Last May 20, 2017 I was blessed to attend the first ever FitCon in the country, held at Ascott Bonifacio Global City, from May 19-21, where Fitness Leaders, Experts, Instructors and Enthusiasts alike gathered.
FitCon 2017 is a fitness conference in collaboration with various fitness companies across the globe; including: PTA Global, DynaFit, bodyART™, Matrix Fitness, TriggerPoint Therapy and a lot more. To introduce different forms of new training now made available in the country, the conference was organized by Rica Rodriguez and Divine Masinsin; also known as Dynamic Duo Inc.
Dynamic Duo Inc. is a team that certifies instructors who wish to teach these new forms of training. So if you missed out on the event and would like to learn more about the programs they offer, you may check this link for inquiries: https://www.dynamicduoinc.com/
Each day various activities and lectures were available to participants which were taught by the Fitness experts themselves. Participants had the option to register for selected classes, or purchase a One-Day All Access Pass (access to all classes and activities for 1 day), or a Three-Day All Access Pass (access for all classes and activities for the 3 days).
All we had to do was pick the classes we liked to attend. Lectures and interactive workshops were held in 3 different Function Rooms while the Activity Zone was available for Live Workout Classes.
I attended the second day of the conference and used my One-Day All Access Pass. And I made sure to enjoy every bit of it. Here’s a rundown of what happened:
BOSU® Cardio Workout
Upon registration I wasted no time to kickstart my day with the BOSU® Cardio Workout. The event opened at 8:30am –definitely a great way to start the morning! Rica, one of the organizers led the class.
The BOSU® is a fitness training device that actually stands for BOth Sides Up; meaning you can actually use both sides for workout. It basically looks like an inflated ball cut in half. At one side you may use it for balance training, while the dome-shaped side gives you a bounce with every step or jump you make, adding challenge to your workout. It enhances your agility, reaction, and your movement time.
We started off feeling the BOSU® by stepping up one foot at a time. Then we progressed to 4 counts of jogs; then later added a jump facing the left. For one, it’s a challenge to jump and keep your balance, and not fall off!
Rica had us line up our BOSUs together and we did a little circuit. The workout included: a high plank followed by a push up, four mountain climbers, then getting up the BOSU® on each foot touching our elbow to our knee for four times. After doing one rep, we moved to the BOSU® next to us until we completed one whole cycle.
The BOSU® isn’t just an effective way to improve your agility but it’s also a fun challenge to your usual workout routine.
DyanFit Cardio Workout
I had my time with the jump rope as a kid. But I’ve never tried it out as a workout.
For the next class, Ms. Dyan Castillejo taught us how the jump rope could be a great cardio workout. “It’s also a workout you can take with you during travel. 15-20mins of jump rope and you’re good to go,” she said.
The drill started with a warm up: a couple of jumps without the rope. Then we started using our jump rope. We did 10 counts for each exercise: jumping with two feet, right foot, left foot, side to side with both feet, and a run.
To be honest, I found myself stumbling along my first tries. Apparently, I suck at jump rope. I can skip, but I can’t jump. If it’s your first time to try it, you’ll find it a bit challenging at first, but once you get the rhythm, you’ll get the hang of it. But true enough, jump rope proves itself as a good cardio workout. With just a few minutes, you could feel your heart rate up and your body starting to sweat. With a bit of practice, it’s one to include in your next workout or one you can take with you during your next travel.
Calisthenics: Loading the Lines
Dan Duran, Director of Education & Business Development of PTA Global, explains the importance of loading all our functional lines during exercise. Functional Lines are responsible for our functional movement. Based on their location, a group of muscles compose each functional line. The Functional lines include: The Superficial Frontal Line and Back Line, Functional Front and Back Line, and the Lateral Line. I know it’s a bit technical but it’s important to know these things to make sure you’re working all your muscles.
The lines are loaded when you stretch them out during workout. For instance, when you bend forward, you stretch out your back line. When you lean back, you stretch out your front line. But when you stretch toward your left or right side, you load your lateral line. Dan reminds us that we should be mindful of loading all the lines to distribute the force rather than focusing on one line resulting to localized tension (one we always forget is our lateral line). If you drive for a balanced workout you should make sure that you work on all your functional lines.
