As learned at the world’s premier fitness conference, 2017 IDEA World Fitness Convention.
This weekend, thousands of the world’s fittest, smartest, most successful fitness professionals; fitness club and studio owners and managers; nutrition professionals and leading brands descended on Las Vegas and conspired to make the world a healthier and happier place. The occasion: IDEA’s 35th anniversary celebration—four days of cutting-edge education, networking and motivation at the biggest industry event of the year.
Session topics included how to run injury free, fat loss programming, meditation mantras and movement, behavior change breakthroughs and what to eat and when—all according to science. World-class trainers and instructors from around the globe, including Cassy Ho, Michol Dalcourt, Tracey Mallett, Nick Ekbatani and Darren Hardy, delivered the hottest workout trends, motivational lectures and the latest in exercise science research, which will impact the way the world works out for the year to come.
24Life’s Editor in Chief, Lashaun Dale, joined the learning fest, and below shares five resounding themes that echoed across the sessions—themes that will keep you in the know and on the cutting-edge of fitness.
There is a lot more to your results than good choreography or the latest exercise moves. The truth is that fitness has grown up; the industry now has decades of experience and data to share about what works, what doesn’t and what you need to do to get results. One factor is a focus on the quality of movement. While HIIT programs are still prevalent, they’ve been given a dose of sensibility and a new call to action for movement quality—and have made a refreshed commitment to whole body and full range of motion.
What this means for you: Expect your instructor or your client to be extra diligent about choosing resistance that you or they can manage and manage well. And do not count bad reps—meaning reps that don’t have pristine form. No slacking off from here on out.
What you eat matters for your performance and your health and fitness goals. So does when you eat, where you eat, how you eat and how much. It is true that fitness starts in the kitchen, and to maximize your health and ability to train for the rest of your days, a deep understanding of nutrition, food prep and meal planning is key. The cool thing is that there is a diet for every body. The challenging thing is also that there is a diet for every body. Biochemical individuality reigns, and just like your workout, your diet should be personalized, prescriptive and full of the best ingredients, thoughtfully prepared and served up with precision and care.
What this means for you: You have to move beyond counting calories. The food you eat should be well-sourced, and it’s critical to match your nutrition plan and your workout regimen to the goals you wish to achieve. This doesn’t have to mean full-out sacrifice. There are healthy desserts to enjoy, but they will likely not include the double serving of frozen yogurt with toppings from your local neighborhood joint. You may need to go homemade or out of your way to enjoy your food and your fitness, too.
For a powerful workout, connection is king, and it comes in many forms. First of all, technology has evolved to deliver meaningful data without overinvading your day or life. Wearables, intelligent equipment and smart rooms now combine to inform your workout in the moment, and not just report metrics after the fact. Information in the moment becomes a training advantage and, better yet, offers an opportunity to be connected socially to other people with similar goals, or valuable motivation to keep you moving.
What this means for you: Dust off that Fitbit or Apple Watch and sign up for an awards program or challenge that will connect you to a community to support your goals. Get to know what your device, phone or an app can do for your workout and make it a practice every day. Share this knowledge with your trainer or coach and allow them insight into your training and lifestyle behaviors so they can truly serve you with valuable advice.
Recovery and restoration are having a moment, and it couldn’t come a minute sooner. We are all exhausted. In a society that is overstressed, overstimulated and overtired, we sabotage our dreams by adding intense workouts on top of our already busy days. The workouts are great—our bodies just can’t make sense of them, as everything we do combines into a total physiological overload. When we are maxed out, our bodies begin to breakdown, instead of getting stronger.
To protect your tissues, your hormonal balance and your ability to create change requires a new way of training that is more intelligent and sensible to the needs of your physiology. The good news is that there is a plethora of active recovery workouts that one can do, from moving meditation to slow athletic stretch or self-myofascial massage, that help to restore energy to the body. You don’t have to skip a workout; you just need to give your body the one that it needs that day, and plan your regiment to include recovery days along with self-care strategies each day.
What this means for you: Your trainer may lecture you to slow it down, teach you how to breathe properly or suggest you add in a meditation session before bed. (And do sleep—your body actually changes when you sleep, not during a workout!) It is easy to glaze over this concept, especially if you are a hard-core, can’t stop workout type. Don’t skip out on this—you will get stronger, better, have more energy and find new ways to play and move.
Train with pleasure
There are more ways to sweat than ever before, and none of them need be boring. This excuse is no longer valid. If you can’t find a workout you like, then you are just not interested in making it happen. The variety of workout equipment, classes, small group training, personal training options, community fitness events and digital fitness opportunities you can do from wherever you are is spectacular. Just pick one that sounds good, give it a go a few times and cycle through until you find your sweat. Find a workout that makes your day better and takes you closer to your goals. This is the only body you get this lifetime. Let it out to play so it can become all that it is intended to be.
What this means for you: A new class is likely coming to you this fall at your local gym. Whether that is Strong by Zumba or a new yoga and meditation class like Energy Medicine Yoga, go and check it out. Just try it and consider it as an experiment in your movement laboratory.
Photo credit: Jakob, Stocksy