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Meet the athlete: Abu Iliad

The man, who is permanently in rocket mode, should already be known to some from various social networks, especially Instagram, where he provides entertainment with creative vlogs from every area of ​​his everyday life. Yet this is where its true potentials only begin. In addition to his everyday work, the rocket man is a real powerhouse in a wide variety of sports, be it fitness, men's physique, crossfit or MMA. Furthermore, as a personal coach, he has already supported professionals such as Lom-Ali and other elite athletes from various disciplines in achieving their goals. He's also always good for a surprise and amazes with unexpected talents (just take a look at his Instagram account). In this interview you can find out more about his attitude and views on his goals, why it is impossible to reduce him to just a men's physique athlete and what experiences he has had on the way with the Phantom training mask. So: Rocketmode on and off we go.



What was your very first contact with sports, where were your beginnings?

Abu Iliad: I used to play soccer, then karate and jiu-jitsu. However, my health threw a spanner in the works, I suffered five cruciate ligament tears and the doctors diagnosed me that I would always be restricted as a result, let alone ever be able to do sports properly again. That was very, very hard.

However, I didn't let that get me down. Because I was told that it would be helpful to support my joints with targeted muscle training, I took up fitness and weight training. That quickly became a lot of fun for me.

When did you realize that sport is something you also want to do professionally?

Abu Iliad: Sport has always been something that just gave me something. In addition, I never wanted to be dependent on anyone, neither in terms of work nor in other areas.

In 2011 MMA came more and more to Germany, I always enjoyed watching it. This sport was also something that people liked to watch. I have also trained in this area myself as much as possible, but without any ambitions to fight myself. Due to my existing connection to martial arts, the first athletes I coached were martial artists who became aware of me through social networks.

You have acquired a number of licenses in the fitness and training sector, including master personal trainer and performance coach etc. Was that also your goal, to achieve the highest possible licenses in order to be independent from others?

Abu Iliad: Yes, yes. Back then, I had been making my coaching videos via social networks for a long time, back then based on my own experience and with the knowledge I had acquired over time. However, studio owners kept coming along who complained because their clients thought my content was cool and tried to put obstacles in my way.

According to the motto, I don't know what I'm talking about, I haven't completed any training, etc. That's why I decided: Abu, you sit down now and do your licenses, then nobody can tell you anything anymore. And preferably all of them. That's how I went about it.

Nevertheless, I am still of the opinion that a sheet of paper is far from deciding on your skills. You can have any type of semblance there is, but if you don't have the charisma and enthusiasm to instill, or keep building, a passion for the sport in your clients, you'll never be able to do your job well.

Every person is individual, how do you go about realizing their maximum potential?

Abu Iliad: When an athlete comes to me, I don't care what their background is, whether it's a professional athlete, a hobby athlete, or maybe someone who has never done any sport before. To me they are all athletes. Anyone who has the desire to change something about themselves and is willing to work hard for it is an athlete. And my success is his success.

The first contact is sometimes the most important thing. In doing so, I find out what kind of person it is that comes to me. I listen carefully to his goals, determine what previous experience he already has, whether there are health concerns, injuries, etc., i.e. the complete package. I then analyze this precisely in cooperation with various first-class doctors. These are real luminaries who still “believe in the good”, so to speak. Not like when I was told I could never exercise again.

What I value in athletes is that they have to have the will to move forward. A lot also depends on whether we get together or not. As a result, I look at what requirements he still has room for improvement in his individual discipline. If he is an MMA fighter, I check: Is it because of the technique that he is not yet as successful as he could be. Is it possible to improve the explosive power, etc. The whole thing is a very intensive analysis on all levels.

I often only have a little time because, to stay with the example of MMA, the athletes do not come to me three months or longer before the fight, as is actually necessary, but a maximum of 6-8 weeks.

What's your motivation tip?

Abu Iliad: Motivation is something that has to start deep within you. Those who are not able to do this are usually blocked by something. That's what I have to find out and analyze so that I can work on it.

I've always experienced more lows than highs. Despite everything, I always got back on my feet, no matter how great the suffering was. I tell people that. It's about flipping that lever in your head that's holding you in the past and moving on.



who coaches you

Abu Iliad: I don't have anything specific at the moment. Of course I was and still am under supervision. Especially before competitions and during the diet phase, it is important that there is someone who keeps an eye on me. Nothing can replace this outside view.

