My name is Ilya and I am the owner of Decolonizing Fitness, LLC. I am a Black non binary trans masculine person who uses the pronouns: (he/they). I am a Physical Therapist Assistant and ACE Certified Medical Exercise Specialist with over 13 years of rehabilitative and functional training experience. I am an educator whose work centers racial, gender and healing justice. I am a member of Self Magazine's Future of Fitness Advisory Board and I am a freelance writer having contributed to Trans Bodies,Trans Selves 2nd Edition , Mashable and AthleteAlly. I love hiking, reading, curating dope musical playlists for any occasion and discovering lots of amazing food!
How Decolonizing Fitness Came to Be
In 2014, when I first started this project, Decolonizing Fitness was known as Forseca Fitness in loving memory of my late friend Big J Forseca.
Forseca Fitness was a mobile personal training service created to help reshape the world of fitness for trans masculine people – particularly Black folks. My work was to highlight the complexities and barriers that we face in mainstream fitness culture, while also building new, more supportive systems to replace them with.
Now, Decolonizing Fitness has grown into a resource hub for people to learn how to meaningfully divest from toxic fitness culture and engage in more inclusive and accessible movement practices.
My goal, as ever, is to make mainstream fitness more supportive to ALL bodies, as well as continue to solidify myself as an educator in the industry and hopefully become a published author someday!
As I push to get this work into mainstream fitness curriculums and personal trainer certifications, you may see less how-to movement videos and more of my writings and educational materials shared in newsletters, on social media
, and on my Patreon
I want to honor my use of this word "decolonizing" in this context while also acknowledging that I believe in the unconditional sovereignty of all Indigenous and African people on this continent.
Follow my journey in helping to make housing more accessible and affordable to our most vulnerable populations.