Asian Trainers

Longtime readers of this blog know that I have a background as a strength and physique trainer. I have an older blog called Strength and Physique, where I discuss all things strength and bodybuilding. I have readers of all ethnicities and backgrounds, but I noticed that a lot of my readers gravitated towards me because I was an Asian male. The very fact that I was an Asian male with a strength training background was novel to them. They needed an Asian male to relate to concerning advice about weightlifting and diet.

My previous post Strength Training for the Asian Lifter is still my most popular post on this blog. Since then, a lot of Asian American men have gotten into the "PT on the Web" biz. I was reminded of this when 8 Asians posted some blurb about some accountant who's now going to play for the Miami Dolphins. The accountant's trainer was Chad Ikei.

I remember Chad Ikei, because he worked with Charles Poliquin and actually posed for an article that Poliquin wrote on back exercises. Chad is a strong guy and really knows his stuff. But I got to tell you that I hate the way he's selling himself. Take a look at his website and take note of what you see:

Ikei Performance.

That's right. You saw correctly. Half naked samurai warriors who aren't even Japanese. This is sort of a common marketing strategy among PT's: equating discipline and strength in the gym with the warrior spirit. Everybody's familiar with the 300 workout or the Spartacus workout. People think if they do these workouts, then they'll sport the gladiator physique.

It's the same mentality with these samurai workouts. It's actually a common theme. A trainer at this facility (where I used to train my clients at) asked me for some advice on supplementing his personal training business with magazine articles and books. I gave him some advice, and he began publishing articles at the same sites that I had published. But he also resorted to marketing his Asian heritage by channeling the samurai: Samurai Strategies for Strength

This guy, Nate Miyaki, used to work the wrestling circuit as well as the Kamikaze Kid:

As you can see, Nate is a phenomenal acrobatic athlete. I always saw him doing Capoeira moves at the gym. Now I don't knock these guys for trying to market and brand themselves. Hell, my strength blog says, "Personal training for the professional warrior." I'm channeling the warrior spirit too. But I cringe every time I see Asian trainers trying to market themselves by pointing out their Asian-ness.

Asian men shouldn't have special back workouts or special chest workouts. It's not like Asian guys are a different species with different anatomies and different physiologies. There may be differences in size, hormones and diet, but the same workout advice applies, regardless if you're Asian or not. It's more important to recognize body type as opposed to race. So if you're a skinny Asian dude who wants to put on muscle, then you'd follow the same advice as a skinny white guy or a skinny Black guy.

As I told Byron on the Big WoWo podcast: Everybody takes the same path in achieving a strong physique. It's just that the path is longer for some than for others. Byron pointed out this other Asian trainer who specializes strength training for MMA. Note the chop suey font: Eric Wong.

Again, not knocking his expertise. I just cringe every time I see the chop suey font. You might as well bang the gongs while you're at it. At least he redeems himself by doing one arm pushups. You're not a man unless you can do one arm pushups!

So as you can see, there are plenty of Asian trainers on the Web. As far as Web trainers, Mike Chang is probably the most famous.

For the longest time I got Mike Chang mixed up with this other trainer and thought to myself, "The gay Asian trainer is really popular now." Lo and behold, I was getting Mike Chang mixed up with Peter Fever:

While Mike Chang and Peter Fever are extremely popular, their popularity pales in comparison to the popularity of yoga instructor Rodney Yee

Part of my expertise as a personal trainer is tactical fitness or tacfit for short. In other words, one of my specialties is strength and conditioning for the "professional warrior." Law enforcement, military and public safety in general. Modern day warriors, not those of the past. So my own workouts are a combination of the power lifts (bench press, deadlift and squat variations), explosive lifts (kettlebell clean and press, snatches), calisthenics (pull-up variations, dips, hanging leg raise and one arm pushups) and joint mobility and health. One of the training goals of a professional warrior is to have a high power to weight ratio. In other words, you have to be strong, but be extremely lean.

Gymnasts have great power to weight ratios. Here's one trainer that I subscribe to that shows you how to do gymnastic exercises:


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