I want to share with you a brief post on what a round of Sprinting 10 seconds up a hill looks like. For those more interested in the nitty-gritty of this type of training, read this detailed post here about how and why I recommend this type of training.
Sprinting is Simple
I want to inspire you to give sprinting a go by showing you that it isn’t hard. All you need is a pair of reliable running shoes, a good slope that is safe to run on and timer of some sort.
Here’s a 15-second video of one of the eight rounds. The slope of the hill is steep, so you can see that generating speed is challenging. This keeps it intense yet safe on the joints. When I first saw this video I was surprised how slow I am actually running. Inside my body, I feel that I am pushing as much speed, power, and energy as I can muster.
Sprinting in the 6th Most Populated City in the World
Sprinting in Tokyo around 10:00 am can get busy! I thought it was funny how many people were on MY so-called TRACK today – LOL. It shows you that 13 million people living in central Tokyo can fill up even the steep side streets during normal waking hours. I wonder if there are any good hills in Shanghai, a city of 24 million people.
It’s Yours For the Taking
Some people hear me talk about “Sprinting” and I can see them mentally shy away from attempting it. As you can see from the video above, it’s really simple and you can choose the speed you sprint. Start at about 60% of your max and each week edge it up by about 5-10%. You will be at virtually 100% speed in a month or two. The benefits are life-changing!
“There is only What Works and What Does Not Work, given what it is you are trying to do.”
–Neil Donald Walsh, Conversations with God, Awaken the Species
Waking With the Monks Works for Me
I woke up this morning at 4:30 am, which is the time I have woken up every day for the past two months. It’s the time I will wake up every morning for the next year or more. Why would I do such a silly thing? I do this, because I have a very clear picture of who and what I will be three years from now. I realize that I am able to help all of my training and coaching clients face to face each week -27 amazing clients at the time I am writing this. I also realize that by increasing my learning while improving my writing and speaking skills, every day for at least the next 3 years, I will be able to help millions of people. That works for me.
Writing First Thing in the Morning Works for Me
It’s Tuesday and it’s my day off each week. I know that I could sleep in, but I choose not to. Writing every day for two hours first thing in the morning, between 4:45 am and 6:45 am, excites me. It’s pitch black outside. It’s absolutely silent and it’s just me in front of my Mac with a topic like this, thinking and writing about useful things that I understand or am leaning about that could help people experience a higher quality of life. Every morning I aim to finish a blog and publish it. If I don’t complete it with the first two hours, I aim to publish it by the end of the day. This fills me up; it works for me.
Working Long Hours Works for Me
Some of my close friends say that I work too much – too many hours each day. They say that I need to enjoy life a little more. I understand where they are coming from and sometimes agree. I also realize that what I am doing with my work really excites me and uplifts me. Yes, I may work a lot, but that work is very fulfilling to me, so I feel that I am enjoying it. I also feel that I am creating something that extends beyond me, which will increase the enjoyment, excitement, and upliftment for all involved. So if I look at the number of hours I work each day and the number of days I work per year, yeah, I may be working a lot, but that work truly works for me.
Reading Two Hours Per Day Works for Me
As I kid, I hated reading. In high school is when I had to plan and read full books like “The Catcher in the Rye” and “Huckleberry Finn”. I don’t believe I finished either one of those books/assignments. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t get into them. Now I read at least two hours every day. The more I read, especially on topics such as mindset, health, fitness, lifestyle, the more educated I become and the more I am able to share with my clients, customers, and readers. I love it and it definitely works for me.
30 Minutes of Daily Training Works for Me
I own a gym and there have been times that I didn’t train much at all because I didn’t have my work-life balance in order and felt completely burned out. Recently I train 6 days a week for about 30 minutes. I love this. It gives me a break from mental work, gets me out of my physical comfort zone by testing my strength, speed or endurance. It’s a very simple approach that looks something like this:
Monday: Full-Out Hill Sprints (10 seconds full out with 90 seconds walk back recovery x 8 rounds)
Tuesday: Our day off where we usually go for an extended walk of 90 minutes or more for fun
This type of balanced training plan makes me feel good, look good and doesn’t require too much time; it works for me.
Eating on the Floor Works for Me
Although 4-9 hours of my workday is training clients, I spend a great deal of time sitting on a chair in front of my computer working. The more I sit in a chair, the tighter I feel my body getting, so I decided that for the next 6 months or so, I would eat all of my meals at home sitting crossed-legged in the middle of the floor or on our 8F deck that overlooks Tokyo. No leaning on anything allowed:-) Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but I feel it working for me in that my lower back, hips, and hip flexors are loosening up.
