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It’s almost that time of year again, the 2016 FILEX Fitness Conference is just around the corner, so it’s time for me to put out my “Handicapping the FILEX Convention” blog post. This is something I’ve been doing for the last few years, but in case you’ve not read one of them before, I’ll just give you a heads up before you read any further. I’m more of a trainer geek and not a huge group-x guy. Nothing against group exercise, but I just want you to be aware that my picks typically sway towards the personal training side of things.
One of the hardest things I found when I first started attending conferences 15 years ago was picking sessions. This is where the idea of this blog post came from – to share with you which sessions I will attend, or I’m thinking about going to based on my experience over the years.
So without further ado – let’s jump in!
FRIDAY 1st Session
FILEX starts off with a bang with some really good sessions to pick from in the very first time slot. You’ve got a couple of industry legends in here starting with Dr. Len Kravitz with the “Physiology of HIIT.” He always goes really deep into the science of exercise, so if you like to get geeky, this will be great session.
You’ve also got Mike Fitch and his “Get Inverted: the power of the perfect handstand” session. That will be a great session if you do a lot of body weight stuff. Then, you also have Douglas Heel’s “Every Session Counts: How simple testing can guide your workout.” Douglas puts a lot of stuff that tends to be a little bit outside of mainstream, but I think it’s great to see a different perspective. For me, I’ll probably be at Peter Twist’s session. I think he’s an industry legend and he’s someone that I’ve been following since I first got in the industry. I’m lucky enough to call him a good friend now, so I’ll be at his session, “GAME-iification: 1-on-1 and Partner Training.”
FRIDAY 2nd Session
This time slot also has a lot of great people in it which will make it a tough one to pick. You have Bobby Cappuccio, “Genius: Making your membership recession-proof.” In the PT department, there are a bunch of great sessions. You have Tony Boutagy, “Fat loss essentials that every PT needs to know.” Tony knows a ton about fat loss, so if that’s what you’re looking to do, his session would be beneficial to go to. Really excited to see that Lee Burton and the functional movement screen is over at FILEX this year. His first session is the “Secrets of core training: The backside.” I’ve watched the DVD; tremendous amount of information there.
You also have Andrew Chadwick doing a great TRX Rip Training workout session. Then, you have Dr. Emily Splichal, and she’s doing her “Barefoot baby-boomers,” which I think would be an amazing session really diving deep into how to get those older clients barefoot, and the actual benefits of it. For me, it will be a toss-up between 2 sessions; Dr. Perry Nickelston’s “Stop playing for second place,” and Dan Henderson’s “Mastering battle ropes.” You’ll probably find me in either Perry’s session or Dan’s session.
FRIDAY 3rd Session
This time slot is one of my easiest picks because it will be my first session of FILEX called, “Becoming a ‘booty’ builder,” so if you train a lot of women or just want to know how to better train that backside, I can guarantee you’ll get a lot of info here. Now if I weren’t teaching in this session, I would be at 1 of 2 sessions: either Mark McKean’s session on “Instability training,” or Michol Dalcourt’s, “Deadlifts and deadshifts” session. I think there’s a lot of myths surrounding inability training and with Mark being a real science-based guy, I think he’ll provide a ton of great information. But if you’ve never seem Michol then his session will give you some new perspectives for sure. I’ve seen that session a couple of times and always had some really great takeaways.
FRIDAY 4th Session
Last time slot of the day and you’ve got a bunch of great sessions to pick from. We’ve got 2 sessions talking about barriers. You have Douglas Heel, “Break through barriers by giving the body what it wants.” Then you have Bobby Cappuccio with, “Overcoming barriers for clients’ success.” If you want to look at how to actually break through those barriers and get more from your clients, definitely one of those would be a great session.
If you’d prefer to be more active, Lee Burton has another one of his “Functional Movement Systems” sessions; it’s called “First move well, then move often” (I’m a huge proponent of that saying). But for me, I will most likely jump into one of these 2 sessions: Michael Cunico‘s “Training the corporate athlete,” or Andrew Chadwick’s “The forgotten plane of motion.” Corporate training is something that’s really blown up in the US, and I think that it’s going to get bigger and bigger here in Australia. But if I feel like moving, I’m going to go with Chaddy because I know it will be a really in-depth session with a lot of little knowledge bombs in there.
SATURDAY 1st Session
Hopefully you will be well behaved on the first night so you can make it to this session. If you need to sharpen your business acumen, then I would go and see Marin and Michael with their session “Cha-ching! How to keep the coins rolling in when you’re not at work.” Pretty excited to see Marin speaking, as this is his first time at FILEX. I know he has an awesome studio in Sydney, so he’ll have some great information to share. This time slot makes it a tough decision for me because you have Paul Taylor who’s one of my favourites, and he’s only got 1 session, and that’s going to be at the “PT Breakfast: Clash of the thought leaders.” He’s doing his “Is personal training truly delivering on its promise.” It’s him and Douglas Heel. Between those 2 sessions, it’s going to be a tough one there.
Then, you also have Ian O’Dwyer, who’s a legend here in Australia, doing his, “The shoulder: a more complete view.” If you want to get a bit science-y, and you work with women, you probably want to go see Dr Len Kravitz’s “Women, hormone metabolism energy expenditure: unravelling a complex puzzle.”
SATURDAY 2nd Session
This time slot is another easy choice for me since I’ll be teaching “The evolution of core training,” but I’m bummed out because there are 4 other sessions I would like to see.
If I wasn’t teaching in this time slot, I honestly don’t know who I would go see; it would be a coin toss. You have Michol Dalcourt’s “TGU – The benefits of ground to standing exercises.” Then you have Dr. Emily Splichal, “The barefoot BARE workout.” Now that would be funny to see me in there doing a bare workout, wouldn’t it? Then, you have Peter Twist with “GAME-ification of boot camps.” He’s always got some awesome ideas on how to train groups of athletes.
