The Art of the Everyday Workout with Kizzito Ejam
Nick: That’s right.
Heather Eastman: Refresh my memory. What’s the shin workout?
Nick: She’s relatively new here. She doesn’t know about the shins.
Kizzito: That’s why your shins look like that.
Kizzito: You’ve got to get in that workout.
Heather: Oh, I see. We’re just gonna go ahead and start like that.
Nick: That would be the “Total Tibialis Transforma-SHIN Throwdown to Failure.”
Heather: I see what you did there.
Kizzito: Total annihila-shin.
Nick: Total annihila-shin. That was a video that he did somewhere around April. It was maybe in the early part of April.
Kizzito: Yeah, like, April 1st.
Nick: 1st, 2nd, I forget which one it is, but you’ve also done a bunch of profiles …
Kizzito: Tons of videos.
Nick: “Armed To The Core” workout …
Kizzito: The Chiseled Trainer.
Nick: Chiseled, you’ve been the model for every damn thing here it seems like.
Kizzito: Yeah. I kind of built this company in my own two hands and smile, pretty much.
Heather: I see. And your shins.
Kizzito: And the shins, from the shin up.
Nick: If you go to Kizzito’s Instagram right now, you’ll see that he’s the only person to my knowledge to ever blow the dust off the 150-pound dumbbells down in the gym.
Kizzito: Here’s the rule.
Nick: Those are antiques. You’re not supposed to touch those.
Kizzito: I didn’t know. I thought they were just waiting there for me, pretty much.
Nick: They are. They’ve been waiting a long time.
Kizzito: I heard a voice say, “Kizzito.” I walked over there, it was the 150s. They needed me to lift them.
Nick: They needed somebody. Exactly.
Kizzito: Someone’s gotta lift them. Kris Gethin wasn’t doing them anytime soon. I had to step it up.
Nick: I’ve never seen anybody go over there. That is a dusty part of the gym.
Heather: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kizzito: Call me the cleaning crew, for weights.
Nick: So what’d you do with it?
Kizzito: I lifted it because they need to be lifted up. They were kind of getting lonely.
Nick: Did you clean around …
Kizzito: No, actually, I left some dust on there so people could see my fingerprints. Maybe they’ll grab them later on and get some of my energy.
Kizzito: It’s like Thor’s hammer. Pretty much.
Nick: You own them now.
Kizzito: I’m the only one that can lift it.
Nick: Now, Kizzito, there’s a whole lot of stuff we could talk about, but there’s something that I wanted to talk to you about.
Nick: This is something that we get in the comments about you a lot, and that is that you train every day.
Nick: Cardio every day, weights every day. Is that still your approach? That’s been your approach …
Kizzito: Still pretty much my approach. Yeah. Here’s the thing …
Nick: We got to get the story on. Since age 3? Age 5?
Kizzito: Since before I was born, pretty much. I was training out of the womb. Where it really started was, I remember when I first started lifting back in 2006. There was always these older guys who were like … One of the guys I train with now, a lot, 50 years old plus, in shape, great shape, and I thought to myself, “I can’t wait till I’m 50 years old to be in their shape.” They were consistent. They were training every morning at 5 o’clock. In order for me to create the habit of it that’s going to last for a long time, I’ve got to train now. I started training every day. Then I started two-a-days, then I started training three-a-days. Cardio in the morning, weights in the afternoon, then cardio at night. Just to get used to it.
Nick: Martial arts in there, as well?
Kizzito: Of course, martial arts. Just to have the habit of training. Obviously when you get older, life is gonna start to slow you down. But, I wanted to make sure fitness is consistent. I just started training three times a day, and now I’m just back to two times a day. Still doing martial arts, doing basketball.
Nick: Cutting back a little bit.
Kizzito: Cutting back a little bit, but …
Heather: Cutting back to two-a-days.
Kizzito: Yeah, but it’s still at a high level. If you set a goal for something, you’ve got to over train and then life is gonna slow you down to where you can be “normal”.
Nick: So, do you live in a gym?
Kizzito: I live in the gym. Pretty much to the point where I owned my own gym at one point. I’m gonna open up another.
Nick: Curl up behind the dumbbells.
Kizzito: Pretty much. Every gym in Central Florida knows me. So I kind of just walk in and just give them this—the peace sign—and say, “Hey, yeah, I’m here. It’s time to lift.”
Nick: So, you were a martial artist at that point, though, primarily. You think of martial arts, you think of somebody who … maybe they do more full body workouts or a couple times a week, they don’t want to get too heavy? This sounds more like bodybuilder kind of training. How do you reconcile those?
Kizzito: It’s definitely … So, here’s the thing, if you’re training martial arts, obviously when you’re doing martial arts there’s a lot of cardio, there’s a lot of full body exercises in it. Core training, flexibility, so I don’t have to worry about that when it comes to the gym. When I go into the gym I can actually lift heavy and work on muscle building because I’m getting the other aspect in martial arts. It’s kind of like looking left and right at the same time, but they’re separate. When it comes to the gym, yeah, I can train heavy all the time, but then when I do martial arts I’m getting my cardio and my flexibility and everything else that I need.
Nick: Right. So yeah, the stuff that the person’s getting from their dynamic warmup and all their stretches, martial arts, kinda like yoga, just covers a lot of bases.
Kizzito: It covers a lot of bases, but I’ll tell you one thing, in the beginning of the whole fitness journey, I trained like a bodybuilder did, which was a lot of weights, a lot of eating, and I started to lose my speed and flexibility in martial arts.
Kizzito: It did happen. So what I had to do was, for years, I switched my diet over to keto, that’s when I first started with Bodybuilding.com, I was on keto for a long time so I could just cut down all the mass that I had and then I started pretty much over, training differently. No long eating the way I was. I still do intermittent fasting style eating, where I’m eating maybe once or twice a day. When I’m still training progressively heavy, but I’m not trying to add as much weight on my body right away, you know what I mean? When I first joined Team Bodybuilding.com, I weighed 165 pounds. I weigh now 205. Before I even started training I was 205, but I was a lot slower. Now I’m 205, my speed and everything is still up because I let my body grow over time.
Nick: But then you don’t think you train like a bodybuilder.
Kizzito: I didn’t train like a bodybuilder. I should say that. I didn’t eat like a bodybuilder. Does that make sense?
Heather: Ah. Yes.
Kizzito: I didn’t eat like a bodybuilder. I ate according to my fitness goals. I wanted to stay lean and light, still be active. My lifting regimen was very much bodybuilder-ish. Slowly I started switching … Now, if you see the way I’m training, it’s not like bodybuilder. I’m doing maybe 30 reps per set, six sets before I even move to the next exercise. My body needs that now in order to get to the next level. I think sometimes people forget, or they underestimate how much more they can push or what they need to do to get to that next level. I never do that.
Nick: You envision somebody doing this and kind of crashing into the wall and day five, day seven, the first time they try it. You got to find your rhythm in there somewhere. How long did that take you?
Kizzito: You know, everyone has those breakthough … those walls that they meet, which is good. You need to have a plateau. You need to. In order to have a breakthrough, you have to hit a wall first. Isn’t that right? Same thing in martial arts. If you want to break a board, you have to hit it first, right? Then when you have that breakthrough you feel more accomplished. A plateau is very, very important. How do you get through a plateau is you’ve got to immensely understand that my next step is to push my body beyond what it’s done before.
In the gym I’ll do certain things, which I call the chest marathon, where I’m in the gym for three hours doing one exercise nonstop until my chest can’t do it anymore. Then I’ll go back to my normal routine. What that does is it kind of triggers your body a little bit. It says, “Wow, this guy’s gonna kill me every single time he does chest. I need to do something. I need to either grow, adapt, or just die,” which, your body’s never gonna give up on you. It’s never gonna give up on you. It’s gonna learn how to adapt and get to the next level.
