LIVE LEARNING: Innovations in Fitness: Insights and Trends from IDEA Conference 2024


Discover the latest trends and innovations showcased at the IDEA World Conference in LA. BPFA Board Member Christine DeFilippis will be presenting at the 2024 IDEA World Conference and will be sharing emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities from the latest research and expert insights from IDEA World. Stay ahead of the curve with a comprehensive overview of the current state of the fitness industry.

Non-Members Register Here.

Members go to the events page of our learning community for your free access.

Recommendations for the New Year!

Recommendations for the New Year!

All of us a BPFA Headquarters are wishing you the best in the new year. To help kick things off right, here’s a list of some of our favorite books, blogs, and social media accounts from 2023.


-“Deconstructing the Fitness-Industrial Complex: How to Resist, Disrupt, and Reclaim What It Means to Be Fit in American Culture” Edited by Justice Roe Williams, Roc Rochon and Lawrence Koval. “Perspectives from QTBIPOC, fat, and disabled trainers, bodyworkers, and coaches on reimagining fitness for all bodies.”

-“Fit Nation: The Pains and Gains of America’s Exercise Obsession” By Natalia Petrzela. “How is it that Americans are more obsessed with exercise than ever, and yet also unhealthier? Fit Nation explains how we got here and imagines how we might create a more inclusive, stronger future.”

-“Fire in My Eyes” by Brad Snyder. “An American Warrior’s Journey from Being Blinded on the Battlefield to Gold Medal Victory.”

-“Lifting Heavy Things: Healing Trauma One Rep at a Time” By Laura Khoudari. “Most people at one moment in their lives experience trauma. Lifting Heavy Things empowers its readers to use any form of exercise, from strength training to cycling or walking, as a tool of healing.”

-“Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek. “For a company to be successful, its leaders need to understand the true purpose of their organization, and use that purpose as a northstar not only in how they conduct themselves as a business, but also in how they care for those in their charge.”

-“The Long Run” By Matt Long. “New York City firefighter’s emotional and inspiring memoir of learning to run again after a debilitating accident, based on the wildly popular March 2009 piece in Runner’s World magazine.”

-“The Mental Impact of Sports Injury” By Carly McKay. “Using analogies from everyday life, The Mental Impact of Sports Injury bridges the gap between academic research and practical settings in an informative, yet easy to follow guide to the psychology of sports injury.”


-“The Dirtbag Diaries” – “The campfire tale—it’s ubiquitous in mountain culture. As long as we’ve climbed, skied, boated or traveled, we’ve been telling stories. In March of 2007, Fitz launched The Dirtbag Diaries, a grassroots podcast dedicated to the sometimes serious, often humorous stories from wild places. What began as a solitary experiment has evolved into collaboration between writers, photographers, artists and listeners to produce the type of stories that rarely find homes in the glossy pages of magazines.”

-“Handsome” By Tig Notaro, Fortune Feimster, Mae Martin. “Every week, the handsome hosts field a question from a friend and attempt to answer it together, covering every subject you could think of. Along the way, Tig, Fortune and Mae tell plenty of stories and just generally have a ridiculous time.”

-“Handy Ma’am Hotline” By Mercury Stardust. “Come hang out and get your DIY, trans life, and random questions answered on the Handy Ma’am Hotline!”

-“Recovery Bites” with Karin Lewis. “Join host Karin Lewis, MA, LMFT, CEDS, for episodes featuring candid interviews with experts in eating disorder and mental health recovery. Episodes focus on life beyond recovery, the good and the not-so-good, the successes and the challenges, and the authentic accounts of recovered lives. Not their whole story…just bites!”

-“Re:Thinking” with Adam Grant. “Adam believes that great minds don’t think alike—they challenge each other to think differently. His weekly show explores new thoughts and new ways of thinking.”

-“This Morning Walk” with Alex Elle and Libby Delana. “This Morning Walk podcast invites you to experience the transformative power of a simple walk.”

-“Maintenance Phase” – “Every other Tuesday, Michael Hobbes and Aubrey Gordon debunk the junk science behind health and wellness fads.”

-“Mind Your Fitness” with Thomas J Fowler. “Debunking the health & fitness industry.”

-“Rest is Resistance” byTricia Hersey. “From the founder and creator of The Nap Ministry, Rest Is Resistance is a battle cry, a guidebook, a map for a movement, and a field guide for the weary and hopeful.”

