Barefoot Training Summit

USA Barefoot Training Summit – Featured Presenter – Dr Cody Sipe

We are fast approaching the USA Barefoot Training Summit this May 15 – 17 at ProjectMOVE in Littleton, CO!

CodyHeadShotShouldersAs we prepare for this unique 3-day event I took a few minutes to sit down and chat with one of our presenters – Dr Cody Sipe.

As Co-Founder of the Functional Aging Institute, Dr Cody Sipe (along with Dr Dan Ritchie) have been paving the way in the concept of functional longevity and re-defining the importance of movement programming as we age.

Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions Dr Cody Sipe.    For all who may not be familiar with you and your company Functional Aging Institute can you briefly describe why you started FAI and the mission of your education company?

FAI is the culmination of about 15 years of experience and the past several years of blood, sweat and tears.  We started FAI so that we can make a difference in the lives of older adults in this country and around the world.  There aren’t enough trainers that really understand how big of an opportunity this market is for them and their careers.  They also don’t understand how much these people need them to be properly trained in how to work with them safely and effectively.

For many years trainers would ask us what the best certification for training older adults was and, after carefully reviewing most of the ones out there, we determined that we couldn’t fully endorse any of them.  So we decided to create our own.  We have two missions at FAI.  The first is to help older adults “do the things they NEED to do, LIKE to do and WANT to do easier, better and with less discomfort”.  Our second mission is to help trainers build a successful, rewarding and meaningful career training mature clients.

We are excited to have you on the presenter line-up at the first-ever Barefoot Training Summit coming this May 15 – 17 in Denver, CO.    What are you going to be speaking about?

There are a lot of different approaches to training older adults that people use.  Most of them are based on false assumptions, stereotypes, myths, misconceptions and a lack of information.  On one extreme we have those that completely ignore the fact that someone is 60 or 70 years old.  They train them just like they would anyone else without recognizing their individual needs and considerations.  On the other extreme we have those that train them like they are going to break.  They treat them with kids’ gloves and baby them acting like they’ve got one foot in the grave already.  Then there is pretty much everything in between.

I am going to share effective, evidence based training strategies that are appropriate for a wide variety of older clients based on the model of training we have developed called the Functional Aging Training Model.  It is a model that is not only safe and effective but also very popular with this group.

What your belief about barefoot training for seniors or what EBFA calls “Barefoot Baby Boomers”?

Our model of training emphasizes a comprehensive approach that addresses areas that are vital to maintaining physical function.  Areas such as muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance are obviously important to address but just focusing on these two areas is insufficient.  Barefoot training is a strategy that uniquely addresses areas such as somatosensation and proprioception that are also critical to physical function in older adults and that are NOT addressed by traditional training methods.

I believe that barefoot training has the potential to improve gait, balance, mobility and overall physical function in this population more so than these traditional training methods.
To learn more about Dr Cody Sipe, the Functional Aging Institute and the upcoming Barefoot Training Summit please watch the following video: 
To see full session schedule and registration info for the May Barefoot Training Summit please visit 
Barefoot Training Summit

Barefoot Training Summit Presenter Spotlight – Stacey Lei Krauss, Creator willPower & grace®

As barefoot training STACEY LEI KRAUSScontinues to gain traction within the fitness industry, EBFA wanted to take a few moments and speak with Barefoot Training Summit Presenter and Creator of willpower & Grace® (wPg) – Stacey Lei Krauss.

In 2000, Stacey introduced her first barefoot fitness class and now 13 years later wPg can be found health clubs and movement studios across the world.   Stacey has played a key role in the growth of barefoot training within the fitness Industry and we proudly welcome her to both the Delhi and Denver Barefoot Training Summits!

Thank you for taking a few minutes to answer my questions and share with our readers your passion for barefoot training and foot fitness. In 2000 you first launched your willPower & grace® workout. Can you tell us a little bit about the history of wPg, what led to the creation of a barefoot workout and what the name represents?

In 2000, I was living in NYC – developing a smart workout for discerning NYC ladies. I blended elements of cardio, strength, endurance and flexibility; a workout that could “get it all done” in an hour.

Mindful movement, at this time was still a “specialty” – in fact, most fitness consumers didn’t even know what Pilates was. I wanted my students to be aware of their bodies – to work with precision and focus. My workout evolved into a sequence that challenged my students to work without props (weights and steps). I fused functional training with old school calisthenics and dance, yoga fundamentals and Pilates principals. It became a fusion of the industry’s most efficient and effective workouts. I began to see movement quality improve, and I loved what I saw. We had started working “smarter” instead of harder.

