A Conference Where Everyone Wears Workout Gear

Whether you've been teaching group fitness since the Jane Fonda days or you're just an average Joe or Joanna looking to become a personal trainer or fitness class instructor, an SCW Mania is just the place for you. And if you live in the Atlanta area, there's one coming up this weekend.

I first learned about the Manias in college as a new group exercise instructor. I attended as a "staff assistant," which meant that in exchange for working portions of the Mania (tasks can include helping to set up for the event and tear down, assisting/introducing presenters or managing the hospitality suite) you receive a significantly discounted registration rate and some other goodies.

So why should you attend? For me, the number one reason is to earn continuing education credits (CECs), which are required to renew my group exercise certification from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. The three-day conference offers attendees the chance to attend a variety of sessions on everything from the latest fitness class trends (e.g., BOSU, Zumba and Flirty Girl Fitness) to how to manage fitness facilities to nutrition and proper personal training techniques. (The Manias also feature an expo where you can find a variety of training products, fitness clothing and music, often at discounted prices.) By attending the entire Mania, I can earn more than 15 CEUs, which is more than what is required to renew my certification every two years.

Participants propose a schedule of the sessions they'd like to attend. (Some of my favorite sessions are anything that has "BOSU" or "Zumba" in the title.) I would suggest creating a mix of fitness class sessions and "lecture" sessions. Why? Because you will be asked to participate in the fitness class sessions and basically take an hour-long group ex class, several times each day. This can add up to a lot of working out over three day! Remember, this is a marathon — not a sprint — so plan accordingly.

But if you love group fitness classes, this is the place to be. You are learning about the latest choreography, the latest fitness toys (think weights and other items to make your workout more challenging) and the latest class concepts from leaders in the fitness field. Even if you're not a trainer or class instructor, any exercise junkie would be in heaven. 

If you can't make it to the Atlanta Mania, which runs this Friday through Sunday, no worries. There are Manias held in cities across the country throughout the year. I'm not able to attend the Atlanta Mania this year, but you can bet that next year I will be there with bells on. This conference is easily a FWAB "fit!"

Have you ever attended an SCW Mania or other fitness conference? What did you think? Would you recommend it to others? Let us know in the "Comment" section of the blog, or start a conversation on the Facebook page. Until next Tuesday — stay FWABulous!!