As a newly fledged member of the Pure Energy team, I was asked a few months ago if I would like to partake in my very first 4 day IFS event. Naturally as a fitness instructor I jumped at the opportunity to attend one of the biggest worldwide fitness events, and IFS certainly didn’t disappoint!
Hosted at the iconic Blackpool Winter Gardens, the event venue proved extremely practical.
Exhibitors filled the long entrance corridor whilst classes took place in the auditorium like halls diverting off from the corridor.
Of the three main days, ironically Friday was our busiest. With myself and colleague Josh being completely non-stop all day long.
Our two best selling albums of the weekend had to be: Mind Body 22 by Rachel Holmes, and the Mindfulness series by Lydia Campbell. These albums were so popular that we completely sold out and had to start taking backorders to be posted out Monday.
In terms of new blood coming through in the industry, I firstly have to mention Mr Alistair McMeechan. Alistair’s step class is fast, furious, and in Alistair’s words ‘fabulous’. Alistair is a very likeable character and his charismatic personality really comes alive when he is on stage. I have high hopes for what the future holds for him and step partner Gina King, but for next month they have a new release called Step to the Future 2.
The IFS weekend also saw the birth of a brand new Pure Energy ambassador in the form of Jay Banks! Husband of established Pure Energy presenter Kelly Reed-Banks, Jay has a raw passion for the hardcore side of the fitness world. Having Jay on board gives Pure Energy an entirely new angle to produce albums for personal trainers and instructors of hardcore concepts such as; kettlebells, spin, conditioning, MMA, and HIIT. Later this year both Jay and Kelly will be releasing a his and hers album, before Jay branches off with his own new ideas and concepts. Jay is certainly the one to watch for me!
Hot on trend right now within the fitness industry is Pilates! I was actually shocked at the many forms of Pilates being taught and exhibited. From Barre Pilates by Cherry Baker, to LBT Pilates by Carroll Locke, there was something for everyone in the Pilates concept.
Another eye catching concept is Jairo Junior’s Cross Cardio. This concept incorporates basic cardiovascular, resistance, gymnastic, and functional principles, that vary in intensity to appeal to the wider audience. Admittedly the way the class is taught reminds me a little of Billy Blanks Tae Bo with the simplicity and diversity of how each exercise can be progressed and regressed. However this concept is more like a mass personal training session than a martial arts session.
Concept of the weekend however for me has to go to Peter Borsos with his ‘Functional Step’!
As a lover of all things thrashing and not a religious 32 count follower (sorry guys), I have always found the step concept fascinating yet befuddling at the same time. I am under no illusion that someone like myself could never work with the 32 count like Alistair McMeechan does, yet having watched Peter’s class I believe this could be a great concept for someone like myself. Ingeniously Peter has managed to combine the 32 count with a functional approach to the apparatus of the step. Including plyometric, strength, core, and HIIT training in the class. I am excited to see how this concept develops in the world of fitness!
IFS was crazy, tiring, inspiring, fun, and overall amazing. Cannot wait to see you there next year!!