Philly MANIA – Part 1

MANIA happened over the weekend of February 19-21. The calendar informs me that it is March 3rd. I thought about trying to spill my guts as soon as I got home, but a) that would be messy, and gross, and b) I would just be spewing back information. I’ve certainly digested a lot, but I’ve also gotten to see what I really took away and implemented in my life.


This day was set up to have five sessions during the day. There were up to 19 different categories (ranging from nutrition to aqua aerobics) for each of these sessions. You selected your sessions at the time of registration, but were able to switch by going to a table (some sessions had limited space). I traveled down with 4 other women, and 2 additional friends joined us in the evening at dinnertime.

Below: (Top right) A shot into the convention by the registration tables. (Left) Of course, Ryka had a special on sneakers, and I spotted those beauties. Yes, they made it home with me. (Bottom right) Watching people in a Boxmaster session. Really incredible equipment for boxers/fighters. The numbers are used to help develop fighting sequences. Pretty fun to watch the experienced fighters use it.

MOi Cyle: Interval Ride

I had no idea what to expect in this session. I had never heard of MOi, and had registered since I figured it would be good to try out something a little different to incorpoate into my spin classes.

Different was right. This program was developed by a woman named Moi (got to meet her later…just wait), an outdoor cyclist who teaches and trains in Aspen. Not your typical “spin” class, this was purely focused on the ride. You’ll notice the triangle below. You find the cadence of the song (which is chosen specifically for the ride based on its bpm), and increase your resistance to achieve the desired heart rate range for that portion of the ride. Jen and I were a little overwhelmed. Totally dripping in sweat, and we enjoyed the ride overall, but it was such a different format from what we use. (For more, click HERE)

Group Exercise or Group Injury?

I’m really a big advocate for form, and I try to make sure that the members in my classes are focusing on their posture and not just the weight or speed they use in an exercise. This session was AWESOME. I got a little taste of NKT Training (Neuro Kinetic Therapy training) and FMS (functional movement system) through these exercises. They’re great exercises to incorporate into a circuit that promote good form and posture, and actually help to realign the body. Considering the great range of age and abilities in my classes, these will be awesome to use since you can increase intensity or modify to accommodate different abilities.

This was a pretty cool moment. We practiced standing on one leg…with our eyes closed…for 30 seconds. (I seriously hope you try this). When you think about injuries with older people, they often occur from a fall at night. It makes sense to work on your balance while inhibiting your vision. This one woman really had a hard time standing on her right leg (the one that is bent). Through their training in NKT, Herson and Kim Garcia explained that this woman had a muscle misfiring in her glute. They were able to release the tension with a pressure point in her calf, as Herson is showing the gentelman in black. Fascinating stuff! Functional movement is really sticking with me. Why do we do the things we do in fitness classes? How will it affect our overall wellbeing and daily lives? I want to give my students something to take away and make their lives better. I’d like to pursue more education on this topic. (Check out Herson and Kim’s site HERE)


Schwinn: Dynamic Duos

The bar was set pretty high with my previous two sessions, but I knew I was going to love the Schwinn sessions. This particular session featured four instructors demonstrating the magic of partner teaching, and included Jeffrey Scott (Lead Master Trainer for Schwinn), Amy Dixon (IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year), Doris Thews, and Robert Sherman.

This was my class. We sang, we pedaled, we sweat. It was EPIC. I loved it so much! Of course, I sat in the front row like a groupie singing and dancing my heart out. The class was like a big dance party. Schwinn really focused on bringing the riders together as a community, using teams to do distance races and encourage each other in the process. We did a sing-a-long to “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease, and I know I had a huge goofy smile plastered on my face the entire time. I made sure to go up and thank the presenters, and they all commented on my “awesome energy” (oh man, I’m such a kiss a**), but let’s be real: it feels amazing to have someone in such a (seemingly) high station compliment you. You can look up “Schwinn Indoor Cycling” on Facebook and there’s actually little Flipagram video from SCW Philly. I’m in one of those pics!

Overall, I loved, loved, loved this format and this style. It was so…me. Encouraging proper form, pushing yourself past your personal limits, and using music to create an incredible experience.

According to my Polar heart rate monitor, I was clocking in over 1000 calories from my intermittent workouts. That earned me a good dinner!

Excuse the blurry picture of the City Tap House…a lovely 5 minute walk from the Sheraton Downtown Philly. They had some delicious items on their menu, but I opted for something a little smaller: braised rib tacos. The other ladies opted for personal pizzas and flatbreads.

We all were spent after the first day and were asleep by 10:30. The next day was going to be a little longer, but surely just as amazing.


Stay tuned for the next installment of my MANIA adventure!


One thought on “Philly MANIA – Part 1

  1. That looks like an amazingly insightful and motivating event! Not to mention, tough as hell! I’m so proud of you and the improvement you’re always striving for, Mads! 🙂

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