Hussein Abdeldayem is an ex-football player. He played for Zamalek FC, Wadi Degla FC and he was in the under 21 National Team. He has 13-15 years of football experience, and he is now a Performance Specialist, strength and conditioning coach, teacher, instructor and, last but definitely not least, he’s the technical director of Ignite. We had a quick chat with Hussein AbdelDayem, as he talked to us about Ignite, weight loss and training athletes. 

What motivated you to start Ignite?

As an athlete I played for Zamalek, Wadi Degla and the U21National Team. In 2008-2009 seasons, I traveled to the US on a football scholarship, and a couple of years later I traveled to Spain for a trial period at a Spanish club. Those two experiences taught me what real team conditioning was all about.

Coming back to Egyptian football I suffered several injuries myself, which resulted in many frustrations and eventually me quitting the game. That is when I started researching strength and conditioning and learned about Performance Training. I decided to shift my career and help out athletes by giving them the chance to reach their optimal physical capacity. By doing that, they would be able to compete internationally against other elite athletes.

How did you get to train regional athletic stars? Tell us how did this experience add to you as a coach?

It all started with one athlete, together we worked on his weaknesses and eventually with Ignite's right programming and his dedication, his international raking jumped up. This led to training many more athletes, who also improved in their game and jumped in ranking. Eventually I found National Federation presidents contacting me for their national teams and athletes.

What is the biggest misconception about workout and weight loss?

People think it’s all about sweating, and for many hours, but it is much simpler than that. As amateur athletes, all we need is 1-3 hours a day, what we do for the remaining 21 hours of the day also has a massive impact on our physical and mental status. For example what we eat? How we sleep and move?

Briefly, advise people who want to work out but aren’t motivated enough.

First find a sport that you love playing or find a group that are fun and can motivate you to work out together every day. Today there are a variety of fitness groups across the country, research and ask around, find what suits you the most and give it a try. Then think about what you will be like 20 years from now. Do you want knee and back problems? Or do you want to be a healthy person free of body pain?

What are the best types of clothes and shoes people need to wear during a workout?

People are different and what's comfortable for me can be different for someone else. I would say just wear something that you are comfortable in.

Who do you consider as your life mentor?

I can't say I have one mentor, but if I could call one person a mentor, he would be my late grandfather may his soul rest in peace. He raised me and taught me everything about life and the importance of values and beliefs. I owe all my success to him.

What inspires you every day?

For everyday there is a new inspiration. But, helping athletes achieve their dreams and becoming the best version of themselves is what wakes me up every day.

Now, we would like to know more about your likes and dislikes, so pick one:

1. Push-ups or Burpees?


2. Treadmill or free run?

Free run.

3. Barcelona or Real Madrid?


4. PSP or Xbox?

None - give me a book anytime of the day.

5. Chocolate bar or granola bar?