As you guys know, this weekend I attended the 2013 Boston Mania fitness conference.

Boston Mania 2013

I went to this convention last year, and I loved it so much that I returned for more. It’s a great opportunity to not only get continuing education credits to keep my fitness certifications current, but it’s also a great way to network with other fitness professionals, get new ideas for the classes I teach and clients I train, and try the latest and greatest things in the industry. It was fun hanging out with Lauren, Monique, and Caroline throughout the weekend. I also met a couple of F&F blog readers in real life (Hi Michelle! Hi Tracy!).

Boston Mania 2013

Last year I had grand plans to write a recap post for every single session I attended, but I quickly grew tired of that after two or three recaps. This year I’ll keep it a tad more realistic. I am going to give you guys my main takeaways/opinions in this post, and perhaps I’ll do just a couple more detailed posts on my favorites later on.

Here’s the general rundown of classes I attended and my impressions of them:

Kettle Weight Drenched

  • Trainer: Jeff McMullen
  • Why I signed up: To feel more comfortable using the kettlebell/to get new exercise ideas
  • Overall thoughts: I left feeling a little disappointed, I was surprised the kettlebells were only 8 pounds, and the kettlebell exercises were unfortunately not that new to me.
  • Key takeaways: The discussion on the four components of program design (functional appropriateness, structural integrity, work capacity, movement skill), along with a couple of new bodyweight moves we did in between the kettlebell exercises (plank to scorpion and handstand prep).


R.I.P.P.E.D. – The One Stop Body Shock

  • Trainers: Nakeeya Deas and Billy Kirby
  • Why I signed up: To see what the hype of this class is about and to see if it’s something I’d like to certify in someday
  • Overall thoughts: The instructors had a lot of energy and it was clear they felt passionately about the program. I thought the format felt a bit rushed and repetitive at the same time. I also thought it was weird that we started with biceps, triceps, and shoulders instead of bigger muscles first.
  • Key takeaways: I learned that R.I.P.P.E.D. stands for resistance, interval, power, plyometrics, endurance, and diet – the six components to the program. Each section did leave me with some new exercise ideas and combinations despite the “rushed” feeling. I’ll just do them on the specific day I’m dedicating to working on one or two of those areas at a time.


Sports Conditioning Goes Group

  • Trainers: Peter Twist
  • Why I signed up: To learn new agility and plyometric moves that could translate into a group exercise setting
  • Overall thoughts: This was the most disappointing class of the weekend. I felt a bit bored and didn’t like the exercises we did. I also don’t think we made the best use of our time. However, I did enjoy some of the inspirational pieces at the beginning.
  • Key takeaways: “The time is always now” and “everyone’s an athlete” concepts.

Best of Bootcamp 2013

  • Trainer: Mindy Mylrea
  • Why I signed up: Mindy Mylrea (seriously, I’m obsessed)
  • Overall thoughts: Mindy once again amazed me with her energy and creative movement combinations. This was one of my favorite classes of the weekend! I also appreciated that it wasn’t repetitive of the classes I took with her last year.

Boston Mania Best of Bootcamp

Myofascial Compression Techniques: Trigger Point Performance Therapy

  • Trainer: Kyle Skull
  • Why I signed up: To learn new methods for injury prevention
  • Overall thoughts: It HURT (in a good way). I learned a lot and loved getting more of the science behind it. Now I feel inspired to try some of the techniques on my own and do more of it regularly. 
  • Key takeaways: I learned that foam rolling is not enough, and if you can only foam roll before or after a workout the recommendation is before. The 6 main areas of biomechanics to work with include the soleus, quads, psoas, piriformis, pectorals, and thoracic spine. I thought it was interesting that most of these areas are below the waist, but the most tension people feel is in the neck/shoulders.

6 Paradoxes of Fitness

  • Trainer: Lawrence Biscontini
  • Why I signed up: To hear the weekend’s keynote speaker
  • Overall thoughts: Lawrence kept my attention the entire time. I laughed, I cried, and I left feeling more inspired than I’ve ever felt after attending a lecture. This was hands down the best part of the entire weekend.
  • Key takeaways: “A no today is a yes waiting to happen tomorrow,” we as instructors and trainers are part of the solution to the obesity epidemic, and of course the 6 paradoxes of fitness that have to do with the way we think, use humor, eat, love, breathe, and move. This is definitely something I’ll be writing more about down the line.