The name? At the time, it was a play on “Will & Grace”, the hit TV show about hip NYC singles. As I coached my class, I cued “building willPower like a muscle” (self control) and “moving with grace” (elegance of action). Post 9.11, however, the philosophy grew much stronger. Each exercise started to have its own metaphor with regard to cultivating strength and flow in everyday life.

I was surprised, and honored when an instructor asked me if I would teach her my format. From there, the program began, and now, here we are, 13 years later… and we’re global.


Have you always had a love for feet or did you have an experience that made you want to focus on foot fitness?

I grew up dancing and I was barefoot whenever I could be. As an adult and a fitness professional, when I took aerobics classes, I was barefoot. Of course, when I taught I wore my “uniform” – highly cushioned and supportive shoes.

One summer morning, I walked to the gym in flip-flops. When I arrived in the studio, I realized I’d forgotten my athletic shoes. So, I announced that I’d be teaching barefoot. With this, a few of my students asked if they could kick off their shoes as well. Since our workout was equipment-free, I didn’t need to worry about my students dropping weights on their feet.

What I saw (and heard) amazed me. It was natural for me to move effortlessly and gracefully across the floor without cushioning. I didn’t make a sound. However, my students were thudding, clunking and banging their skeletons against the hardwood floor. Wow!

What a moment. I realized then, that I had a tremendous teaching opportunity. And so it began. willPower & grace® became one of the first “modern” barefoot cardio workouts, and certainly the very first to cue foot fitness as a fundamental concept.

As a bizarre side note, my high school year book aspiration was “To walk barefoot in the sand, with the world at my feet.” Being that I didn’t grow up on the water, or even near a beach, I think someone “up there” was making plans for me.

What is your response to the increased awareness in foot fitness and barefoot training that is happening throughout the fitness industry? Has barefoot training reached its peak? How big do you see barefoot training becoming within the industry?

My response to the increased awareness? IT’S ABOUT TIME

It’s been a tough decade, as I’ve needed to convince people to take their shoes off and exercise the feet the way they exercise the rest of the body. Until a few years ago, there was no evidence-based information that supported foot fitness. Now, as the Fitness Advisor for Vibram FiveFingers® (the shoe with toe pockets), I present to fitness professionals and consumers about how to train the feet and the multitude of benefits.

Thanks to Born to Run, running has become the modality that’s brought barefoot training into the spotlight – but what I teach reaches far beyond running. This is the evolutionary path that our industry will need to take.

From an industry perspective, barefoot training is barely in its infancy. I predict that within 5 years we will not see cushioned, structured shoes in the fitness arena at all. Those big bulky shoes will be sitting in a box with those big leather lumbar support belts that we used to wear.

Not familiar with willPower & grace®?

Check out the video below!


Stacey Lei Krauss is schedule to teach at the Delhi Barefoot Training Summit 13 – 15, March 2015 and Denver Barefoot Training Summit May 8 – 10, 2015.

In addition, Stacey will be teaching her willpower & grace® Certification as a Post-Conference on 16, March 2015 in Delhi, India

Learn more or register by click HERE

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Barefoot Training Summit

EBFA Hosts First-Ever Barefoot Training Summit in 2015



Top International Presenters to convene in Delhi March 2015

NYC-based health & fitness education company to host the first-ever conference dedicated to the advancement of barefoot science, movement efficiency and from the ground up training.   Joined by top International presenters from the USA, UK, Spain and Hong Kong, EBFA Fitness is the first global company to take the concept of “barefoot” beyond running and apply these techniques to fitness, performance and rehab.

The Barefoot Training Summit is set for 13 – 15, March 2015 at the beautiful Anya Hotel in Gurgaon, India.   Conveniently located near the New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, EBFA Fitness CEO Dr Emily Splichal is expecting to attract delegates from all over SE Asia.

“Over the past several years I’ve seen a paradigm shift in the industry towards the importance of the (bare)foot in fitness and rehab.   It is very exciting to see coaches now warming up their athletes barefoot or therapists activating the foot before initiating patient rehab” Splichal proudly states.

“The Barefoot Training Summit is our way to continue to spread the power of barefoot science and take the word “barefoot” to mean much more than running!”

About EBFA Fitness

Founded in 2012 by Podiatrist and Human Movement Specialist, Dr Emily Splichal, EBFA is a global continuing education institute created to provide scientific and research-based curriculum for health and fitness professionals with a focus on foot fitness and barefoot training.   Their barefoot programs are now in over 15 countries and translated to 8 languages.

To learn more visit or or email us at