About Wholistic Fitness

Namaste Noble Fitness Warrior!

For almost thirty years, I’ve been coaching recreational and professional athletes using a training philosophy called Wholistic Fitness™.

If you’re attracted to Eastern disciplines like yoga and meditation … yet have always viewed them as separate from your chosen sport, then here’s your Wake Up call!

Fitness as a Spiritual Practice

In Wholistic Fitness, we view spiritual development and improved sport performance as two sides of the same coin. While you work out, you’ll also work within. You’ll learn how to calm your mind, you’ll acquire laser-like focus, and you’ll gain an almost magical ability to be more effective in your sport with less conscious effort.

We view fitness as a spiritual practice, and we train with an entirely different intent than do most athletes:

  • We view lifelong exercise as a vehicle for spiritual growth and transformation.
  • We don’t train for sport performance, we train to live more integrated, balanced lives (improved sport performance comes via release instead of attainment).
  • We see the gym as a Temple … weights, treadmills, yoga blocks, and other equipment as spiritual tools.
  • We view each workout as an opportunity to explore and cut through our mind’s limiting beliefs.
  • We focus on maintaining an attitude of “effort, not struggle” in everything we do.
  • We feel that “our workout is everywhere.” Not just in the gym, in the yoga studio, or on the trail …

Coach engaging mental focus
during Padmasana crunches.
(Photo by
James Q. Martin)

Wholistic Training

Since its inception in 1982, Wholistic Fitness has conveyed the principle of wholeness. In my own Practice, I realized that my cardiovascular fitness had benefited tremendously from my strength training. I also knew that my nutrition patterns could not be separated from the quality of my training, recovery, health, and performance. Yoga kept my body expressive and injury-free while my meditation practice imparted depth, clarity, and spiritual meaning to my physical fitness.

This five-limbed approach to fitness (Strength, Cardiovascular, Yoga, Meditation, and Nutrition) seemed commonsense to me. Living it produced a comprehensive, balanced training effect. It produced a “wholistic” reward.

As the years passed, I expanded on my philosophy. I wanted this path to touch everyone, not just hard-core athletes, so that even sedentary people could benefit from my work. That is when I began to synthesize four simple lifestyle principles with the fitness disciplines: Breath and Posture, Mindfulness, Appropriate Action, and Practice.

Padma Hamasana.
(Photo by
Dorit Thies)

Spiritual Awakening through Discipline

As my teacher Rinpoche Trungpa said, “Like the river which leads to the ocean, so too does the narrow path of discipline lead to panoramic awareness.”

Wholistic Fitness is less about sport performance and more about spiritual awakening through the discipline of training. The athletic successes of my students are peripheral to the inner rewards they receive from daily practice.

The theory particular to Wholistic Fitness is that sport performance is a by-product of personal growth. In other words, we don’t really train for sport performance, we train to live more integrated, balanced lives. Sport performance just comes along for the ride!

The Five Fitness Disciplines and Four Lifestyle Principles of Wholistic Fitness affect the emotional, physical, and spiritual bodies. They are easy to learn … however, they take a lifetime to master!

This is a proven Path of wholeness. All you have to do is practice. As Dogen said, “Practice and Enlightenment are one.”

The La Plata Mountains and Dibé Nitsaa,
the Sacred Peak of North.
(Photo by Steve Ilg)

A Steep and Direct Path … “The Mount Kailash of Personal Fitness Training”

As a world-class multi-sport adventure athlete, I’ve seen my share of steep paths. Going up them was never easy. Yet in every case, the journey was worth it … the steepest path brings the deepest rewards.

You’ve likely come to this web site because certain spiritual truths are at operation in your life. These truths may be masquerading as the desire for improved sports performance, fat loss, or overcoming lazy tendencies … nevertheless, spiritual truths they are.

Answer the call. Join those of us who delight in using sports performance training as a form of spiritual growth!

Start up this steep Path, and in just a few short astonishing weeks your family, friends, and competition will be scratching their heads wondering just what sort of magical power Source you’re plugged into.

Explore WholisticFitness.com, and when you’re ready to join us … become a member.

I look forward to your becoming part of our unique tribe.

Om So Ti,

Coach Steve Ilg, CPT/USCF/RYT
Founder, Wholistic Fitness™

Light Years Ahead

“What can I say? I knew you’d be the one to guide me to a National Championship, and you delivered! This work is light years ahead of what anybody else is doing … thanks coach!

– Penny Davidson, two-time National Downhill Mountain Bike Champion

Were It Not for Wholistic Fitness …

“Making it to the start line of this race was an exceptionally difficult challenge for me but I was in the best condition I have ever been in my life, and my spinal problems were under control due to the disciplined yoga which I had been practicing. Were it not for Wholistic Fitness and your wise teachings I would not have made it to the start line let alone the finish line!”

– Austin Dimmer, Lochgoilhead, Argyll, Scotland

More Than Just Advice On Techniques

“I’ve certainly purchased many books on cycling, running, and strength training besides yours, and I incorporate many things into my workouts and life. But I really consider you to be unique, and offering so much more than advice on how to do a pull-up.”

– Kevin Burnett, Livermore, CA

The Value of Training Hard and Soft

“Special thanks to Steve Ilg—climber, writer, coach—who taught me the physical and spiritual value of training hard and soft. (The ‘Ilgster’s books are invaluable guides for anyone.)”

– Joe Glickman, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Rock Climbing (Alpha

I’ve Climbed The Highest Peaks

“Steve has taught me that there is a great deal of science involved with training. With his help I have climbed the highest peak on each continent.”

– Gerry Roach, world-class mountaineer

A Reflection of His Own Integrity

“Steve’s program is a reflection of his own integrity. Ilg can hold his own in more sports than anyone else in the world and it’s his wisdom about training that allows him to be so versatile.”

– Chris Kostman, ultra-distance athlete, in Ultra magazine