This was a piece I had written up for fitlode and normally I don’t post the celebrity workouts I do because it doesn’t really fit with my blog but I liked this one I created and well, I love me anything ninja-esque so here is my 47 Ronin inspired workout for you to try with little to no equipment necessary (I can’t wait for this to come out!!!).
When asked to write another fitness celebrity piece, I was torn between some of my favorites like Colin Farrell in the remake of Total Recall or Will Smith in MIB3 or Mark Wahlberg in Contraband. All of these delicious men of hard bodied yumminess are all worthy of anyone’s attention, but when I caught wind of a fellow Canadian’s new upcoming film that is right up my alley, I had to take advantage. 47 Ronin is a 3D epic period Samurai movie based on the true tale of a band of Samurai swordsmen who avenge the death of their master in 18th century Japan starring Keanu Reeves and written by Chris Morgan who says the following:
“The 47 Ronin is a true story that took place around 1700-1701. It’s a time in Japanese culture when it was all about the Bushido code and honor, and putting internal things over external things — swords that were made to be functional instead of ornamental, that kind of stuff. This turning point in the culture when that started to shift. Society started to be more about external kind of things. The story is about these samurai whose lord is killed in an unfair way.” Upon the death of their master, the samurai are shamed into becoming Ronin — a Japanese word meaning Lordless Samurai. Despite the great wound to their pride and spirit, the newly anointed ronin rediscover their reason to fight.
Reeves’ character is one that has the artistic stylings, grace and danger of a Samurai with the intense physicality of a true warrior. “The Samurai become Ronin, outcast, and decide to enact revenge on the person who is responsible for the death of their lord. And I play an outsider, a kind of half-breed with a mysterious past named Kai, who’s in love with the princess and she’s in love with me, but we can’t be together. But during this journey and revenge, things change” states Reeves.
Keanu Reeves doesn’t get enough respect in the sexpot area as the above guys do (why not I don’t know) but in his upcoming film 47 Ronin, Reeves’ training regime and the results he puts out in both performance and physique are worth giving this Canuck more than just a second glance. In order for Keanu to prepare for the role, he spent many hours training his body and his mind in addition to various martial arts training like Jodan (involves double swords) which was something new to this seasoned action star who had previously studied Kendo which typically involves only one. Reeves also spent a large portion of his time learning the virtues of Bushido to help him be fully immersed in his character.
It takes many years of practice, truly a lifetime, to become a true Samurai and while you may not want to fully dedicate your life to this you can reap some of the benefits of feeling like one with this Kai inspired workout. Be sure to perform a warmup of mobility drills, marching in place or low impact jumping jacks.
- Kai Slice
You will need nothing more than a broomstick, a timer and your body to start at home with building up your flexibility and mobility. The quicker you learn to move through the movements the better you will work your cardiovascular system as well as increasing muscle endurance. As you progress you can either add more time on each set or decrease rest intervals. Do this one at a time don’t try to do both at once. Each exercise is performed for 30 seconds with 15 seconds rest between each exercise and a 2-3 minute rest between rounds.
- Samurai Sagittal Slice
Holding the broomstick with both hands at waist level with legs shoulder width apart, powerfully pivot your body from the hips keeping your body in line and the broomstick positioned in the same solid spot, to the right than powerfully to the left and repeat for time allotted.
- Hindu Pushups
Begin with your hands and feet on the floor and your butt up in the air. Instead of doing a normal pushup where you would simply press up and down, you will try to bring your head down towards the ground and through your arms all in a smooth sequence.
- Ronin Run
Find yourself a clear hallway or room and set yourself two markers across from each, one as the starting point, one as the finishing point. You will begin at one end face down on the floor and when the timer goes off, jump to your feet and sprint to the other end. When you reach the other, jump up as high as you can while doing a 180 turn and get back down to the ground and immediately repeat this sequence for time allotted. Be sure to do a cooldown of light marching in place, static stretching and foam rolling and follow this up with a Samurai shake of whey, greens and omega 3 fish oils or some straight up food.
My little disclaimer is this: do not for one second think this workout alone is going to make you some strong, fast, nimble ninja cause it won’t but this is a fun little bit to add in to your real training 🙂