Posted on

What to Bring to a Fitness Convention

What to Bring to a Fitness Convention

If you’re looking for a fitness convention or health and fitness expo, there are a ton of great ones coming up this summer: IDEA World Fitness Convention (July 19-23), Zumba Instructor Convention (July 27-30) and SCW Mania Convention (July 29-30) to name a few. You can find an extensive list of upcoming events here. I attended SCW Mania in California earlier this year, and the experience was amazing — I get giddy just thinking about it! But leading up to the event, I always get nervous about what to bring to a fitness convention.

For example, I’d hate to be drenched in sweat at 8 a.m. only to realize I have to sit in my clothes for the rest of the day, since I forgot a back-up outfit. Now that I have quite a few conferences under my belt, I thought I’d share a few items that have been lifesavers for me when I attend conferences.

Here’s my list of what to bring to a fitness convention.

Outfit to pack for a fitness convention

  1. A back-up outfit (including an extra sports bra, shoes and hair ties)

Like I mentioned above, if you do attend a session with an intense workout, it can be nice to put on a clean outfit afterwards or around lunch time if your day is full of exercising. And, if you start to realize your shoes are uncomfortable or your hair tie breaks, it’s worth it to have back-ups with you at the fitness convention.

  1. A hardback notebook or clipboard

This is a lesser-known packing item that can be so helpful during the sessions. In every session I’ve attended, I sat in a chair or on the floor while the presenter went through their slides. Without a hard surface to use, your notes can easily end up illegible. So, I like to bring a sturdy notebook with me to write on or act as my “desk” if there’s a handout.

  1. Pens and highlighters

Make sure to bring pens to take notes. I always like to have a backup, because my pens never cease to run out at the wrong time. And, you might want to bring a highlighter, as well, if the presenter will be passing out worksheets or if you like to highlight your notes.

  1. Snacks

If you’re like me, hunger can strike at any time. That means being ready at a moment’s notice to grab a snack. I like to have a few snacks handy that I can eat whenever. I recommend packing snacks that you can eat pretty easily (and sneakily) during a workshop. I always start to turn red when I’m the girl in the back of class ripping open a bag of pretzels or shoveling trail mix in my face and spilling everywhere. My go-to snack is the granola bar, because it’s so easy to eat and so tasty.

What to pack for a fitness convention

  1. Lunch

Most conventions will have food options available to purchase at the convention. Since I’m on a budget (saving for my wedding!), I try to pack my own lunch. You can pretty easily pack a sandwich and stick a ice pack in the bag to keep it cool until lunch time. I’ve even brought microwaveable lunches in my bag with an ice pack and used the public microwave at the snack bar. This lets me eat a decent meal to make sure I have enough energy to power through the day. Consider calling the convention center ahead of time to see what the food options are.

  1. Deodorant, face wash/baby wipes

If you break out easily or feel yucky hanging out sweaty for too long, consider bringing toiletries to help freshen up at lunch time. Deodorant is a must, and also consider a face wash or toilet to keep you feeling fresh.

  1. The convention schedule, map and session handouts

These are the three items you’ll need to successfully navigate the convention. I always like to have the whole schedule in front of me, in case I decide last minute I want to switch sessions. And, you’ll want to make sure you have a map to figure out how to get around from session to session.

  1. Phone and extra charger

If you live tweet an event or use your phone to take notes and pictures, it’s always a good idea to bring a phone charger or portable battery charger.

  1. Sweatshirt

The rooms at a fitness convention are notorious for being cold, especially after you stop moving. Make sure to bring a sweatshirt or two to make sure you’re staying comfortable. Sometimes it’s nice to have two different long sleeve items, so that if one gets really sweaty you have another clean one for later.

If you’re going to a fitness convention this year, hope you have SO much fun! Please let me know if you have anything to add to this list, or other advice for convention attendees.

For more tips, check out the group exercise ideas page.

And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich.


