New Year’s is a time of new beginnings and of new promises. Sure for the most of us, it’s a time that isn’t any different than the weeks prior. Of course, you end the year with, arguably, the best holiday of the year (Christmas) and with it’s party holiday less than a week later. It’s a back-to-back cycle of eating, drinking, partying and just pure debauchery. Well, at least for me it is. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone when I say that we here in America work a lot and a great many of us don’t get much time off to enjoy for ourselves or with our families. Hell, at the place I work at right now I only get five days off a year. Yup, you read that right, only five. Of course I do get some sick time, but, that shouldn’t count as vacation time off, and for those days that I do get off, they aren’t paid. Ah yes, it’s nothing like it was when I was a kid, so, naturally the days that I do finally get off I want to go all out. In fact, you could say that I try to make up for lost time during those two weeks of fun holiday goodness. But, for all of the fun that I have during those days (and I definitely live it up as much as I can) I do have a sense of guilt afterwards. Thanksgiving kicks off a nearly two month binge of holiday turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and everything in between. The weather is cold and food is aplenty during those months and it becomes super easy to fall into temptation. It’s not like pumpkin pie and candy cane bark are available year-round, so, when I see those in stores, or at my workplace it’s very easy to start munching on the things that are very tasty, yet very bad for me. Yup, it’s pretty obvious after the scores of sweet potato pie that I’ve wolfed down during the holidays that my pants are fitting me a little tighter and my chin has grown another. So, why would I care? Why would I not just sit back and ride off into the sunset on December 31st? It all has to do with one show that hits right at the beginning of the year. A show that, while everything I just said sounds fun (and believe me, it’s fun to drink gravy as though your life depends on it), it’s even better to whip that fat body into shape. There’s only one show that does that, and that show is on that first weekend of the year. It’s the Fit Expo LA.
Yes folks, this is the show that I look forward to going to every year. It’s amazing really. After weeks of partying and having fun, it’s shows like that that motivate me to want to get into shape. Sure, I’m already sexy as hell (and who’s gonna argue against that? hardee har har), but, it’s definitely a motivating scenario being around thousands and thousands of people wanting to be around like-minded individuals. It’s only at that show (which by the way, is timed just at the right time of year) that you can bring together all of the amazing things about the fitness industry into one place. LA is the center of the fitness world and where everyone wants to look hot and feel good. So, naturally, the LA Convention Center is the hotspot for this very show, and of course it being right next to the New Year, everyone, and I do mean everyone comes out to this show. I know I do, and I have for the last five years. I would have never imagined that this show would have existed, and it wasn’t until a friend invited me that I came out and enjoyed the atmosphere of the Fit Expo. It really was a pleasant surprise and one that I was excited to learn about.
It’s one of the only times that you have different people’s and corners of the fitness industry come together and show off everything they have for two days. While I wish that the show was longer than that, it is a good amount of time for anyone to come on out and dive into a world that is just so exciting. If you have ever known anyone, or are involved in fitness then you know the dedication that you have to have for it. Dedication is a word that means a lot to the folks that want to live that healthy lifestyle. Just like I mentioned earlier, temptation stalks at every corner and is there to bring us down. While it is easy to give in, it’s infinitely more satisfying to live a healthier lifestyle and feel better about oneself. That’s why having events such as this aren’t just fun, I think they serve an important service for people that want to be motivated. It’s a place where you can not just see some of your favorite personalities, but interact with them and get to know their stories. They are human after all, and while they do look like superheroes, it’s because of their willingness to motivate each other that they can motivate us as well.
This year was exciting for me. For the first time I would be going with two of our team members who had never been to a fitness expo before, and I knew that they would like what they would see. Unlike the multitude of car shows and other car-related events we go to, this would be something completely different. And while every show we go to (car, food, anime, music, or anything else) is really all about the people behind them, it is at this show where we could focus on the people behind the curtain a little moreso. The underlying theme when it comes to fitness is about one’s own personal well being and the betterment of others. So, this time around we could really focus on the people and peel back the layers of their personalities. And boy, the hype surrounding this next show was massive. Every year there has been a number of appearances by icons in the (fitness) industry, and this year that trend definitely continued. As soon as we walked into the main hall (unlike last year, the show was actually divided into two large halls and a smaller one) there was a massive number of people there. A lot of those very people we noticed were there to meet with those icons. It’s not often that we get a chance to see celebrities with larger than life personalities and physiques, and The Fit Expo offers us that opportunity. With the likes of Jay Cutler (Mr. Olympia himself), Lexy Pantera (singer and internet superstar), Christina Thome (IFBB Women’s Physique Pro), Erik the Trainer (fitness icon), Hidetada Yamagishi (body building superstar), Angelica Teixeira (IFBB Women’s Bikini Olympia Champion) and others, there were plenty of celebs to meet. For us, it’s one of the most exciting parts of the show, as well as not knowing who might actually show up. If there’s anything that we can say about the Fit Expo it’s that it’s a show definitely full of surprises, and this year was no exception.
