My FitPro Live 2015 Experience
Fitpro hold an annual fitness convention showcasing the best presenters, latest trends and products in the fitness industry. I was there last week in the London Excel soaking up the atmosphere. Read on to learn more about what I experienced at FitPro Live 2015.
The event is hugely popular and one I rarely miss it (although I did not attend last year due to the impending arrival of my son, Harry). This year I was back and loving it. I was at the event presenting on behalf of ViPR who were showcasing their new group class programs, strength workouts, movement prep sequences and kids program.
Body weight Training
I've also been on the look out for the hottest new industry trends and products to bring back to the people of Nottingham. One big trend that struck me this year is the growing popularity of body weight training. I think that this trend began to gain momentum a few years back when TRX suspension training really started to hit the mainstream. Body weight training has proven a big hit with exercise 'rigs' appearing in many new gyms and more body weight training styles emerging. I tried out a few different styles for myself at the event, here's what I got up to...
This is very similar to Free Running and involves travelling from A to B whilst gracefully negotiating the environment and any obstacles that might stand in your way. During my session we explored introductions to vaulting, jumping and crawling. The class was structured very well and the skills were broken down into simple steps which made the skills accessible to most abilities. It was heavy on the legs with a lot of jumping and a certain amount of physicality seemed important in order to learn new movements quickly and competently. The quality of the coaches really made this a fun experience and I came away having achieved much more than I thought was capable of.
I see this as almost a street form of bar based gymnastics made popular by an American group that call themselves the BarStarzz. UK coach Stephen Hughes Landers took us through a workout for beginners demonstrating the foundational movements that you need to practice in order to progress to the highly impressive advanced work. It was a tough workout which gave insight into the phenomenal core strength needed to perform some of the feats of strength they demonstrate on the bar. This was an intense workout that is perhaps suited to the more experienced fitness fans, if you can pull it off though it's highly impressive.
Taking influence from the movements of animals I felt that this work out had yoga and Pilates style elements. Emphasis was on quality of movement, grace and control. I have to admit that this was one of my favourite workouts of the event. The creator Mike Fitch was a great coach and taught us a short sequence of movements (ape, beast and crab) which we turned into a flow. I think this is a really fun way to train mobility, balance and core strength whilst being accessible even to beginners. I enjoyed this one so much that if there is interest in Nottingham I may well consider completing the instructor certification.
TRX have long been the kings of suspension training. Now found in most mainstream gyms TRX have taken their training philosophy a step further by putting together programming that combines suspension exercise with various other strength training tools for a fully rounded, functional workout. I'm a big fan of suspension training as its easily adapted for any level of fitness. I have no doubt that this will be popular in 2016.
Group exercise classes have long been at the heart of the FitPro convention. Each year master classes are showcased and instructors from far and wide come along to try them out. Here is what got me excited this year...
One of my favourite training tools has been further developed into a professionally formatted group exercise class. Last year we saw the introduction of the choreographed ViPR 3D class and the circuit based ViPR athletic class, this year we have the MOSSA ViPR workout. MOSSA are a big group exercise brand that have applied their knowledge and experience of group exercise to a great functional training tool to produce a challenging workout.
Tribe Team Training
This small group workout is run as a short course of between 6-8 weeks. Focus is on building team ethic and progressing your performance on a weekly basis. Workouts can vary from circuit style exercise to boxing, there are enough variations to fill 12 months worth of training! The team focus and measured levels of effort really make these classes results focused and hard working. I really like the fact that once the door is closed and all distractions are put aside and no one leaves until it's over.
Getting kids involved in becoming active is of increasing importance if we're going to buck the obesity trend. Making training fun and giving them a positive experience is what ViPR kids is all about. The participants are taught essential movement patterns for sports and fitness with an emphasis on non competitive game play. I would love to get involved with a class like this to see the kids reactions. In this short clip ViPR creator Michol Dalcourt talks through some of the theory behind ViPR kids
The FitPro Live event is always a great experience. Being with like minded people, sharing a common interest in fitness with others and feeding off the energy that goes into the event never fails to inspire me to better myself. I come back full of ideas, motivation and an intention to improve the experience that all of my clients have at STF. Bring on FitPro Live 2016, can't wait.