-“Spilling Open: The Art of Becoming Yourself” By Sabrina Ward Harrison. “We are all facing choices that define us. No choice, however messy, is without importance in the overall picture of our lives. We all at our own age have to claim something, even if it is only our own confusion. I am in the middle of growing up and into myself. This book is my life in progress.”

-“What Works” with Tara McMullin. “”Work” is broken. We’re overcommitted, underutilized, and out of whack. But it doesn’t have to be this way. What Works is a podcast about rethinking work, business, and leadership as we navigate the 21st-century economy.”

-“Without Fail” – “Candid conversations with people who have done hard things: what worked, what didn’t and why.”

Social Media Accounts

-@300poundsandrunning on IG

-@andreaanimates on IG. “Stop motion animator & fiber artist.”

-@barkcity_parker on TikToc. “Enjoy cute videos of our furry friends.”

-@lousydrawingsforgoodpeople on IG

-@crutches_and_spice on TikTok. Disability advocate.

-@strangewonderfulcreature on TicTok. Nonbinary circus athlete.

-@auntyskates on TicTok. 43 year-old woman learning to skateboard and is now a coach.

-@movementbydavid on TicTok. Fun scalable mobility training.


-Javeno McLean @j7healthjaveno on IG

-Kaylee Bays @slayleebays on IG

-@case.kenny on IG

-@johannakulp.lcsw on IG. “Empowering parents to embrace a healthy body image & to teach their kids to do the same.”

3 Ways to Use Creativity in Your Movement Practice

3 Ways to Use Creativity in Your Movement Practice

By Kate Herald Browne, BPFA Board Member

A lot of people get their best ideas in the shower–I get most of my ideas when I’m running. Take this blog post, for example. I was spending some quality time with a treadmill at the kind of gym that features gray exercise machines lined up in rows as far as the eye can see. Not the most exciting place in the world to be. I put in my headphones to listen to my favorite running playlist and pretty soon my drab external world was replaced with an inner kaleidoscope of ideas, remixed conversations, and solutions to problems I’d been wrestling with for weeks.

I felt so inspired and wanted to write it all down. But…all I saw around me were drab, colorless humming machines. Fueled with endorphins, I wondered what gyms would be like if they offered people a creative outlet. I couldn’t possibly be the only person who feels energized to create after movement. Similarly, I know plenty of people who use movement to battle writer’s block, imposter syndrome, and other enemies of the creative mind. So, why do so many movement spaces feel closed off to creativity?

In most traditional fitness spaces, movement is considered to be an isolated activity. In a gym, you go there to use the equipment provided–treadmills, weights, and the like. In studios for dance, yoga, or group fitness, you go there to take a class on the modality being offered. In these spaces, you’re not exactly encouraged to stick around for social hour.

More importantly, movement in mainstream fitness is only deemed valuable if it feels like work. Creativity is about experimentation and play. There is a misconception that creativity and work are opposites, and that introducing something “fluffy” like arts and crafts to a gym space would devalue or undermine the goals of the space.

For body positive fitness professionals, incorporating creativity into a movement space brings incredible value to your clients and represents a radical shift away from movement as a boring, painful, or obligatory health practice. Instead, clients can start to see movement as a one of many tools available to them that work together to promote Full Health. Here are three ways that you can start to bring creativity into your movement practice:

Clear Some Creative Space

Think about areas of your movement space that could host a creativity station. This could be as simple as a chalkboard, a space on the lobby wall, or a window that you keep dry erase markers next to. You can make creative prompts part of the practice, like “Draw how [your movement practice] makes you feel” or “What’s your favorite animal?” or just leave writing tools out for clients. Waiting for class to start is a great time to doodle!

Pair Movement with Art

Consider hosting special events that intentionally bring movement and creativity together, like a paper plane circuit relay. You could also partner with local organizations that offer art classes to develop programming like movement-based acting classes, yoga paint nights, or Weights and Watercolors.

Personalize Client Progress

If your clients like to use progress tracking, encourage them to include non-numerical ways of sharing their achievements. A journal that includes writing, drawing, stickers, or painting can help foster the relationship between movement and creativity. This can also help clients learn new ways to tell the story of their progress in ways that numbers don’t always capture.

