After Christmas and the holidays, there seems to be a lull in events. Around the holidays, people are spending time with their families and for the most part, putting life on hold. One of the things that happens also is that a lot of folks tend to be pretty lax when it comes to their health. I mean, when you have some of the finest foods available at that time of the year, it’s hard to stay focused on fitness. With pumpkin pie, candied yams, turkey, pecan pie, mashed potatoes and gravy, chocolates and many more high calorie foods available during the holidays, it is hard to concentrate. As it is, I’m drooling over my keyboard as I type this (hmmmmm, what I wouldn’t do for a slice of Dutch apple pie, yum). But, while this is oh so tempting, we are treated to an event that provides a bit of motivation to be on your best behavior.
Come early in the new year, The Fit Expo roars onto the scene, and it definitely makes its presence known. For those that took it easy and overindulged on the cornucopia of delicious foods over the holidays (like myself), this show definitely arrives at the right time. Coming in just after the new year, The Fit Expo is a refreshing take on the new year. With the new year comes promises of new resolutions. Promises of becoming better than what you were the last (among loads of other things). But, historically, the rates for these resolutions continuing a year or more after they are made is minimal at best. After all, everyone knows that a few sit-ups are nothing without working out and eating properly. But, that’s one of the reasons we were so excited for the show. With promises of fitness experts, celebrities, media personalities and loads of fitness product vendors, the show has a lot to live up to.
I’ve been fortunate to have been to the Fit Expo the past several years in a row. The first time I went to the show, I had no idea what it was. Judging by the name, it’s pretty easy to guess, but, without ever having been to a fitness expo, it was hard to imagine what it was like. But, at that first show I was invited by a friend the day before it had just started. Without knowing what it was, but, vaguely knowing what it was about, I can honestly say that I was pleasantly surprised. The sheer amount of people I saw the day of the show was impressive. Thousand of people were pouring into the LA Convention Center, and bulging muscles and lean bodies were at every turn. It definitely was an event to be experienced. Going inside was even more of a shock to me. I didn’t know (at the time), that there was such a huge industry for fitness. Let alone one that spanned the globe. Leave it to a show such as this one to school me on what was going on in this industry.
That was four years ago. Now, just like then though, the excitement I had going into the show has not left me. Every year has been just as exciting, if not more so than the last. With an explosion of extra marketing and social media posts, the Fit Expo has an even wider viewership than before. Now, people from all over are able to see what the Expo has been all about. The few weeks (and perhaps months) leading up to the show is a hurricane of anticipation. With the popularity and, more importantly, the importance of fitness and lifestyle, it’s no wonder that the interest and demand for such a show exists. So, needless to say, my excitement level for the 2016 kick off show in Los Angeles was through the roof. This year though, I was even more excited to go because I would be going with our Spektrum crew. For the first time, we were going together as part of a group. Seeing the show from the side of a spectator was nice, but, there’s an extra level of intrigue seeing it from the media perspective as well. Like a fat kid in a cake shop, i couldn’t be happier to be there.
Right off the bat, this show was bigger and bolder than the others before it. Taking up the entirety of the South Hall at the LA Convention Center, the Expo was filled to the brim with content. At every corner of the hall, all the major fitness product specialists were represented. Quest Nutrition, Nutrishop, Stance Supplements, Con-Cret, MHP Products and more were there for everyone to enjoy. From one end of the convention center to the other, there were fitness icons, experts and many upon many fitness fanatics all concentrated in one place. Like any big show, it was hard to decide where to go first. With protein shakes and pre-workout samples flying across counters at every turn, there is a lot going on. Thankfully, there are reps at every booth willing to talk to anyone about their products. And, fortunately for us, they were also more than willing to snap a picture with us.
The running theme throughout the show, one could argue, was both happiness and long lines. While that may sound pretty odd, it was a tale of two cities there. At every other booth there were massively long lines. These lines could be for a free samples (such as the incredibly addictive rice cakes from Element), the meeting of celebrities (such as Lakers superstar Metta World Peace) and most of all, the free product. The largest of which was the Bodybuilding.com booth. With a line that would rival any at Disneyland, the line stretched out about fifty yards or more. But, the prizes at the end of that wait were tremendous. With goodie bags packed to the brim with products, it was for many definitely worth it.But, that is a huge draw to these shows. With all these products available to folks, there is sure to be something that will fit the customer needs. Thus, the reason for all the smiling faces. I mean, it was really nice to be able to try some of the latest Quest protein shakes one minute, and then follow that up with a piece of sriracha infused beef jerky the next. The range of items were sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. It is nice to see the industry adapt to the growing tastes of their customers.
Once again the Fit Expo did not fail to live up to the hype. It was exciting on both days, and the pace never ceased to let up. Thankfully our team was just as excited to be there, and it was the moment I saw one of our photographers dancing at the Hip-Hop workout stage that it all came together for us. That moment right there is what fitness is all about. Enjoying your body and feeling good. Seeing one of our own made the moment even more special. It is that feeling of community that we see time and again at conventions we go to. Being part of a community where everyone is so upbeat and full of energy (either naturally or a bi-product of those fantastic booster drinks, haha) is a great feeling, and that is what we experienced there at the show. While that show was great, we cannot wait until the next one. I am sure that the same enthusiasm will carry forward to the next shows to come.
Words and Photos By Daniel Navarrete
For more information on The Fit Expo, check out their website at http://www.thefitexpo.com