Going to Bed at 8:30 pm Works for Me
I have a sweet feeling of being an 8-year old again, hearing my Mom saying, “Honey, it’s 8:30! Time for bed.” 40-years later, I am back to the same bedtime schedule:-) In order for me to sleep around 8 hours, and wake up by 4:30 am, that means 8:30 pm is my time for bed. Cute, right? Some nights I don’t get to bed until 9:30 pm, but many nights I am in bed by 8:30 pm and sleeping soundly within 3-seconds. It’s definitely not ordinary, but I am loving the deep, restful sleep that I am enjoying and finding that I am waking naturally between 3:50-4:20 am, well before my alarm rings at 4:30 am. 7-8 hours of sleep works nicely for me.
The Carnivore Diet Works for Me
I have been doing the Carnivore Diet and I’m finding that it is working for me better than any other approach to diet so far. The digestive issues such as gas and bloating that have bothered me my entire life, are gone. I only need to eat twice per day, around 10:30 am and 4:00 pm and have no desire for snacking whatsoever. My addiction to certain foods, cravings for sweets, and my predilection to overeat, have all disappeared. This fascinates me. If you want to know more about this diet, check out my previous post on it.
A Few Notes on What Doesn’t Work for Me
Finding what doesn’t work, through a great deal of trial and error, has helped me find what does work. I would like to share a few things that have guided me along the way.
Unkindness Doesn’t Work for Me
Grudges, expectations, jealousy, competition, trying to prove myself and lack of compassion have been issues that I have been struggling with my entire life. These are parts of myself that I don’t show most people but have clearly been a part of me and obviously don’t work. I am learning to let them arise as they always have and immediately find what it is in me that is causing it, not the action or the inaction of the other person or people involved. I then find what is it that I can resolve within myself to solve the issue. Taking 100% responsibility and being decisive in how I am going to resolve the situation is working for me.
A Raw Food Vegan Diet Doesn’t Work for Me
Recently I did a “Raw Fruit & Veggie Diet” based on a protocol from Dr. Robert Morse for 90 days from April to July 2019 in order to heal my body. So from 4.11.2019, I embarked on an all raw fruit & veggie diet omitting all other foods and drinks except for water. I started out at 77.6kg (171lbs), worked through a week of withdrawals from caffeine and was on my way finally reaching a body weight of 65kg (143kg) at the 90-day mark. Some stretches of days I ate only grapes and I really enjoyed that.
Biggest issues with this Diet:
I constantly felt chilled to the bone – the only time I could heat my body up enough to sweat was when I got in a 48-degree Celsius bath (118 degrees F)
I was hungry every 2-3 hours
I felt addicted to dried fruits such as dates and figs and sometimes couldn’t stop eating them
I completely lost my sex drive for three-plus months- my wife was not happy about that:-)
I lost over 5kg (10lbs) of lean muscle mass
I completely lost my desire to train-exercise
I’m not attacking this raw food vegan approach, as my wife eats about 60% raw food, especially fruits and she looks and feels great. She can do 4+ chin-ups, has a six-pack and works from morning to night with me, so it’s working for her.
Watching TV Doesn’t Work for Me
I think there are many great things on TV, Netflix or Amazon Prime and I will watch a movie with my wife 2-4 times a month and I really enjoy them. Daily viewing just doesn’t float my boat, so I don’t do it.
Please Take Inventory and Find Out What Works for You
I wanted to share my experience with you, in hopes that it might inspire you to take a deeper look at things you are doing that may not be working for you.
I realize that most of my clients don’t go to bed until 1:00 am. Then they get up around 7:00 am, so they are getting 6 hours of sleep. Is this you? If it is, do you feel like you are functioning at a high level? Are you making healthy food choices? Are you reaching for coffee first thing in the morning and some carby-starchy-sugary food to start your day? Is this working for you? If it it, AWESOME!! If not, please take a look at things that you can do that work, given what you are trying to do.
Please take a deep look at aspects that you feel aren’t working for you in your life. Ask me for help if you need it. I will help you the best I can.
Recently I have been intrigued by exercise early in the morning before most Tokyoites are out and about. I was getting too caught up in being too busy with work and realized that although our mission at LFBX Gym is to help people achieve the highest level of mindset, health, fitness, and lifestyle that they desire, I was not keeping my fitness on point. So I thought of ways to remedy this.
The Second Step – The Walk
I found that walking with my wife, for about 20-30 minutes was a perfect approach. Here’s why:
When I walk with my honey it is at a pace that we are able to hold a normal conversation. We talk about life and there is no computer screen, cell phone, book, food or whatever in front of us. Just the road, sidewalk, a few people and cars here and there. It’s a great way to communicate. It’s also a great opportunity to hold hands.
