DBA Workout Room Daniel Frey Fit Drills Interview

Deep Body Awareness – Awareness through Movement

Daniel Frey is a Swiss personal trainer who found his dream job. He developed his own training style together with the participants in his small group workouts. It’s called Deep Body Awareness, a full body workout for everyone interested in longterm health and physical performance.

Name: Daniel Frey (DF)
City: Lachen, Switzerland
Sport: Fitness, Health Training
Education: Fitness Instruktor SAFS, BodyArt
Profession: Personal Trainer, Deep Body Awareness Workouts, Tennis Cross Training

Interviewer: Andreas Schneider (AS)
Date: 02.08.2018

You are a personal trainer who works mainly with groups these days. Can you explain how this works for you?

This is very valuable for everyone. For the individual participant training is not too expensive. But you do not have to do without personal care. And for me as a coach, this also results in a good hourly wage with less risk if somebody does not come to training. Last but not least, with a group I look after the same number of participants in a much shorter time.

What are the advantages of training in small groups?

People would probably come by themselves if the price were not too high, but in the group the vast majority find it more motivating. They have more fun, appreciate the social contact with a certain commitment and mutual motivation in the group. This often results in real friendships.

I already mentioned the advantages for the trainer.

How many people come to your group training? And how many people do you look after as a coach?

At the moment this is 8 – 9 hours Deep Body Awareness per week. There are about 6 – 8 maximum 9 participants. Together with Tennis Cross Training there are about seventy people in total.

What are the most important training goals of your customers?

Being healthy and active is certainly the main goal. No neck and back pain, fun skiing and hiking without knee pain, sleep better, holistic movement for a good attitude to life, general agility or touch the ground with your hands. These are some more goals I hear more often. Maybe that’s because most people in my group workouts are between 30-55 years old – the oldest participant is already around eighty. The tennis players are about performance sports. These are young talents who later want to play professionally or in a college team.

Equilibrium is an important goal for everyone, but very few people claim it to be their goal from the start. When hiking over a narrow ridge in the mountains or in winter on the skis, people then realize that they have got a better balance. And of course it is also important for competitive athletes. At home, you can exercise your balance well while shoe binding or brushing one leg.

Do women and men have the same training goals or are there differences from your point of view?

I think the goals are pretty similar. Women may be a bit more weight conscious, but the men are just the same.

What do people expect from you?

For me, people are looking for fun-oriented, effective full-body training in a family atmosphere. Because new participants come to me almost always on the recommendation of existing regular customers, it is already clear to them from the beginning that they want the same as this one. I walk around in normal training clothes, no fancy brand clothes, totally normal stop. The program is simple. There are no fixed rules. Much is open. Load yes, to the limit yes, otherwise there is no development. Nevertheless, stay balanced. Untrained, overweight and top athletes, anyone can join. No one gets hung up. Nobody leaves without training stimulus. There is more laughter during training and sometimes jokes are also made. The whole thing takes place in a very family atmosphere, but without peer pressure, you can just come and go again. The participants communicate with me and with each other in a common WhatsApp group. If someone quits, someone logs on from the waiting list. Some share so even small reports or photos from their holidays, … all completely voluntary.

You have developed your own training program with Deep Body Awareness. How would you describe that?

With Deep Body Awareness, no topic is in the foreground. Everything is mixed to pick up the body in many places. It’s about specifically challenging the body so that it progresses, but always balanced and with lots of fun and variety. Every two months there is a new program. The structure is more for variation, not for systematic one-way performance improvement. So it is also possible for beginners at any time. Depending on the course of progress, which I observe in a group, I set spontaneous emphases again and again.

Deep Body Awareness has definitely been developed with my participants. After training in Bodyart Fitness with Robert Steinbacher I started to teach after this program. The echo from my customers was great. But they also told me that they lack training on the MFT Balance Board and also my personality and personality. I understood that as a nice compliment and started creating my own programs. First, I put the music together. Then I go to the training room to build the program. One can imagine this as a painter who stands in front of the white canvas and then begins to develop his artwork.

