Overview: Darin Steen is the winner of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Next Great Trainer 2015, a natural (drug-free) competitive bodybuilder, and owner and coach at The Transformation Station in Mokena, IL.
Health has been vitally important to me since before I can remember.
At the age of 2 I was diagnosed with cancer–one of my kidneys. Luckily a surgery to remove it was successful and I have been cancer-free since.
My mother, whom my high school buddies affectionately called “Mean Jean Steen from Village Green,” taught me a lot. Perhaps the most important lessons were the value of hard work and the importance of family. When I was growing up my mom worked the night shift at a factory to help make ends meet. But she always put her family first and made us feel like we were her whole world.
My dad Ken taught me to work hard by example as well. He was an electrician for 50 years. He had determination and grit that I’ve tried to model in everything I do. Even though he passed about 3 years ago, he’ll always be my best friend.
I’m eternally grateful I had parents that encouraged me, through their words and actions, to tirelessly pursue my passions.
My first passion was football. I loved football from the first time I threw on shoulder pads. This love drove me to strive to get better and better.
My effort was rewarded. I went on to play at Olivet Nazarene University and became the school’s all-time leading tackler.
After graduation I played semi-pro ball. This culminated in trying out for the Chicago Bears in 1989. I gave it everything I had–left it all out on the field–but it wasn’t enough. I got cut.
I knew this was the end of my football career. I thought it was the worst day of my life…
But, like most setbacks, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Not long after being cut I realized I no longer had to train like a football player. I didn’t need to carry around the extra weight needed to make explosive tackles.
This got me excited. I could finally have chiseled abs!
But there was one problem: I only knew how to train like a power lifter.
Now, I may not be Einstein, but I do consider myself practical. So to solve this problem I simply went up to a couple bodybuilders at my local gym and started asking them questions. One of these guys became my training partner, and a couple months later I competed in my first natural bodybuilding competition in 1990.
I felt extremely grateful for stumbling into bodybuilding. It replaced the hole football left.
But something was still missing…
I took a full-time position at UPS after graduating college. I worked for UPS until 2001, when a virtual mentor inspired me to radically change my life.
Tony Robbins’s Personal Power tapes motivated me to live my best life. Listening to him while driving my route made me realize I was not living up to my full potential. I knew the lessons I learned from a decade of competitive bodybuilding could help countless other people–something that set my soul on fire.
So I burned my boats with UPS and got a job at Lifetime fitness in Orland Park, 45 minutes away from where I was living. I took a leap of faith, confident that I would still be able to provide for my wife and two daughters.
I knew it wouldn’t be easy. That I would have to give it my all. That’s why I woke up every morning before 4 AM to drive to Orland. I was the first trainer there, and often times the last one to leave.
My effort paid off. 5 years in a row I was the top trainer at Lifetime–the entire company. I sold and serviced more client sessions than any other trainer.
All this time with clients is where I started to develop and perfect my Slow Go system. You see, most of my clients were busy professionals. So efficiency was a top priority for them. I took the lessons learned from bodybuilding and began experimenting with techniques to make the most time-efficient workout ever.
17 years later, I feel confident in telling you that I succeeded. My Slow Go system is the best way to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your workouts.
You don’t have to take my word for it though. In 2015 I won Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Next Great Trainer award. I beat out many other amazing trainers because of my unique system.
If you’re in the Chicagoland area, I would love to personally teach you the Slow Go system. If you’re interested in in-person training, please contact me about setting up a session at The Transformation Station in Mokena, Illinois.
If this isn’t feasible for you, don’t worry. My new YouTube show, Darin’s Exercise of the Week, is dedicated to showing you the best ways to perform an exercise. It’s a great free intro to the Slow Go system.
Finally, stay tuned for my Udemy course, “Weight Lifting Essentials.” This will be the only course on weight lifting you ever need. It will provide an in-depth look into my techniques, tactics I use to help clients stay on track, and lay out sample workouts to start or improve your training.
Here are some of Darin’s most popular physique pictures: