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Fit Humans of SG — Daniel De Sanctis

Hailing from Sweden, Daniel De Sanctis is one of Sweden's more prominent CrossFit competitors and a personal trainer at TripleFit in Singapore. His approach to fitness and healthy living is not your typical clean-eating-and-regular-training combo. Instead, Daniel is all about putting in the most effort possible when training, then reaping great rewards after. 

The towering personal trainer has an ardent passion for CrossFit and regularly competes internationally. We speak to Daniel about how he moved to Singapore to become a personal trainer, his daily regimen, and why he thinks CrossFit is an exceptional sport.

I used to play soccer and hockey at a junior high level. Never professionally, but that was my introduction to sports. After military service back home, I realised that I wasn't as good as I used to be as I didn't have time to train, but I was past the point of being able to do sports professionally. So, I started working out by myself in 2001. For about 11 years, I was just doing bodybuilding. Then, I started doing CrossFit and it's been five years now.

For six and a half years back home, I was in Human Resources. Personal training was just what I did on the side, but it eventually took priority in my life.

When I was given the opportunity to move to Singapore, I thought, "why not?". The weather is better here. I didn't have a wife or kids, or any other commitments, so I took the plunge. It's been a good choice.

CrossFit is never monotonous. Every training session and every competition is different. Sometimes, when you compete, you don't even know what they're going to throw at you, so you have to be extremely versatile with all manner of fitness. Whether it's lifting heavy, walking on your hands, or whatever else, you just have to be good.

When it comes to CrossFit, you're doing a lot of mobility training. There's a bit of weightlifting, gymnastics, pull-ups and such. You have to enhance all aspects of your fitness, as compared to bodybuilding, which is very stationary. I would say anyone can do it though.

My personal training philosophy is to build up your foundation, while working on multi-joint exercises. You want to be strong, and so the most important exercises would be your back squat and deadlift. These are moves that simulate life, where you lift something heavy up from the ground, and sit back down. Add in multi-joint moves, and you've got a good mix.

TripleFit is very different from other gyms because we place a lot of emphasis on multi-joint movements. With these moves, you're really strengthening your Central Nervous System. I mean, why not work all the muscles at once to help you improve your daily life?

I don't specifically eat clean. I eat a lot of food, and I try to keep it simple. I don't measure my portions, and I love my desserts. When it comes to healthy living, I just try to stay away from the obvious stuff like junk food, smoking or drinking too much. I train so much for CrossFit that my body is constantly in need of calories, and it's hard if I have to monitor everything I eat.

When it comes to supplements, I take protein, kre-alkalyn, omega-3s for my joints, magnesium for my muscles and some amino acids. I try to take my omega-3s and magnesium in the morning, then kre-alkalyn before and after training. I'll take one more magnesium before bed, as that helps you sleep. The amino acids would be before and during my training.

Training is the highlight of my day. If you're going to train nine sessions a week, you have to think it's fun, otherwise, it'll never work. I enjoy different forms of training, so CrossFit is perfect for that.

I motivate my clients with two things. We offer fun classes for people here, and there's really something for everyone. The second would be to live as I preach. I am my own brand, and I think I walk the talk. I would like to believe my clients see that too. Our job as personal trainers is to motivate people, and to tell them that they're doing a great job.

TripleFit is located at 9 Raffles Boulevard, #02-63, Millenia Walk, S039596.

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