#ChiFitExpo Success!

By: Joshua Conner

OrangeTheory Fitness
Me testing the Orange Theory Fitness Rover Photo By JoshuaConner.org

On June 9-10, 2018, Bodybuilding.com presented The Fit Expo ™ Chicago, sponsored by Subway Restaurants at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois. The Fit Expo ™ Chicago was a great success with social media integration, familiar faces and an opportunity that took this intrepid blogger out of his comfort zone.

For $25 Saturday or Sunday, or a $40 weekend package, you will receive access to free samples, classes, cash winning competitions, seminars, and celebrity guests photo ops.

In my prior years of covering The Fit Expo ™ Chicago, my primary motivation was to get celebrity guests interviews. This year, I decided to take a more immersive approach, and give a brief highlight reel of some of the best moments that you can discover at the expo.

The fanfare of The Fit Expo ™ actually began before you even entered the door. Besides, the ticket deals you find by following the special guests on social media, attendees were encouraged to download the Fan! Guru application. The application really helped me get a preview of the great events and information on the special guests expected to arrive. The other pre-show sign up offering was the, “WBFF Workshop: Posing Class & Fitness Modeling Success Seminar” taught by TJ Hoban and Caroline De Campos. My intention for signing up was for an immersive reporting experience, little was I aware I was able to have a fun opportunity to explore outside of my comfort zone.

During the WBFF Workshop: Posing Class & Fitness Modeling Success Seminar is where the fun began. Not only was it taught by Bodybuilding.com Bodies of Work: Volume 6 first couple TJ Hoban & Caroline De Campos, it also had a special guest consultant WBFF Pro Fitness Model Dusten Nelson. Which was a pleasant surprise because Dusten is one of my social media followers.

"WBFF Workshop: Posing Class & Fitness Modeling Success Seminar lead by T.J. Hoban and Caroline De Campos with special guest Dusten Nelson
Photo/Screenshot from Dusten Nelson’s Instagram Stories

It began with the posing class at Main Stage C. It was gentleman first and then ladies. An observation made was this was the first time there were more gentleman than ladies. After some encouragement from Dusten and TJ, I decided to press my luck. I always understood that showing a physique takes work, however I never knew how much mechanics and personality come to play.

“Quarter turn, half turn, and abs pose,” were just some of the many nuggets of wisdom that Dusten taught the guys as he instructed us on how to look ornamental and functional with style and substance.

During the Fitness Modeling and Success Seminar, TJ Hoban and Caroline De Campos enlightened the audience with many golden nuggets of wisdom about the WBFF, social media and the fitness industry.

Joshua Conner, T.J. Hoban, and Caroline De Campos
Me, T.J. Hoban, and Caroline De Campos Photo courtesy of T.J. Hoban and Caroline De Campos

“Looking your best, having the best pose and eluding your best confidence,” said TJ Hoban on the keys of success for the WBFF.

“We are a family, we support each other and help each other,” said Caroline De Campos.

After the seminar, TJ and Caroline had a photo-op, which included Instagram story shout outs.

Social media played a huge role in the Fit Expo ™ this year. Whenever you went to a celebrity guest booth, not only could you get a selfie, they also asked your Instagram handle to give you a shout out.

One celebrity guest who had two days of long lines to get a photo-op was the motivated, brawny and charismatic Brad Castleberry. What made the Castleberry experience so unique, is how he had a meet and greet with every fan, before every photo.

Joshua Conner & Brad Castleberry
Me and Brad Castleberry Photo courtesy of Castleberry Nutrition

In addition to the photo ops, exhibitor booths also gave great experiences.

From competing for an Amazon gift card at the Orangetheory Fitness ® booth, or tasting delicious electrolyte tea from Honest Tea ® .

Vendor Spotlight Honest Tea
Vendor Spotlight Honest Tea Photo by JoshuaConner.org

Ironically, the Fit Expo ™ is a great place to get a cup of iced coffee. Adam Von Rothfelder Strong Coffee Company, offered either a hot cup or cold brew of their delicious healthy coffee.

Joshua Conner and Adam Von Rothfelder
Photo courtesy of Strong Coffee Company

You never know who you will meet at The Fit Expo ™. While taking the Nordic Track challenge at Gideon Akande booth, I ran into a former co-worker from my Command Center security days Abraham Elias (Fit Ops Foundation).


“You never know who you are going to see at The Fit Expo ™,” said Gideon.

One of the most powerful mantras came from Corporate Wellness Speaker and one of the stars of Netflix “The Perfect Physique” film David Morin.

“Focus, intention and action,” said David, during the Meet the All Star Cast of The Perfect Physique film seminar Q and A.

