts at the stage, located inside the Expo Hall. Attendees got to watch or join in on the newest workouts, usually before these had even hit the consumer market, all for free. Presenters got to showcase their programs to engaged participants who transitioned right from the short, 15-minute workouts to the program booths, eager to learn more.

IDEA WORLD NUTRITION & BEHAVIOR CHANGE SUMMIT

"It's messy being human; but not a total mess."

So said Margaret Moore (aka "Coach Meg"), MBA, CEO of Wellcoaches®, as she explored the power and mechanisms of coaching at the first IDEA World Nutrition & Behavior Change Summit, a 1-day conference within the larger 2016 IDEA World Convention.

In a first for this type of conference programming in the fitness industry, IDEA convened an exceptionally strong lineup of speakers and topics focused on creating change for people through nutrition science we can (mostly) agree upon, and through behavior change strategies like coaching techniques, mindfulness and the use of teaching kitchens. It was a deep dive into material best described as "essential knowledge" for physicians, nutrition professionals, health coaches and personal trainers. After all, the modernization of our healthcare system is molding a model that necessitates collaboration among all of these disciplines to ensure better patient/client outcomes.

"People all want better health—whether they have it and seek to keep it, or are working with experts to gain it—and they are increasingly aware that this comes from a combination of learning how to properly move their physical body and how to get better nutrition," said Ashley Koff, RD, award-winning nutrition expert and creator of The Better Nutrition, Simplified Program. "Thus, there is tremendous value in bringing together education for these two groups—fitness and nutrition pros—so that we all present a unified message for our clients and patients to help them achieve their personal health goals."

The capacity audience of around 500 filled the room throughout the day and gained inspiration from a faculty that master of ceremonies David Katz, MD, MPH, founding director of Yale University's Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, called "the rock stars of nutrition and behavior change today." In addition to Katz, the speaker list included physicians and researchers from Harvard, Stanford, University of Ottowa, University of Colorado Anschutz, Precision Nutrition, VitalSmarts® and the American Council on Exercise.

Speakers explored the many challenges we and our clients face as time-crunched, disengaged, stressed-out people trying to navigate the nutrition strategy du jour and "move through the jungle without a flashlight," to lift a phrase from David Eisenberg, MD, presenter and adjunct associate professor of nutrition at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

The day kindled the conversation among physicians, dietary and fitness professionals, coaches and mindfulness leaders. "I really like that all of the speakers had a holistic health focus and didn't just look at weight or physical appearance as a marker of health," noted attendee Kelsey Brown, MEd. "I liked that all of them really tried to hone in on the 'why' of behavior change versus the 'what,' and that they all seemed to emphasize a focus on mindfulness as an integral part of behavior change. I left feeling inspired and excited about the future of health and fitness, and I'm sure most left feeling the same."

Read full coverage of the Summit at www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/2016-idea-world-nutrition-behavior-change-summit.

AN ALL–DAY EARTHQUAKE IN THE SHOWCASE ROOM

Forming a line that snaked around the escalator, attendees were excited to get into the IDEA Showcase Room on Saturday, where the fault line of fun started with a shockwave-inspired boot camp experience from Todd Durkin, MA, and ended with a body-weight workout by Natalie Jill. Throughout the day, high-profile presenters Jillian Michaels, Cassey Ho and Tony Horton led crowds through upbeat, creative routines accentuated with dance club—inspired music and lighting.

IDEA WORLD FITNESS & NUTRITION EXPO

The heartbeat of this year's convention was hands down the always-humming IDEA World Fitness & Nutrition Expo. Hundreds of booths lined the aisles, including the biggest Nutrition Pavilion ever, daily free breakfast from Kellogg's, more than 75 food vendors, and all the programs, services, clothing, equipment, supplies and in-booth workouts you could hope for.

If you've never been to the Expo, try to picture a place where you can sample a seemingly endless supply of healthy food and drinks, get a heated massage from a comfy chair, buy a complete supply of fitness music and the apparel to go with it, exercise with guidance from the owners and master trainers of the latest equipment and programs, win prizes, mingle with fitness celebrities, speak one-on-one to your favorite (and future favorite) vendors, measure your body composition, get your questions answered, form alliances and brand relationships with favored vendors, and try the latest in fit-tech gear. Mind. Blown.

First-time exhibitor Cathryn Woodruff, who does marketing for Banza® chickpea pasta, felt the Expo was a huge success. "We had such a fun time sampling at IDEA. For us, as a relatively new company, it was a great opportunity to introduce ourselves to a new, enthusiastic audience. We loved proving that a delicious comfort food can also be healthy. The show surpassed our expectations, and we're excited to continue the conversation with the many fitness professionals, influencers and like-minded brands we met."

