Born in 1988 in Bulgaria, Ilia began playing football in the streets and schools of the neighbourhood he grew up in. After entering primary school, he took football more seriously as a potential career, but for only a few years. In secondary school, he did basketball, and then in high school, rowing.
After graduating from high school in 2008, he ended competing professionally but continued his physical endeavours in the gym with bodybuilding for three years until 2011. In late 2011, he immigrated to Italy (Milan), where he practised callisthenics. In 2014, he moved to the UK and got back into bodybuilding and did it for another two years.
After achieving his goals in bodybuilding, he found himself intrigued by the quickly rising popularity of Spartan races. He jumped right into them and completed three consecutive races. At that time, Ilia was already a coach, and the highly demanding Spartan Race workouts didn’t match with his interest in longevity, so he decided to make a change and started pivoting into martial arts, gymnastics, and flow movement. Ilia’s problem-solving personality is expressed in wanting to fight obesity and create a new and optimized training system for the general population.