Celebrity fitness guru Eric "Eric The Trainer" Fleishman died unexpectedly Thanksgiving morning in his Glendale, California, home, the Daily Caller reported. No cause of death has been given publicly for the 53-year-old.
Fleishman's family announced his passing in a post to Instagram Sunday. "We are heartbroken to share that Eric Phillip Fleishman passed away unexpectedly on the morning of November 24, 2022," the post said.
"His wife Alysia, son, parents, and close friends/family are deeply saddened by this event," the Instagram announcement continued. "Eric touched many lives for the better. He was a beacon of light, hope, and love."
Those close to Fleishman asked fans to post photos, songs, and other reminders about the mark he left on the world. "Our hope is to assemble these contributions for a Celebration of Life ceremony in the near term," the post continued.
The late trainer was skilled at whipping law enforcement into crime-fighting shape. During his career, Fleishman had trained several SWAT teams nationwide as well as officers in the California Highway Patrol, L.A. sheriff's deputies, and Los Angeles Police Department members.
Fleishman was also known for his philanthropic outreach. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he used his clout to host a concert for Feeding America charity which raised thousands of dollars.
According to the biography on his official website, Fleishman was also a "frequent contributor" to the magazine "Muscle and Fitness" as well as a member of the advisory board. He was also the host of videos for Muscle and Fitness' online presence.
However, Fleishman made a name for himself shaping and toning Hollywood A-listers who would become friends like Patrick Schwarzenegger, Kirstie Alley, Jason Priestly, and Ethan Suplee. He also trained members of Journey, Nickelback, Def Leppard, and Fallout Boy.
Many of Fleishman's celebrity friends posted their condolences on social media and remembered their pal and trainer fondly. "So sad," is how Patrick Schwarzenegger, son of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and celebrity in his own right, remembered Fleishman, according to CNN.
"Rip Eric. Will miss you," the younger Schwarzenegger added.
Star Martin Kove posted a tribute that included photos of him and Fleishman. "RIP my friend and brother," the "Karate Kid" actor posted with the montage.
"Crushed," actor Matt Lanter of "90210" fame described the feeling. "Eric made such an impact on my life and I don't think he even knew it. I'm just shocked."
It's unusual that a man like Fleishman, who made health and fitness his life and livelihood, would pass away suddenly and without warning. It seemingly follows a pattern that has emerged lately, like the death of healthy 30-year-old bitcoin mogul Tiantian Kullander, who died in his sleep last week.
Perhaps it's just a coincidence or mere perception, but these sorts of deaths were unheard of just a few years ago. It's too early to tell if there is indeed a pattern, but Fleishman's sudden death is troubling nonetheless.