If you’ve never been to the Fit Expo then you’re missing out on a part of the show that I find one of the most exciting. You already know my love for food and general consumption of anything tasty, so, it shouldn’t be a surprise that one of the things I look forward to (as well I’m sure a lot of show-goers do as well), are the food samples. Ah yes, just like a Sunday afternoon trip to Costco, it’s the samples that get me going. With a number of big brand nutrition suppliers making an appearance, we were bound to come across some samples. There’s an old saying when it comes to life, “garbage in, garbage out”. So, if you’re going to be one of those companies that does bring samples for people to try, then you have to offer something that is not only nutritious, but delicious as well. We all have different tastes and it makes sense for people to try out all of the things that they would love to eat. After all, if you are at a show like this, more than likely you’re going to be pretty health conscious. What better way to learn about the food (drink, or even supplements) you’re going to take in than from the companies themselves. It’s great, and I loved seeing all the new healthy products that have come out. Never would I have imagined that a company like Dough Bar would ever exist in this industry. They make healthy and nutritious donuts and baked goods. Again, for a fatty like me this is temptation of the highest order. Having tried their products too (the cinnamon Dough Bar was on point), I can honestly say that I like the direction that it’s going. But, that is just one of hundreds of offerings that were available for attendees to try out during the show. I’m sure the next time around we’ll get to try more and more of those tasty offerings for you, the people.
One of the things that I was most looking forward to was getting to interview some of the folks at the show. It’s always a lot of fun to chat it up with the people we come across and bring that over to you. It’s a lovely thing to be able to read about the personalities we meet, but, it’s also just as exciting for us when you can hear the stories from the people themselves. We had a chance to chat it up with Heather,the Nutrition Vixen, the fine folks at WFA (Wholesale Fit Apparel) and the one and only Lexy Pantera. Lexy by the way, was a real hoot to chat with. The interview was a blast, but, it was her off camera zany personality that really had me busting up. Truth be told though, that’s how all of the interviews turned out. In some of them we ended up chatting about more than just fitness. I could describe the conversations that we had some more, but, I would rather you just watch the vids. Be sure to check out some of our interviews down below and be sure to leave a comment and subscribe to our (new) YouTube channel.
So, considering it’s a new year (and hopefully the beginning of a new me), I have to look back at this show with nothing but love. Like I mentioned before, it is the fifth year in a row that I’ve had the opportunity to go to this show and I had even more fun being able to share it with our new team members. This show was moved from the usual South Hall to the West Hall. A few days after this show the LA Art Show would be taking place, so, that ended up taking that larger hall with it. It was a little weird having to traverse between the different halls to find what you were looking for, but, regardless of how the setup was the turnout was huge. I don’t know the exact numbers, but, there were thousands upon thousands of people that showed up for the show. It was crazy, and having gone there both days I can honestly tell you that there was no slowdown in the amount of show-goers pouring in. Man, it was nuts, and some booths were crazier than others. For those of you that were there, then you know that the stage/booth by Bang Energy was just insane. It was a party for the entire show and easy to focus on with plenty of team members dancing and plenty of giveaways. Let’s just say that while they were a huge focus of the show, the event as a whole had a more upbeat feel than it has been before. I loved it, and I’m sure a lot of the people that went enjoyed it just as much. The smiles on their faces and the ones on our own team proved to me just how amazing this show is. If you love fitness and want to learn anything and everything about the industry, then you owe it to yourself to check out this show. It doesn’t matter if you’re casually into fitness, dance, yoga, body building or nutrition and everything else in between, there’s something there for everyone. If you can’t tell I had a great time, and I know that a lot of people did as well. So, next time that this show comes to town, make sure to check it out in person. We’re sure you’ll love what you see. Hell, we might even run into you there, and that would be a blast.
Highlights from The Fit Expo LA
Our interview with the one and only Lexy Panterra (at The Fit Expo LA)
Check out our interview with The Nutrition Vixen at The Fit Expo
Words and Photos By Daniel Navarrete
Videos by Brandon “Gee” Grimes
For more information on The Fit Expo and any information on The Fit Expo itself, check them out on their website at https://www.thefitexpo.com/
This article was prepared or accomplished by Daniel Navarrete in his personal capacity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Spektrum Magazine, or its affiliates.