March 15, 2020
Daniel Palacios truly has the energy caused by a body and mind constantly in motion.
After all of the 4 a.m. wake-up and recording sessions, countless phone calls, even more emails and hundreds of video editing hours, the sweat equity that Daniel Palacios has put into creating his vision is allowing his many clients to “Live Kinetically,” a philosophy and outlook on life and fitness that many others in the business would do well to emulate.
Palacios’ journey to this point, however, is not an easy one to mirror. His education was a combination of exercise sciences, kinesiology and athletic training and for the first six years of his career he worked for a sports performance facility. While that experience certainly laid the groundwork for his current efforts, it also convinced him his vision did not include working for someone else.
“Working as an employee has its perks, certainly, but with it can come a certain level of comfort and contentment that just never sat well with me,” he explains. “I saw the rigidity of only being allowed to follow a particular system too restrictive and contrary to what I began learning on my own.
“I never want my education to get in the way of my learning and questioning is just part of my nature,” he adds.
That’s what led him to leading service/product providers such as Weck Method and Kabuki Strength Lab, which forced him to really question a lot of what he had learned.
“They lit a fire in my mind that couldn’t be quelled and once I kept drilling deeper into their training concepts, there was no turning back,” Palacios explains, pointing out that he had always wanted to get into education and become “a trainer of trainers” because that was the surest way to make an impact and reach more people.
He also saw a significant need for trainers to feel equipped with the knowledge to become confident with using new tools and applying new principles. This in turn forced him to really learn basic video production skills, which then allowed him to delve into product education.
In 2017 he embarked on the process of starting Kinetic Training, which in turn brought him to the elite strength and conditioning facility Rienzi Strength and Conditioning, owned by Dwayne Johnson’s trainer. This became his opportunity to work on building his educational programs and developing product and service partnerships. (Along the way he also became the primary strength and conditioning consultant to the Broward Police Academy for the past five years to prepare South Florida’s finest for a career as tactical athletes.)
Palacios maintains that he has left no stone unturned in this quest and along the way learned the art of asking himself, “Why not?”
The Art of An Open Mind
“Allowing myself to open my mind and explore the possibilities of what the industry had to offer was extremely liberating and has taught me far more than I could have imagined,” Palacios says. That question also led him to relationships with companies such as Torque Fitness, Inertiawave and Aqua Training Bag that have started friendships he envisions lasting a lifetime.
Palacios developed his Live Kinetically philosophy years ago while working at his first training job. Knowing that he eventually would like to start his own business, he was always the trainer pushing for new ways to improve existing systems, to help people get results more efficiently or bring up a new trainer in a better way.
The tagline Live Kinetically stems from the idea that one way or another, anyone can find a way to improve daily.
“I didn’t want Kinetic Training to apply only to life in the gym,” he explains. “I want the work that we do in the gym, the conversations we have and lessons learned to permeate your everyday life. I want my clients’ approach to movement, experiences and relationships with intention and seek understanding wherever they can and execute their intentions, with practicality and confidence in their decisions. That’s what it means to Live Kinetically.”
Working the Mind and Body
An outgrowth of that philosophy is a belief that the mind is just as important to work out as the body. This is where his course and series called “Objectify Your Pain” was born, although he admits he wishes he had known earlier in his career the level of connection that the mind, psychology and emotion had on the biological functions and overall physiology of the body.
“I only learned this from years of observing and working with my clients,” he explains. “The great thing is we know that physical activity, movement in general and exercise have a unanimously positive impact in all of these areas and it’s my job as a coach to educate those I work with on the connection between the mind, body and soul.
“Teaching people to approach their work in the gym with the intention of translating to their daily life is essential,” he continues, noting that this is especially true with people who have experienced any kind of trauma — physical injury or emotional.
“It’s well known that negative emotional experiences can have a significant impact on physical pain,” Palacios says. “Giving people the tools and skills to manage this relationship in a practical way that works for them is my main goal.” That could mean working on breathing drills, doing manual tissue work or letting a client unleash fury on a heavy bag.
There is no limit to who Palacios believes can benefit from his fitness philosophy. “Calling all human beings,” as he puts it, adding that he truly believes there is a valuable lesson to be learned from every client.
The basis for his work is his Movement Signature Analysis, essentially a video recording he takes of each client to educate them on their movement needs. This helps establish a “why” behind their focus on movement quality as a primary goal right from the get-go.
He also provides the opportunity for clients to do a FitnessGenes DNA analysis test, which provides everything they need to know about how their body responds to various types of workouts, along with nutrition and general lifestyle recommendations. This way they don’t waste time working in rep ranges and making nutritional recommendations that simply won’t work very well for them.