Then you have Nardia Norman, and she’s got, “Plan, execute, profit: The ultimate small group blueprint.” If you are new to small group training, or you’re just thinking about putting it on, then that’s probably where you want to be. Like I said, this is a hard session to pick from. Fortunately or unfortunately, I don’t have to make a decision because we’ll be having a blast in my session!
SATURDAY 3rd Session
After you’ve had some lunch and explored the tradeshow it’s time for some great sessions. Looking at business stuff you can’t pass up Justin Tamsett. He has a session that will go for two time slots: “Fitness Business Management in 2016.” If you’re in management, you want to learn from the best, and Justin is hands down one of the best out there.
If you’re looking at doing something a little bit more active, you’ve got some great choices again. You got Michol Dalcourt with “Successful aging exercise selection and program design.” Baby-boomers are a huge untapped market in our industry and I believe we need to really look at how to serve them better, so this is a must-attend if you train the over 50 market. Then, you have, “HIIT or MISS?” with Karen Baldwin and Jan Hutnan. I know this will be a great session because there’s a lot of misinformation about HIIT out there. Or if you want to learn a bit more about muscle imbalances, Ulrik Larsen is speaking about “The 5 muscle imbalances that are injuring your clients.”
For me, I’m going to go see Dan Henderson’s “Multi-directional kettlebell movements.” I think that will be a great session with some awesome new ideas.
SATURDAY 4th Session
Hopefully now that we are winding down day two you still have some energy left over because there are still some great sessions to attend. In this one, you’ve got John Polley and his, “Endless outdoors” session. John does some amazing work over in WA with a lot of outdoor beach sessions, so I know he’ll have a ton of great exercise and great things to show you. You also have Dr. Perry Nickelston, with “Movement patterns for stability and mobility.” I’m a huge fan of Perry’s, so I think that’s where you’ll find me.
SATURDAY 5th Session
Hang in there – last session of the day and you’ve got a couple of industry legends to choose from. You have Peter Twist, “Mindset Before Muscle: Coaching Yourself to Greatness.” Again, I’m a huge fan of Peter’s. That’s probably where I will be.
And you also have Helen Vanderburg, another legend and she’s teaching “Bodyweight RX: 3rd edition.” But just to make things harder, Dr Emily has her, “Small nerve stimulation: the future of proprioception training.” This is something that I know Emily has been working hard on over the last 12-plus months so there will be some great new info here. So no matter how you look at it, you’ve got 3 amazing presenters to pick from here.
SUNDAY 1st Session
As a presenter, the early Sunday morning is the dreaded session because many of you get a little wild come Saturday night! But I’m going to give you a couple of reasons to get up early! First up Mel Dos Remedios is talking about, “The 5 keys of effective PT management,” so if you have a team that you manage, that would definitely be a session you want to check out. Another great session from Michol Dalcourt, “More than one ‘strong’: Developing different types of strength.” Definitely a great session to go to get some new ideas. Then, we have Manuela Berchtold doing her very first session at FILEX, which is awesome. She’s doing, “Snowfitness: Getting clients ski and snowboard fit.” Manuela is an expert and has a facility up in the ski hills in Australia. So if you work with anyone who is an active skier or snowboarder, then she will teach you exactly what you need to do with them.
SUNDAY 2nd Session
This is definitely the toughest time slot of the day for me to pick, so It will probably be a game time decision. This time slot has 2 amazing female presenters: Nardia Norman with “Female fitness 2.0: A fresh approach to strength training for women;” and Emily Splichal with, “Run injury-free! Understanding impact forces.” Then, you have Dr. Perry teaching, “Can’t get stronger? Check the neck.” I’ve seen him do part of that presentation. Awesome stuff. If you work with people who have neck issues, then that’s probably where you want to go.
If you’re looking at getting a little bit more active, “Perfect, powerful PLYOMETRIC performance,” with Peter Twist is a session I attended last year in the US and it’s awesome, awesome stuff if you do plyos with your clients.
SUNDAY 3rd Session
Make sure to grab a coffee at lunch if you’re feeling tired because there are still some great sessions! If you want to improve on your sales, then you need to go see Steve Jensen, “Your one chance to close the sale.” Steve is an amazing sales guy and will teach you a ton. Definitely head to that session. I know I won’t be there, again because this is one of the easiest sessions for me to pick since I’ll be teaching my last session of the weekend, “Building bulletproof boomers.” If you work with the over-50 demographic, then you need to be in that session.
You’ve also got Peter Twist and his, “Ignite the Ab, Glute and Core powerhouse” session; if you want to get active, that’s a great one. I would probably say if I wasn’t teaching in this time block, I would be at Dr. Perry‘s, “Big toe mojo.” There’s a lot of stuff that the big toe can have an affect on the rest of your body, so I’m sure I would geek out a bit in this session.
SUNDAY Last Session
I know, I know… boo-hoo, FILEX is one session away from being over for another year; but don’t worry, you can still end it with a bang! If you’ve worked out way too much, you’re tired, you need a break, then go and see Bobby Cappuccio’s, “The neuroscience of change.” That’s probably the session I’ll be in because I love Bobby’s approach. If you still want to get a little bit more active, you’ve got 2 other awesome sessions. You’ve got Mike Fitch, and his, “Improve sling systems with Animal Flow.” If you’re not familiar with animal flow, you need to check that out. If you want to take your TRX knowledge to the next level, go see my buddy Andrew Chadwick with his “TRX advanced movement training circuits.” You’ll get a ton of great, great exercise you can start implementing with your clients.
So that wraps up this years Handicapping of FILEX. If you’re going to be at FILEX keep your eye out and make sure to come and say hello!