Tuesday, August 21, 2012

CAN FIT PRO Conference 2012

I've been attending the CAN FIT PRO conference since 1998 and it's only now that I feel like I've found a way to truly enjoy the experience.  First off, I pick sessions based not only on subject matter or content, but on presenter.  The presenter makes all the difference!

I also now make sure not to physically overdo things.  This year I refrained from participating in the workout part of all the cardio sessions I did and on Friday, when it was stinking hot, I took the subway to the convention centre instead of forcing myself to do the 6km bike ride. 

I also bought much less at the Trade Show.  I've learned that not all the 'deals' being offered are so wonderful, so impulse buying is not always a good idea.  In fact, I bought no clothes and no music.  After all, I only teach once a week now and the rest of the time work out in my home, so I have much less need for cute spandex outfits.  In addition, I make my own CDs for my spinning classes, so I don't need to purchase any premade mixes.

The only thing I actually bought for myself is another Mindy Mylrea DVD, All Out Cardio.  I've already tried out a few segments of it, and it's pretty good, although I am not convinced anything out there compares to Insanity.

But the trade show was chock full of new products and free samples, so I thought I'd provide a review of some of the best new fitness trends, equipment and supplements I found there.

biPro whey protein powder

This whey protein powder is unflavoured and unsweetened and lactose-free.  It can be used for cooking and baking.

 Sacha inchi seed oil, available as an oil or in pill form, is a great vegetarian source of omega 3 fats, much better than flax.


The composition of this oil is as follows:
48.8% alpha linolenic acid (ala: omega-3 essential fatty acid)
36.6.% linoleic acid (la: omega-6 essential fatty acid)
9.2% oleic (oa: omega-9 fatty acid)
5.4% saturated fatty acid

Health benefits include:
  • boost good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol
  • prevent heart disease, hypertension and diabetes
  • reduce inflammation resulting from arthiritis
  • improve brain function including memory capacity
  • alleviate depression and mood swings
  • stengthen immunity
  • benefits nervous system
  • improve vision
  • promote natural fat loss
Although I have not tried it, the salesmen told me it tastes fantastic and can be used in salads, dressings, sauces, marinades, etc.

Synergy caffeine strips are sugar-free, calorie-free strips that dissolve on your tongue.  They come in cinnamon and mint flavours, and also freshen breath. 

What I like about these, is that they give you the option of a little energy boost or added alertness without making you have to pee like crazy, like energy drinks or coffee.  Perfect when you are on a long car trip.  Apparently they are already available in many stores across Canada.  I tried them during the conference (Saturday I left the house without having enough coffee) and they work!

Pure Naturals protein bars:

Peanut Raisin Crunch
At the end of the trade show, vendors were giving away 2 boxes of these babies for $5.  I snatched them up for Adam.  These bars have 200 calories, 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of fibre so they are a better alternative to the chocolate protein bars he usually eats, which are really high in saturated fat.  The only thing I don't love about these bars is their 9g of sugar.

At first I thought Vitamints was a silly idea: vitamins that are sugar-free mints.  But I realized they are ideal for anyone who has difficulty swallowing big pills and wants to avoid sugar-filled chewable or gummy vitamins.


Fitness Trends and Equipment

What's hot in the fitness world right now?  Zumba, Crossfit, yoga and functional/sport-specific training.  I finally feel like the fitness industry is in a good place, because there is now something for everyone.  Whether you prefer dance, athletic training, mind-body activities, or plyometrics, you will something that suits your interests, goals and skill level.

I did 2 sessions with the TRX Rip Trainer and I'm in love.  I definitely want to get one of these!  Adam groaned, but they don't take up much space and are only $189.  I won't buy one right away, I'll have to butter him up a bit first.

TRX Rip Trainer Basic Kit
The Rip Trainer is all about producing and resisting rotation.  It is an extremely versatile piece of equipment that can be part of training programs for a wide variety of activities including hockey, paddling, golf, or simply the sport of life.  It can be used by individuals of all ability levels, it's truly a remarkable piece of equipment.

Octane Lateral X machine.


Conference attendees were encouraged to give this new piece of equipment a try.  I was happy to oblige.  They salesman described it as a stepper with the ability to encorporate lateral movement. 

I found it much more like an elliptical - and I hate ellipticals - but it's a nice option for elliptical lovers, and I know there are lots of you out there, who want to add some variation to your workout and target your muscles in new ways.  If you have $7,000 burning a whole in your pocket, you can have one of your very own!

I attended two sessions with Julz Arney this year - one for spinning and one for the Bosu Ball.  I loved her last year and she was just as good this year.  What's so amazing is the breadth of her talent.  She comes from a dance background, but also teaches and trains spinning and Bosu, AND has apparently just taken up competitive running.  Pretty impressive!

I also did an amazing spinning session with Jay Blahnik, a fitness celebrity who has been a name in the industry for a long time.  In spite of his fame, he comes across as pretty down-to-earth and approachable.  He did a great session on building community in fitness classes.

Now, how can I smooth-talk Adam into letting me buy a Rip trainer???