Posted on

My Favorite Group Fitness Motivational Cues from SCW Mania

Group Fitness Motivational Cues from Mindy Mylrea

Tired, depleted and inspired. That’s how we all want our group fitness participants to feel when they leave our cardio classes. And, that’s how I feel today as I head home from the SCW Mania convention in Burlingame, Calif. this weekend. I spent the last three days in lectures, workouts, surrounded by non-stop energy and enthusiasm. I learned so much, and I encourage you all to consider attending if it comes to a city near you.

One of my favorite parts of the convention is the part of the workshops when presenters would lead us through a sample workout, because you could see them put in action everything they just taught us. On top of that, you get to also experience their group fitness motivational cues firsthand, and think through how you respond to each cue. Does it make you work harder or give more effort? If so, you can consider weaving in some of those cues into your own arsenal.

Here are some of the most memorable group fitness motivational cues from SCW California Mania.

  • “Not because I’m telling you, but because you CAN.” – Jeffrey Scott, Schwinn Cycling, Session: There’s an App for That
  • “Get to the wall of breathless, and just give it a kiss.” – Alex Mclean, Schwinn Cycling, Session: The “HARD” Conversation
  • “If you’re looking for that one person to change your life, look in the mirror.” – Irene Lewis-McCormick, Keynote presentation
  • “I don’t have a PhD, but I arm myself with information and education.” – Jeffrey Scott, Schwinn Cycling, Session: Teaching Tips from TED®
  • “Flexbility is a byproduct of flexibility of your mind and flexibility of your approach” – Manuel Velasquez, PT/Small Group, Session: No Equipment, No Problem
  • “With change, you get change.” – Jeff Howard, HIIT/Group Training, Session: Don’t Step on It
  • “It is now. Create this moment.” – Mindy Mylrea, Session: Tabata Bootcamp Express Workout
  • “If I told you that you have 30 more seconds, would you be happy?” – Doris Thews, Schwinn Cycling, Session: C3 Content, Connection and Charisma

Can’t wait to go back next year! For more tips, check out my fitness motivation and cueing page.

And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich!

Posted on

Top Presenters Return for the 2017 SCW Fitness Pro Convention

The California SCW Fitness Pro Convention is around the corner! I was a staff assistant in 2015, but last year the convention didn’t make a stop in San Francisco, so I had to watch from afar. Now, I’m a staff assistant again this year, and can’t wait for some non-stop fitness fun. Although it has been a while, I can still remember most of my favorite sessions of the weekend. And, many of those presenters are coming back to SF for the 2017 convention. As I started planning out my schedule this year, I’ve noted the returning presenters I’d like to check out again this year.

These SCW Fitness presenters have contagious, through-the-roof energy and lots of great ideas to bring back to your fitness classes. If this is your first year at the convention, you’ll want to attend some of the sessions taught by these experts.

Abbie Appel

Abbie Appel

Abbie is an international fitness expert and educator who has written the SCW Barre Certification and updated the SCW Pilates Matwork Certification. She is a Rykä® Ambassador and a Master Trainer and Consultant for Activmotion Bar™, Body Bar® and Schwinn®.

I took one of Abbie’s Barre presentations in 2015, and loved her down-to-earth approach to teaching. Her presentation was genuine and had a bunch of new moves I’d never done before.

Mindy Mylrea

Mindy Mylrea

Mindy is the 2015 PFP Trainer of the Year, 2013 CanFitPro Specialty Presenter of the Year, 2008 Fitness Presenter of the Year, 2004 Can Fit Pro International Presenter of the Year, 1999 International Fitness Instructor of the Year, a National and World Aerobic Champion, and a five star presenter. Mindy is an advisory board member for Oxygen Magazine, an international presenter, author, motivational speaker, video personality, and CEC provider for SCW, ACE and AFAA.

Mindy led the very first presentation I attended back in 2015, and it was such a great way to kick off the weekend. She has so much energy and enthusiasm, plus a one-of-a-kind presentation style. I was inspired by the way she entertained and motivated the participants — something you’ll want to emulate yourself once you take her session.