As a coach, I also see myself as a painter who has developed his own style of training. The basic model of an hour remains the same, but I am always inspired to make small changes. The final training program will then continue to evolve with the participants, both within and between a cycle. So the program is often quite finished only after the third or fourth training with the group.

Could you briefly explain the structure of a training session?

A workout lasts about an hour, sometimes 75 minutes:

Back mobilization. Here the exercises always stay the same

Balance exercises with the Balance Board – MFT Challenge Disk

8 – 10 minutes endurance with slightly faster music

Calm part with yoga, strengthening and mobilization

Mostly a few hull exercises

Shut down on the swinging cushions with meditative music.

What is your secret of success with Deep Body Awareness?

When fitness training is often promised in marketing something wrong or unattainable and then it often results in a training stress and disappointment. Motivation is so lost. That’s why I also see concrete goals as a side effect. When you reach them, it creates additional motivation.

It’s possible for me to work this way because I’ve gained a lot of experience with different systems in strength training, Feldenkrais, BodyArt Fitness, MFT Balance Board. Balance training I have taught in the health coach training for years.

Another secret might be that my job is not about money. This shows in my friendly contact with the participants and in a generous no-show regulation. I do not watch the clock strictly during the training and I am there for the participants before and after. I think that’s why so many of my subscribers have been regulars for many years.

Do you know other similar programs?

No. The mixture is very unique. Not better than others, but tailored very directly to me and my clients.

How did you come to work as a trainer in the fitness and health sector?

The joy of fitness training I found early in my own training in the fitness center. That was at Schneider Fitness in Rüti. In addition to my training as a sports merchant, I regularly trained salesmen there during my free time. At some point I asked if they could use a coach. Then I completed my basic training as a fitness trainer at SAFS. Until today I still like to think back to this time. These seven years with the Schneider Fitness Team have been the best time for me as a fitness trainer.

What inspired you? What motivated you to stay here today?

I think that was because of the special mixture, as we passed on the training at Schneider Fitness. Goal-oriented fitness, but also health and every single person as a whole were just as important to us. No matter where he came from, how he looked and how athletic or unsportsmanlike he was.

At that time we also called it fitness, fun and wellbeing …

Exactly and the fun one could actually have called good first. And that was also the case in the team. We did not feel like going to work. It was more associated with leisure and coming home.

What other activities did you later do?

I soon trained as a masseur and then worked mostly as a trainer and 50% as a massage therapist about 50%.

Later, training in kinesiology was added. I wanted to better understand how to query the body directly, what the person needs and what is really good for him. Sometimes you can not exactly express that yourself. You just have a vague idea and maybe that’s not what I’m doing right now. I was able to continue here with the kinesiological muscle tests. With this I have developed even more in the direction of health-oriented training.

After some time as a coach, I wanted to do something new and went first on a longer journey. After working in another fitness club, I switched to Montana Sport SX as a home gym equipment salesman. My clients were mainly hospitals and sports shops. When we added the MFT Balance Board to the assortment, I was responsible. This unique, simple device trains your balance in a very efficient and versatile way. It has become another main branch of my activity to this day. MFT devices are an integral part of any of my workouts.

You can feel that you are still excited about your work.

Why is that?

The work with the people who come to my training gives me until today always a lot of joy and satisfaction. They give me motivating feedback on your small and bigger successes, and often, working with you over time creates a real friendship. That’s 80% of my enjoyment in this work. That’s why I only have regular customers. It is rather rare that new ones are added. Almost always, these are then acquaintances of existing customers.

What is your best experience so far? Except the feedback of your customers

The best thing is for sure, when people have complaints and have already tried many things to get rid of them and after a few hours with me they feel the progress or even completely painless. Of course, there are relapses, where again physiotherapy or osteopathy are needed. Then it’s nice to see the therapist recommending the same exercises we did in training.

Have you never had enough and wanted to stop?

