The following post contains several questions from an interview with Kinsei-Do's founder, JC, run by www.bookmyfit.com.
Kinsei-Do abides by the philosophy of balanced functional fitness. What is balanced functional fitness? What exactly makes an exercise or training program holistic
Functional Fitness is definitely a trend or buzzword in the last couple of years, when all it really means is to have the ability to move as intended by nature. This sounds so simplistic and generic, but the inactive lifestyle, constant sitting (at the desk or in the car) and working on computers of the modern age has rendered most of us completely dysfunctional. We have bad posture, severely limited mobility (usually in the hips and shoulders), extremely weakened core muscles, and most of us will pay the price for this somewhere down the line.
Having Balanced Functional Fitness or being functionally fit refers to a state of physical capability that allows you to do the things you want to do, like running around with your children, playing football or tennis with some friends, or just moving around in your house or garden without feeling tired or in pain.
To be able to do all this takes more than just lifting weights in the gym, or doing long steady state cardio (e.g. jogging). It takes a combination of different training methods to improve strength and endurance, but also maintaining or increasing flexibility and coordination. Kinsei-Do considers all of these physical aspects and molds them into a combined program, and that's what makes it holistic.
Can you give us an overview of the program? What can first-timers expect?
We typically start (after properly warming up, of course) with drills and games for Power and Speed/Agility, such as jumps and shuttle runs. It's important to train these two pillars when the body and mind is still fresh, because the intensity is high and requires the practitioner to be very focused.
After these drills, we move on to the Strength and Flexibility/Mobility part. Here we alternate classic strength building exercises like pushups and sit-ups with yoga-like static flexibility movements. At this point the body is fully warmed up and the muscles are receptive to being stretched, and at the same time the static stretches serve as active rest periods between the strength exercise sets.
Last but not least, we end each session with a short but high intensity Endurance workout. These are usually between 7 to 15 minutes and come in three different difficulty levels, so there is something for everyone!
As beginners or first timers, you are encouraged to just join in and follow along. Where applicable, the coach will adjust the difficulty of certain exercises according to the individual needs, e.g. substituting pushups with knee pushups or modifying certain Power exercises. That said, the sessions are very beginner friendly and no one should be afraid or embarrassed to try it out!
How important is it to incorporate variations in your workout routine?
Variety is definitely extremely important. First, as already explained earlier, training all aspects of fitness is critically important for actually being fit. If you only do weight lifting, you are definitely going to be strong, but your muscles may be tight and shortened, and your mobility is limited. Similarly, if you only go running, the muscles of your upper body will not be as well trained as your lower body, and again you will be limited by imbalances. That's why a holistic training approach is so important, and whether you cover all your bases by practicing Kinsei-Do, or instead prefer to go for HIIT bootcamps for endurance training, then yoga classes for the flexibility training, is a matter of personal preference.
Secondly, why do we work out at all? Most of us don't do it because we enjoy strenuous or high intensity cardio and weight-lifting. Most of us do it to a) look good or b) be able to perform better at activities we enjoy, like being faster on the football field, to jump higher on the basketball court, etc. There is no better way to increase that overall performance than through a varied training!
Last but not least, for many people the thought of going to the gym 3x per week or running 5km every other day for many months is just mind-numbingly boring, so variety is also key to keeping things interesting and staying motivated in one's training! I am generally open and interested in almost all sports, and love to try out new things!
What are your top 3 tips for optimizing a workout?
Focus - that means put your phone away. Concentrate on what your goal for the workout is, and then put all your physical and mental energy to it. You will be done much faster and feel more accomplished after a 30 minute workout like this, than after a 2 hour session in the gym where you have spent half the time on Facebook...
Always warm up - this ensures your body is ready while at the same time prepares your mind for the workout ahead.
Set ambitious, difficult long term goals, but realistic and achievable short term goals - goals keep you focused on your fitness journey and motivated when you hit bumps and setbacks. Know where you want to go, but also know that anything worth achieving takes dedication and time, and will not happen overnight.
People say that working out before going to the office makes it hard to power through the day, but after work, they feel too tired to train. To get the best results possible, what is the best time to exercise? What advice would you give to keep your clients motivated to exercise regularly?
Actually, I personally find that the opposite is true: a good workout in the morning is the best way to start the day, and often leaves me more energized than before, and also more motivated to get on with work. Of course I do not have the time or the energy to go through 90 minute high intensity sessions in the morning, but a combination of stretching, strengthening and balance work is ideal to wake up the mind and body.
As it is a matter of personal preference however, I believe there is no "best" time. Or rather, the best time is the time that works for you, the time you can commit to regularly. Regularity is so important because humans are creatures of habit, and it takes time to establish a new habit and get into the rhythm of training at a certain time. I also believe it is better to do some kind of activity or training for 20-30 minutes every day, rather than trying to do a 1-2 hour training once or twice a week, to establish this habit, and to get results.
Due to my job in consulting, there isn't a typical daily routine that I have been able to follow for months or years, however ideally my day starts with a workout. Not only do I need that to energize me for the day, it also makes me feel like no matter what else the day will bring, one good thing has already happened, so it sets me in a positive mood.
Almost ten months ago, when 2015 turned to 2016, did you set yourself any New Year's Resolutions? Did you wake up on January 1st after an evening of eating and perhaps drinking far too much, looked in the mirror and thought, "dang, I need to get in shape" or "this year I'll lose those extra kilos"?
