Fitness | BodyPower Expo at the NEC, Birmingham
At the weekend me and Ross attended our first BodyPower expo. Travelling 170 miles to the NEC in Birmingham, we had VIP tickets for the Saturday and Sunday of the three-day event. BodyPower is the UK’s biggest fitness expedition with over 90,000 fitness enthusiasts in attendance over the three days. Jam-packed with health and fitness exhibitors, workout areas, demonstrations, national competitions and a whole lot more, there was so much to see and do during our time there. As well as talking about what we got up to, I’m also sharing some tips if you’re thinking about attending BodyPower next year.
On our first day we got up at 7am, got ready and arrived at the NEC around 8:30am. The expedition centre was located a mere 15 minute drive from our hotel (we stayed at the Fort Dunlop Travelodge which was ideally situated around the corner from a shopping park). With our tickets we were able to gain access to the expo 90 minutes before the standard ticket holders.
After a quick wander around the venue, we decided to get some breakfast to feed our rumbling stomachs. There were some food vans selling bacon sandwiches which didn’t really appeal to us due to their ridiculous price and the uncanny amount of fat on them. Luckily we spied a Heck stall selling chicken burgers with fresh salad in a wholemeal bun which seemed like a much better option. I love the Heck chicken Italia sausages so I was pleased to see them serving up food over the weekend.
Over the three days there was plenty of talks and demonstrations taking place. One demonstration that I was most looking forward to was led by Kim Calvert of Dynamite Nutrition who was showing us how to make a healthy chicken curry and healthy chocolate brownies. During the short session we learnt how to make ‘naughty’ dishes healthier simply by swapping a few ingredients. I was amazed by how quickly Kim whipped the two dishes, both of which tasted delicious. I particularly enjoyed the peanut butter ‘buttercream’ made using natural Greek yoghurt.
During our time at BodyPower there were some competitions taking place including fitness challenges to win supplements and items of clothing, as well as national and international bodybuilding competitions happening on stage. We also got to witness a world record attempt for the heaviest bench press of 261kg! I was particularly intrigued by the power lifters and felt nervous watching them in the audience.
It was great to see some of my favourite clothing, food and supplement brands like MyProtein, Physiq Apparel and MuscleFood. Many of the stalls were giving away free samples of their products which resulted in some very long queues! However the queues were even longer to meet some of the industry’s biggest inspirations. It was fun to see the likes of Ryan Terry, Ronnie Coleman and Jamie Alderton in the flesh!
Tips for attending BodyPower
With it being my first time at the expo, I wasn’t really sure what to expect so here’s a few tips to take on board if you’re planning on attending the event next year.
- Pack lightly – You will be on your feet most of the day so if you’re taking a bag with you, don’t fill it too much. You will also need to make room for the freebies too!
- Wear gym gear or comfortable clothing – there are lots of challenges and interactive workout spots you can take part so make sure you’re dressed appropriately if you want to take part.
- Consider taking a backpack with your meals for the day – The food at the NEC is quite pricey and the selection isn’t very healthy.. A 500ml bottle of water was £1.95 and a pork sandwich was £5.90 (ouch!).
- It’s worth the upgrade – If you’re toying between getting a standard ticket or upgrading, we bought the VIP tickets which gave us access from 9am instead of 10:30am. The expo gets VERY busy so I would totally recommend upgrading so you can get in early and miss the queues.
- Expect to queue for quite some time if you want photos and/or signatures with your idols.
- Shop around – Although most of the products on sale are discounted for the show, shop around for the best price. There were a few wholesale stalls selling branded products for a cheaper price than the official stalls.
It was amazing to see so many people together under one roof who share the same passion for fitness. Looking around the BodyPower expo, you can see some insane dedication which motivates you to make some positive changes to your own life. I’d recommend BodyPower to anybody interested in living a healthier lifestyle. Whether you’re a newbie in the gym or looking to compete at your first show, BodyPower is the ideal place to learn more about the health and fitness industry and give you the motivation to achieve your goals.
Did you attend BodyPower this year? Who is your favourite athlete/fitness inspiration?