The Windy City actually felt more like the "Oven City". Temperatures hit record highs on Thursday and it was pretty freakin' hot throughout the weekend. I'm just glad my flight to Chicago was extremely easy I was able to check-in to my hotel and make it to McCorrmick Convention Center to catch the conference bonus session. Thomas Plummer's presentation on the "Business of Training" was a great start to a very informative weekend.
If you are in the fitness industry and you don't know who Thomas Pummer is, do yourself a favor look him up- read his stuff- and by all means hear him speak.
The enthusiasm that Thomas had in front of the audience made his 2 hour presentation seem like it was under 30 minutes. He laid out some really startiling facts about the economic downfall of the current gym/personal training pricing structure as well as some tips on how to improve business and compensation.
Alwyn Cosgrove led a phenomenal "hands on" workshop which was similar to the type of workouts that are performed at his gym, Results Fitness. Alwyn is always entertaining, and his exercise selections and programming are some of the most "functional" and "practical" for general population. Everyone in the room worked up a sweat and had a great time.
Gray Cook is a guy that no matter how many times you hear him speak, he still blows you're mind with new information. His discussion was titled "Mobility, Motor Control, and Movement" which was exactly what this "hands on" presentation incorporated - we focused on moving better. If you move like a crippled hippo there is no way in hell you should be doing a step up to shoulder press.
When I think of terms of your average client, the screening process that Cook discussed should be implemented before any "loaded" exercises take place during a training program.
How do some trainers take clients though a workout without analyzing their basic movement patterns first?
Answer: lack of knowledge, or they just don't freakin' care. If your one of those type of trainers, get learning and start caring or look for a new profession.
Todd Durkin has to be the most ENERGETIC person I have ever been around! He had a room full (probably around 150) yelling, clapping, and just plain busting their ass through his hands on session. I think the whole room pushed a little harder when Todd told us that today's workout was dedicated to his friend that just recently passed away. I can see why Todd has such a following, you can't help to give it your all when he is leading the show!
Martin Rooney is a no-nonsense guy. Plain and simple. I wouldn't wanna get on his bad side, he is pretty much a bad ass and I really don't think anyone will argue about that. "Warrior Cardio" was his topic of discussion and one thing that Martin does well is present information in a easy to understand format. Martin has trained overseas in Martial Arts facilities and trained some of the best MMA fighters as well as NFL first round draft picks, let's just say that he leads by example and brings out the best in everyone he encounters.
Well, I wanted to keep this brief, so I left out a lot of great presenters that gave outstanding lectures (Robb Rogers, Stuart McGill, and Eric Cressey) and a lot of other activities that took place throughout the weekend (Wrigleyville, Rush St., and a 3am steak sandwich on the south side). Oh well, to sum it up I had a great time and left with a lot of knowledge that will take a while to fully absorb. I'd like to thank Chris Poirier of Perform Better for being a great host and putting together such an awesome event. Hopefully next year there will be a Summit in Florida...