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Our journey across the world to develop our training method.
VAHVA Fitness is a Finnish born fitness company dedicated to transforming people's lives with a perfect mix of Eastern and Western methods.
Our movement, athletic and core training videos are some of the most popular in the world with millions of views per video.
Yet, we are the proudest of the thousands of lives we have improved, physiques we have upgraded and the change we have been able to make in people's lives.
VAHVA - /vahˈva/
A Finnish word for Strong, Able-bodied and Powerful. Both physically and mentally.
VAHVA Fitness was born in 2015 in a cold and dark country called Finland (located in Northern Europe).
Finland has been globally known as the country of honesty, considerateness, meticulousness, Finnish persistence ("Sisu") and the highest quality.
When it comes to strength and conditioning, Finland has been renowned for advancing the field since the early 1900s and we are glad to continue to this tradition.
The founders of VAHVA Fitness, Samuli T. Jyrkinen (left) and Eero Westerberg (right) originally met while doing their university studies and instantly connected thanks to their interests in strength training, martial arts and Bruce Lee.
At the time of launching the company (2015), both founders had over 5 years of experience in training in different fields. Now was the time to help others.
We are still passionate about our personal goals but at this point we are only going to make incremental improvements in our health & fitness. We get more motivated by helping others to reach great results.
Fitness completely changed our lives for the better. We want to let you know that change is possible and the good times are coming.
Both of us worked hard for the results we have acquired and what makes us special is that neither of us was an athlete or a fitness enthusiast growing up - we got interested in fitness in our early 20s and have not stopped since.
We got into fitness to look good and feel better about ourselves but we also wanted ultimate strength and functionality that had the best transferability to activities such as sports, dance and martial arts.
In the beginning, we jumped from one style to another in the search of the best way to develop the body. We quickly realized that most training styles have very poor transferability to anything outside the style itself.
We started with calisthenics (street workout) and powerlifting only to discover that these styles were brutally damaging to the body and caused problems that took a long time to fix.
Before starting VAHVA Fitness, we also had plenty of background in different martial arts such as Taekwondo, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, Muay Thai and Capoeira.
Later we incorporated different techniques and principles from arts such as breakdancing and contemporary dance.
We attended various courses and workshops on dance, martial arts and strength training. We read countless books on strength training & nutrition and studied obsessively the course material of ACSM.
However, the most skilled we had become in bodyweight training, movement training, gymnastics, old school bodybuilding (1850-1950) and general strength and conditioning.
This wide variety of different education allowed us to understand the human movement and the human body on a much deeper level.
MAJOR DESTINATIONS: Finland 2016 ➞ Croatia 2016-2017 ➞ Malaysia 2017 ➞ Australia 2017-2018 ➞ Taiwan 2018 ➞ Japan 2018 ➞ Kazakhstan 2018 ➞ Israel 2018 ➞ Greece 2018 ➞ Germany 2018 ➞ Estonia 2018 ➞ Finland 2019
After one year of challenges, VAHVA Fitness was already established and successful but we realized that in order to make a major shift in our results and insights, we had to get new experience and education to take everything to the next level.
In the Summer of 2016 we decided to move to Croatia and start learning from new sources which weren't available in Finland or on the Internet alone.
The Internet makes it seem like it has all the knowledge but in reality the level and depth of knowledge on Internet is very shallow and rudimentary for the most part (we want to change this).
We soon realized that the real expertise was behind closed doors with people who didn't even have a prevalent online presence.
After Croatia we moved to Asia and lived in Malaysia which is a Muslim country with lots of Chinese people. We also traveled to different countries along the way and spent time in amazing places such as Singapore.
We traveled nearly 1.5 years and acquired amazing insights from many different sources and surroundings.
At this time we truly developed our own methods of training and acquired real depth and knowledge which started to truly separate us from the rest.
We also really understood and mastered the art of performance and athletic training.
Moving to Melbourne, Australia was another major shift because for the first time we were located in an English speaking country with rich multicultural surroundings.
Melbourne is a proper metropolitan city of 5 million people where different cultures interact with each other. Nearly everyone we met was from somewhere else.
In Australia alone, we spent 1000s of US dollars to learn from many different sources to further our education.
We spent hundreds of hours learning Ballroom Dance, Ballet, Tai Chi, Qigong, Yi Jin Jing, Yoga and Pilates.
Finland is a very masculine country - so is Croatia (a Slavic country). When it comes to performance and athletic training there doesn't exist better places to learn.
Australia was truly an immersion to softer styles of training which we were partly lacking in our approach.
Over the year, we practiced with many amazing teachers from Australia, Italy, China and USA.
After Australia, we spent a couple of weeks in Taiwan where we trained with one of the best kung fu masters in the world: Jiang Yu Shan.
This man is an anomaly in the world of Chinese kung fu and martial arts. He has gone to the extremes in both internal and external styles of kung fu.
We learned various forms of Qigong and internal kung fu but also went through the hardest training known to man called "harden bone kung fu". Check out the episode here.
Jiang Yu Shan has over 40 years of training under his belt and we continue to learn ancient Chinese secrets from him.
A lot of Chinese kung fu you see today is BS but there exists real kung fu that is something extraordinary. It's not easy to find but it does exist.
After Taiwan, we headed to Japan where we paid our respects to the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi.
We spent 3 nights in the countryside of Japan where Miyamoto Musashi was allegedly born and buried.
After Japan, we took a flight to Kazakhstan which is a beautiful country full of Russian influence. Then, we traveled to Israel where we visited Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Palestine.
Finally, we arrived back in Europe where we took a bus from Athens to this small town called SPARTA.
Later we visited Germany and Estonia before settling down in our home country Finland.
In the beginning we learned all the basic stuff.
We became experts on how to get strong. How to build muscle. How to lose fat. How to move and use your body. These things are naturally present in our programs.
However, we soon realized that many methods and styles of training people do are fundamentally flawed or even flat out broken.
How most people train their bodies is that they get something but they always lose something else - and often what they lose is more valuable than what they acquired.
For example, in the early years of our training we used to train too much and too often because that's what the tough guys of the fitness industry used to preach.
Everything was about "more and more" - everything was about quantity. We were thinking that forcing it produced better results.
We got some results, but we also abused our bodies and joints to the degree that it took years to fix. Fortunately, we trained just smart enough to avoid any serious injuries.
What's scary is that this is how almost everyone trains their bodies. It's an epidemic.
Everything was about the immediate results (which don't even exist) with very little consideration for the long term consequences.
We eventually realized that you actually get better results when you don't force it. You can actually do it in a way that is good for the health and posture of the body while still reaching your goals.
Thanks to our challenges we became experts in restoring the natural limitless performance of the human body and fixing pains and aches in all joints of the human body.
There are very few who have been able to replicate the results we have gotten. Fixing chronic pains that seem almost impossible to fix is the thing we are the proudest of.
We take everything into account: the big picture how everything is connected to everything and how short term actions can have long term consequences.
No one is talking about this because no one truly understands this. It's a flaw in the Western way of thinking. It took years of studying traditional Eastern practices to fully understand it ourselves.
In Germany, we met with one of the most successful and popular strength & conditioning coaches Steve Maxwell who shares our view on training.
Maxwell is 66 years old with nearly 50 years of experience and he really understands the long term consequences of training.
We learned a lot from Mr. Maxwell, especially when it comes to taking care of the body, breathing and nutrition for both performance and health.
Steve Maxwell also shares our view regarding how Western medicine is great for emergencies but HORRIFIC as preventive medicine. The Scientific West has great knowledge but it's not complete and perfect.
Today, we have been able to mix the wisdom of both Western and Eastern practices into one in a way that heals the body while also allowing you to reach your fullest potential in anything you choose to accomplish.
We have a method of training that is truly unique, that actually works and is proven by real tangible results.
Not only have we gotten great results but so have countless users of our programs. We frequently get new testimonials and comments where we hear about amazing results.
Eventually, our goal is to have THOUSANDS of success stories and testimonials of people who have conquered their fears, mastered their bodies and transformed their health and bodies.
If you are doing our programs and want to contribute - contact us! In order to make a positive impact on the world, we need all the help we can get.
After traveling the world, we are more dedicated than ever to serving as many people as possible. We embarked on this journey to attain wisdom so we can better serve you.
We studied strength training for 5 years only to realize later that we still had NUMEROUS holes and flaws in our method. We had knowledge and experience but only from one perspective.
Only after 10 years of immersion, commitment and borderline obsession we can truly say that we now understand how the human body works on a deeper level.
How our Training Methodology is structured:
During the journey, we got severely sick a couple of times (Croatia and Malaysia), nearly got mugged & robbed in Kazakhstan and bitten by weird snakes in the Australian wilderness.
It has been a crazy challenge to travel and run a business at the same time but it has been worth it because now we are able to serve more people with the best possible training.
Before now, you have been forced to choose between performance or a healthy body.
What if you could master both?