I flew out to Southern California last week to combine a few important goals: spend time with my identical twin brother Ben (see last’s year blog for more on our twin experience), work out with Steve Weatherford – the man considered the fittest player in the NFL (also the subject of an earlier blog), and participate in one of the largest gym industry events of the year. It was quite a week! Oh, and I had to take a red-eye back to run in the NYC half marathon Sunday morning.
As always, it was great to hang out with Ben and get a taste of life in Venice, California. Venice is certainly more laid back than Manhattan. I hit the road and drove down to a private gym just outside San Diego to work out with Giants punter Steve Weatherford, who is renowned for his fit physique and hard-core fitness regimen. We had a great workout with the Core Flytes. Steve’s preference was to use them for static exercises that day, so we did planks with each foot on a Core Flyte… and of course a 25-pound plate on our back. I’m happy to report I held my own. Steve suggested I try cryotherapy, which is immersion in a chamber full of -150 degree air cooled by liquid nitrogen for three minutes, and I obliged. After thawing off, I spent a few days at one of the largest fitness conferences in the world. The IHRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association) convention and trade show took place with excited and passionate participants in Los Angeles. Protein shakes were pouring, the DJs were playing, and fitness personalities were posing. Current and former stars from New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, to original Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno, to Olympic decathlon champion Dan O'Brien, joined the festivities.
Here are 5 Lessons from My Week in SoCal:
1. Sleep isn’t Sexy, but it’s Necessary
"How much do you bench?" "What's your diet?” "What's your mile PR (Personal Record)?" These are all common questions asked among active people. “How much do you sleep?” needs to be asked more. A lot more. Media mogul Ariana Huffington gave the keynote speech and emphasized the importance of exercise and rest for true success. Huffington said, "By any sane definition of success, if you are lying in a pool of blood on the floor of your office, you are not successful. We discovered what was wrong with me was the way I was living my life. Our current definition of success is literally killing us. We all need another 30 minutes more sleep a night than we're getting now." I would have loved an extra 30 minutes of rest Sunday morning before that half marathon!
2. There’s a Growing Battle of the Machines
There is a plethora of large workout machines that do really cool things. Many were showcased at the tradeshow. At times, I felt like a human trapped in between dozens of Transformer Autobots and Decipticons. A curved treadmill to my left, a hydro massage chair to my right, a row of monstrous step climbers in front of me. Bigger is sometimes better, but some of these machines felt overwhelming and seemed impure. I like making machines move rather than having machines move me… or better yet, moving my body without the assistance of a large machine.
3. The Gym Industry Has Tremendous Energy
Not surprisingly, there were a fair amount of peppy equipment demonstrators, spunky dancers, and passionate gym owners. People in the fitness industry are usually energetic and show a lot of enthusiasm. The wonderful part was participating in a truly collaborative community of like-minded individuals. Everyone was open about supporting each other and providing a hand to those with good ideas. Case in point: Zumba CEO Alberto Perez took time with me to discuss how we can potentially incorporate the Core Flyte into his group fitness classes.
4. Core is King, But Proper Form is Often Overlooked
From large sticks jetting out of the ground for athletes to maneuver, to inflatable contraptions that hold water to lift, to tracks to lubricate a workout and help move arms and legs, the core was central to many products in the tradeshow. James Carville would say about fitness in 2015, “It’s the core, stupid.” The focus on finding the next tool for strengthening the core was evident, however, form took a back seat at times. One company had a medicine ball connected to two thick ropes for participants to lift over their heads and bash into the ground – over and over – with the hopes of toning the mid-section while not ricocheting a heavy object in the face!
5. Creative People Love the Core Flyte
As I mentioned, there was a great group of people at the event. They were also tremendously curious. We didn’t have a booth, but I did bring a pair of Core Flytes! Everyone wanted to try them out and loved doing new and creative things with them. I saw some cool stuff… things I had never seen been done with the Core Flyte. My favorite use by far was by an extremely athletic and talented college student named Christian Castro. He did some amazing handstand exercises with the Core Flytes that you can see here. He doesn’t go by the name SpidermanBeyond on Instagram for nothing.
This coming weekend is the ECA World Fitness One Body One World conference and tradeshow in New York. This one will be with a different audience – fitness trainers and instructors. We’ll be there with Core Flytes in hand! We'd love to hear from you. What have you learned from attending fitness tradeshows recently? Comment below or on our Facebook page at facebook.com/flytefitness, or tweet us at @flytefitness.
Be Flyte Fit,
Co-Founder & CEO