What is your personal greatest success?

Abu Iliad: My personal freedom. I used to be dependent on something or someone, be it professionally or privately. That's not the case anymore. Today I don't care what comes, because I know it will pass again. Everything has a reason in life, even if it feels extremely hard at the moment, in the situation.

And your biggest "defeat"?

Abu Iliad: There was something in the past that pulled me down extremely, something personal. It still does today, but it will probably be settled in the next few years.

What is your attitude towards tackling problems or obstacles?

Abu Iliad: WAs I have already said: everything has its purpose. Even if it's hard, you have to go through it. Nowadays, many people are strongly influenced by their problems, on all levels, whether work, private, social contacts, etc. Before something like this happens and you are completely inhibited, you simply can't think about it, you have to keep going. Everything else takes care of itself then. This is not something I've heard in any "motivational" video. That's real, I see it in myself every day. A lot of people think, of course, Abu is successful, you can talk like that. But hey, I'm a regular guy, eat the same bread as you, drink the same water. I'm not a VIP, I'm not George Clooney. I am Abu Ilias, proud father of an Elias, but nothing more.



Among other things, you are also an IFBB/DBFV Mens Physique Athlete. How did you find this sport?

Abu Ilias: It developed from the fitness training I did to rehabilitate my numerous injuries. I am someone who needs the challenge and the competition.

When I was still playing football, I trained hard and intensely so that I could be my best in the game. So that at the end of the season it says "Abu Ilias top scorer". I also wanted to compete in fitness and be the best. When I found out that there was such a thing as a men's physique contest, I started training for it.

I was told back then that it was something I would never be able to do. And hey, I did it. Because I had the will and never let it get me down. Even if I'm not on the podium, you gain a lot of experience, you can look at the competition and you have something to work on again. That's why I'm going to start again next spring.

To keep a balance between work, sport and private life or to combine this with each other?

Abu Iliad: In my everyday life, sport predominates in every area, I work in this industry, of course I have to convey a "sporty" appearance to customers, etc. My partner is an athlete herself, which is why she supports me and understands that we are a good team.

Otherwise, time management is the ultimate. If you get up late, you're out of luck with the tight schedule, there's no other way to put it.



Your modeling career started with...?

Abu Iliad: My mother did everything right. I can not say more about that.

And how did you get into Ninja Warrior?

Abu Iliad: It's my wife's fault. We were sitting together watching TV in the evenings when there was a commercial break for the show. At the time she said, "Oh come on, that would be something for you." I said she should just stop doing that, there's no way I would do something like that. After a few weeks I suddenly received an email with an invitation to the casting. I then asked her and she actually registered me there without my knowledge. Out of interest, I went to the casting anyway, was accepted there and always made progress. It started to be a lot of fun for me and that's why I fought hard here too.



How did you come to Phantom Athletics , specifically the Phantom Training Mask?

Abu Iliad: I've been in contact for a while since Phantom Athletics sponsored me. When the idea of ​​the Phantom training mask came up, I was asked if I would like to be part of the team of athletes who are actively involved in the development.

I'm very proud of that. I found the whole thing to be a great idea right from the start, as it made it possible for everyone to train the respiratory muscles to increase athletic performance, which was practicable and easy to use. Breathing is the be-all and end-all of any sport. be it e.g. B. boxing or barbell squats. If you're not breathing properly and your muscles acidify in a matter of seconds, then Sense is powerful. And I couldn't have dreamed that something like this could be specifically trained with a tool.

What was it like for you when you held "your" finished Phantom training mask in your hand for the first time?

Abu Iliad: Just crazy!! I didn't wait long then either. At that time I was very active in CrossFit, so I went into my box and started training with it immediately.

How do you remember your first training session?

Abu Iliad: Very intensive. At first I was a bit perplexed, this feeling of doing sports with the Phantom training mask on my face was still unfamiliar. But that quickly wore off until I almost forgot about her.

How did you go about increasing the intensity further?

Abu Iliad: I gradually approached it. I started at 1 and then always played around with the controller. So, week by week, I've climbed step by step.

How many times a week do you use them and for what type of sport?