6 Paradoxes of Fitness

6 paradoxes of fitness

MMA Fighter Fit with the Bosu

  • Trainer: Kevin Kearns
  • Why I signed up: To learn new exercises on the bosu and because Lauren recommended this class
  • Overall thoughts: LOVED IT – right up there with Mindy. I was totally in my element during the class. Kevin had us all working hard, but smiling through it and yelling all together throughout the workout. I loved the concept of teaching clients and members to use martial arts exercises but without the hitting.
  • Key takeaways: Aside from all the new moves, that I won the drawing for a free MMA Fighter Fit certification! Guess I know what I’ll be doing next. Psyched!

Boston Mania - MMA

H.I.I.T the Step

  • Trainer: Abbie Appel
  • Why I signed up: To learn new class formats that I could teach with the step
  • Overall thoughts: Wasn’t sure what to expect with this one, but I left with a better understanding of metabolic conditioning. I also thought Abbie’s approach was creative and fun. The exercises were all things I knew, but put into new combinations and different formats, which is what I was looking for.
  • Key takeaways: A new class format of doing three minutes with a more basic version of an exercise, two minutes of the next level, and one minute of the hardest version.

Boston Mania - HIIT the Step


  • Trainer: Angel Santiago
  • Why I signed up: To try something new and Les Mills based
  • Overall thoughts: Wish I wasn’t feeling so sore/tired at this point that I ended up watching most of it instead of participating. Thought the instructor was high energy and everyone had fun.
  • Key takeaways: This would be a class that I would take on my own or certify in if I was affiliated with a Les Mills club. I still enjoyed Piloxing last year better than R.I.P.P.E.D. or BODYCOMBAT.

Boston Mania Bodycombat

Cream Rises

  • Trainer: Lawrence Biscontini
  • Why I signed up: Because I felt so inspired during the keynote speech that I dropped out of the ropes class I originally signed up for to hear Biscontini speak again about the concepts in his book, Cream Rises
  • Overall thoughts: I didn’t want the lecture to end.
  • Key takeaways: I left with so many helpful tips for taking myself from a good/average instructor to a great one that stands out from the crowd. I bought the book and can’t wait to read it in its entirety.

Boston Mania - Cream Rises

Core Amour

  • Trainer: Abbie Appel
  • Why I signed up: I enjoyed her class the day before and wanted new ideas for core work
  • Overall thoughts: Can’t believe that adding a yoga ball can make such basic movements so hard!
  • Key takeaways: New ways to correct clients/class members to make sure they are getting the most out of their core work.

Cardio, Cuts, and Core

  • Trainer: Irene Lewis McCormick
  • Why I signed up: This sounded like a class I needed to come to!
  • Overall thoughts: Another favorite of the weekend, loved the incorporation of teaching techniques throughout the class
  • Key takeaways: Another new format to use in my own classes, using progressions and time based workouts – 40/20, 30/15, 20/10. Finally also got a clear definition on the difference between interval training and high intensity interval training (negative recovery time).

Muscle Mashup

  • Trainer: Jeff Howard
  • Why I signed up: Another class that sounded like I should be at, and with all bodyweight movements
  • Overall thoughts: I would have liked this a lot more had it not been the last class of the weekend. I was sore, hangry, and totally ready to go home by this point. The instructor had SO MUCH ENERGY, but I thought the exercises were executed a bit sloppily and could have been slowed down a bit as to not compromise form.
  • Key takeaways: TABATAS GALORE

Here are some other pictures from the weekend:

Live tweet board… I made the cut!

Boston Mania 2013

And fun fitness expo…

Boston Mania 2013

Hopefully this post helps if you ever plan to attend a Mania conference and are trying to decide what courses to take or sign up for. These conventions are offered all over the country every year, and I highly recommend taking advantage of them. I think they are the most affordable option for the amount you get at them. For my Boston-based instructor and trainer friends, mark your calendars for November 7-9, 2014! 😉

Readers, let’s chat. Have you ever attended a Mania convention before? What did you think? Were you at Boston Mania this weekend?