Every May, fitness enthusiasts from all over the UK prepare for the biggest fitness event on the UK fitness calendar, Body Power Expo. Spanning 600,000 square feet across the halls of the Birmingham NEC, Body Power 2015 was the largest event yet, and this year I had the pleasure of working as an exhibitor with Gifted Nutrition, along side current Mr Olympia, Phil Heath. Here are my top 10 Body Power Expo highlights:
10. The Free Stuff!
As a visitor to Body Power Expo, this is somewhat of an expectation every year. With over 300 top quality brands an exhibitors under one roof, it’s safe to say that you can easily collect a small haul of supplement samples and accessories! Realistically, this is the perfect opportunity to try brands and products that you may not have previously had access to, or to try that protein flavour before you invest in the whole tub. With a lot of exhibitors travelling from far and wide, many want to get rid of expo stock, which makes for some fab visitor deals on everything from supplements to clothing, in the last few hours of the expo. You can never have enough gym clothes and shakers, right?
9. The Range of Exhibitors
Body Power is a fitness expo, and that means all aspects of fitness. From the beginner to the professional, there really is something for everyone. Look in one direction and you’ll see rows of chiselled abs on the bodies of male physique models, turn your head and you’ll see a strong man attempting to dead lift a jeep. From bodybuilding to CrossFit, Body Power encompasses and celebrates the diversity of fitness, sparking interest in areas you may have known little about before visiting.
8. The Growth of the Expo
Body Power expands every year! Now taking up the equivalent of 10 football fields, the sheer size and quality of the expo really is a tribute to the growth of the fitness industry across the UK today. With more people than ever interested in leading healthier, more active lives, the growth of this year’s expo creates such a positive message not only for its organisers, but for every single visitor, exhibitor and fan of the UK fitness industry.
7. The Pro Show
Not only does the expo hold several opportunities to showcase amateur talent in the form of competitions (including USN Classic and Fit Factor model search), but the expo also holds an IFBB Pro Show and Olympia qualifier. Bringing together global athletes on the Body Power stage really is a special thing to see, what a chance to see the pros doing what they do best! This year we saw Kim Jun Ho taking the first place trophy in the 212 category, and the stunning Slovakian, Adela Ondrejovicova as the figure category winner. There really is nothing more motivating to anyone’s fitness regime than seeing the pros at the their best.
6. No Ordinary Consumer Expo, But a Learning Experience
Body Power is more than simply a consumer fitness expo. Hosting the very best not just in brands, but in fitness industry education. From stage presence workshops, to healthy meal planning and live cooking demos, Body Power has become a learning experience for many visitors. This is where people can learn first hand from the best in the industry, and this year was no different.
5. A Chance to Meet Those You Admire
This is another key element of Body Power Expo, and one that I appreciated more this year than ever before. Having began competing a little over a year ago, like any other female competitor or fitness enthusiast, I have acquired several female athletes whom I follow and admire in the industry. As if working under the same roof as these incredible ladies was not enough, I finally had the pleasure of meeting them face to face. Competing has truly given me a small taste of what these athletes go through to get to where they want to be, and also meant I have a whole lot of my own questions to ask. Who better to ask than the best of the best? So when current Miss Bikini Olympia Ashley Kaltwasser swung over to our stand for a chat, it’s safe to say I was somewhat star struck! I also had the pleasure of meeting the stunning Andreia Brazier, whose physique I have admired for a long time.
4. Hulk Hogan and Dana Lynn Bailey – Need I Say More?
Whilst on the subject of athletes, who could miss out on these two huge names!? With wrestler Hulk Hogan representing BPI Sports, and physique Olympian DLB with Flag nor Fail, I’ve never seen a crowd reaction like this. It truly was Hulkmania! Thousands queued to meet both athletes, with VIP meet and greet tickets completely selling out following the announcement of Hogan’s appearance, the atmosphere was electric. DLB alone not only attracted one queue, but 3! A queue to join a queue, to join a queue, to join a final queue just to meet the inspirational lady herself. As I was working I was unable to grab the time to meet her myself, but seeing her in person from a distance was enough (although I was very surprised by her 5ft 4 height!).
3. The Food!
What can I say? With all those bulging muscles and tight physiques, only the best in high protein food and snacks were offered, and I took full advantage! Whether you fancy a savoury lunch or sweet snack, Body Power offered food stalls hosting all types of tasty food, from lean turkey, beef and ostrich burgers, to warm protein waffles topped with protein ice cream! Cheat clean in protein food heaven!
2. 79,000 People. One Passion, One Venue, One Expo
It’s simple, but true. Where else can you share your passion with 79,000 like minded people? Where it’s normal to spend your Saturday night post-expo party pumping iron in the local gym, to carry a meal organisation bag bigger than your handbag, and chat about your latest protein snack discoveries. You just can’t bottle the atmosphere of Body Power Expo, and 2015 was the best yet.
1. Where Else Can You Sit Down with Mr. Olympia, Phil Heath?
Finally, the number one highlight had to be spending the weekend with 4x Mr Olympia, Phil Heath. Getting the chance to represent his brand, Gifted Nutrition, was the most amazing opportunity, but getting to hear his perspective, views and learn about the man himself was incredible. How often do you get to have breakfast with Mr Olympia? This guy really does speak words of wisdom. Speaking of nothing but appreciation for his fans and supporters, giving back, and providing me with some amazing advice, Body Power 2015 gave me this once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from the best, for which I am extremely grateful.
Here’s to Body Power 2016, I’m counting down already!