I was grateful to have the opportunity to cover the Fit Expo ™.

Joshua Conner & Matt Christianer
Me and Matt Christianer Photo courtesy of Matt Christianer

The Fit Expo ™ will be coming to San Jose, California on July 21-22, 2018. You can buy tickets here:  https://www.thefitexpo.com/TFESJ_tickets.shtml. 

You can also RSVP for the Official WBFF Workshop: Posing Class & Fitness Modeling Success Seminar taught by TJ Hoban and Caroline De Campos here: http://www.tjhoban.com/events.

I would like to thank Sydney Redisch, Sales and Marketing Coordinator for The Fit Expo, who allowed me to cover The Fit Expo Chicago for my third year.




The Fit Expo

The Fit Expo ™ Chicago comes back to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on June 9-10, 2018. As it returns, I take a look back on it’s success from previous years.

By: Joshua Conner

I will never forget when I first learned about the Fit Expo Chicago. 2 years ago, I was on Twitter, at the time and one of my inspiration, that I followed avidly tweeted that he was going to be there. This caused me to follow the link, and I discovered more of my favorite fitness role models were going to attend. So for weeks, I started posting about how I was looking forward to attending to see these great people from the fitness industry. Little did I realize that the marketing manager at the time, saw me and asked if I wanted to be a blogger for the event through a direct message on Twitter. I ecstatically said “yes”.

The Fit Expo ™ Chicago is presented by title sponsor Bodybuilding.com and Subway Restaurants. The Fit Expo ™ is , “Chicago’s largest, action-packed, health and fitness event,” according to the press release on May 16, 2018.

The press release also states that it will provide attendees with a variety of activities, like fitness competitions, group exercise workouts and healthy eating demonstrations.

“This year, featured competitions and events include; Cross-fit style adult team competitions, Power-lifting, Dodge-ball, Battle of the Bars, and a Fitness Star Model Search. The Fit Expo ™ Chicago will be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, Rosemont, Hall A,” according to the press release.

One of the reasons why I look forward to The Fit Expo ™ every year is because of the celebrity athletes and fitness influencers. Over the course of my time covering the event, I have had a chance to meet some of the most positive people in the fitness industry. Some of which are returning this year. During the course of covering the event, I had an opportunity to interview some of the cast of The Perfect Physique including David Morin, TJ Hoban and Matt Christianer, all mentioned are on the special guest list scheduled to return.


TJ Hoban and Caroline De Campos, who made history being the first couple appearing as the first couple on Bodybuilding.com Bodies of Work will even be teaching a seminar for aspiring models and those who want to compete on the stage.

I also had a chance to meet NBC Strong trainer Bwyile White. Speaking of Strong, another trainer from the show Adam Von Rothfelder is also scheduled to appear representing Strong Coffee Company.

“There will be many celebrity athletes and fitness influencers appearing throughout the weekend including; Fitness Guru, Martial Artist & Tae Bo ® Creator, Billy Blanks; 4X Mr. Olympia Champion Jay Cutler; Social Media Fitness Star, Cassandra Martin; 4 X. Ms. Olympia, Oksana Grishina; social media & fitness personality, Maxx Chewning and internet sensation, trainer & coach, Massy Arias plus many, many more! Seminars and workshops are a highlight of the weekend where you can learn from the pros such as the cast of “The Perfect Physique” Films. Not to be missed is the bodybuilding posing routine Sunday by 2016 Classic Olympia Bodybuilding Winner, Danny Hester accompanied on live vocals by Monique’s Voice,” according to the press release.

“We’re thrilled to be heading back to Chicago for the fourth year and are committed to producing a unique, experiential event,” said Erin Ferries, Executive Director, TheFitExpo™. “Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast, a competitive athlete, a leisure sport fan, a health-minded mom, or you just like having a great time, TheFitExpo™ Chicago has something for,” according to the release.

I highly recommend everyone to attend the Fit Expo Chicago. I am looking forward to it this year. “Adult admission tickets are $25 per day or $40 for the entire weekend. Tickets for children 12 years and under are $10 per day and children under 6 are admitted free. Show hours are Saturday, June 9, 2018 from 10 AM – 6 PM and Sunday, June 10, 2018 from 10 AM – 5 PM. For full information on TheFitExpo™ call (818) 409-6837 or visit www.thefitexpo.com, “ according to the release”.

You can read the press release here: https://www.thefitexpo.com/press-area/2018/TFECH18_pr1.shtml.

I would like to thank Sydney Redisch, Sales and Marketing Coordinator for The Fit Expo, who allowed me to cover The Fit Expo Chicago for my third year.