Hmm … I wonder if there is something else I have done again and again, but not because I had enough or my work made me no fun anymore. I have a dream job, work a maximum of 22 – 24 hours a week. There is also some office work.

That sounds great! Do you also practice other sports in your free time?


I actively participate in my own training sessions. Especially at the beginning of a new program, I do all the exercises. Later I walk to the individual participants and give tips and feedback. This results in 8 – 9 hours of training per week even for myself. In addition, I give personal trainings and tennis cross training for tennis players in competitive sports. And parallel to the current program, I’m already developing the next one in parallel. This is also very practical in the training room. I do not really need any additional training for myself afterwards.

Of course I also have friends outside of the training, but it is already very well mixed with people from my training groups. And a small downside of my job is sure that in my free time I sometimes have a little less desire to meet new people, to invite friends. This need is already very well covered by the work.

Do you plan to spread Deep Body Awareness and multiply your success?

If a single coach wants to learn from me how I do that, then I would certainly like to support that. That would be interesting for me too. At the moment I have no one who could represent me when I go on vacation. Luckily I’m only very rarely. Robert Steinbacher has built up a successful holistic training program with BodyArt Fitness and has also spread it internationally. Of course, there is a lot of commitment, work and talent behind him. He invests a lot of time and energy and is often on the road. Nevertheless, he also continues to teach many hours of training.

For me, such a double commitment to market my program as a product is actually not an issue. That just does not match my personality. I also love my free time too much and like to be there often with my dog ​​in nature, for example. I still like to go into further education myself to be inspired.

What I could imagine that in the future I would pass on my experience by developing for other trainings.

Training plans and protocols is of course an interesting topic for Fit Drills. In the past, you spent a lot of effort in the fitness center to write a good workout plan for each client for their fitness training. What role does this play in your current work?

Written training plans play virtually no role now. There is a new program every two months in the DBA, which is then repeated fairly quickly. And I’m always there as a coach. Only if I give people tips for training at home, then I still write them a little plan. As in the past by hand, with a short description and sketched stick figures. That still happens, for example, when people want to continue training during their holidays.

Which online fitness tools play a role in your work?

Actually, only WhatsApp. On Facebook and Instagram, I post sporadically photos, for example, after a barbecue event, …. The number of followers is growing very slowly but continuously. But nobody has come to my training yet on this path. About the Google search and my Website but also new people have come to my training.

I use YouTube very rarely to find new ideas, especially for the endurance section.

But from my point of view, I could just as well work without the Internet.

The administrative effort is fortunately manageable for me. Participants do not need a card for check-in. This works quite simply with WhatsApp and I then hand over an index card for each participant. After 10 training sessions you will receive an invoice for the next 10 series by mail.

From your point of view have the expectations in the fitness industry since the nineties changed in general?

Yes, it has even changed a lot. I do not want to work in the gym anymore. But with me in the groups it is still as familiar as at Schneider Fitness.

Today, I watch people go by with headphones. Everyone trains for themselves, no one talks to the other. Plans are increasingly coming from the Internet and no longer from the coach on site. But even in a team it is not so much a togetherness. You come, do your thing and go on again.

What would be your tip for young sports enthusiasts who want to turn their hobby into a career?

Although I do not want to work there today, I still find the start in the fitness center very valuable. Having a good basic education and then gaining a lot of experience with personal trainings is a good start. Then the rest, depending on how you develop yourself.

What would be your tip for young sports enthusiasts who want to turn their hobby into a career?

Although I do not want to work there today, I still find the start in the fitness center very valuable. Having a good basic education and then gaining a lot of experience with personal trainings is a good start. Then the rest, depending on how you develop yourself.

Anything else from you?

What is becoming increasingly important to me is the consideration of the mental side of man. I would like to develop further there.

Physical training, nutrition is very important … but I also believe that the health is strongly related to the psyche. So you have to organize the training like an oasis, where the stress of everyday life is forgotten and you can regenerate. If you find the right mixture for this, then the human being realizes that the training is really good for him holistically.

Thank you Daniel for the interview and continued success in your beautiful work!