It gets us out in the morning sun or rain communing with as much nature as possible, which has been proven to set our daily circadian rhythm for deeper sleep in the evenings. See this short article, by Dr. Chatterjee 4 Simple Tips to Help You Sleep for a few tips on better sleep.
It’s a perfect time to get some solid exercise on an empty stomach, in a fasted state. For more on the benefit of fasted exercise, see Micheal Matthew’s post.
Walking is an exercise that is kind to the joints, gives excellent cardio benefits and is just so easy.
The Third Step – Making it a Daily Habit
We found this to be a very enjoyable habit that brings energy to the rest of the day. Some people view exercise as something that requires time that they feel they need to spend on other things; however, I see intelligent exercise, such as walking, as an investment that pays dividends by increasing focus, decreasing emotional and mental stress and adding a sense of accomplishment that you are taking your health into your own hands.
The Fourth Step – Tracking Your Progress For Fun
The recent trend in health is Health Tracking. I can see how it can get out of hand, as I generally err on the side of minimalism, but I do find it fun to quantify my efforts and gamify fitness a bit. Here’s a previous post on my 4 Unique Ways to Track Health. If you have an iPhone, and you want to track your steps, you can use a simple app called Health. You can see the specifics of how to track your steps in Tip 6 in the Health link above. I have found that when I walk at a solid pace, I get approximately 1,000 steps per 10 minutes, so in order to walk 10,000 steps, it would take about 100 minutes (an hour and 40 minutes) for me to log in that many steps per day. I’m sure that I could ‘step it up’ a bit, to make it an even 90 minutes. There are days that I do this but I definitely don’t make it a “must-do” every day. This could easily be done with a 3 x 30-minute walk approach throughout the day: 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the afternoon and 30 minutes before or after dinner.
The Fifth Step – Start with 10 Minutes Out and 10 Minutes Back
My suggestion to my clients who don’t deliberately practice walking each morning, is to wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual, have water, tea or coffee without any calories in it, set their timer on their phone for 10 minutes and walk in one direction. When the timer goes off, they come back home and they are done. I suggest that they listen to a favorite Audible book, podcast or songs that make them feel good. If they want to be more natural, of course, they can just walk and enjoy the sounds of nature and the world around them. Mantras are also good during walking as the walking sets up a very nice rhythm through tempo and the sounds of footsteps. These mantras don’t need to be esoteric or based on spiritualism or religion, they can be as simple and fun as “I love to exercise.” Or “I am magnificent.” Being creative with these is a lot of fun in itself.
Walking to Shinjuku from Sugamo
The Last Step – Enjoy Ramblin’!
If you are looking to feel better, sleep deeper and just know, intuitively, that moving a bit more is healthy, please implement walking into your day. 10,000 steps is a very nice goal, and I believe that even 20-30 minutes first thing in the morning will make a beneficial and noticeable difference in your life once it becomes a habit.
Today I would like to share with you a very committed client, good friend, and all-around gentleman. I have known Taisei Fukaya since May of 2016. He came to train with me at that time and our friendship has grown very powerfully over the years through our open and honest conversations that have unfolded since then. Taisei is intelligent, patient, deep, kind and is always doing his very best to improve himself. He has upgraded his health, lowered his body fat percentage and has increased his strength and lean muscle mass through our training together and on his own at home on his chin up-dip station. He loves good food, musicals, Mickey Mouse and so much more. Taisei Fukaya is definitely a deep and interesting fellow.
Without further ado, I am very excited to introduce you to Taisei, as I believe that you will receive the goodness and value that comes from this man, as I do every time I see him.
Welcome, Taisei. Please tell us a bit about your history.
T: That’s a little bit difficult to express… but when I feel sturdy, I’m sturdy! I’d like to train myself until I can feel I’m sturdy.
B: I believe I get what you mean.
B: What do you want to achieve with your diet goals?
T: A flat stomach.
B: Good goal! How close are you on your “Journey to a flat stomach”? If 100% flat is your destination, how far are you along the journey percentage-wise? 70%…80%
T: Now 20%… I should lose weight more and gain muscle!
B: OK, that means we have quite a distance to go! What is your biggest obstacle in the way preventing that last 80% of the journey?
T: Hmm… the amount of exercise, I suppose. I’m trying to work out every day.
B: Let’s see what we can do about that. Please share any approaches to training that you believe would help others.