To demonstrate this, Dan had us do a circuit training that loading all the lines; which included: High to Low Plank, Hip Bridges, Runner’s Side Lunges, and Crab Reaches.
TriggerPoint Foam Rolling Session
Foam Rolling is an exercise you can do at the beginning of your workout to prepare your muscles for action, or at the end to help muscles recover from physical activity. During workout, your muscle fibers become tense due to contractions. The benefit of Foam Rolling is that it allows myofascial release; in simple terms, it works as a self-massage for muscles. It relaxes contracted muscles using low intensity force allowing smoother movement and reducing risk for injury; making it effective pre or post workout.
In simple terms, imagine your muscles like a piece of rope. It’s composed of muscle fibers just like rope is composed of a network of fibers intertwined together. When you add force to your body, like when you exercise, the spaces between your muscle fibers decrease, thus, they become tense leading to soreness. To relieve your muscles of the tension you have to add force to bring back the spaces between your muscle fibers.
Rica led the session and started us with exercises on our calf. Resting the Foam Roller Grid on the end of the right calf, the left leg is crossed over, then with hands down we lift our body up keeping the leg straight; and we go back and forth on the foam roller. Next, we flex our left leg over on a figure four flexing and pointing the foot. We do the exercise on each leg.
Other exercises we did focused on our thighs, our laterals, and our necks.
Foam Rolling may be painful at some point but the benefits on your body afterwards are rewarding. Arriving at the event, I had a knot on my right calf due to circuit training a few days before; but got my instant fix after this workout. The benefits of Foam Rolling will bring you wonders on your next workout! You better try it!
Power Plate Recovery Session
The Power Plate is a workout machine that uses vibration to stimulate your muscles to contract or relax. We used the Personal Power Plate which had a compact design for our recovery session.
The settings are simple. You may choose from High or Low Intensity depending on your liking. A timer is also available which you can set to either 30secs or 60secs. It also includes a repeat feature so you don’t have to enter all your settings again when the timer runs out and the machine stops amid your workout.
We started practicing the exercises off the plate; which is helpful in knowing your space before you get on the plate for the first time.
To cut the vibration reaching your head, especially if you’re one who easily gets motion sickness, you may bend your knees or lean a bit forward. By doing this, you’ll find the vibration more relaxing.
Exercises included lunges and stretching. You better be mindful of your space though, cause you don’t want to fall off the plate!
Some of the exercises required us to balance the balls of our feet along the edge of the plate to give us more range of motion.
With the combination of vibration and recovery exercises, you’ll find your body more relaxed; or in my case, ready for more action!
Meal Prepping Like a Pro with CheFitness
If you think eating healthy is such a bore, then you’re wrong! Chef Liza Fielder gave us a quick cooking demo, teaching us that there are so much things you can try when eating healthy. She also showed us that aside from the benefits of eating healthy –it’s yummier than you thought!
Chef Liza taught us how to cook Chicken Kebab with just a few ingredients: Couscous, Chicken Breast (marinated in: yoghurt, cumin powder, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper), sliced Zucchini & Eggplant, and chopped Tomatoes & White Onion. If you’re lacking cooking skills like me, you’ll enjoy this one because it’s so simple to make!
Cooking it is simple.
1. To cook Couscous: boil 1 cup of chicken stock and pour in 250g of Couscous. Stir until it gets fluffy. Add spinach/ basil for flavor and a dash of salt & pepper.
2. For chicken: Sear/grill chicken breast in a pan.
3. For veggies: Saute Zucchini and Eggplant in Olive Oil. Do the same for tomatoes and onions.
4. For the Sauce: Chef mixes sour cream, 2 slices of lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and a little water.
5. Then she plates it. Done!
Would you believe that she only whipped this up in only half an hour?
bodyART™ Xtreme (BAX®)
BodyART™ is a training program designed by Robert Steinbacher which uses a holistic approach in exercise; targeting our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. It’s based on the principle of the Yin and Yang, combining passive and dynamic movements. As explained by bodyART™ expert Garnet Suidy, it’s a combination of Yoga, Pilates, Chigong, Primal Movements, and Dance. BodyART™ focuses on functional movement. Meaning the goal is that at all times within the workout, your body is moving.
