Deerfield personal trainer strives for functional fitness
BY JACKIE PILOSSOPH For Sun-Times Media | @divorcedgirljp October 8, 2013 11:47AM
Oleg Danilov is a Deerfield-based trainer, who is also a member of the USA National Weight Lifting Team, and a former strength coach for the Chicago Bulls and the University of Wisconsin Madison football team. | Jackie Pilossoph/For Sun-Times Media
Oleg Danilov Sports & Fitness Consulting
Where: 158 S. Waukegan Road
Updated: November 10, 2013 6:19AM
People might hire a personal trainer to lose weight, get in shape, have better endurance, be healthier, or to look and feel better overall.
Oleg Danilov believes in all those goals, but has a unique approach to personal training.
Danilov is a Deerfield based-trainer, who also happens to be a member of the USA National Weight Lifting Team, recently taking second place in the 2013 World Masters Weight Lifting Championship. He trains his clients like athletes, which to him means improving functional performance.
“My motto has always been ‘train like an athlete, look like an athlete, be an athlete,’” said Danilov. “Looking good becomes a byproduct of improving athletically, by training in a way where your body is balanced.”
Growing up in Belarus, the former republic of the Soviet Union, Danilov was an Olympic weight lifter who won several championships.
Speaking very little English, he came to the United States in 1991 when he was 23, and got a job as a personal trainer first at Bally Total Fitness, followed by East Bank Club. But Danilov always continued competing in weight lifting.
“It gives me the strength to do anything I want, and that carries over to my clients,” he said. “I want them to look at me and say, ‘This guy is doing it, so can I.’”
Danilov’s career also includes his position as assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Chicago Bulls from 1995-98. He said the team played the most games in a three year span without sustaining injuries, which he believes can be credited partially to weight lifting.
Following his job with the Bulls, Danilov was the strength and conditioning coach for the University of Wisconsin Madison football team, during which time the team won back-to-back Rose Bowls, and about 60 percent of the players ended up in the NFL, he said.
Danilov left the University of Wisconsin Madison to move back to Chicago and start a family. Since 2006, he has been running his business, Oleg Danilov Sports & Fitness Consulting out of IHP, The Institute of Human Performance, a facility that houses 60 independent trainers.
His client base ranges from 8- and 9- year old children who need to learn motor skills to adults of all ages and fitness levels.
“This is a premier facility because it allows you not only to train, but to improve your performance,” said Danilov, who lives in Vernon Hills with his wife, Svetlana and their two children. “There’s yoga, Pilates, cross fit training, weights, all kinds of options that allow me to customize every workout.”
Melissa Grund is an attorney in Chicago, who has been a client of Danilov’s for 13 years.
“He’s a world-class trainer,” said Grund, who drives to Deerfield from Chicago every week to train with Danilov. “We have hardcore workouts, but he’s not just about getting your body in shape, he trains you in a way that is encouraging and motivating, and he gets that mind-body connection.”
“I’ve seen five personal trainers and 10 doctors about knee pain and he is the only person who has been able to reduce my pain by 75 percent,” said client Adam Kooperman of Deerfield. “He focuses on the way the body works, stretching and getting the whole kinetic chain aligned.”
Danilov offers one hour private and semi-private sessions, as well as group training sessions.
“My goal is to make every person I work with better athletically,” he said. “If I do that, I’ve done my job and taken them farther away from being unhealthy and unfit.”
“He does whatever is necessary so that his clients feel good, look good and live a healthy, balanced and fit life every single day,” Grund said.