I’m back! Last week and weekend, I spent five days in Los Angeles soaking up a whole bunch of fitness, food and fun.
What was I doing? This was my second year attending both the IDEA World Fitness Convention and IDEA BlogFest with SweatPink (wearing Fabletics above!). If you’re not familiar, IDEA World Fitness Convention is the biggest annual gathering of 14,000 fitness and wellness professionals usually taking place in L.A., (but will be moving to Las Vegas for its 35th year next year in 2017).
IDEA BlogFest is a smaller exclusive portion of the conference held just for bloggers, and it’s a newer conference, welcoming about 160 ladies (only a couple of guys this year!). BlogFest is only two days, but IDEA is five days. (Details on last year’s BlogFest can be found here: big things I learned and top nutrition tips.)
On Thursday and Friday, I participated in blogging and social media sessions, as well as workouts as part of BlogFest. Then on Saturday, I attended strictly fitness and health sessions as part of the larger IDEA World Fitness Convention.
The time was action packed, with breakfast starting as early as 7 a.m., sessions going through 6 p.m., and social events afterward, so the days were full. But because it was all so enjoyable, I didn’t really get that tired and certainly never got bored. I was in my element!
What I like about attending IDEA BlogFest
The cool things about attending this event …
- Hanging out with my favorite blogging buddies in person.
- Meeting new blogging friends in person.
- Learning some new tips and tricks about blogging and social media from inspirational people like Anna Renderer, Katie Dunlop, Amanda Tress, Ryan Lee and Brooke Bass.
- Trying new-to-me workouts.
- Trying new-to-me snacks and supplements at the big expo hall (although the expo didn’t seem as good as last year).
- Romping around in workout clothes with a backpack and not sitting at a desk all day.
But let’s be totally honest, because the best part of the week and weekend definitely took place after hours when I got to go to dinner with Gina and Jessica on Thursday and Friday night at Faith & Flower and Katsuya, respectively. I met these ladies both in person for the first time last year, but because we’re blogging friends and stay in touch via the Interwebs, etc. I feel like I’ve known them for a very long time. (In case you don’t know them, Gina is a fabulous blogger over at The Fitnessista and Jessica is an amazing Pilates instructor and blogger at Jessica Valant Pilates.) Our dinners each night included awesome food, cocktails and endless chatter about all things life. Too bad I live so many hours away from them, because they’re both in San Diego.
Highlights from IDEA BlogFest
A few highlights from this year …
- The IDEA opening ceremony speeches were so incredibly inspiring. Jack Canfield of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” fame gave us tips on using daily affirmations and giving up complaining and blame to find the formula to be successful in anything. Amy Van Dyken, a former Olympian who is now in a wheelchair, told us to live each day to the fullest and Tony Horton, famed fitness trainer, talked about hustling to become who you want to be.
- Readers saying hello! I loved the fact that people who read the blog came up to me and introduced themselves. I think I’m way less cool in person, so I hope I didn’t disappoint you, ladies hehehe! I was a complete sweaty mess running to claim things I had mistakenly left behind in a workout room when one gal came up to me. #BadFirstImpressions
- We all know that I’m obsessed with Les Mills group fitness, but I also like to try new things in the group fitness world. This year, as part of BlogFest, we got to try all of the Beachbody Live programs in a small group, and I’m all over the Country Heat Dance Workout, which is fast-moving country-line dancing, which gets you pretty darn sweaty. I seriously died from excitement while trying that class, even though we only got to do a small preview of it. I don’t think it would be very popular in the Bay Area, but if I ever move back to the South, I will totally train to become an instructor of it.
- I ran into some awesome current and former Les Mills icons, like Amanda Scales, and Josef McMatthews, who is now with Beachbody. I love that I get to see them at events like this. Josef also taught some of the Beachbody Live previews that we did through BlogFest.
- I did some work for 24 Hour Fitness, which was super enjoyable and enlightening, and I wore my 24 Hour Fitness hat for many of the conference sessions.
- And this was a quick one, but I attempted a partner acro-stunt for the first time with a very trustworthy instructor, who helped me get out of my comfort zone. It feels good to be challenged!
As far as what I learned this year about blogging … you’ve got to collect email addresses, send emails to your readers often, build your social following on three channels total and get the heck on Snapchat so people can see the nitty gritty in your life. Done. This is my second attempt at Snapchat, and I can already tell I’m going to become obsessed this time. It’s so messy and fun! Here’s me with Anna Renderer, the host of POPSUGAR Fitness, who talked a little bit about content …
As far as what I learned this year in fitness … there continue to be more and more workout formats, trends and pieces of equipment coming out, and that’s a good thing for us all in the industry. The more competition, the better. The more programs, the better. The more people moving, the better. A fitness highlight for me may have been during the Todd Durkin bootcamp that Gina and I went to together, which was super tough, but challenging in a good way. We did box jumps, battle ropes and all sorts of interesting sports drills. And Todd Durkin was intense and motivational. His energy is infectious! Here we are with famed celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson, who took us bloggers through a workout using booty bands (ouch!) …
As far as what I learned this year about nutrition … well … you have to eat right most of the time, and there are no shortcuts for diets at all. Bone broth and collagen are all the rage for getting extra nutrients, and real food still wins out in the end. Elimination diets are not the ideal way to live, say the experts. And cheat days? Don’t go crazy on them and derail your entire week. Oh and throw out the scale. Your goal weight should be the weight where you feel your healthiest, while being able to fully enjoy your life how you want to. If you have to make yourself miserable with your diet to be a certain weight, then that’s not the right weight for you.
I soaked up a lot the last few days, and you’ll see more details and insights coming up very soon on the old blog, but for now, let’s wrap it up and get to my usual workout recap.
My weekly workout recap
Here’s a look at all of the workouts I fit in last week …
- Monday: Taught a one-hour BODYATTACK class
- Tuesday: Taught a one-hour BODYPUMP class
- Wednesday: Did a 20-minute weights workout
- Thursday: Rest day
- Friday: Did a 45-minute cardio and a 30-minute multi-equipment circuit class
- Saturday: Did one-hour of Beachbody Live cardio workout classes
- Sunday: Rest day
How did this past week of workouts go?
This past week included some diversity of workouts thanks to BlogFest, yet I didn’t fit in my typical three-times-weekly resistance sessions, like I usually do. I got more cardio than usual with teaching BODYATTACK once and a couple of sessions at IDEA, but I only picked up real weights one time while teaching BODYPUMP. And I swear, I’m going to get back to yoga one day soon. Overall, the week was fine, and happily included two full rest days.Learn some quick #fitness tips from #BlogFest #IDEAWorld with #SweatPink ... Click To Tweet
P.S. Thanks to Meghan for today’s “Week in Review” link-up.
Thanks for reading guys. And by the way, I’m totally snapping away on Snapchat, so find me at aladygoeswest. Have an awesome day and week. We’ll chat soon!
Questions of the day
How was your weekend?
Do you use Snapchat?