Sport and fitness have always played a big part in Daniel Wekenborg’s life. The Holdorfer was active as a footballer, played basketball in Quakenbrück, was a successful tennis player and won the district championship title eight times in a row. “When I was 16, I used to do strength training on the weight bench with a friend before we went to soccer practice,” he recalls. The 32-year-old has now turned his hobby into a career and works as a freelance personal trainer.
After graduating from secondary school, Daniel Wekenborg first completed an apprenticeship as a chimney sweep and worked for 2.5 years as a journeyman in the profession. “However, I realized that this wasn’t the right thing for me.” So the man from Holdorf first did a mandatory internship in Berlin and then began studying fitness and health management at the IST University in Düsseldorf. During his studies, Daniel Wekenborg acquired, among other things, the A licenses for personal training, athletic training, medical fitness training and continued his education as an EXOS Performance Specialist. There were also other regular courses and further training such as back training, rehabilitation and prevention seminars.
Customer asks him about personal training
He also worked for several years as a fitness trainer at Clever Fit in Damme. There he was asked by a customer if he would like to work as her personal trainer. “So I started working as a part-time personal trainer.” That was in 2018. Interest grew steadily, so that Daniel Wekenborg decided in 2020 to work as a personal trainer full-time. Individual training and group training with sports clubs in preparation and nutritional coaching are then on the program.
Daniel Wekenborg looks after his customers at least once a week, up to three times a week. “A lot of older people come to me with problems or injuries.” Shoulder, knee or back problems are often the cause. The training is then about becoming more pain-free, more flexible and fitter. Another issue is weight loss. When working with customers, Daniel Wekenborg uses a variety of methods. “Each and everyone is individual. There is no one-size-fits-all timetable. You have to try it out and see what works.”
Combination of strength and endurance training
An example is the force interval method. The 60-minute unit is about getting as much out of it as possible. “We do strength training to build muscle and endurance exercises for the cardiovascular system during the short breaks,” he explains. “This combined strength and endurance training provides a relatively large amount of input.” Daniel Wekenborg has redesigned two rooms at home in which the training takes place in private. Bike ergometers, ski ergometers, air bikes, pull-up bars, weight benches and other equipment are available for this purpose. You can also train in the fresh air if you wish.
“Sport makes life more fun.”Daniel Weekenborg
“Sport ensures well-being and is an extremely good balance. Especially for people who have stress at work and little time. So they have an hour to themselves and can think about other things.” Daniel Wekenborg loves to push the limits, to work out and of course also does sport every day. It’s about 20 hours a week. Strength training, running or racing bikes are then on the agenda. Daniel Wekenborg made Hyrox a year and won the runner-up title at the World Championships in a team with Gunnar Henjes. “Hyrox is the combination of functional strength training, high-intensity interval training and classic endurance sports,” explains the 32-year-old. “Sport leads to a healthier lifestyle and more fun in life. When you’re fitter, you get a taste for moving more. I enjoy seeing the development of the customers and the success of the training. Furthermore, it is nice to see the joy of the customers.”
Outside of work, Daniel Wekenborg doesn’t have much time for hobbies. He would like to travel more. He has a trip through Canada and the USA in mind. In addition, the Holdorfer likes to be outside and go for walks. The 32-year-old feels at home in his home community. “I’ve never thought about leaving here. It’s a laid-back community that offers good food. Many friends also live here.”
Internship at FC St. Pauli
Two years ago, Daniel Wekenborg completed a two-month internship at FC St. Pauli’s youth academy. He also looks after top-class footballers from the region. Ambition and discipline are formative…