Ken Yasuda - the legendary bodybuilder of Japan.
With his massive muscles and a sweet mask Ken has always appealed to a broad audience and garnered many fans. He became “The man who has the best body in Japan,” by winning the Mr. Japan Title in his first Mr. Japan competition. What impressed the crowd was that he was the biggest ever in Japan’s history with a very symmetrical and well-conditioned body. After his win, he was invited by the governor of Kyoto, Governor Aramaki, to the State Capital as an honored guest, a special visit to the Emperor’s Palace was arranged by his supporter, Minister of Justice of Japan, Yukio Hayashida.
After winning Mr. Japan, Ken was immediately offered professional status and became the first natural Japanese professional bodybuilder in the US. In the professional world championships, he defeated great champions from other countries, which include Mr. Universe, Mr. France, Mr. England, Mr. Europe, Mr. Germany, etc. He has consistently placed top 10 in the pro-world championships and became known as The Samurai Warrior. ESPN 2 broadcasted the competitions. Ken was one of the popular pros on the show, American Muscle. After several years of a professional career, Ken’s body matured tremendously. At 3% bodyfat (the lowest a human can get down to), his best competition weight was 235 pounds. He says, “more likely, 225 pounds after depleting 10 pounds of water to the point where my body is very dry and crispy.” His arms grew to be almost 21 inches and his chest to be 52 inches. In the bulk up season, he has achieved 290 pounds (bodyweight) with 22.5 inch guns! As he was able to eat like a hot dog eating champion, he was able to gain and gain. “well, I definitely could not keep my body fat at 3% at 290lbs. It was more like 16%.”
He has been also known as a master of conditioning. He has mastered the nutrition, physiology and training to a point where he can bring his bodyfat to 3% with no water retention, for instance, July 4th at 10am sharp. This is still very hard for many of the professional bodybuilders. Mastering the formula is another miracle for many of the champions. This kind of world top level in the professional bodybuilding, having degrees in kinesiology, medicine, or nutrition do not work to show the maximum effect on the sport performance. In this case, it is massive muscle with the human’s lowest bodyfat and no water retention. It is not taught in college or textbooks. Only top level bodybuilders can learn through the actual experience and consistent efforts of the right training with the right meal plans and conditioning.
Once he began to explore his own training philosophy as a professional bodybuilder with the basic knowledge of bodybuilding, nutrition, physiology, and kinesiology, his body grew even bigger and harder by improving the symmetry : front, back, side to side, top and bottom. The major fitness magazine in Japan, Ironman Magazine Japan, gave attention to Ken’s excellence in the sport in the US as the leader of Japan, the magazine reported everything Ken did from training, competitions, TV appearances and film acting. In addition, they began Ken Yasuda’s Talk Show Series in the magazine. In the series, Ken invites world top athletes and talk about life style, training, business, etc as the host/interviewer. The unique part of that is also “pose down with Mr. Japan” with those athletes whom no fans have ever seen such a side of in a magazine. For over 4 years, articles on Ken Yasuda and the series dominated the magazine with 20 to 30 pages per month. The circulation skyrocketed tremendously and instantly everyone in the industry became familiar with Ken. As his trainees and friends who were also superstars in pro-wrestling and mixed martial arts, recognized his excellence and their fans followed him.
Ken’s adventure of being a pioneer even escalated. He began to receive offers for his workout videos. Everyone wanted to see Ken and how he trains, thinks and does things. He has released 11 workout videos distributed all over Japan through magazines, online stores, his site, gyms and department stores. Some of them are hardcore bodybuilding videos, Bodyshaping for All Women, MMA conditioning videos, and MMA fighter vs Pro Bodybuilder videos. Then, we went on to publish a book called Final Program : biography and training. Final Program was a best seller in the bodybuilding world. In addition, 2 documentaries on him and his life on TV were made as his legendary story continues.
After all of these achievements, he has realized that doing seminars would give more motivation and influence to his fans. Then, again as a pioneer, he began his seminar and workshop tours. This had a great meaning to him since it influences people’s lives positively with what he can do. As he continued, his fans often emailed him on how their lives had changed with more motivation. This to Ken is the responsibility of being someone who is looked up, and his belief that everything he does has to be meaningful.
Bodybuilding is not all about building muscles. It is a way to improve oneself and apply what you have mentally learned into other things you do. Bodybuilding requires discipline, knowledge, experience, determination, self-confidence, consistent effort, preciseness of what you are doing, analytical skills, passion, etc.