Eli Alicea Redefines Your Workout With The Body Lab
Walking into The Body Lab is unlike any gym I’ve ever experienced. Here’s why: the drill at most gyms around the Charleston area is you walk in and show your card to an attendant at the reception desk. They see you three times a week but still don’t know your name. You throw your stuff in a locker and walk into the gym. Everyone is locked into their own music with noise-cancelling headphones. There are some free weights, a line of machines, a bunch of cardio equipment and you. You start wherever you start and do whatever you do without direction. If your form is awful, even potentially harmful, the staff aren’t bothering to instruct you. Have a nice workout.
If you work out regularly, this is all too familiar. Sure, you can pay extra for a Zumba class or boxing aerobics, but no matter how you use it, your gym remains a place – nothing more.
Enter The Body Lab, Eli Alicea’s personal passion project. The Body Lab is more than a place – it’s a concept built on a personal approach to a healthy body. Alicea is a fitness guru, steeped in the science of strength, endurance and functional movement. Based in Big Work Fitness Factory at 16 Conroy St. on Charleston’s East Side, The Body Lab wants to redefine how you approach your workout.
Work With a Trainer Who Works With You
The Body Lab grew out of Eli’s own experiences with knee, ankle, hip and lower back pain and the physical therapy regimen he had to endure at a young age. These experiences sparked his interest in the body’s structures and how they were designed to move – often very differently than how we ordinarily move them.
In a world of prolonged sitting, gazing down at handheld devices, folded into automobiles instead of walking, and weekend bursts of athleticism, every body needs a Body Lab. But there’s only one.
The routine at The Body Lab isn’t routine because it’s custom-made for each body. To make that possible, Eli puts every client through an assessment phase. During this phase he tests their joint range of motion, joint stability, muscular competency and general conditioning. Before any client begins strength training to build muscle, Eli spends three to seven weeks familiarizing them with the meat and potato movements that they must perfect first. As clients learn correct form he adds weight and slows movements to boost difficulty and further test their ability until he is satisfied that the client is ready to succeed in the next level of their workout.
Sound like your gym? Didn’t think so.
Success Founded in Client Relationships
“Everyone starts with the fundamentals, then eccentrics, then isometrics,” Eli says, referring to different kinds of resistance that build strength and flexibility. “We’re always tracking whether you’re improving so we can make modifications on the fly.”
Because The Body Lab is more than a place, what really makes it work is the relationship between Eli and each client. His good health and fitness evangelism is evident the moment you begin talking to him. It doesn’t take long to realize he puts his heart and soul into the client relationship aspect as well.
Every Body Lab client has their own workout agenda and spreadsheet of metrics, tailored to their particular needs. Fads in fitness come and go with trainers latching onto the shiniest new object, but Eli is oblivious to all that. He’s too focused on whether you are optimizing your body movement and his role in improving it. The result is clients who have a strong foundation. They learn the right movements and avoid injury.
Results Speak For Themselves at The Body Lab
The reviews have been uniformly glowing.
“Eli is amazing,” says client April Henry, whose homage is representative of the rest. “He really takes the time and care to address specific strength needs, focusing on form, and teaching the connections between muscle groups. My hips and shoulders were wrecked from past training. He was able to target my weak areas that I had no idea even influenced my pains. AMAZING trainer!”
The Body Lab offers one-on-one training for the most personalized guidance, semi-private training that adds another layer of sociability and accountability, and online training to meet customers’ varied needs. Many people combine the personalized and group training for a complete experience. Others who feel like they know how to execute a plan with just a little direction.
Health and fitness have always been in Eli’s blood, since he saw Bruce Lee and Jean Claude Van Dam vanquish bad guys with their fists, since the days as a child when he crawled beneath his bed and tried bench pressing it. He says exercise makes him a better person and could do the same for you.
“It changes my psychology. If I have a good workout I go home and I’m a better husband. I’m a better son – I call my mother. I’m more altruistic. I have more energy to direct in whatever way I want,” he says.
Eli invites anyone interested in improving the function of their body to give the Body Lab a spin, no commitment necessary. “Leave your wallet at home,” he says, “and come find out.”