What To Visit At ECA, This Weekend's Boutique Fitness Extravaganza

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unnamedPhotographed by Erin Yamagata.
Unless you’re a fitness-industry veteran, you’ve probably never heard of ECA World Fitness. Founded over 20 years ago as an outlet for members of the fitness community to connect, learn and share ideas, ECA is responsible for bringing some of the most popular workouts, like Zumba, Insanity, Tabata, and IntenSati, to the public. While the conventions crop up in New York, California, and Florida every year, they've been, until recently, exclusive to industry insiders. This year, in response to a growing interest in health and wellness, the event is now open to the public (for a fee).

The NYC event, titled “One Body One World (OBOW) by ECA World Fitness,” is being held this weekend, March 7 to 9, at the Marriott Marquis. On offer are three solid days of cutting-edge workout classes, lectures, and workshops. We didn’t even know where to begin, so we spoke with Carol Scott, ECA founder and CEO, for some highlights.

What: OBOW / ECA World Fitness Convention
When: March 7-9
Where: Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway (at West 45th Street)
To register and for more information: Visit ECA’s website. Tickets start at $99 for a day pass.
04_IMG_173720130404_KavaGornaPhotographed by Kava Gorna.
What: FITiST Fitness Mash-up Class
When: Sunday, March 9, 11 to 1 p.m.
FITiST, the next-level gym membership that offers access to top boutique studios in NYC and L.A., will be hosting a two-hour mash-up class featuring, “a slice of every hot boutique class that’s out there now,” according to Carol. Get a 30-minute taste of FlyBarre by Shay Kostabi, Barry’s Bootcamp by Noah Neiman, SLT by Layla Luciano, (305) Fitness by Sadie Kurzban, and Natalie Uhling’s NuFit.

What: “Paleo Diet – Yes, No, Maybe So” Lecture by Scott Josephson
When: Saturday, March 8, 3:30 to 5 p.m.
It seems like everyone’s been going Paleo recently and while we get that it’s “The Caveman Diet,” we’re still not really sure what that means. Carol agrees, adding: “People see buzzwords…but they don’t really know what it’s about.” In this lecture, Scott Josephson, an expert from the Hippocrates Health Institute (who's worked with the New York Giants and Mets), analyzes the Paleo diet’s benefits and drawbacks. He also explores the claim that our prehistoric ancestors avoided chronic illness and autoimmune diseases thanks to a pre-agriculture diet.

What: FlyBoard Dynamic Balance Workshop by Gennaro Setola
When: Sunday, March 9, 9 to 10:15 a.m.
Gennaro Setola comes all the way from Italy to introduce his much-buzzed-about BodyFly technique and his patented FlyBoard, an ergonomic apparatus with concave and convex sides. Designed to work major muscle groups, including the core, glutes, and pecs, by challenging stability and balance, the FlyBoard can be used in Pilates, yoga, aerobics, martial arts, and dance classes. Carol, who’s already tried it out, describes it as “skateboarding without the skateboard.” You may have to see for yourself what that means.
28_IMG_944120130404_KavaGornaPhotographed by Kava Gorna.
What: Core Fusion: The Original Barre/Core Class Workshop
When: Sunday, March 9, 12:30 to 1:45 p.m.
According to Carol, barre workouts have reached critical mass. If you're not already up on the fitness trend, don't miss this opportunity to learn the fundamentals of barre in a class taught by Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito, the founders of Exhale’s insanely popular Core Fusion technique. Considered one of the pioneers of the barre trend, Core Fusion combines the principles of the Lotte Berk Method, Pilates, Yoga, and Dance. Its loyal devotees claim it reshapes your body and clears your mind.

What: “The Perfection Detox” Lecture by Petra Kolber
When: Sunday, March 9, 11:30 to 1 p.m.
Petra Kolber, one of the fitness industry’s most reputable experts, leads a discussion on the epidemic of perfectionism in fitness and how, as Carol puts it, “people don’t do things because they’re afraid they won’t be perfect at it.” Even outside the fitness industry, we all suffer from bouts of Type A-ism, which can leave us struggling at work, in relationships, or any facet of our lives. In this lecture, Petra will identify steps you can take to raise your confidence level and show why stepping away from the pursuit of perfection can lead to a happier, more successful life.