Model Fitness

Trainer Kenta Seki on how to learn to love your own body no matter your shape or size

“Can I take a picture with your puppy?” trainer and model Kenta Seki asks a passerby on a gorgeous day at West Hollywood Park.

The owner of the pup in question–a two-month-old German shepherd mix–declines to go on camera himself but has no objection to his pup, who promptly jumps into Kenta’s lap and showers him with kisses.

Ah, the dog’s life.

Late last year, Kenta kick off our “prepared” interview series with health & fitness types, trainers, yoga experts, dancers, performers, anyone whose advice could help us get off the couch and into shape. Due to the popularity of his advice (and perhaps abs) we asked him to hang out with Queerty entertainment editor David Reddish and LA-based photographer Larry Geller to take us through a workout.

Kenta suggested we put some of his workouts in gif form.

How could we object?

So where’d you grow up?

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I was always in and out of Hollywood as a kid. I first got turned out to fitness in general when I was about nine. My sister was practicing yoga. I thought it seemed cool, like a martial art. So I just started doing it with her. Then I started stealing her VHS tapes and doing it when she wasn’t home. Then I started going to studios. By the time I was 14, I was the most advanced person in all those studios. Then I became a yoga instructor. After that, I started personal training. I eventually decided to try modeling, and I got called for a Jillian Michaels video. I got cast, and she and I actually ended up becoming really good friends. I was her right-hand trainer for about five years. I even trained her.

What’s up now?

Now I do my own things. I work with a lot of different brands. I do an audio workout app called Active, where I lead audio workouts. I lead a guided meditation. I teach abs, strength, abs, yoga meditation, anything you can think of just with my voice. I’m also on a couple of streaming sites for workout videos.

Let’s face it. Working out takes motivation. What’s the best way get your ass out of the house?

First, you have to decide what your goal is, and find out what it takes to get there. That way you know at least I need to be doing this. Then you just have to mentally prepare yourself to make that happen. Some days it may not be exactly that, but as long as you’re going forward at a pace in the right direction, I think you’re being successful. It’s about knowing your goal, how to get there, and trudging forward.

Dips to table

Equipment: Yoga Matt and a park

Goal: 3 sets of 20

Tone your triceps and booty at the same time. Really focus on squeezing your glutes at the top of the exercise, and hold the contraction for as long as you can or at least a second to get the best results.

It’s hot today here and in much of the nation. When the temperature gets really high, what’s the best thing to do so as not to exhaust yourself but still remain active?

First and foremost, pre-hydration is one of the most important things people usually avoid or just don’t know about. People know you’re supposed to drink water during your workout, but actually pre-hydrating before you work out is one of the most important things you can do. That way, your cells already have a lot of water in them. So drink water before, during and after a workout.

Second, always protect your skin. Wear sunblock. And nourish yourself. That way you have sustainable energy flow in your body before you go out.

Divebomber Pushup

Goal: 3 sets of 15
This is one of my favorite pushup variations, because it targets the upper & lower chest, not just the middle. It also hits your shoulders & triceps differently than the average pushup.

Working out makes people self-conscious. In terms of going to the gym, or working out in public, what’s the best way to overcome that anxiety?

Self-consciousness is there not a matter what you look like most of the time. I get self-conscious with my body. Regardless, you need to be confident and love yourself and love your body no matter what it looks like. It took me having an injury a few months ago—breaking my ankle—for me to finally look at my body and say, Oh my gosh, I’ve been judging my body so harshly these past few months, and my whole life. It took [my wellness] being taken away for me for an extended period to appreciate what I have. So love your body, and you’ll find that the self-consciousness goes away. Just finding self-love and acceptance first and you won’t worry about others.

What do you do when you need a dose of self-love?

There are so many things. It could be little things. It starts off in the morning. Always starting a day off with gratitude is so important to me. Every day you wake up, don’t touch your phone, don’t even get out of bed. Take a moment to breathe and be thankful that you’re alive and have a chance to go on in this world again. So having that is the first step to self-love: Being grateful that you’re here.

Also, find your purpose. Find your “whys.” That really helps people get eager to get out of bed and out of the house to enjoy life.

Sprinter Jump

Goal: 3 sets of 15 on each leg
I love this lunge variation because it really builds & tones your booty while burning some serious calories.

For work out attire in the outdoors, what’s best?

It depends on the activity. You want something airy and breathable, nothing that will restrict moisture or air going in and out so that your skin can breathe and let out the sweat.

Here’s a typical distraction. You see another good looking guy out and about. What do you do when he flirts with you?

It depends on where I’m at. If he’s being respectful, then absolutely, I’ll be respectful back.

What do you keep on your nightstand?

Water is by my side, 24/7, even when I sleep. I’m also a firm believer in crystals. I have a selenite crystal which is really good for purifying and keeping away negative energy. I also have palo santo which is good for burning and purifying. It really helps me sleep.

Cannonball sit up

Goal: 3 sets of 15
This progression to the average sit-up challenges the lower fibers of your abs as well as the upper, so you get better results as compared to a basic sit up.

Photos by Larry Geller