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The Fit Expo 2004
Friday, February 20 - Chocolate Covered Workouts

fit expo blondes

11:00 a.m. I have an hour before my first class - Zumba with Beto Perez - so after I check in I head for the Exhibition Hall. It immediately occurs to me that to work at an exhibition booth you must be 1) blonde and 2) tan (the great body is so de rigueur it's not even worth mentioning). Within a few yards of the door there is a whole line of blonde beauties with armfuls of promotional bags. "Wanna bag?" one asks. Of course I do, although I find later that most of what I pick up fits handily into my backpack. The site of the vast array of workout clothes, workout equipment and videos, food and miscellaneous other things is dizzying. A woman (amazingly not blonde and tan, but with the great figure) promotes aromatherapy oils. "It'll stop your snoring and your migraines!" she tells me. When I say that I neither snore nor have migraines she hands me a list of other ailments the oils address. Moments later I sample my first full-on winning product - CarbWatchers gourmet low-carb chocolates. They're sugar free, practically melt in my mouth and every flavor is scrumptious. I know that over the course of the next three days I will be haunting the Labrada booth where they're located. My lunch consists of various protein bar samples and some sort of acai concoction (acai, a palm berry, seems to be the latest nutritious food to be hyped - apparently it's loaded with antioxidants. It tastes pretty good too). Hoping I've somehow fueled myself adequately I head for Zumba.

(Article continued below.)

12:00 p.m. I took a salsa class once and never broke a sweat, so I'm always a little surprised when faced with the heart rate-raising aspects of cardio salsa. Actually Zumba is a lot more than salsa - it's a mixture of different Latin dance steps, mixed with lots of hip-shaking and a high level of South American enthusiasm from Beto Perez. It's fun and I'm dancing along, not much caring if I'm missing a step here and there when a couple of flashes light up the room. Oh no - photographers! Does this mean I have to follow along perfectly now? (I knew I should have tried out the DVDs at home first!) I try to ignore the hovering photographers and enjoy myself, and I do. In fact, I'm covered in sweat by the end and I drip all over the evaluation form (attendees are encouraged to evaluate each workshop they attend). I hope that whoever has to read these things doesn't get too grossed out.

Rob Glick - Deep Definition 1:00 p.m. I head on up to a "Deep Definition" class from Rob Glick. Glick is an amazing guy - his list of accomplishments is long, so here's just a sample. He's been featured in over 20 videos (I have several from before I became a fitness writer and they're fun!). He's part of the BOSU development team. He's a respected leader in the indoor cycling world. He's a CEU provider for both ACE and AFAA and has traveled to over 25 countries to teach. Currently he's the Regional Group Fitness Director for Crunch in Orange County. I am thrilled to be in such an intimate setting with this guy - because it's Friday, which is a workday for a lot of people, many of the workshops are lightly attended. Deep Definition is a body bar workout that involves functional strength moves - for example, you do biceps curls with the bar, but you do them standing gracefully (!) on one leg. Or you squat while holding the bar scrunched at the bend of your hips - no hands. ("Now hold that for 32 counts" - ouch!) It's a great class (and is available on DVD at Glick's site) - I feel like I've worked my muscles without completely trashing them - a good thing, since I have two and a half more Expo days ahead of me. I speak briefly with Glick afterwards, and he emphasizes the importance of blending body/ mind workouts with more traditional resistance training. The body/ mind connection is one that I will be revisiting throughout the rest of the Expo.

2:00 p.m. I attend a talk on the Fundamentals of Ayurveda, held by David Wells, a Yoga teacher and clinical Ayurvedic Specialist for the Integrated Healing Center in Pasadena. Wells explains that Ayurveda looks at both the mental and physical aspects of health and its goal is to bring balance overall (balance - there's another theme that will be a constant during the Expo). I'm already familiar with the three Doshas (the different types of human constitution) - Kapha, slow and easy-going; Vata, quick and changeable; and Pitta, intense and driven. You're born with one Dosha most prominent and that is a constant throughout your life - another may have a strong secondary influence. In 45 minutes we only have enough time to cover the very basic aspects of Ayurveda but it's enough to inspire me to make a mental note to schedule in a feature on the subject some time in the near future.

carmen electra 3:00 p.m. For the life of me I can't find the Gold Room, where author and Yoga teacher Steve Ilg is giving a lecture called "The Barbell Buddha: Integrating Yogic Principles with Gym Workouts." So instead, I wander through the Exhibitor's Hall once again. Carmen Electra is there, wearing a short, fuzzy pink jacket and promoting her Aerobic Striptease DVDs. I grab a few more low-carb chocolate samples and vow to once and for all find Ilg's talk because I'm sure I'm missing something really good. I finally locate the room (it's on a different level altogether) and discover my instincts are right on - the session is one of the best of the whole Expo. Ilg, called "the world's fittest human" by Ultra-Cycling magazine, and whose latest book is Total Body Transformation, is charming, funny and very wise.

steve ilg - total body transformation Ilg points out that gym work grounds the spiritual work of meditation and Yoga and shoots down anyone who believes he is too busy for a fitness lifestyle ("Your life is not busy; your mind is what is busy"). He eloquently explains the importance of approaching strength training with Yoga-like awareness and intention. As I listen to him, it occurs to me that he is on the same page as Rob Glick. Ilg is presenting a Master Class after his talk, but after my workout earlier in the day I don't dare stay for it. When I tell Ilg why I have to miss it, he commends me for honoring my body's needs. Truthfully, I just consider it common sense - it would definitely be a bad idea to trash my body on the first day of a three-day expo!

Next page >> 2/21/04 - The Quest for Food & Yoga >> Page 1, 2, 3, 4

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