Day 1 of the 2014 Asia Fitness Convention is in the books. So far it’s been awesome. Going into these seminars, you have expectations of learning a lot and meeting new contacts. I always expect to come out with more questions than answers. It’s really when we start questioning what we’re doing as trainers and fitness professionals that you also appreciate what you learn from these events. The speakers aren’t only there to feed you knowledge, they’re there to challenge what you currently know and challenge you to be better for yourself and your clients. So far, I’m day 1, a lot of questions are starting to come out.
The theme for this year’s conference is Fulfilling Promises. As Fabio Comana and Helen Vanderburg put it for the opening ceremony, this means keeping a promise for ourselves and our clients that we become better and strive to be better every single day. That means working on our craft and maintaining a level of excellence that we can be proud of as coaches. Easier said than done, but for me, it simply starts with integrity. Being true to your word and dropping the BS sales talk that we coaches and trainers are unfortunately sometimes notorious for. Being true when you say to your client that I will help you and being true to yourself when you say that you want to be the best coach that you can be, because who doesn’t want to be the best that you can be?
It was pretty clear early on that the big thing being taught in health and fitness right now is how to breathe properly and how our breathing can help us perform better not inly for sport and exercise, but for everyday life. Lee Burton said it, Helen said it, Evan Osar said it and I’ve heard it said in the Perform Better summit last August. We are also going back to the basics of movement and trying to understand fundamental movement patterns and going away from isolation (although that has its place). We are also going deeper and deeper into our understanding of fascia and how the myofascial slings and lines affect core stability and movement in general. Everything in the body is connected, and we know that clearly by now.
I started the day with with a ViPR workout by their director of training, Matthew Truscott which was harder than I thought it was going to be. That was a good class which really focused on moving in 3D rather than staying in the Sagital plane. Think half kneeling chop and lifts versus Bicep curls, both work the biceps to a certain degree but one involves a whole lot more movement and integration of the body’s lines than the other.
Then Lee Burton took over for Gray Cook who had a medical emergency, and talked about movement patterns and how we should always think about developing proper movement before we load it. I’ve heard this from Lee before and it really got me questioning some of my methods of loading my exercises. We gotta fix it first before we can load it. Sometimes we wanna lift something heavy when we can’t even pick it up properly. Later in the day, he also taught us about q different view on core training which involves the posterior chain which most people forget. Most people think of the core as the abs but if you’re smart (and you’ve been reading my blog ) you know that it’s much more than your abdominal muscles. Lee taught us how to awaken our post I or chain muscles of the core and how deadlifting is really one of the best core exercises that you can do. If you’re not deadlifting, ask your trainer why and then tell him to make you deadlift right away.
Evan Osar is a revelation for me. I’ve never hear of him to be honest but his methods on how he corrects dysfunction, specifically the shoulder which we worked on today, was something new to me, and made me challenge a lot of my current views on shoulder mobility. Evan basically taught us how to breathe properly and get our alignment back so that our shoulders can get our range of motion back (which we lost with the hours of sitting down that most of us do). I’m used to soft tissue manipulation (foam rolling) but his methods really make sense.
Helen Vanderburg gave me a whole new appreciation for women, specifically my wife, and how pregnancy really affects a whole bunch of stuff that really get them in painful situations. Prenatal fitness is something that I’m not totally comfortable with but Helen gave us a framework that we can use to provide safe workouts for pregnant women. The main thing is that if you are pregnant and DO NOT have a complicated pregnancy, then you will benefit a lot from exercise. Don’t be scared, we won’t do high intensity stuff since that’s not for you right now. But we can move and we can strengthen our postural muscles and inner core to make your pregnancy and post pregnancy flow better.
Finally Len Kravitz , who I also heard for the first time reinforced a lot of what we do at 360 to fight overweight and obesity. We can talk a loooooot about this but suffice it to say, that Len agrees with us when we say that the battle for weight loss is not won in the gym, although it is a very good weapon, but we win by introducing lifestyle activities in our everyday routines that add up and make us move more throughout the day. He also said that obesity is more an environmental problem than a biological problem. We need to make sure that our surroundings are conducive for weight loss and that means making healthy choices on how we move and what we put in our refs and cupboards to feed ourselves.
All in all it was a great first day and I can’t wait for what day 2 has in store for us.