So yeah, I went to Fit Expo 2013, so you didn’t have to. Thank me. I found out about it over lunch at Subway. I found a coupon for half off of admission and figured it might be fun. There was another event in Downtown LA that I wanted to attend, so I made plans to hit this first. It turned out that the cost of admission was $20 each day and $30 for both. Yeesh. The $10 coupon would come in handy, but it would still be kind of painful. 10 bucks to get into basically a trade show exhibit hall. Maybe if I was more of a MMA fan I might find a reason to come back both days. But I’m not. More below the fold.
What dominated the exhibit hall was pretty much what I’ve taken to call the “diet-industrial complex.” Most of the chemically enhanced “Frankenfoods”…ahem, “designer nutrition” (hurr hurr) were geared less towards dieters and more towards Ah-nuld wannabes. The “Jersey Shore” trade. And everyone was giving out samples. I actually had the temerity to try some, with wildly varying results. I had seen Muscle Milk around, and the fact that the bottle had to bear a disclaimer “does not actually contain milk” did not exactly make me crazy about trying it. Never mind I really didn’t have a use for it. But a wee little shot glass? YOLO, d00d. Tried it. It tasted like sampling a chemistry set, but it also tasted strangely familiar. Instant Breakfast? No, that actually tasted halfway decent. Wait…those yucky diet shakes that were popular in the late 1970s/early 1980s? Sego? “Sego is great for my ego!” Oh god yeah. That’s the exact barfulous taste that it brought to mind. Why even bother to sample such drek? Wouldn’t they do better if they didn’t and just had the booth babes drinking it and acting as if they enjoyed it?
Of course, you had the booth babes, but you also had the muscle man squad too. Of course, Big Guns over here appeals to the target demographic of most of the stuff on display…people who want to look like Popeye In Real Life ™. At least this concoction has an amusing name. Mutant. Yeah, you got it. I mean, getting all buff like this guy is a lot of work, and I gotta give him credit, he put the work in.
Not everyone was selling snake oil, however. I might actually look these people up. You tell them how frequently you want one and what size box you want, and they will deliver a box full of yummy organic fruits and veggies to your door. Now, this actually falls under the heading of the kind of real food I advocate. Not everyone can haunt farmer’s markets looking for goodies. Some folks are busy. Some folks actually have LIVES, amazingly enough. And even if you don’t, if you live in an area where organic produce is hard to get (raises hand) something like this would come in handy.
One thing that surprised was the fact that there really wasn’t a huge amount of exercise equipment on display. However, one guy came to the event with the same idea I had with getting the mini stationary bike for under my desk. Only his contraption attaches to an office chair and gives you the ability to take a break and work your upper body with resistance bands. I gave it a go. Not bad at all!
The device is called Work In Motion, and he’s not charging an abusive amount for it. Sure, you could probably rig something similar for yourself with resistance bands and velcro or something like that but $30 is not a huge price to pay for the convenience of having it ready to go. Factor in how much the resistance bands alone would be, and it isn’t unfair at all. A tip of the propeller beanie from this fitness geek.
The one thing that was in short supply at this event was the joy of movement, and opportunities to actually check out new things and try them out. Maybe I was there at the wrong time, there were talks of sample classes and so forth during the day. However, some people’s enthusiasm could not be easily contained, bless this fella’s heart…
So then, was this all worth it? Considering it was a big opportunity for mostly specialty supplement makers to hawk their questionable wares to wannabe musclemen and wannabe gym princesses it might have been more fair if they did this for free or paid us for our time and trouble.
I will leave you with one last bit of “food for thought…” This is an actual disclaimer on an actual packet of an actual nutrition supplement, actually. Ye ghods this sounds like something out of one’s worst nightmare. I won’t try it. I’ll just keep it to remind myself that the diet-industrial complex is not our friend.
Update: more pix from Fit Expo from LA Convention Center’s Facebook page…