I first became aware of Daniel Atterhagen when my girl said to me one night at home ‘a PT where you train who is one of the Gladiators has liked a few of my pictures on instagram(@swefitnesskitchen), do you know him?’ I took a look and didn’t recognise him from the gym, this was a few weeks ago around theNew Year.
A few days later i’m on the deadlifting platform as usual and this huge shadow looms over me. I look up from where im sat on the plates at one end of my barbell and it’s this guy Daniella mentioned with a client. He smiled in acknowledgement, I hoped at the time because he appreciated the weight that was on the bar, but after getting to know him i realise it was probably just because he’s a good guy.
I saw him several times each morning that I was training and we built up a rapport quickly, which is unusual in Sweden haha! Upon asking, The Butcher happily agreed to this interview and we set up a time where we could sit down and have a chat.
*side note* unfortunately the voice recording app on the iphone decided to play silly buggers and for some reason muted several large chunks of the recording! Here is what i managed to salvage from the audio wreckage.
AW – so tell us who you are please sir!
DA – i’m 35, born and raised in a little town called Söderhamn which is roughly 300km north of Stockholm, my training background is in judo and i did that for 9 or 10 years, i then started strength training to assist with my judo.
AW – did you compete at all?
DA – yes, i had about 170 fights and got to number two in Sweden
AW – how many of those fights did you win?…. most of them i presume!!
DA – no, no i didnt. Actually i wasn’t so good, i didn’t have a natural talent for it, i just kept working hard and had a huge dermination. I’ve never been really good at something in the beginning, i’ve always worked my ass off to get anywhere.
AW – so hard work beats talent any day of the week? I saw that in a meme a while ago, i guess that’s where people get a lot of info from nowadays, memes!
DA – after that i moved to Stockholm and worked as a paramedic for a couple of years, at the same time i progressed with martial arts and moved into Shield fighting, it’s what came before MMA, but it wasn’t hip at the time. There was nowhere really to train this but i got together with a few police officers who trained this way too, so i got to beat up some cops haha!
AW – i’ve thought about applying for the police here, and even had a look online to check it out. There was a simple test online where you could answer a few questions to see if you were suitable, and one of the questions was ‘do you think it’s best to be big and strong, or being able to talk through situations?’.
Obviously they want you to be able to talk through and defuse situations, but at the same time all the officers here are huge, and armed! it helps.
So, how did the Gladiators come about?
DA – I got into it when they started up the second time, i applied to be one of the Gladiators, I was in one season, and two episodes, so i was like the special attraction!
AW – well of course!
You’re now a personal trainer at Sats Stureplan though, and how long have you been there?
DA – just a few weeks
AW – so you started with the January trainers? what advice would you give anyone who just started back in the gym?
DA – keep training, don’t let it be just a January sort of thing, just keep training.
AW – i’ve had lots of friends who have started to train with the best intentions for a new years resolution but they’ve often messaged me saying about how much their DOMS / träningsvärk is hurting them and they just kind of fizzle out and stop going
DA – after a while though they’ll really want it, they’ll crave it! So it’s best to stick with it and just keep going.
AW – I did snatch grip deadlifts for the first time in 6 months last week, and the DOMS ( delayed onset muscle soreness / träningsvärk ) i had in my…. rhomboids? Was horrendous. Is it rhomboids? I guess after your paramedics training your PT exams were nothing?
DA – haha! No, not really
AW – So where do you see yourself going from here, what is left to achieve?
DA – My big time goal is Hollywood
AW – So you want to follow The Oak? ( Arnold Schwarzenegger ) If he can do it you can, your English is a lot better than his!
DA – Thats my goal, and i’m going to work to get there
AW – You are also involved with supplement companies though is that right?
DA – Yes, with Swedish Supplements, i’m one of the sponsored athletes in the team. I have my own line coming up, and now there is my pre workout ‘The Butcher’ which gives you focus, the pump, and stamina. It’s got all ingredients and dosages on the label so you can see exactly what’s in it, and it’s lots of great stuff!
AW – You’ve been training your whole life, and i’m sure you can tell people that in the beginning your gains will come very quickly, ‘newbie gains’, but you’re at an elite level now so progress is a lot tougher to come by and takes a lot longer, so it’s important to push yourself outside your comfort zone.
DA – i think that applies to more than just lifting, but to life in general. Dare to step outside your comfort zone, push yourself, do something that terrifies you, or makes you giggly and just go for it!
AW- I’ve trained next to you a couple of times when you have a client and i have to say you have a very nice, personal way with your clients and that’s something i’ve not seen so much of in my time here, a good PT is hard to find. It’s one of the reasons i never took a PT when i started training here in Sweden, i never really saw anybody that inspired me that made me think ‘i have to train with them!’, but if you had been there in the beginning i would have definitely trained with you.
DA – that’s very nice of you to say.
AW – Thankyou for your time sir, tack!
You can find Daniel on instagram @atterhagen
and on his personal website:- www.atterhagen.se