Southeast Collegiate Fitness Expo

Finally finally finally I get to update me on my splendid fitness-filled weekend. As I have told you all in my About Me section, I am a graduate assistant of group fitness and nutrition at a DC University. One of the many perks of this position is that I get to go to an annual fitness exposition. This particular exposition is a gathering of group fitness instructors, personal trainers, and other fitness professionals from universities in the Southeastern region of the United States. Universities there included: Florida State University, Old Dominion University (well, that’s where it was held!), UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, and on, and on, and on, and on. The theme of this expo was “For the LOOOOVE of Fitness.” 🙂

What happens at these fitness expos, you ask? Well, it is a weekend filled with:

  • group fitness classes
  • informational sessions
  • personal training workshops
  • a social
  • a coordinator brunch

Friday Night
Friday night started off with a Master session. A Master session is a session in which an expert in the fitness and wellness field speaks or presents on a certain topic. Friday night’s session was led by Jon Ross, who is known as a Fitness Industry Thought Leader. Jon led a session called “Keep Your Brain Buff.” When it comes to the health and wellness arena, many people often associate health with being fit. Being fit plays a big role in cardiovascular health, strength, balance, self-efficacy, and self-image. However, often when thinking about fitness, we only think about how it is transforming out body–how our limbs are getting leaner, how our stomach is getting flatter, how our cardiovascular system is getting stronger. We often forget that we need to keep our brain healthy, in addition to our body. After all, a healthy body without a healthy brain makes things a bit challenging. Jon provided methods in which we, as trainers, instructors, and fitness professionals, can buff up people’s bodies AND minds. We want to do exercises that are not only challenging, but efficient. Examples are:

  • Side lunging on command: your client lunges to the right when you say an animal name and lunges to the left when you say the name of a fruit
  • Memory Exercise Game with a Group: Group members stand in a straight line, all facing you. Group Member A does an exercise (squat), Member B does Exercise A and created Exercise B. This continues down the line, and then reverses.

Saturday consisted of sessions from 7:45am until 6:30pm. A long, long, long day. My favorite sessions of the day were: U-Jam, Whip It!, and Pilox. U-Jam is a choreographed dance class that uses music from all different countries. There is a lot of hip-hop, a lot of street music, some Bollywood, and more! Reason I love U-Jam? Most Zumbas are unfortunately not for me. I can’t swivel my hips that way. The moves in U-Jam are a lot more my style, and somehow the two instructors made me actually feel sexy while dancing, which is saying something. It’s a great workout–my abs were so sore the next day! Whip It! is a class created by two group fitness instructors at James Madison University. Basically, you use a towel while you dance to get a great work out. The moves were fun, silly, and different, and it was also a really great workout. Lastly, Pilox is a combination of kickboxing and Pilates. We would kickbox for about 10 minutes, then slowly work our way down to the ground  with some squats, and then we would do some Pilates. We went back and forth 3 times. This workout was great for me because, frankly, 60 minutes is LOOOOOONG during a workout sometimes, and this split it up very nicely.

Sunday morning started with a yoga class by Master Presenter Jane Bahneman. After such a long day Saturday, I was not ready to move. I wanted to lay on my mat and sleep. But once we got started, I was truly inspired to pursue yoga more. Jane started us off in child’s pose (a crowd favorite) and ended us that way as well. It was an empowering session, especially because I held crow pose for the first time ever! After this inspiring yoga class, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the coordinator brunch (because I’m a graduate assistant). I can honestly say after that brunch that there is nothing like being in a room full of fitness/health/wellness professionals who have similar passions to yours. Jane and Don led a great “Leap into Leadership” workshop, and I left so energized and excited for my career path. As my boss said, she could see my electrons bouncing around.

I will end this post with a UJam video. The guy at the beginning of the video is Chin–he was one of the presenters at the expo.


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