April 18, 2016 at 12:01 am
TOP fitness coach Jim Saret and wife Toni wanted every Filipino to live well and longer, so the couple decided to spearhead a fitness advocacy called FitFil (Fit Filipino) Movement.
After spending countless hours on the planning table, negotiating with partners and selling their idea, Saret’s dream of putting together the biggest gathering of stakeholders in the fitness industry finally became a reality.
From blue-chip fitness gyms, Fitness First and Gold’s Gym, to the nutrition retailers like Century Tuna, stakeholders all came to connect and treat thousands of Filipino fitness enthusiasts for two days during the Milo FitCon (Fitness Convention) over the weekend at the Circuit Makati.
“We have pretty much everything here, we have yoga, pilates, thread training, functional training, stationary cycling, crossfit, under armour challenge, boxing, MMA, health lectures, cooking demonstration and nutrition,” said Saret in describing the two-hectare enclave buzzing with activities.
“We’ve seen this trend that fitness is growing in the Philippines. With the event that we have here, we’ve actually proven that it definitely is,” he said.
Saret is one of the top fitness coaches in the country, owing to his first-rate education in sports medicine.
Along with wife Toni, who is also a certified fitness specialist in the US and UK, they created two of the country’s well-known scientific programs, including APEX (Athletic Performance Enhancement Training Program).
Saret said he expects the FilCon to connect the different fitness players with the health-conscious people, who are seeking something new and something better.
“Our gol is to help Filipinos get fit and healthier,” said Saret. “This is going to be a game changer in the fitness industry. Once you do something like this, you tend to level up the next time, so this is good for everyone. From here, we’ll improve the next time because the gyms will try to outdo each other, and this will really benefit the consumers.”
Guests and participants got to try all the exercises and activities offered by various gyms and equipment makers. They also were educated through the lectures conducted by certified fitness instructors.
“People have not tried a lot of stuff, so here, they’ve trying new things. Example is the pole dancing, I was surprised how many guys have tried to do it earlier today and I’ve never seen so many girls try out crossfit,” added Saret.
One of the most interesting activities in the festival was aerial hoops. It’s a sturdy, oversized rope hanging onto a metal base and the participant gets to do various stunts there.
Polecats Manila is the country’s pioneer school for aerial arts, whose disciplines include aerial hoops, silk hoops and the more popular pole dancing.
Kayleen Ortiz, trainer and manager of the Polecats Manila, said after pole dancing, aerial hoops is getting popular among women because “it’s fun and the closest one can get to performing in a circus.”
“It’s fun to be upside down, fun to be spinning, because after a while you get tired of the ordinary gym routine, so the aerial arts gives you an option to do something different and fun at the same time. That’s what makes it special,” said Ortiz, who, along with fellow trainer Duds Ignacio, competed in international competition for Aerial Arts.
She said aerial arts develops one’s upper body strength and flexibility because “there’s a lot of upper body workout, lots of pulling. You have to engage your pectorals, your back and your arms to be able to pull yourself up the apparatus.”
Last year in China, Ortiz and Ignacio competed against aerial arts athletes from Russia, China, Ireland and Finland, to name a few, and brought home a bronze medal in the pole dance doubles’ competition. They were also awarded a special award as Best Entertainers for having the best concept in the category.
They look forward to another competition later this year and get new ideas to bring back home to the Philippines and share with their students.