T: Love someone : )
B: I didn’t expect that answer in regard to training, but yes, truly loving someone is training the most important muscle in the human body – the heart. Good one, Taisei.
B: Ok, I’d like to change things up a bit and talk about sleep. On average, how many hours do you sleep per night?
T: 7 hours.
B: Good, what time do you go to bed and what time do you wake up?
T: I go to bed by 12:00 am and am up by 7:00 am.
B: Do you feel you are getting enough sleep?
B: Perfect. What would be your most ideal time to go to bed and to wake up and why?
T: 1 hour earlier than above. I would like to have more free time in the morning.
B: OK, so you would get up at 6:00 am and what would you do with that extra hour?
T: I’d like to think about myself and my life.
B: I understand. Why are you not making that happen now? What’s in the way?
T: You’re right! Actually, drowsiness has been a problem for me since I was a child…
B: It might be wise to change up your food choices and your sleep habits to see if we can solve this issue. I’m certain changes in these two areas could make a huge difference in your QOL.
T: You may be right.
Top Recommendation for Deep Sleep
B: What is one step you recommend people take in order to sleep better every night?
T: Enjoy the aroma of a relaxing fragrance in your bedroom! I am a certified aromatherapist, and I recommend Spa Ceylon for purchasing top-notch fragrances. My sister bought me this gift Sleep Intense Dream Balm from Spa Ceylon and I love it. I recommend that you choose fragrances intuitively; just trust your gut.
B: Wow, I didn’t know this about you. I knew that you have a sensitive sense of smell, but didn’t realize that you are a certified aromatherapist. Thank you for sharing with us. It appears that Spa Ceylon is available overseas and also in Japan.
B: OK, my friend, now we know about your approach to good sleep, let’s talk about your dream in life and how you are pursuing it.
T: Sure, my dream is to be a true entertainer, so I’m writing scripts!
B: Fantastic! Please share any current projects that you are working on towards your dream.
T: Yes, we’re planning to present a play in a moving train with a script I am working on, so I’m trying to create some plots now.
B: That’s awesome news, Taisei!! How unique! Congratulations! Once you know more details about this, please update me and I’ll share it here.
T: Will do.
Favorite Things in Life
B: OK, let’s dig a bit deeper into who Taisei Fukaya is. What are your favorite 3 hobbies and why do you like them?
T: Writing, Acting & Cooking, because they are all creative!
B: I am a fan of Robin Sharma and even met him in person at a seminar in Toronto years back. He’s a very wise and humble guy who contributes good stuff! In fact, he directly inspired me to name my company GRIT KK (Kabushiki Kaisha).
T: I didn’t know that! Cool!
B: What is your favorite music to listen to when you want to feel happy?
T: Jazz, especially cheerful Jazz.
B: Cheerful is good. Tell us your favorite musical and why you love it.
T: 1) Wicked 2) Lion King 3) Spring Awakening 4) Avenue Q….. Oh, I cannot explain why! Just go out and see them if you haven’t and fall in love with these amazing musicals. If fact, go out and enjoy many musicals because there are so many great ones to experience!
B: Please share your favorite attraction at either Tokyo Disney Land or Disney Sea and why you love it.
T: I love ”Turtle Talk” …because I was a member of the construction team.
B: What is your favorite color and why?
T: I like all the colors of the rainbow. I like the state of being colorful.
B: Nice. What is your favorite food and why?
T: I like hamburgers. American’s love hamburgers, right?
B: Yes, for the most part, they do. Tell us your favorite restaurant and your favorite dish there.
T: I love Skipper’s at Shiomi, Tokyo. Their hamburger is one of the best burgers in Japan!
B: Coffee? Tea? Beer? Other? What is your favorite drink for relaxing and feeling good?
T: There is nothing like having a good beer outside in nature!
Tips for Being Extraordinary
B: I hear you. What is a food you eat virtually every day that if you gave up would improve your health?
B: YES!!! Significantly decreasing and ultimately eliminating processed food can do wonders for our health.
T: I believe that, too.
B: Taisei, you always seem calm and patient to me, please share your #1 hint on how you overcome stress.
T: I think the better I eat and the deeper I sleep, the calmer and more patient I am.
Where to Find Taisei Fukaya Online
B: True words from a wise man! Ok, how can we be fans of Taisei Fukaya? How do we find you online?
T: Right now, you can find me here on facebook. I’m planning to have a blog in the near future.
B: Thank you, my friend. I am grateful for your friendship and that you graciously made the time to share yourself with us today.
Here’s the last question: If Taisei Fukaya were to share just ONE THING he believes is most important to looking, feeling or being extraordinary, what would it be?
