Working out using your own body weight is best

What I learned at the World Fitness Convention

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IDEA World Fitness Convention in Los Angeles, California

I was able to attend the much-awaited Idea World Fitness Convention last Aug. 7-11 at the  Los Angeles Convention Center in California. It was such an amazing experience to be part of this annual fitness and nutrition convention along with thousands of professionals from 60 countries, while learning new things from world-class speakers and experts.

There were hundreds of topics to choose from—Pilates, yoga, cycling, interval training, barre workout, Parkour fitness, body weight training, dance, weight loss and nutrition, and a lot more. I spent weeks choosing the best topics, and now I’m sharing the most important things I’ve  learned.

Pilates is everything.

Pilates has its basic principles of breathing, stabilization and movement so one can execute moves properly while maintaining proper form. The convention sessions made me realize that Pilates is the foundation of all fitness moves. To really feel the burn and work on your target muscles, you should learn Pilates.

I am a Pilates instructor, so I was able to apply its principles to the latest workouts like Total Barre and Core by Merrithew fitness, Piloxing (Pilates, boxing and dance), the Pound  workout using drumsticks, new Bosu fitness classes, Tabata bootcamp, circuit bootcamp and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts, all of which would focus on core activation, shoulder and pelvic stabilization, proper breathing, neutral spine to achieve balance and control.

Convenience and simplicity

Workouts using your body weight are the hardest.

Body weight training is surely one of the most popular ways to stay fit and lean. Because of its convenience and simplicity, it can really improve one’s exercise compliance. Majority of fitness trainers are now using suspension training systems like TRX, Redcord, Rip60 and Jungle Gym XT to train their clients inside and outside the gym, using their own body as resistance instead of heavy barbells and machines.

I was curious about parkour fitness, so I made a last-minute session change and joined my husband (who is also a fitness trainer) in this interesting session. I really had a hard time,  because this workout includes moves that prepare one for the real world environment.

Parkour fitness improves one’s mobility, functional strength, body sensitivity, speed, power and agility. You use your body weight to do animal-like and never-before-seen moves in the weight training room.

Exercise has to be fun.

Beto Perez, the creator of Zumba fitness, was recognized and was given the Jack Lalanne award during the convention for inspiring the world through the phenomenal fitness program, Zumba.

Dance fitness continues to be a hit worldwide because aside from the physical benefits of the workout, you experience positive emotions during and after.  Fitness instructors are making an effort to design dance workout programs to encourage more people to embrace fitness.

I attended the Flirty Girl fitness session. It has unique “flirty” moves designed to give people a calorie-burning workout, filled with excitement and laughter. If you join fun dance classes like this, you don’t feel like you are exerting too much effort, because of the positive emotions, self-confidence and connection among the group.

It’s about tapping the 80 percent of the population who don’t have time.

I was amazed at the huge number of fitness trainers who showed up for the presentation of Trina Gray on corporate fitness. She introduced simple and practical tips on starting corporate wellness programs even without the approval of an HR manager.

This shows that more fitness professionals are becoming interested in tapping the 80 percent of the population—the busy people who don’t have the time and means to go to fitness centers.

I feel that the future of fitness will be about making time to inspire and influence people around the world who are stressed out, totally sedentary and health-challenged.

It is easy to motivate experienced exercisers to try the latest workout; they will always go for it. But it becomes a real challenge for fitness professionals to ask a person who has no idea about Zumba, TRX training or Pilates to get up and do a brisk walk unless we understand their motivation and connect fitness to what’s really meaningful to them. Psychology and emotional wellness are very significant in successfully creating a healthier world.

Next: Important lessons on nutrition and weight loss

E-mail the author at mitchfelipe@gmail.com Follow her on Twitter @mitchfelipe.

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