Jeffrey Scott

Jeffrey Scott

Jeffrey is an International Fitness Presenter, Schwinn® Lead Master Trainer, Reebok Master Trainer and an Area Group Fitness Manager for Equinox Fitness Clubs. With more than 20 years of experience in the Health and Fitness industry, Jeffrey has conducted training workshops in over 15 countries around the world and is recognized as a top fitness educator, instructor and personal trainer who is known for his creative choreography and motivational teaching.

I attended the, “Schwinn Cycling: Rock Stars, Preachers and Party People,” session two years ago with Jeffrey, Doris Thews and Skip Jennings, and it was one of my favorite of the entire weekend. Unfortunately, Skip Jennings won’t be at the convention this year, but I’m thrilled I’ll get to take another session (or two :)) from Jeffrey and Doris.

Doris Thews

Doris Thews

Doris has 30+ years in the fitness industry. She started as a college athlete, worked as a Divisional Director for a large club chain and now owns a fitness consulting business. Doris represents several International fitness brands including her role as Program Director for Indo-Row® and ShockWave, Senior Master Trainer and Global Mentor for Schwinn®, International Development Master Trainer team member for BOSU® and Hedstrom® Fitness, Power Music® Advisory Board Member and Lead RYKA® Fit-Pro Ambassador.

Manuel Velazquez

Manuel Velazquez

Manuel is a proud faculty member for SCW Fitness Education, while being a valued trainer for Hydro-Fit, Bosu, Tabata Bootcamp and Barre Above. He is a WATERinMOTION® National Trainer and a recipient ECA-NYC OBOW All-Around International Presenter of the Year award and has been presenting at fitness conferences worldwide for over two decades. Manuel is a continuing education faculty for SCW, ACE, AFAA, ACSM, AEA, and WATERinMOTION®, and stars in over 50 Fitness Instructor Training Videos.

I was part of the staff assistant team for Manuel, and he was so nice! He has a really unique teaching and fitness style that I can only describes as “flowing”. If you’re looking to mix up your workout routines and add something different, I’d recommend checking out one of Manuel’s sessions.

This is only a partial list – there are many great presenters from 2015 that won’t be back this year, and a bunch of new faces I’m excited to meet. If there are other presenters you’re excited about, please let me know.

To see the complete list of presenters, click here. If you’re interested in attending other fitness conventions this year, check out my 2017 events list.

And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich!

Posted on

2017 U.S. Health and Fitness Expo and Convention Schedule

Group fitness instructor attending a health and fitness expo or convention

If you’re a group fitness instructor in need of some exercise inspiration or new workout ideas, a health and fitness expo or convention is the ultimate way to break out of a rut. After spending the day surrounded by fitness professionals and immersed in wellness conversations, it’s hard not to feel reinvigorated. Even if you don’t need a motivation refresh, a health and fitness expo or convention is a great way to network, learn new moves and get updates on the latest happenings in the fitness industry.

I do have one caveat: they can be expensive! If you only teach one group fitness class a week as a side hobby, it can be hard to justify spending hundreds of dollars on a fitness gathering. There are ways to attend an expo or convention without breaking the bank. Consider activities in your area — if you can commute to and from each day, you’ll save major dough you would otherwise spend on hotels. You can also attend for one day instead of a full weekend.

Some of the major shows have volunteer programs. I was a volunteer at the SCW Fitness convention in 2015 and loved it. Being a volunteer was much more affordable, and it helped me connect with other professionals I would have never talked to otherwise. I liked it so much that I’m going to be a volunteer again at this year’s SCW Fitness convention.

If you’re looking for a health and fitness expo or convention in your area, here’s a list of some of the most popular events this year.

January 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

February 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

March 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

April 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

May 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

July 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

August 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention list

September 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

October 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

November 2017 Health and Fitness Expo and Convention List

Notably, I didn’t find any major events happening in June or December scheduled so far (as of January 15). This doesn’t include workshops, so check out your local certification websites to see what workshops are going on in your area.

If you want to take your career in group fitness up a notch in 2017, I strongly encourage squeezing a health and fitness expo or convention into your schedule.

For more tips and industry insights, check out the group exercise ideas page.