Daniel Stein is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and the founder and CEO of Special Strong, one of the only fitness centers in the world for individuals with physical, mental, and cognitive challenges. Daniel’s work centers on his personal mission, inspired by his faith and John 10:10, to help others. He especially helps those impacted by disability unlock their potential to live an abundant life through fitness. In Adaptive Faith, his first book, Daniel writes for individuals with mental, physical, and cognitive challenges to help them understand their God-given identity and to learn practical tools to live to their fullest potential.
Daniel’s journey in fitness began at a very young age. At age four, he was diagnosed with a learning disability that impacted his behavior and his ability to make friends. When he was in middle school, Daniel’s parents bought him a membership to a YMCA. Exercise changed Daniel’s life by building his confidence and helping him control his outbursts. At twenty-one, Daniel was diagnosed with a mood disorder and autoimmune disease. Fitness became his lifeline and gave him the strength and confidence to take control of his life.
Daniel initially pursued a career in banking, but he felt a deep calling to help others impacted by disability and share access to the fitness tools that had empowered him. Daniel became a certified personal trainer and built a successful personal training business from the ground up using the relationship-building and marketing skills he had developed as a banker. Daniel holds certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the National Federation of Personal Trainers. In 2014, Daniel and his wife Trinity launched Special Strong, a gym that provides adaptive fitness personal training and group exercise classes for individuals affected by autism, Asperger’s syndrome, Down syndrome, ADD/ADHD, cerebral palsy, and other similar afflictions.
In 2019, a viral video launched Special Strong into the spotlight and inspired Daniel to expand its services beyond Texas. Today, Special Strong has helped more than 1,500 individuals with special needs access the life-changing benefits of fitness. In 2021, the Special Strong Foundation was launched to provide financial assistance to expand access to specialized health and wellness programs for special needs families. Daniel hopes to see the Special Strong movement grow both nationally and globally, and he is actively expanding through a franchise model and a certification program for personal trainers interested in adaptive fitness.
Daniel lives in Texas with his wife and two kids, Judah and Mercy. In addition to fitness, Daniel enjoys reading and fishing. He and his family are active in their church and enjoy traveling and being active together.