And other companies? A short list exemplifies the range. Among the names present were Propel®, TRX®, HyperWear®, Merrithew™, MINDBODY®, Keiser®, BOSU®, NASM, Daiya, Les Mills, Matrix, La Croix®, Gerolsteiner®, TriggerPoint™, POP Pilates, Power Music®, Gatorade, Zumba®, AFAA, Balanced Body® Pilates, Gray Institute®, Kamagon®, Lebert® Fitness, RealRyder®, General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, American Council on Exercise, and SPRI®, and they were encouraging people to ask questions.

Unique finds that deserve a mention included silicone Correct Toes toe spacers; Kalamata olive organic cottage cheese from Good Culture™; Asian citrus broccoli bites from Rhythm® Superfoods; bite-size Perfect Bars® that must be stored in the fridge because they have no chemical preservatives; Sore No More™ paraben-free, petroleum-free, alcohol-free, cruelty-free, vegan natural pain-relieving gel; La Preferida® organic salsas, beans, chiles and jalape├▒os; henna-like tattoos from BollyX®; a whey protein coffee from BuzzFit™; bright-orange Air Relax leg compression sleeves that inflate and pump warm air; sprouted-watermelon-seed protein bars from Go Raw; VYB-X active wristbands with a nano vibrational technology chip that's programmed to emit energy on a cellular level; Rise™ five-ingredient sunflower cinnamon vegan protein bars; the Core Hammer from MostFit®; Steaz® cactus water; a fuchsia and flamingo-pink thermal compression knee sleeve from Body Glove®; and as dessert—chocolate squares from ChocZero.

Noticeable trends in fitness apparel included bold colors mixed in patterns that were tropical, South American, African, '60s psychedelic, checkered, artsy (i.e., Jackson Pollocky) and animalistic. More clothing than ever seemed to have pockets big enough to hold our ever-present phones, making it a breeze to go from gym to street without changing. Equipment—for large fitness facilities and small studios—lined the show floor and came with solid programming ideas that fitness professionals could use for any population. Fitness technology was also well-represented, with an array of wearables, tracking devices and other creative solutions to adherence challenges.

WAY TO INSPIRE AT IDEA WORLD!

This year, session presenters awarded 355 IDEA Inspiration Medals to attendees for their outstanding effort, wisdom, skill and inspiration. All recipients were eligible for a chance to win great prizes, including a complimentary 2017 IDEA World Convention registration (Susie McLoughlin; value $399 Member; $469 nonmember); a Schwinn® A.C. Performance Plus indoor cycle (Quiana Canfor–Dumas; retail value $1,899); and a week for two at Rancho La Puerta Spa (Shannon Maenius; retail value $7,000 or more). Congratulations to all!

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Tough-as-nails attendees tested their strength, endurance and mental fibre during the IDEA Summer Games, Powered by Spri®, located in the IDEA World Challenge Arena, Fueled by Gatorade® and Propel®. Over the course of the convention, presenters like Sergeant Ken Weichert, Mindy Mylrea, Amy Dixon and Zumba instructor Gina Grant led a variety of challenges, giving participants a chance to push their limits and vie for the top spot—and top prize—in each event.

IDEA WORLD FITNESS BLOGFEST WITH SWEAT PINK™ A HUGE SUCCESS

This was year three for the popular IDEA World Fitness BlogFest With Sweat Pink®. A 4-day conference within the main convention, BlogFest welcomes fitness and health bloggers, some of whom are fitness professionals, some of whom are consumers. The focus is on sharing tools to improve attendees' blogs, while providing access to celebrity-led workshops and lectures. Participants spend the first 2 days in BlogFest-specific workshops, then enjoy 2 more days of access to the wider IDEA World Convention.

Kelli Davis, BlogFest director and IDEA's social media/web products manager, listed four features that stood out for her this year: "I was struck by the exceptional group of 160 passionate health and fitness bloggers who attended; the keynote speaker, Jenna Wolfe, who was just as hilarious as she was motivational; the peer blog review, where bloggers were able to review each other's blogs and give feedback; and the incredible food provided by sponsors Kellogg's, General Mills, Pure Protein, siggi's®, Truitt Family Foods, Gerolsteiner and Silk®."

Ryan Halvorson

Ryan Halvorson is an award-winning writer and editor. He is a long-time author and presenter for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, fitness industry consultant and former director of group training for Bird Rock Fit. He is also a Master Trainer for TriggerPoint.

When you buy something using the retail links in our content, we may earn a small commission. IDEA Health and Fitness Association does not accept money for editorial reviews. Read more about our Terms & Conditions and our Privacy Policy.

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