What Will Eren Legend Do For An Encore?
By Steve Beckley
Photography West Studio
Legends lead by example, so it’s no coincidence that’s the motto of Legend Nation. The most successful Canadian Physique competitor of the last decade is entering a period of transition, brimming with plans both in the immediate future and longer term. Muscle Memory caught up with Eren in Toronto and discussed these many new endeavours of the man who’s truly earned the title of Legend.
What will Eren Legend do for an encore?
At just 26 years old, the man whose name has become synonymous with Men’s Physique in Canada has just completed a whirlwind three years of epic proportion. Did we say epic… how about legendary?
So much has already been written about Eren’s ground-breaking three-year run in fitness, which by no exaggeration has been historical. The Ottawa native, who now makes his home in Toronto, achieved several fitness milestones that had heretofore never been accomplished by a Canadian. Eren’s meteoric ascent to the pinnacle of Physique was truly remarkable, considering his 100 per cent natural drug-free conditioning. Toppling most of the big names in the sport as he did was literally an unbelievable feat, given the handicap of competing all-natural in the face of enhanced physiques everywhere.
But if you want to be the best, you look to those who’ve achieved the greatest heights of success – and so did Eren. Muhammad Ali once said, “I hated every minute of training. But I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now, and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” These words rang especially true for Eren during his four-time undefeated streak, winning competitions of bigger and bigger proportion. Although the idea behind this credo is simple, the depth of sacrifice and perseverance may in truth only be fully appreciated by someone who has endured precisely what Eren did. Between a torn meniscus, herniated lower back, torn pectoral and ACL issues, the Canadian legend soldiered on undaunted, brimming with confidence that the goal of winning a World Championship(and later to be the first Physique athlete to represent Canada at the Mr. Olympia Showdown) was within his grasp. Eren achieved these goals, and the rest is history.
A Pioneer for Physique
It’s no exaggeration to label Eren a pioneer in the fitness division of Men’s Physique. “When it first came into existence in 2012, nobody knew what to look for in terms of posing,” Eren explains. “It was something meant to be distinct from the mainstream in terms of body composition, but there were no clear parameters on how these athletes should or shouldn’t move on stage.”
This is where the soon-to-be World champion took the ball and ran with it. So rarely in bodybuilding is a new Men’s division created (and therein an opportunity to set a whole new paradigm). With astonishing foresight, Eren assumed the mantle of responsibility to guide his peers through a new posing methodology; rather than reserve his creativity and unique approach all to himself, he was happy to lend his guidance to his peers and even his competitors.
“I saw an opportunity for posing to be a platform for a Men’s Physique athlete to express themselves with charisma, poise and sophistication,” says Eren. “I tried to spread the message that it didn’t matter if you were shy or reserved in your life off-stage. The fact of the matter is that when you’re up there in front of the judges, you can reinvent yourself into a whole other being.”
Eren likens the time an athlete poses on stage to an author weaving an intricate and captivating tale. “In my mind, we are entertainers – performers, if you will – telling a story to judges who are familiar with you only to the extent of what you represent on stage.” Such posing is deconstructed technically with ease by Canada’s greatest Men’s Physique athlete. “I strive to work with athletes so they fully understand the biomechanics and synergy of dynamic posing; this includes ensuring that the essence of strength is conveyed from all angles and that the transitioning movements of hands, feet, and whole being tell a story and captivate the judges.”
You can’t argue with success, and Eren’s results clearly speak for themselves. Among his protégés, Eren can boast an all-star lineup of Canadian athletes who all have managed to achieve IFBB Pro status. These include Collis Devin, who will be making his professional debut in Toronto (and who in no time became the 2016 Arnold Classic Men’s Physique Champion); Reggie Dava, a 6-foot-2 Officer of the Law who has previously posed for Muscle Memory and whose stock is soaring; Jean Pierre, the 2016 Natural Mr. Canada Physique champion; and Jay Crawford, who first met with Eren at a posing seminar in Toronto in 2015.
No matter what your field, a tally of over 3,000 clients is a phenomenal measure of success. What is mind-blowing, to say the least, is that Eren accrued such a following (one of the many legions that make up the always-growing “Legend Nation”) without doing a speck of advertising. But it certainly helps when you’re a World champion and you take the time to spread the message of Physique competition to all four corners of the world. Eren has conducted seminars in Italy, Denmark, South Africa and Brazil – not to mention all the work he’s done in Canada and the United States.
The scope of Eren’s work extends a vast distance beyond simply the realm of fitness competition. His clientele includes a wide array of individuals experiencing a full measure of success in terms of personal transformation and also those aspiring to one day set foot on stage. Eren has also extended his reach to those with disabilities and those who were unfortunate enough to experience nasty injuries.
“There’s nothing more rewarding for me than when I hear someone say, ‘I felt helpless and like giving up until I saw the message of global positivity through fitness, health and wellness that Eren preaches: Unity Amongst All.’ I love to be able to make a difference for people to overcome obstacles and seize the opportunity to truly discover themselves,” says Eren.
The Ties that Bind
In spite of his astonishing success (1) in such a short space of time, (2) for someone so young, (3) for a Canadian athlete, and (4) for an all-natural athlete, Eren has never forgotten his roots and the support that helped him become World champion. “Most of the support came from Ottawa, led by my Dad and friends,” says Eren. “I was fortunate to have a lot of people pushing me and propelling me forward.” Eren attributes much of his well-grounded demeanour to a “humble” background in which he was the youngest of the family. As someone who loves and appreciates meaningful quotations, Eren reveals another of his favourites: “Let the depths of your struggles determine the height of your success.”
Fast forward to today, and Eren is a model for charities, fund-raising and philanthropy – and he relishes every minute of it. From emceeing a Zumba event for Mental Health, to participating in the Polar Bear Dip to support the World Wildlife Federation, to the challenging CN Tower “Climb It For Change”, Eren embraces the opportunity to help others in pursuits and concerns external to the fitness industry.
Despite his intention to take a respite in 2017 from such furious levels of competition, Eren will not rule out a comeback to the stage the following year. Like we asked at the beginning of this article, what will Eren Legend do for an encore? Since he’s already achieved everything there is to achieve in Men’s Physique, would the leader of Legend Nation possibly consider a move to the new Classic Physique division?
Time will tell. But when you consider that Eren is used to breaking new ground and advancing new causes with nothing but his own self-direction, one really wouldn’t be surprised, would one?
More information on Eren can be found at: