Hi everyone, Daniel here. Let me tell you a bit about myself, and my journey leading up to where I am today.
I was born and raised in the Western Suburbs of Melbourne, Australia.
Growing up, my main interest was online gaming. Playing first person shooter games such as Counter Strike, Team Fortress 2 and Call of Duty for up to 6-8 hours a day was common.
Aside from taking a keen interest in Australian Football (AFL), I did not take part in any sports outside of school, nor take a keen interest in looking after my health. My family also did not take part in any physical activities to keep fit and healthy.
Entering the world of health and fitness was purely by chance.
In 2006, at 13 years old, I came across videos of parkour athletes while browsing YouTube one afternoon.
I was captivated by their speed, grace and confidence when traversing obstacles in their environment. After doing some research, my brother and I began to attend a few classes run by the Australian Parkour Association in Melbourne.
I fell in love with this physical activity instantly, and would continue to train parkour 3-4 times per week for several years.
Being involved with the parkour community allowed me to connect with like-minded people focused on physical self-improvement.
Of the many techniques I learned during parkour, I took a liking to the bodyweight conditioning circuits we would complete during each session. This was to decrease our injury risk and increase full body strength.
The challenge of beating our previous efforts was gratifying, and introduced me to the concept of work ethic.
After a few years of parkour training, I felt that the risk/reward ratio of applying learned techniques to more “dangerous” obstacles was not worthwhile. At this point, I found myself only interested in the conditioning aspect of this style of physical training.
Fortunately, another YouTube video in 2008 soon changed everything.
One evening, a recommended video of Livewire aka Tim Shief popped up in my YouTube feed. He was performing a combination of parkour, freerunning and handbalancing exercises.
“Wow!” I thought. “This is incredible, how is someone able to do this?”
This was my first exposure with someone doing one arm handstands, and crazy walking stunts down stairs whilst inverted.
I then began to teach myself handbalancing via text and video tutorials online. Ultimately it was a pragmatic approach consisting of plenty of trial and error and many of hours dispersed daily on the hands. This allowed me to "grease the groove" with some crazy handstand sets every time I needed a bathroom break from online gaming.
At this stage I was no longer practicing parkour, and was exclusively performing basic bodyweight routines I had learned from my parkour classes.
Once again, a YouTube rabbit hole introduced me to the old-school era of calisthenics. I saw videos of Hannibal For King, Lord Vital and the Bar-Barians group who pioneered the trend of sets and reps and freestyle training on the floor and bars. I quickly became immersed in this new world by frequenting forums and engaging with other enthusiasts over the globe.
At the time, this training style felt very “underground” to me. Unlike Melbourne’s strong Bodybuilding (and soon-to-be “aesthetics”) scene, bodyweight and calisthenics was very uncommon.
Thus, the first several years of my training was spent on my own at local parks, or at home.
When browsing the internet attempting to find educational resources for handbalancing and bodyweight training, I repeatedly came across low quality material.
At the time, I felt that fitness YouTubers in this space did not have the requisite strength to perform the skills they were teaching.
I figured that with my experience, knowledge, and strength, I would be able to teach others how to master their own bodyweight.
In 2010, the FitnessFAQs YouTube channel was launched. Much like today, I provided workouts, tutorials and snippets of my training.
I had always been an introverted, shy person growing up. This introversion was exacerbated by online gaming and a lack of traditional social interaction in high school.
I hated public speaking in school and it’s safe to say hearing a presentation from me was an awkward experience.
Consequently, this meant my first handful of videos were timidly presented. Who could forget the infamous SIX PACK ABS Exercises Beginner Home Workout video published at the start of the year? (Featuring Andrew two years before he started lifting)
Fortunately, the response to my early content was positive. This led me to continue uploading videos while expanding my knowledge and getting stronger.
As I continued with bodyweight training, I began to develop an interest in learning how the human body works. This led me to begin an undergraduate exercise science degree after completing high school.
During this time, I continued to upload content to FitnessFAQs and gained employment as a personal trainer at a local gym. Once I completed my undergraduate studies, I moved to Sydney to pursue a Master’s degree in Physiotherapy.
I am grateful for stumbling across parkour and bodyweight training thanks to the internet.
If someone approached me 10 years ago and said I would someday be an influential figure, I would have laughed.
These days a million people view my videos every month on average. I’m travelling the world doing what I love, connecting with new people and hosting workshops.
I now know my vocation and life’s purpose. Follow along and allow me to help you reach your full potential.
To develop a systematic approach to bodyweight fitness through education and empowerment.
FitnessFAQs is currently run and managed by Daniel and Andrew. We both live and breathe bodyweight strength training, and strive to provide high quality content to help you achieve your training goals.
If you would like to get in touch with us, head over to the contact page.