Getting outside the gym to think outside the box -- two of many fitness trends at the conference. Seven-thousand fit pros danced, pedaled, hung out and pumped up the best programming the industry has to offer.
"My first IDEA Conference was in 1986, and it was the International Dance Exercise Association, we're all in our leg warmers and our thongs," said Leigh Crews, TRX master trainer.
Crews says the industry has progressed professionally, showing concepts that are researched and backed by science.
"It was a lot of dance and now with the evolution of the fitness field, it incorporates all aspects: the mind, body spirit, sport-conditioning and training to the elite performer, as well as the everyday fitness enthusiast that's just looking to lose weight, feel great, get their bodies out of pain," said Todd Durkin, owner of Fitness Quest 10.
"We are still moving to music, we're using much heavier weights than what we were. People are learning a lot, there's so many different tools out there on the market now," said fitness expert Amy Dixon.
She's right. Tools like the TRX with sessions featuring the TRX for those over 65 and also for kids. TRX's little brother, the Rip Trainer, is catching on as well.
And what is old is new again. Pole dancing gives instructors a leg up on fitness while mini-trampolines have bounced back with the Jump Sport program. There's even a resurgence of Michael Jackson's "Thriller."
"We've gotten so much more technological, but if you look at Group X, to me Zumba is the 2012 dance aerobics that you and I saw in 1970," said University of New Mexico Professor Len Kravitz.
So true: Zumba remains the hottest dance fitness craze.
Without a doubt the hottest ticket at the convention is on the flight deck of the USS Midway, with 150 fitness pros doing a "Top Gun" workout.
Four top trainers, off-the-hook energy, smart, well-trained adults hard at play.
"It's all body weight exercises," said strength and conditioning coach Peter Twist. "There's such a deep inventory they don't know about so we're going to work core, upper body, lower body, strength, agility, energy systems, just using our own body."
At the IDEA Conference, Elaine LaLanne presented 1980s aerobics icon Jane Fonda with the Jack LaLanne Lifetime Fitness Award, proving age has no boundaries.