T: I believe that “It’s never, never, never too late to do anything”. In other words, “You are the youngest you will ever be RIGHT NOW”. There is a certain limit to time, but we still have plenty of time to do what we choose, always.
B: Well said, Taisei Fukaya. I agree wholeheartedly! I’m really looking forward to seeing you share your gifts fully in these days ahead, my friend. Thank you!! Continue to be extraordinary!
“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” — Bob Dylan
I get to work with really great people, for which I am very grateful. Seiichi Minenaga is one of these really great ones that gives his all every time I see him. He runs his own Spanish wine bar, called MyLan, in the heart of Sugamo, because that is what he wants to do. He speaks English and some Spanish, too! And he has a Six-Pack:-)
The Decision to Have a Six-Pack
Seiichi, now in his mid-forties, made the decision to have six-pack abs, while still enjoying wine on a nightly basis.
He expressed that he wanted to have a six-pack, but because he loved drinking wine, thought it wouldn’t be possible. I knew that he could have that six-pack if he balanced his eating more to make space for the carbs that come from wine. Weeks passed and Seiichi diligently did his work quietly and consistently. He came to train one day, lifted his shirt and said, “This is the first time in my life that I have visible abs!” I was very happy to see his results and hear his words.
Proof that You Can Have Your Wine and Six-Pack, too
For people who love fine wine and still want washboard abs, here is some motivation from the mouth of a master: “I am proof that you can enjoy good wine and still have a six-pack!” Bravo Seiichi! You can! You can!
This photo was taken before training without any pumping up – just relaxed and au naturel.
Six-Pack Conscious Eating
One big factor in getting results is by increasing one’s awareness of food. He dropped this Wisdom-Bomb on us, “My natural intuition about food & drinks has improved, so I “know” what works for me and what does not. The more I eat and drink in ways that work for me, the better I feel.” He added, “I used to drink canned Chu Hai (a sho-chu based liquor), but I didn’t feel that it is natural and doesn’t make me feel good, so I don’t drink it much at all anymore.” He is trusting his intuition and developing his Jedi feeling skills. This is life-changing!
What works for Seiichi is eating lots of veggies, fruit such as bananas & berries, sardines & mackerel, Greek yogurt, tofu, mozuku (a vinegared seaweed) and only about 50g of white rice which he eats with natto. He stays away from eating at convenient stores, remarking, “I don’t like to eat things like salada chicken (a packaged, high-sodium, chicken breast that is surrounded by a gelatin-like coating) from the convenience store because I think there are too many chemicals in it.”
He is right about the chemicals in that chicken. I used to eat it often and now I never do. My suggestion is that you learn to read packages and know which ingredients promote health and which do not. (I am happy to write a blog on this for those interested. Comment below if you are.)
Six-Pack Exercise Approach
Since we have a great idea of Seiichi’s approach to nutrition, I asked him to share his exercise/training secret. He said that he exercises hard with weights and bodyweight exercises with me at LFBX Gym once per week and he exercises on his own at home doing bodyweight exercises like push-ups, ab work and single-leg bodyweight deadlifts for balance, glute and lower back strength. This is vital. Exercise daily!
Back Pain Be Gone!
He shared something that is true music to my ears: “I had lower back pain, but after training with Bodhi, it’s gone.” Of course, I love to see people achieve all of their goals, AND when it’s something like back pain disappearing, that just fills me up.
Coffee? Caffeine? What’s the Scoop?
Since he has achieved his initial goal of attaining a chiseledmidsection, I nudged him for his next goal. He said that he loves coffee but wants to cut it because the caffeine isn’t good for him. Coffee is a tricky subject, as some researchers say the antioxidants in it alone can add years to life. Others say that the caffeine overload overstimulates the adrenal glands, which can lead to adrenal fatigue. I say, truly enjoy one good cup of coffee per day; really savor it. Mark Sisson has a few great posts on coffee: The Definitive Guide to Coffee & 14 Ways to Make Coffee Healthier. If you need an extra boost during the day then go ahead and have one or two cups of green tea, matcha or yerba mate tea. Go Green!!
Have a World-Class Glass of Wine with Six-Pack Seiichi in Sugamo
Thank you for reading about our dear friend and super client, Seiichi Minenaga. Please visit him at his bar, MyLan, when you visit Sugamo, so you can experience his warm, chill nature, have some world-class Spanish wine, have some of his awesomenessrub off on you and perhaps get a glimpse of his abs:-)
I see Seiichi as a true success because between getting up in the morning and going to bed at night, he does what he wants to.