My name is Francis Kwapong. I’m 32-years-old, a fitness model, ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Boot camp instructor. I come from London,UK (of Ghanaian descent) and currently live in Kyoto, Japan. Fitness is my passion. I am here to help make your journey into the health and fitness world a lot easier.
How it all began?
“Daddy long legs,”
“Your trousers need food!!”
Being a skinny teenager, I was constantly on the receiving end of such negative remarks from my fellow classmates. This served to make me extremely insecure and finally, at the age of 18, I decided to do something about it. I was tired of the name calling. I wanted to be fit and look good, so I bought a pair of 5kg dumbbells and started lifting.
After a month of doing bicep curls, people started noticing improvements. “Wow Francis! Have you been going to the gym lately?” Seeing people react like that gave me more motivation to workout. And as with most guys who start working out, all I ever did was the bicep curl for my arms and eventually, I started looking like Popeye.
I joined my first gym at the age of 20, where I trained with so much enthusiasm but not enough direction. Legs? Back? Flexibility? Cardio? Those words simply weren’t in my gym vocabulary. The focus of my training was on my chest, arms, abs, and shoulders; and thus, I started to develop a Johnny Bravo-type physique. For those of you who don’t know Johnny Bravo, he’s a cartoon character with a muscular upper body and skinny legs, giving him a Y shape. Google him and have a laugh. At that time, I didn’t care about training my legs. My reasoning was that my legs already got a decent workout from the football I played. And besides, I didn’t ever wear shorts, so no one would see my legs. So, I thought….
Changes in Japan
In 2008 I moved to Japan and that’s when I took my training to the next level. My training habits and diet improved drastically. However, I didn’t start training my legs properly until 2012. So, what triggered this change? As we all know, young kids can be inadvertently and brutally honest. I overheard one of my 9 year old students say to his friends, “Gosh, look at the teacher’s legs, they’re so skinny!” And they all agreed. They were speaking in Japanese, thinking I couldn’t understand, but I understood every… single…word. That gave me the impetus to start training my legs, which I’ve been doing consistently for over two years. Now, I can finally say I have the balanced physique that I’ve always desired.
You can argue that that my reasons for training were superficial and perhaps you’re right. Really and truly, though, who cares what your reason for getting in shape is. That should be the fuel that motivates you to train as hard, as smart, and as well as you can.
As you can see, my training has evolved over the years, and it’s still evolving. I’d be a fool to say I know everything now, because I don’t. It took me 10 years to finally get to a stage where I’m actually satisfied with my physique. The point is, it may take long for you to get your ideal look, but you should never give up. As they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. If I can do it, so can you. Let’s get started!