Meet the Team
Our journey across the world to develop our training method.
VAHVA Fitness is a company dedicated to transforming people's lives with a perfect mix of Eastern and Western methods.
We have studied many different ways of training but we have also been serious innovators and researchers in the field of physical fitness.
Our movement, athletic and core training videos are some of the most popular in the world with millions of views per video.
Our videos have been featured on national TV and our work is used in educational institutions across the world in countries such as Australia and Finland.
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.
The Humble Beginnings in Finland
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 VAHVA Fitness (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.
Our Background and Transformations
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 initially 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 human body on a much deeper level.
The Major Shift: Traveling the World (Slavic countries and Asia)
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 are changing 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. Over the years we also developed our own methodology which was very different from what we had learn from others.
Moving to Australia for 1 year
Moving to Melbourne, Australia in 2017 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 a massive amount of time and resources 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.
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.
Meeting the Monkey Master
After Australia (2018), we visited a small town in Taiwan called Tainan where we met with Taiwan's monkey kung fu master Jiang Yu Shan who is a 9th duan grandmaster and a master of many Kung Fu styles and Daoist practices.
Originally, we went there to learn the harden bone skill for martial arts and Qigong for health and performance. At this point, we were already well-versed in many different methods.
We knew how to make the body strong, athletic and how to bulletproof the joints. What was missing was the purely "internal" element of training – how to control the internal processes of the body such as your hormones and brain chemistry with natural methods alone.
The 2 weeks trip quickly became a 2-year relationship with Jiang Yu Shan. Eventually we released 4 courses with the master which you can find at WarriorNeigong.com.
We earned our first 1. grade back belts in Qigong and self-defence. Prior to meeting Jiang Yu Shan, we already knew a lot about breathing but his knowledge and methods perfected our methods even further.
The reason learning from Jiang Yu Shan was important was because he had lived several decades in Taiwan where he had learned mostly from the local masters.
Prior to meeting us, he was not known in the West at all. His methods and knowledge were completely foreign to the West. Thankfully, we were able to export some special knowledge to the West.
Our Epiphanies and Mistakes
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 what they lose is often more valuable than what they acquired (they just don't realize it until it's too late).
For example, in the early years of our training we used to train too much in too repetitive patterns 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.
Fixing chronic pains that seem almost impossible to fix is the thing we are the proudest of. We have lots of testimonials from people fixing their knees, shoulders, back and hips following our programs.
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.
Health comes first, performance second. If your training is causing chronic joint problems, you are training in a wrong and an unsustainable way. The price you will pay will only get higher the older you get.
In Germany, we met with a popular strength & conditioning coach Steve Maxwell who shares our view on training. Mr. Maxwell is 68 years old with nearly 50 years of experience and he really understood the long term consequences of training.
We learned a lot from Mr. Maxwell, especially when it came to long term consequences of training and how to avoid destroying your body with training that should strengthen the body.
Steve Maxwell also shares our view regarding how Western medicine is great for emergencies but not very good as preventive medicine. The Scientific West has great knowledge but it's not complete and perfect.
Integrating Eastern and Western Wisdom
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 focus on.
We have a method of training that is unique, that actually works and is proven by real tangible results (we have hundreds of testimonials from the users of our programs).
We developed our methods over the last decade alongside with learning from different arts and mentors.
We follow a methodology that respects the body and doesn't abuse it. By developing a healthy relationship with your body, you can reach your fullest potential without needing to destroy the body or lean on supplements or drugs.
Each mentor and each art form added a new perspective to our methodology and allowed us to create a more complete approach to training and human physiology.
What we acquired were perspectives and principles. Different orientations to understand physicality and mentality.
You will see the influence of different arts and mentors in our methods but we have also innovated and researched heavily on our own.
Your body is your best teacher. What you will learn is the VAHVA method that will teach you more about yourself and your body.
Not only have we gotten great results but so have countless users of our programs. We frequently get testimonials and comments where we hear about amazing results.
We hear about people fixing persistent injuries with our programs and of course building muscle and losing fat. We also hear about people finally learning how to coordinate their bodies and building confidence to do what they have always wanted to do.
Living your life with confidence and pain-free with a body that can do everything you want to do might be the most important thing. People don't generally value their health until it's gone.
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.
between 2010 and 2015, we studied strength training for 5 years only to realize later that we still had numerous holes and flaws in our ways of training. We had knowledge and experience but only from a narrow perspective.
Only after 10 years of immersion, commitment and borderline obsession we can truly say that we understand how the human body works on a deeper level.
During the journey, we got severely sick a couple of times, 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?
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