The 16th annual DCAC International Fitness Conference & Trade Show for professionals will take place in Washington D.C., on July 25 through July 29, 2007. It is the event where fitness professionals go to sharpen their skills, acquire certifications, and earn professional continuing credits. There will be new variations to ever evolving group fitness classes, mind-body and its fusions, aquatics, spinning, and personal training. Among the many new offerings, this year features outdoor fitness, which is a highly effective and refreshing alternative to stationary indoor exercise machines. There will be an emphasis on special populations especially boomers and kids.
Now, in its 16th year, the DCAC International Fitness Conference& Trade Show will be held in the heart of the Washington D.C. at theHilton Alexandria Mark Center. A record audience of fitness professionals will be attending to sharpen their skills, gain certifications, and pick up continuing credits. In addition to advanced training across a broad spectrum of exercise modalities, this year's conference will feature special one-day tracks for Pilates and personal training. Of special note will be sessions on the topic of outdoor fitness.
67 world-class presenters will teach 200 regular conference sessions and 30 in-depth pre and post conference workshops  including the spectrum of high demand topics of personal training, yoga, Pilates, dance, spinning, Gliding, Core Pole, Bosu, and aquatics.
The advances in fitness come at us so quickly that professionals need a conference such as this just to spot emerging trends. For example, according to published author, lecturer, and fitness coach Douglas Brooks:
"Functional training and integrated balance training remain strong as consumer interest continues to grow and the science community is getting a handle on what this type of training, can, and cannot, accomplish. People love this type of training because it's results oriented and, bottom line, fun. Additional trends include specialized training for any number of special needs populations that include the areas of sport conditioning, pregnancy, diabetes, asthma, cardiac rehabilitation, weight loss, the list goes on."
Subject Tracks Now Offered
The conference has diversified over the years to include innumerable exercise modalities. This year, several topics are grouped together on the same day in specific tracks. For those attendees that are pressed for time and cannot span the entire five day conference, they can now attend as little as one day and yet totally sharpen their skill in their desired area.
Special one-day tracks will be held this year for: aquatics, children's fitness, Pilates, personal training, and senior fitness.
Pre-Conference In Depth Sessions
Robert Sherman has been a presenter at DCAC since the early days and has watched the conference grow to the size that it is today. He urges fitness professionals to invest their time and money to stay abreast of their craft. In particular to attend any one of the 30 pre-and post-conference offerings, where the sessions are much longer and much more in depth.
"Over the years DCAC has diversified the offering. The attendees have many choices of quality education to choose from, in particular should look toward pre-conferences, that way they can get a full day of in-depth training on one subject matter, " said Sherman.
The Group Fitness Staple
DCAC has its origins in aerobics and group fitness. This year's event will offer a multitude of group fitness offerings from the latest dance steps to the advances in the use of props such as Body Bar, Gliding, Bosu, Step, and a multitude of fusion classes for total body workouts.
By popular demand, returning this year will be striptease dance, along with the other sensual variations such as risque dance and belly dance. "When you share an experience with people, the overall well-being that is created is tremendously beneficial. Which is why group exercise is very valid today," summed up Sherman.
There will be many returning superstar group fitness presenters this year including Rob Glick, Sherry Catlin, Petra Kolber, Mindy Mylrea, and Christi Taylor.
Outdoor Fitness Gains in Popularity
One particular session attracting more and more attendees is a special outdoor fitness training course. It was developed by Tina Vindum. Vindum was a competition skier and champion downhill biker who developed the outdoor course "out of sheer desperation".
While training in the skiing off-season, Vindum said, "I found myself on a treadmill, facing a giant picture window looking at the mountains and wondering why I was indoors on this ridiculous treadmill. It was mentally excruciating, I decided I could not do that anymore so I hopped off, went outdoors to train and never turned back."
She found that, in nature, exercise is more rewarding and time passes by much more quickly than indoors in a gym. She was amazed when her athletic skiing performance actually was better than training indoors and set out to develop very specific outdoor programming for all ages, types and locations. "Nature is a powerful contributor to our health and well-being, people are learning that they draw energyfrom the outdoors," said Vindum.
Personal Training Growth
This year will have a significant number of sessions for personal trainers. In addition to regular presenters that pack the rooms such as Douglas Brooks, and Robert Sherman, this year sees the return of Ph.D's Len Kravitz and Wayne Westcott to lend some real academic depth and research to the programs.
Sessions will cover not only specific exercise protocols, but how to do it with a minimum investment in equipment. Also, personal training success is more dependent upon business acumen than exercise knowledge. So there will be several sessions on how trainers can market themselves and properly run their businesses.
Pennsylvania State University Professor and career coach, Barbara Roche will be teaching lifestyle coaching and how personal trainers can position themselves as educators in their areas, and posses the technical knowledge needed to really make an impact on people's health.
Nutritional Education by Teri Gentes
Nutrition is a vital component to overall health and well-being and should be understood by fitness professionals. This year, wellness and nutrition expert, Teri Gentes will be teaching 6 sessions on nutrition including an all-day pre-con session on Essential Nutrition Solutions.
According to Gentes it's all about balance in life, "Everybody wants to look good, but looking good comes from the inside out, not the outside in. The veterans of the fitness industry really need to care what's going on inside their clients' bodies as well as prescribing the proper exercise for the outside."
Gentes advises fitness professionals to learn more about nutrition not only for their clients but for themselves and their families. "We need to take care of ourselves personally so we can do so professionally. That comes from fueling ourselves well. The research shows that disease is 80% related to diet and lifestyle."
Addressing the Aging Boomers and Kids
A large population segment that fitness professionals need to address are the aging boomers. Robert Sherman has created a session called "Aging Strong" that specifically addresses this.
"Aging Strong addresses an aging population, it deals with how people's body functions alter as they age, and ways for fitness professionals to create specific exercises for that population. It's understanding the different demands on our bodies as we age, based on our goals and intentions. We have to create specific programming that meets both those demands and goals. There is not one blanket exercise, or one blanket protocol that we should do at any age."
Additionally veteran presenter Jeff Borden will be teaching courses in senior strength training and senior chair dance.
Both Borden and Mindy Mylrea, among others, will be teaching a special children's fitness track. And, Getes is offering a special kids nutrition session.
A Must Refresher for Fitness Professionals
DCAC is held in midsummer so not to place a strain on instructors' calendars. It's a great time for professionals to take a break from their routine, revitalize their skills, meet interesting peers, and have fun.
Douglas Brooks summed it up this way: "What I love most about the DCAC conference is the wide range of timely and interesting topics, as well as the world class caliber presenters. There is nice balance between classroom theory and science, and workshops that focus on application. I always leave the conference refreshed and ready to implement the new programming ideas when I return to my clients on Monday."
About the DCAC International Fitness Conference and Trade Show
Since 1992, DCAC has produced an annual fitness conference and trade show in greater Washington, D.C. during midsummer. World-renowned industry experts and educators are brought together for a five-day event that enables health and fitness professionals, as well as enthusiasts, to attend a wide array of hands-on training seminars and walk the trade show floor. Participants can earn continuing education credits for many of the industry's major certification organizations such as AEA, IFTA, AAAI, ACE, AFAA, NSCA, NSPA, NASM, and WITS. For further information contact DCAC at (800) DCAC 551, visit or


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