Come to the BPFA Inclusive FitPro Summit and Get to Connect with Kate!

Register for the BPFA Inclusive FitPro Summit

Announcing the Final Summit 2023 Speakers!

Headshot of Kat Horzempa

Expansive Marketing Practices

with Kat Horzempa

What story is your company telling? Are you effectively communicating your company’s values? Do you practice the values you promote? In Expansive Marketing Practices, Kat Horzempa will explore ways to authentically communicate with the communities you serve through expansive marketing practices

Kat Horzempa (she/they) is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Operations of Body Positive Fitness a queer-led, fat-centered hybrid movement company based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Kat is actively dedicated to building fat-liberated, anti-racist, gender-affirming expansive spaces for joyful movement. An administrative leader with a specialization in sales and marketing, Kat has spent over a decade in operations management in nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Their work has spanned the fitness, arts, education, manufacturing, and tertiary sectors.

Body Positive Fitness (@BodyPositiveFitness_) is a home for folks excluded from or unwelcome in mainstream fitness spaces—no matter your size, gender, disability or fitness level. Both online and in-person, Body Positive Fitness offers group classes, group training, personal training, running club, workshops and free community events, including a monthly book club hosted by Kat which highlights books from the body positive and fat liberation movements. In addition to being an ant-diet advocate, Kat is passionate about performing arts and has played many roles on and off stages in Canada and Spain.

Headshot of Vysh Sivakumaran

Movement Break & Discussion Around What Toxic Fitness Is & Isn’t

with Vysh Sivakumaran, CPTN-PT

Vysh (vai-sh) (she/her) is a certified strength coach, trauma informed yoga instructor, & a fitness industry leader in the Toronto community — working to create inclusive, body neutral, and accessible fitness, through 1:1, group, and corporate services within her online fitness community, Fitness in Place (FIP). With her powerlifting background and quick adaptation at the start of the pandemic, she was awarded Canfitpro’s Fitness Professional of the Year Award. She advocates passionately for representation in the industry for South Asian women, but more broadly, aims to be a voice for all people who may face barriers in the wellness. (Follow Vysh at @vy_she_lifts , @Fitness_In_Place, or on Linked in:

Vysh is a member of the Advisory Panel and content contributor at CanFitPro. Check out her recent article: “Trauma Informed: Practices to Keep Fitness Spaces Barrier Free to Everyone”.

Trainer Tip – Many Fitness Terms sound violent…Try switching to more Peaceful and Accurate words when Possible.

Trainer Tip – Many Fitness Terms sound violent…Try switching to more Peaceful and Accurate words when Possible.

Landmines, manmakers, skull crushers, butt blasters, battle rope, boot camp, etc… Many fitness terms sound violent and intimidating. Taking the time to notice what terms in our own practices invoke unnecessary violence is an opportunity to develop language that more accurately describes the actual exercises. Better descriptions = more clarity. Increasing clarity reduces intimidation and clients that are less intimidated are more likely to stick around. Yay retention!

Have you switched up any terms in your practice? What was that experience like?

Are you a FitPro working to make the industry more accessible for all people? Join BPFA Inclusive FitPros! Our Learning Community exists to make meaningful connections between likeminded fitness professionals. Make friends, ask questions, and participate in continuing education. We’re here to be your fitness family that celebrates all bodies!


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Sneak Peek: Summit Presentations

Sneak Peek: Summit Presentations

What to Expect at the BPFA Inclusive FitPro Summit 2023:

Business skills workshops led by industry trailblazers, body-positive fitness demos, and social time to network. Everything we do has hands-on components and action items so you are empowered to make concrete change right away!

Presentation and Movement Topics

  • “5 Ways FitPros Can Utilize Intuitive Eating with Clients” with Leah Tsui , MS, RDN, LDN
  • “Deconstructing the Fitness Industrial Complex” With Authors Justice Williams and Damali Fraiser
  • “Friendly Competition: Creating a Fitness Enviroment that is Both Competitive and Welcoming” with Katie Feeley and Laura Vineyard
  • “Kettlebell Technique” with Damali Fraiser
  • And MORE!

Interested in Sponsoring Summit?

We’d love to work with you to create a mutually beneficial partnership. In exchange, we are providing various levels of exposure and access to a large and committed audience in the inclusive fitness community. Check out our 2023 Sponsorship Packet.