Competition and Community
Here also enters the concept of “community over competition,” an important look at life in a business that is about helping people. Because even though he was a competitive athlete for most of his life – and certainly believes that a little healthy competition is good for everyone – business should never supersede the goal of making people’s lives better. The fact is there are plenty of customers to go around.
“It’s our job as service and product providers to educate and engage potential clients or customers in a way that makes them feel like they’re part of something more,” Palacios says. “We need to focus on staying in our lanes and learn to work together to really serve people’s needs toward a greater purpose of living a strong, healthy, thriving life.”
One of his favorite observations about his equipment partners has been seeing the wide range of reactions and responses to working with each tool they provide. Some people just resonate better with certain activities and equipment better than others. It’s like choosing between two cars in the same class, of essentially the same price, and quality. In the end it’s about creating positive brand association and an environment of which your target customer wants to be a part.
This “all-in-it-together” outlook on business is vital for the fitness industry as it faces the challenges of increasing costs, led by rents and real estate. The rise of social media, online training systems and innovative in-home gym systems have already begun making their mark on the brick-and-mortar clubs. This is the reason so many clients are shifting away from the big-box gyms to smaller studios and small group training environments. Many people have even foregone gym training or personal training for home workouts written by online coaches.
“I don’t think clubs are dead, far from it,” Palacios says. “There is a shift going on and everyone will adapt accordingly. The key here is for the leaders in these clubs and the industry as a whole to step up and become great at using marketing techniques to build value on their current programs through solid foundational education for customers and continuing to keep their training teams on the cutting edge.”
Get Social, Or Fall Behind
Palacios strongly advises club owners and trainers to learn and leverage the power of social media, to adapt and evolve and to take advantage of so much free information available. Since it is nearly impossible for the layman to separate the facts from false promises or inaccurate information or coaching, savvy trainers can fill that information void.
“Mark my words, if you’re resistant to or unfamiliar with utilizing social media to getting your name out there, you will fall behind and struggle,” he warns.
“Love it or hate it there is tremendous psychology in building a social media presence, but the key is using it to establish real impact on those engaging with it,” he says. “Learning to disseminate your quality information through even higher quality production value that looks clean and professional is a game changer. If the presentation looks cheesy, or low budget, then there’s no hook.”
Palacios is certainly taking advantage of all of the technology that gives him the ability to produce a quality product. The tough part is making sense of it all and figuring out what will work for any situation.
All of this makes Palacios bullish on the future of the fitness business and he sees the rise of the home workout program coming full circle.
“You heard it hear first,” he points out. “With technology integrating with the home gym, and connecting coaches to people across the globe, we’re on the precipice of the rebirth of the home workout. Garage gyms are bigger than ever. More and more people are working from home in the age of technology and have less and less time to leave.”
More technology-driven training systems are popping up left and right that put a trainer right on the phone. Clubs that can leverage systems such as this and create programs that use their social media to reach more people and promote online driven subscriptions in group and personal training programs, will come out ahead of the trend.
“Don’t be afraid to stand out,” he urges. “Take the leap forward into what technology has to offer, learn to Objectify Your Pain, Live Kinetically and you may just realize your 2020 vision.”
Kinetic Kollective Explained
The Kinetic Kollective developed by Daniel Palacios is essentially a community of like-minded product and service providers in the fields of health, wellness, strength and conditioning built on the Live Kinetically principle. It’s about what individuals can do to push and inspire one another to improve themselves and their companies and to make an impact on anyone who they work with.
“One step, one breath, one exercise and one session at a time, we can make a difference,” he says. “By inspiring our customers and clients toward this mentality of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual fortitude, we’re changing lives.
This year Palacios is focusing on building on the foundations he has spent the last two years developing — with more than 40 product and service partnerships across innovative and influential companies. He is now looking for additional creative ways to integrate these companies into a cohesive approach that will make a major impact on people’s lives.
So where does Daniel Palacios find his drive and inspiration?
For that, he looks no further than his own family. He credits his wife, Laura, and two kids, Arabella and Asher, as his driving forces.
As a practical benefit, Laura is a wedding and birth photographer and since Palacios is colorblind without her a lot of his videography work would look all out of sorts.
“All jokes aside, making a way for my family and being an example to my kids of what good old-fashioned hard work can achieve is always in the back of my mind,” he says. “I want them to see that anyone can make an impact and achieve success while helping others do the same.
“I also rely heavily on prayer and can’t deny that God has played the biggest role in orchestrating events and relationships that are just too serendipitous to be chance.” He describes waking up some days with ideas that can only be described as a “God wink” — imagine God snapping his fingers, pointing at you and winking and all of a sudden, for no apparent reason, you come up with a good idea.
“Of course, my many partners all inspire greatness and creativity as well,” he adds. “Their products, business prowess and general awesomeness as human beings has been a sight to behold.”