Training With Eddie

Author: James Iberson

Sometimes in life, there are individuals who you come across in life who leave you entirely awestruck, even after a single or couple of interactions.

Though a rare phenomenon and occurring for a variety of reasons depending upon the individual, when it does happen, internally you are aware of the impact they are going to leave behind on you.

Eddie Ilic is one of those men.

One of FLY's nominations competition winners pre-opening, there’s a reason why he carries such a presence along with him - and if you aren’t already aware, I’d recommend reading a bit behind his background and own charity project, Eddie’s Street Cuts.

His journey and continued willingness to help those less fortunate is inspirational in itself, but it’s his persistent desire for personal growth which has also left an impact on me.

I first met Eddie in a personal capacity across a number of the FIRE and FORCE classes that we run at the gym, with his enthusiasm and eagerness to improve and get stuck in evident from the get-go.

With his exemplary attendance across the board for a few solid weeks, it was clear he wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity he’d been afforded with his membership and was ready to improve his quality of life in another area by diving headfirst into everything the gym had to offer.

If there’s one thing, as a trainer, I can appreciate and admire more than anything, it’s that hunger to just get a little bit better every time you step foot into a session - and regardless of the size of the challenge an individual has set themselves, it’s the desire for constant progression that stands out.

So, when he approached me asking about some more focused, 1:1 sessions, I was more than happy to be able to lend a helping hand, as well as being incredibly grateful to be chosen ahead of the other stellar trainers that we’ve got on offer here.

When it came to sitting down and getting to the crux of what Eddie wanted to work on, his barriers were evident.

Whilst loving the classes that FLY had to offer, he still had some unfinished business on the gym floor and areas he wanted to work on. His strength training had taken a back seat following a couple of injuries he’d previously suffered and - as a result - his confidence in his ability to lift heavier weight had almost entirely diminished.

Our first couple of sessions were all about recapturing that confidence, reinvigorating his want to lift some considerable weight, and then just nail down a few fundamental tweaks that would see his ability skyrocket.

I decided to take a back to basics approach just to help him get into the groove, but almost instantly I was stunned by just how strong he was already. A couple of small amends in terms of set up and the process behind the lift immediately had him lifting a weight that, as he confessed, was more than he had done whilst he suffered his injuries.

Now, less than a month into our twice-weekly sessions, he has again chucked more load onto these impressive lifts and movements - seeing both a 33% and 20% increase in his deadlift and squat respectively.

I know this is only the beginning of what he is capable of, and for me now it’s all about ensuring that he can realise his potential - being in his corner for whatever he needs of me.

Being in the gym with clients is fascinating and ever-changing, with the variety of individuals you come across and are lucky enough to work alongside, but normally there is one constant…

People lack the confidence and belief in what they are capable of.

Our job as trainers is to play the role of the facilitator. Giving clients that boost they need to smash through the limitations they impose upon themselves.

Every one of us has the capacity and ability to be strong - as it’s not an objective measure in the slightest, it’s all relative to our history, ability and goals.

Unlocking that is all about giving that little nudge, tweak or boost in confidence to set about proving it to ourselves…

Eddie Ilic is the latest person that I hope I’m able to do that for.

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