As we reach the end of September (yup, the year has gone pretty fast, hasn't it!) and with that enter into the last quarter of 2016, how are you holding up against your resolution? Reached your goal already? Not quite yet, but still going strong? Or have you long abandoned them, dropped your goals, instead of those extra kilos, by the roadside?
If you're going strong, then take a minute and think back to January 1st, how you felt or looked back then...and feel extremely proud of yourself now! Setting fitness goals and following through on them for over 9 months is no easy feat, and even if your progress has been slower than you had hoped, it's still progress! And if you are looking for that additional push, that little bit of new motivation that will help you to keep going and truly reach your goals, why not come and join us at our weekly training sessions in BSD? In a fun group setting, that last set, that last few reps, will always feel easier!
If on the other hand, you have already given up on your resolutions, or never really got going, don't despair! Yes, three months isn't a very long time, but it's still enough time to make a difference, to set you on the right track and make sure you finish the year strong and on a high note! So think back to that day in early January and how you felt, and just give yourself that little push to get up a bit earlier next Sunday and join us. I can't promise you won't sweat, but I can promise you won't regret it!
Remember, at Kinsei-Do, we put the FUN in Functional Fitness ;)
Are you excited about the Olympic Summer Games starting soon? I definitely am!
Elite athletes are remarkable human beings. There's something magical and exhilarating about watching them do their "thing". Each one is a highly trained specialist, capable of great physical feats. Close your eyes and picture Usain Bolt explode out of the blocks, Lydia Ko wind up her body and release all of its energy in a complex chain of coordinated movements into a tiny ball or Michael Phelps glide through the water with precision and power.
Sights like these make you marvel at what is physically possible.
We - you, me, the lady next to you in the elevator or the man in the corner cubicle - are most likely not capable of any of these things, but luckily, neither do we have to be. These are not our sports, we are (perhaps sadly) not Olympic athletes, and our livelihoods do not depend on us outrunning 99.99% of all people out there.
Life, however, is our sport. We all need to get out of bed in the morning, get dressed, bend down to tie our shoes, carry our bags, perhaps run for the bus, walk a few flights of stairs...you get the drift. Movement is life, and movement is powered by physical fitness.
Do you need five minutes to catch your breath after walking up a single flight of stairs?
Are you strong as an ox, but your hamstrings are so tight you can't even pick up those coins you just dropped?
Can you run all day, but just can't seem to do anything remotely coordinated with your hands, like throwing a ball around with your kid?
This is where a holistic training system like Kinsei-Do comes into play. From High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) based short and efficient workouts for Endurance to routines focused on Strength development to yoga-like movement flows for Flexibility and Mobility, our goal is to enable you to retake control of your physical capacities and allow you to perform at your greatest potential.
We deliberately say 'retake control' because we were all functionally fit once. Do you remember being a kid, running around for hours without end? What did you say to your parents in the evening if they asked you what you done that day..."I went for cardio training"? Or when you climbed trees and jumped into the field, did you worry about pulling a muscle? A resounding NO to all of the above, I'm sure!
Piqued your interest? Leave a comment and we will get back to you!
Good morning, good afternoon and good evening, practitioners around the world!
In today’s blog post – our very first one, as you can obviously see – I want to go a bit into the questions that likely were on your mind when you heard about Kinsei-Do for the first time (or perhaps still are):
What is it and why should I be interested in it?
You might be thinking – and I know I’m digressing a little already! – why does there need to be a blog post for that, isn’t all of that already said here? The answer to that, I think, is yes and no.
Yes, a brief definition, derivation of the name, explanation of the pillars of fitness, etc are all already on the site, but – and that’s the No – what I want to do with this post (and future ones, if you’ll humor me!) is to go beyond presenting definitions, statements and “facts” in the (one directional) way it is typically done on websites, and instead let you in to our thinking that led to the creation of Kinsei-Do, zoom in on specific topics and discuss them in more detail, and simply also encourage open two way communication and feedback.
So, with that said – and if you’re still with me! – let’s get straight to it: what is Kinsei-Do?
I know the definition, which I don’t want to repeat here, suffers a bit from “big buzzword syndrome” – the years working in consulting have obviously left a mark ;) – so I’ll focus a bit on what it is not.
The answer of course – sorry to burst anyone’s bubble here – is no.
Kinsei-Do utilizes body weight exercises (that means pushups, pullups, and so on, which I reckon were already very popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans), sequences of static and dynamic poses for flexibility, balance and coordination (if that sounds a lot like yoga, that’s because it is!) and interval training based methods.
And while we do believe that the Kinsei-Do curriculum progresses in a linear fashion – workouts gradually increase in intensity and duration, and individual exercises increase in difficulty, as practitioners advance through the ranks – there is nothing magical about it, and there certainly are no shortcuts to awesome fitness. A quote I recently saw on Instagram describes it best:
“You have to put in the effort to [one day] make it look effortless!”
So, now you might be thinking, Kinsei-Do is not a revolutionary way of training or a set of fancy new exercises never done before, nor will it magically allow you to shortcut months (or even years, depending on your goals) of hard work, why should you do it then? There are already tons of other fitness apps and programs out there, many of which (misleadingly, I might add) promise quick success and incredible body composition changes and fitness gains over unbelievably short times, why should I choose Kinsei-Do over any of them?
The answer to that is twofold (and each point probably deserves a post of its own):
Thus, ultimately the question can really only be: why on earth would you not start Kinsei-Do? :)
Comments, feedback and questions welcome and appreciated!
Til the next time, Lead the Way!