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Ilya Fishman works at the Bay Club San Francisco as a fitness and Muscle Activation Techniques™ (MAT)-certified specialist, focusing on strength training, athletic conditioning, weight loss and rehab/muscle recovery. A childhood love of basketball as well as cross-country running inspired his passion for fitness.
After getting certified as a personal trainer in 2009 and realizing "it wasn’t enough" to help clients reach their potential, he discovered MAT the following year. It’s a process for evaluating an individual’s ability to develop efficient muscle contractions. "Now I can really help my clients achieve new levels of fitness they never dreamed of before, while making sure they stay injury free," he says.
In one sentence, tell us about yourself.
I was always amazed at the power of the human body and the human brain, which is what drove me to be in the fitness field. Now, through the power of MAT, I get to help others see exactly what I see.
What inspired you to become a trainer/fitness instructor?
I was always an extremely competitive person and played a lot of sports. That love for exercise led me to the fitness field. But I always knew that there was more than just exercise. In 2011, I learned about MAT from some co-workers. It allowed me to have a unique skill to help people in a way I had never seen. After four years of extensive studying and practice, I get to help people achieve goals that were never before possible for them.
What advice would you offer to someone who is just starting in your class?
Start slowly! I have seen many dreams crushed by people wanting to jump into things too fast. Taking your time and learning a skill, and then getting better at it over time is the best way to create long-term results with minimal damage.
I am Eastern European by birth. I immigrated to the United States at the age of nine from Moldova. I am also an avid cyclist so watch out for my yellow and black Bianchi on the road!
If you weren’t in fitness, what would you be doing?
I am a HUGE sports fan, so most likely hosting my own sports talk show. "Mike, Mike and Ilya on ESPN" has a nice ring to it, no?
What are your top three workout jams?
"Beat of My Drum" by Powers; "Get It" by Matt and Kim; and "On My Way" by Axwell^Ingrosso.
Learn more about Ilya at bodymechanicsf.com and follow him on Instagram and Twitter: @bodymechanicsf.