This weekend was the 2011 Can-Fit-Pro conference here in Toronto. It attracts presenters and fitness professionals from around the world.
Unfortunately, as I mentioned last year, I don't always enjoy it. The quality of the presenters and the sessions and workshops varies dramatically, and spending 24/7 for 3 straight days with thousands of other fitness professionals and fitness-related retail companies (in the tradeshow) can be psychologically (and financially) draining.
To make matters worse, this year Adam didn't attend so I was on my own. At least this meant childcare wasn't an issue.
As per usual there were highs and lows during my conference experience. The biggest low was a spinning session with a presenter who lacked any dynamism and didn't offer any new information at all. The lecture was a waste of time, but the workout she gave was worse. It was so boring I almost hung myself from the rafters of the room with my towel. Imagine 45 minutes of generic, techno (thump-thump music) which sounded identical for the entire class, with very little variation in terrain. We were seated in the saddle for all but 45 seconds of the whole class. I'm not exaggerating! This was not ideal for my butt, which is still somewhat tender from my cortisone shot.
There were also fewer "free samples" at the tradeshow. That's usually the best part! I did manage to snag a few boxes of Vector cereal for the girls - They LOVE eating cereal out of little boxes - as well as a Larabar, a Weider energy bar, some Lakota and LivRelief muscle pain relief creams, a one day supply of vitamins and supplements, super-oxygenated water, protein drink, smoothie shaker cup, and caffeine gum (for Adam), 10-calorie Vitamin Water, 2 workout towels, and unlimited tastes of various protein bars and sugar-free energy drinks. They also had veal sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, and chocolate milk samples available. Now that I put it all down on paper, I guess I did pretty well in the "free" swag department afterall!
I also managed to score a few times in the sessions. I did two sessions with one of my favorite fitness preseters - Mindy Mylrea (http://www.mindymylrea.com/). What an inspiration! She is 50 and has 3 sons ranging in age from 19-26 and is astonishingly fit. She is also smart, hilariously funny and very creative.
She is the creator of the Gliding workout series. It's a very simple concept and one of those things that makes me think, "Damn, why didn't I think of that?" It's little disks you place under your hands or feet to allow you to slide your body in various ways giving you a multitude of options for building muscle strength and endurance. I used them when I was teaching my Brazilian Butt Lift class at the Toronto Athletic Club and loved them. I did a fantastic session on using them for core exercises and was blown away - my core is @#$%* SORE today!! Immediately afterwards I purchased a pair for myself. My physiotherapist has been telling me to try and find ways to increase the difficulty of my core training and I think these are perfect for this purpose.
Mindy has a vast array of fitness DVDs, including a bunch using Gliders as well as some for the BOSU ball. Immediately after the Core session I did with her, I did a BOSU session. We have a BOSU ball at home and I love BOSUs so I purchased one of her BOSU workout DVDs for an extra $5 along with the Gliders for $20.
If you are sick of doing the same exercises and activities, I highly recommend trying a workout using the BOSU (they cost about $135) or the Gliders. If money is an issue, you could probably use paper plates (seriously!) to get the same effect as the Gliders.
Mindy's philosophy is that when it comes to exercise, more isn't better, better is better. In other words, do the most efficient exercise possible to get the biggest bang for your buck. But I would also add that variety is better. When you challenge your body in new and different ways, you can achieve greater fitness gains. So try something new, there are endless options available these days.