There are many types of bodyART™ trainings. For BAX®, it starts slow, gets crazy in the middle, and then ends with relaxation. There are 3 main movements for our BAX® training, which is modified with progressing difficulty as we went further. We do each movement for a minute and a half each.
This is how one of our movements, called The Frog, progressed to varying difficulty to give you a better picture (I’ll use it as an example since I vividly remember it as I found it most challenging): we start off with knees slightly bent and hands on the floor, and hop 3 times mimicking the movement of a frog. For the first round all we had to do was hop forward 3 times on the mat then 3 times backwards. For the second time we did it, we were asked to do wider hops, ending with a push up on the third hop; and on the last time we did it, we did 3 wide hops forward ending on a push up then 3 hops back, and then ending with clapping our feet up in the air.
It sounds simple but during the middle of the workout you’ll find your sweat, pouring. When Garnet said things get crazy in the middle, he meant it. Post workout when we started leaving the function room, we all looked like we just got out of the shower.
BodyART™ is a whole different experience. It’s an introduction to a whole new form of training –and definitely worth the try. The movements are dynamic allowing all the muscles in your body to keep moving throughout the workout. Don’t worry though, because it also brings a perfect balance to the Yin and Yang; as things will end on a slower and more relaxing pace. It brings justice to its name, bodyART™ as it allows you to appreciate your body more as you discover what your body can do, and you’ll find it beautiful. If I had a favorite during this event, this had to be it!
Surge® and Kamagon® Circuit Training
One of the best things during the FitCon is the access to new equipment you only see available to Hollywood stars.
The Surge® and Kamagon®, from Hedstrom Fitness, is a tool that has its uniqueness in its use of water to add weight/load and extra movement during exercise; something they call, Hydro-Inertia®. The extra movement of water inside adds force to your muscles during your workout; as the water shifts, it pulls your body further towards the motion —it’s all about the water!
You can modify the weight/load depending on how much water you put inside.
We did the workout using the Surge® and Kamagon®, alternately. Each exercise lasts a minute.
Some of the moves we did included holding up the Surge® crosswise against our chest; then with three quick steps to the right we thrust the Surge towards our right. Then we do the same towards the left.
For the Kamagon®, holding it with one hand we started swinging it between our thighs then held it up to the side of our shoulders then lifted it up overhead.
This is one definitely worth a try! You’ll find these Hydro-Inertia® tools helpful in developing your functional movement and your balance. And you’ll be surprised how dynamic water can be!
Mind Your Body Evening
We ended the night exploring and appreciating more of what our body we can do during the Mind Your Body Evening.
We started exploring our body with dynamic movements as Garnet Suidy and Divine Masinsin led us through bodyART™. What better way to spend the evening with more sweat, right?
Afterwards we added some Yin to balance out bodyART™’s Yang, with Yoga led by Peewee Sanchez.
Peewee helped us relax after such a busy day. We stayed in each pose for 2 minutes to breathe and clear our mind. Before we changed positions, she allowed us to do freeform movements wherever our body and our minds took us.
One thing I remember that Peewee kept reminding us is to not force our body to do things that we find painful; because that’s how you appreciate the beauty of your body, to accept only what your body can do.
BodyART™ and Yoga may have their differences but both allows us to connect our body with our mind, in order for us to move and appreciate what our body can do. It was indeed a perfect end to such a great and productive day!
Aside from the experience, FitCon is all about the things you learn. It introduces us to new ways to explore fitness and discover how trainings have evolved to help us reach our personal fitness goals. And I’m telling you, there are so much things we can and still need to learn; the innovation is overwhelming you just need to prepare your body, mind and heart –and have your game face on.
Note that this was just one day of the 3-day conference, given that there were simultaneous lectures and workshops happening as well while I was doing all these; there are so much to learn and experience.
So if you’re one who wants to keep learning; or someone who just wants to discover new ways to keep yourself healthy, you better watch out for the next FitCon and make sure you don’t miss it!