If you’ve ever taken one of Kenta Seki’s Aaptiv classes, you know he’s all about maximizing time…and muscle burn.
If you haven’t taken one of his classes yet, you’re missing out on his inspiring mantras, upbeat playlists, and creative challenges.
So how did he get into fitness? We sat down with Kenta to find out—and learned about his eccentric hobbies.
Full name: Kenta Seki
Hometown: San Gabriel, CA
Favorite snack: Any high-protein bar
Favorite music genre: deep house
Favorite thing to cook: any breakfast item
Where did you grow up and what was your favorite part about it?
I was born and raised in a city called San Gabriel, which is right outside of Los Angeles. I loved growing up in LA because I was exposed to all different types of people, cultures, types of cities, even weather.
As strange as that might sound, you’re 30 minutes from the beach, 30 minutes from the mountains, an hour from the desert, and an hour from the snow, so you get a little bit of everything.
How did you get into fitness? Did you play sports as a kid?
No, I liked sports, but I never played sports. But I did get turned onto yoga at a really young age by my sister. I loved it so much that I was practicing it all the time.
Yoga was my first love in fitness. It’s what taught me to fall in love with my body.
What’s been your favorite part of overall fitness?
What it teaches me about my own body and mind. On top of that, being a trainer, because now I’m learning from other people, while being able to empathize and teach at the same time.
Fitness for me is very multidimensional. It’s not my body looks great, I feel good, or I’m helping people. It’s this big mash up of all different things.
Aaptiv members have come to love your different mantras for each class. How do you come up with them?
Sometimes I have one that really sticks with me, and I try to work it into a class somehow. Sometimes I come up with them because I’m putting my playlist together and a song happens to have a line in it that I think is a good mantra, and I use that as the theme for the class.
I have a lot of different ways I tie them in, but I try to make it something that is as cohesive as possible, and makes sense with the music or what I’m talking about.
A lot of your mantras talk about positive energy and thinking. How do you get through a bad day?
It depends on the day. Sometimes I like to just ride the bad day and allow it to pass. I just embrace the emotions and allow myself to feel them. But, at the same time, I know that they will pass and that things will get better.
Focusing on the positive is always a big thing for me. Some physical things I do are meditation—just stopping, sitting, breathing—and doing mental energy cleansing of my body, my mind, my thoughts, and of those around me.
You recently shared a video where you get active in the kitchen. Do you cook often?
I’m trying to cook more. It’s a main goal of mine. I just created Kenta’s Kitchen, which is my own little segment of cooking. It’s what I released for Aaptiv’s Meal Prep March campaign. It did really well, so I’m going to start producing more of them.
How did you get into cooking?
Well there’s cooking, and then there’s making food. I’ve been making food, and now I want to start getting into more instructional cooking. I see it as a bigger progression to what I’m doing for my career.
Aside from cooking, what do you like to do when you’re not working out?
Well I used to be a professional fire dancer. I was part of a fire dancing troop around 15 years ago—I was like 18. My specialty was whips.
I had two 8-foot long bullwhips that I would set on fire and crack. They would make these huge explosions of fire. I also had a ball of fire I would swing around on a chain. I had all kinds of tricks around my legs and my neck.
How did you get into fire dancing?
My sister was into it. She lived out in Santa Monica at the time, and she started doing it. I thought it was cool, so I started going with her and playing with people’s equipment. I would never set anything on fire. But I started getting really good with it.
What was the training process for it?
The trick is to practice with it not on fire. You get the moves down and then you set it on fire once you have a few things. First, make sure you’re comfortable with what you’re doing—don’t practice new tricks with fire.
Also, make sure you have a safety, which is a person on the side with a fire extinguisher or kevlar. Water needs to be available, and you need to make sure you’re in a safe environment.
Do you still do it?
I haven’t done it in a while because I don’t like burning my hair off anymore. I used to burn the hair off my arms and my eyebrows all the time.
Want to see Kenta in action for yourself? Check out some of his classes in-app:
- Torch & Tone Tabata (Strength Training)
- Heavy HIITer (Strength Training)
- The Zen Zone (Stretching)
Not a member of Aaptiv, but want to check it out? Click here.