Abu Iliad: I usually train with it three times a week at the moment. At the moment I'm only doing strength training due to the off-season, otherwise of course cardio, crossfit or whatever.



Is it also used in coaching?

Abu Iliad: Of course, I also use it here to make the training and coaching process more effective and I also recommend it to every athlete who wants to achieve something.

How has it changed your personal training, what improvements have you made?

Abu Iliad: My performance has increased enormously. I can do more cleans, do more reps. This is a huge advantage, especially for men's physique. Every single rep you've done up to that point counts on Day X on stage and gives you that one crucial edge over your competitors.

I can also cope with higher intensities, I regenerate much better and the fat burning runs as if by itself. rocketlike.

Precisely because I have experienced these results myself, I can wholeheartedly support the Phantom Training Mask.

But there was such a key experience for me. At that time I was still doing CrossFit. The workout that always inspired me the most back then was “Murph” (1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, 1 mile run). After 6 weeks of training four to five times a week with Phantom training mask, I once again dared to "Murph" (without the mask). I did this workout in a sensational time, much faster than ever before and wasn't completely destroyed afterwards, as was usually the case.

What do you consider to be your "most intense" experience with the Phantom Training Mask?

Abu Iliad: In the third training session that I did with the Phantom training mask, I thought to myself, perhaps with a touch of "overconfidence, I could train just as well on 3 instead of on 1. There was a lengthy functional fitness circuit with many different exercises on the plan, in which the repetitions per round were reduced by 10. Starting at 50 with the goal of completing the circuit as quickly as possible, I just went flat out and then realized pretty quickly, "Now I'm running out of breath".

On the other hand, I didn't want to lower the intensity or slow down for any reason. That's when I thought: "Abu, that's it!" But the feeling of having pulled it off was indescribable, just awesome. And it showed that something like this can still be done, even if every voice in your head is yelling "No".

Do you also notice mental improvements, an increased focus?

Abu Iliad: Naturally. This is another awesome effect that I really appreciate. You develop enormous psychological stamina, always giving a little more, challenging yourself even harder. At first it still costs you an effort, but you get used to it. You just have to trust yourself and be open to new things. Yes, and then it's off. Rocket mode!!!

This extremely increased focus on breathing brings you into a state of 100% concentration. Nothing outside counts for you anymore. You only constantly pursue your goal.

With all the adrenaline flooding your body, you develop tunnel vision, like a “flow”. That's really good, it tells you that you're really "in".

You also gain complete control over what you focus on. For example, if after 25 minutes of cardio you realize: "I can't take it anymore", you still do your 60 minutes because it's all just happening subconsciously and you've learned to direct your active attention to something else, not the other way around.



The Phantom training mask is for me...?

Abu Iliad: ...the best training device on the market. Worldwide. Point.

What advice would you give to someone who is completely unconvinced by the Phantom Training Mask?

Abu Iliad: In a society that doesn't know what it's talking about, there aren't enough arguments to dissolve all the paradigms and prejudices. This lack of openness also speaks of demotivation and boredom to deal with something new.

"Nobody needs something like that"; "I'm a physiotherapist. I've had enough training in it to know what I'm talking about." Because people are afraid of change, they deny the unknown the right to exist. But that's always been the case. If the doctors at the time had known what they were talking about and been right, there is no way I would have been able to play sports again, let alone at any level. And now look at me. I made it anyway. I've also come to the conclusion: "Those who want to can, those who don't will always stay where they are right now."

Because of my experience, I protect my visions. Mind you, visions, not dreams. i am not a dreamer I used to talk a lot, now I just do it and then surprise everyone.

Do you already have your next goals in mind?

Abu Iliad: It keeps going. I always try to optimize my training, of course I try to work intensively with the Phantom training mask. Maybe there will be further developments in the near future that I can help with. I think that would be great. One can continue to be excited, the people at Phantom Athletics have by no means exhausted all of their potential, on the contrary, they are just beginning.

And that's exactly how it is with me. There will be a lot of surprises in the near future. Again there will be people who say I'll never make it. And then... I just do it. rocket mode-like. It's going to be a time I'm really looking forward to.



If you, like Abu, want to improve your physical and mental abilities in order to push your body to peak athletic performance, you should take a look at our Phantom training mask!


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