BodyPower Expo Review 2018

The PT Wars team visited BodyPower just a couple of weeks ago and a member of their ambassador squad Kevin Poole has written up a review of their time and experience from the day. If you haven’t already, check out the PT Wars Instagram @ptwars and @fitbyscience_kevinpoole for more information, videos, and posts from the day.

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Travelling down to BodyPower this year was slightly different for me as this was actually my first time as a visiting spectator and not an exhibitor so I felt a lot more relaxed about the day knowing that I wasn’t ‘working’ per se which meant I felt more at ease and could, therefore, enjoy the day without the stress of the workload that BodyPower requires. 

Upon arrival, it was pretty much business as usual, very busy, lots of things going on, lots of people, basically an overwhelming scene of chaos! None of us really knew where to go or where to start. But, we found our feet and started walking around the expo to gather our bearings. What I noticed whilst walking around this year was that there seemed to be less ‘fitness’ people walking around shirtless and more ‘normal’ people wearing ordinary regular clothes, even clothes that you wouldn’t necessarily associate with fitness which made me think that BodyPower and the fitness industry in general is starting to appeal more to the general population now which is good for everybody going forward because it means fitness is growing and bringing more people together.

Throughout the day what became very apparent in my opinion is the status of the athletes at the stands. It seemed that the bigger companies who have the bigger stands were more interested in having a ‘social media icon or enthusiast’ representing their company as opposed to a ‘well known’ athlete. One example was Flex Lewis, one of the best bodybuilders of all time. In previous years there would have been an enormous queue for a meet and greet of an athlete of this status, yet there was no queue whatsoever and the large queues were for social media influencers. This is great business for the big companies as its driving a lot of traffic to their brand and products of course so they are seeing the benefits to this ‘who can I get on our stand’ approach. Personally, I am not very familiar with these type of people as I don’t tend to follow people like that, but the number of people waiting in lines obviously do which just highlights how different the fitness industry is being perceived in the modern day. The likes of Instagram and other social media platforms are obviously playing a huge role and influence on how society views these people and themselves. 

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As usual there were fitness and physique contests taking place throughout the course of the day, which is always nice to see as I have the first-hand experience of getting on stage so I know and can relate to the sacrifices and commitments that need to be made in order to get through the tough mental journey that competing brings. But the people who compete at BodyPower really represent what high levels of determination can go into fitness and what better stage to showcase that at BodyPower?. There is usually a lot of challenges that the big brand's host for social interaction but this year there seemed to be more! It was great because it gave people a competitive edge to beat each other whilst simultaneously uniting each other through the power of fitness. Myself and Hilton Phillips went head to head on a number of challenges and had a real good go against each other. I will add that I did win the majority of challenges but Hilton makes me work and pushes me all the way to my limits which forms great team bonding!

Another nice touch was the number of ‘smaller businesses’ getting involved in this year's expo. The big brands usually swamp the show and leave little room for small businesses but some of the big brands such as Gym Shark only stayed for one day which leaves decent exposure for up and coming brands to showcase themselves. Previous years have always had a designated area for eating, a little bit like a food court where all the food companies are located together. However, this year we only noticed one main food stand which was Kettlebell Kitchen (food was lovely of course). I know they are a very successful brand but I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t much more going on with the food aspect of the fitness industry. 

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BodyPower is known for its ‘freebies’ and everyone knows it! Some people even go for just that reason alone! There were a few stands giving out a fair few freebies, the Yorkie stand comes to mind with their new release of the protein Yorkie bar which is very nice and tastes a lot like the original! But I can’t remember too many stands were freebies were given out. In order to gain some products from the brands, the challenges were used as a catalyst to get them which is fair enough as it gives people an incentive to get involved with the activities of the day. 

One thing I really like about expo’s and BodyPower specifically is the opportunity to speak to some of the leaders in the fitness industry who you yourself may look up to providing they are receptive and actually give you the time of day which most do. I’m a big fan of educators in the industry as opposed to social media influencers as they are the people who I tend to learn from and aspire to be. For example, Phil Learney and James Smith are really big in that field and I have been to some of their seminars and conferences and so it was nice to get the chance to speak to them on a personal level and catch up. 

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Overall, Myself and the others really enjoyed the day, I enjoyed it for the reasons of team bonding and just generally being together as a unit and having a day out so to speak but it’s always an event not to be missed and while its very different now compared to previous years it’s still worth going! The fitness industry is changing year by year due to the upsurge of social media usage so it’s just a case of adapting to that and making the most the circumstances we are in.