I had the opportunity to go to San Diego this weekend, with my girlfriend Hilary, to a big health and fitness event called IdeaFit. Minus the 7+ hour drive from Monterey to there on Friday night, it was an amazing experience. Good thing I got my Theragun in the mail before we left! Definitely enjoyed using that to loosen up those stiff hips and glutes from sitting in the car for that time period.
We only got to spend 1 day at the event, Saturday, but we definitely felt like it was more than enough. Hilary was there with all of the other Les Mills fanatics taking 3+ workouts a day with their favorite instructors. I didn’t realize how big Les Mills was till I went to this convention. Sometimes as coaches we can get stuck in our own little world and methodologies and not realize how many other training platforms are out there that get the job done! They definitely had the biggest showing of folks there. Hilary got to watch them do BodyCombat on an aircraft carrier while I found parking at the convention center.
After she finished the BodyCombat class we met up and headed to the upstairs convention area so that I could get prepped for Spartan Strong and she could take BodyPump. We parted ways and I entered room #25 with probably 50+ others who most likely had no clue what we were getting into. I have a lot of experience training for Spartan Races and coaching athletes on how to prepare for these, but this was nothing like I had seen before on how to get ready for a race.
As we entered the room Spartan instructors Aimee Nicotera and Alex Isaly were there to greet us as they were setting up for class. They told us to grab a 10 lb. Spartan pancake (sandbell) as we entered and mentioned that it was going to be the only piece of equipment we were going to be using for the workout. Where were the buckets, heavy sandbags, walls, ropes, etc? First thought that went through my mind was that this is going to be a beginning level workout and I better just suck it up buttercup and take it in stride. What are they going to have us use this light ass sandbell outside of super light carries?
Oh man, was I so wrong. I had no idea that it was going to be hell in a group fitness, music thumping, Spartan Arooing, fun community-based environment. They did a great job getting us primed for the workout using many of the movements that we would be using throughout the class. They offered many different variations for all skill levels, so anyone from the beginner to elite level athlete would get a great workout, and best of all, it didn’t slow down the class to go over all of these. Very streamlined and effective.
Spartan Strong is based of 5 Phases:
Each phase symbolizes attributes that a person needs to be Spartan Race ready. I really loved the idea behind each of the phases and Aimee and Alex did a phenomenal job describing the complexities of each. There was a warm up and cool down, and they didn’t rush through these which I was really happy with (I have strong opinions about proper warm up and cool down). My body takes a while to prime and unglue for good mechanical movement. And spending time stretching at the end is ideal for any class environment.
Another big plus was that we hit a variety of range of motion using most muscles groups in the class hour. Spartan Strong’s team uses theory and application from various scientific training methodologies:
Aimee went in further to explain how it related to being out there on the course and handling everyday life. Our bodies need to respond and react to movement in any direction, which she is 100% right on the money. We did different variations of lunges, jumps, sandbell pulls, crawls, sandbell holds and swings, partner work, etc. that took us through all these ranges of motion.
They also added different varieties of training through the class! We changed intensities, speeds, directions, partner drills, time under load, varying rest periods, moving around the room and using the space, and burpees galore (wouldn’t be Spartan without burpees right?!) all while hollering Aroo and giving High Fives all around!
After class ended I was toast. It was way harder than I expected and the format was all encompassing and engaging draining most of my energy systems. Not to worry, Hilary was just off BodyPump and we were ready to explore and hit up all the supplement booths downstairs to get our energy levels back up…
After we hit up all the different varieties of nutritional products and supplements, we were back at it again. This time exploring all the different varieties of gym equipment to styles of training. I was blown away by how many fun and exciting products there were that I had never seen before (Trueform runner was dope and I didn’t feel my plantar fasciitis or heel spur while running on it).
I was also blown away by how many products were out there that just seemed silly and ridiculous. For example, there was a bouncy ball product that you sat on and bounced your way into fitness…similar to the little kid ones you put in your backyard. But…to each their own. That product isn’t for me.
My favorite booth of the IdeaFit floor was Power Systems. They had great products that were ideal for most gym and outdoor settings, and best of all the most friendly and engaging crew at the event. I went there to find OCR Legend Yancy Culp, and he introduced me to the team there. Yancy even roped Hilary and I into a fun workout with their MostFit Core Hammer and 2-in-1 Flip and Plyo. That hammer felt great in your hands and loved the fact that when you hit the ground or 2-in-1 there wasn’t much feedback in terms of vibration through your arms and body!
Needless to say we were done by the end of the day. But before we could leave I had to pick up the Hypervolt by Hyperice so that I could do a comparison with the Theragun!
P.S. Stay tuned for a review and comparison as I get to play and practice with each. Until then Get Your Fitness On and Go Win!