Every once in a while you got to put a body part, or your body through a marathon and it forces it to adapt, and it forces it to grow. Put your body in an environment that’s gonna force it to change.
Nick: What do you feel like the benefits of this style of training are? It’s unique, some people get it. When you look at the comments, one guy was like, “Dude, this is written for me. This is exactly …” Another guy says, “This is totally bananas. I can’t even imagine this.”
Kizzito: Here’s the thing, I mean, especially when it comes to the gym, I’ll be honest, it’s boring. It’s very, very boring. It’s the same routine over and over and over again. Especially when you’ve reached a plateau. Especially when you’ve pretty much achieved all you can. If you train this way, you’ll see that your growth is nonstop. You’re gonna constantly be growing. You’re gonna constantly be getting stronger. You’ll be getting faster, more flexible. There’s always gonna be something that you’re gonna be achieving. So the benefit is that you’re gonna love it for a long period of time, as opposed to just having a set goal of just getting big or lifting one thing. You’re gonna have progression for a long period of time.
Heather: Yeah, that’s one thing I noticed is that you don’t seem to have a four-month goal, or a six-month goal. It’s like you have this infinity goal.
Kizzito: It’s a life goal.
Heather: It just lasts forever.
Kizzito: It’s a life goal.
Heather: I have to admit, I was one of those people who thought this was totally bananas. I think my head exploded when Nick told me that you do not take a day off because that’s the one thing I tell everybody, is you have to rest. So, have you ever experienced overtraining? Have you hurt yourself? Tell me a little about that.
Kizzito: I’ve definitely hurt myself. That’s an occupational hazard. That’s part of being an athlete in any sense.
Heather: I doubt you’re all dancing between sets.
Kizzito: But, I do recover very fast. Maybe faster than some people. People do call me Wolverine. I do recover really fast.
Nick: “People do call me Wolverine.”
Kizzito: I am Wolverine. Here’s the thing about rest days, yes, they’re very important. Obviously you can kind of tell if you’re kind of breaking down, you start to feel a little sick. You maybe need a break. Sometimes life gives you breaks. When I was traveling here I couldn’t train for a long period of time. There are points in your life where you just have to take a break. I don’t like to schedule rest days. I like to schedule success. Every day, I plan for success. If I could do anything that’s gonna make me successful, I’ll do that.
When it comes to rest, I think people overestimate or overthink what rest is. Rest means adequate sleep, which means you’re going prone for a long period of time. You understand what I’m saying? There are days in my week, like Sundays I’ll train early and I’ll go see my family, and then I’ll go prone. I’ll take a nap for a long period of time just to recover everything that I’ve done for the entire week. I don’t like to sleep a lot. I wake up every day 5 a.m. I maybe go to sleep 10:30, 11. That’s just the way I am. But then Sundays I like to take that long period of time where I can just recover.
That’s what rest means. It means you’re going prone for a long period of time so your body can just recover. You don’t need 24 hours of doing nothing. My whole theory is, I’ve always thought of certain athletes, especially like Michael Jordan always said it, he’s always training because there’s always someone out there working harder than you are. I always think about that. If there’s anything that I can do within that day to improve myself … It doesn’t even have to be the gym sometimes. It could just be reading or something like that to improve myself, I need to do that. Every day I have to be doing something to better myself. I’m gonna always be working hard. While everyone’s sleeping, I’m working. While you’re eating, I’m working. While you’re making love, I’m making love too, but I’m working really hard at it. Okay?
Nick: That quote sounds familiar.
Kizzito: Yeah. Will Smith.
Nick: The muscle nap is a great secret, though. That was something that the old time bodybuilders totally believed in, old time strongmen. You lay down and take a nap.
Kizzito: You lay down, go prone, go prone for a long period … Maybe three years ago, I used to do that after leg, back, and chest day. The big muscle groups. I would eat and then I would take a nap, just take a nap just to rest for a long period of time. Then you just go back up and go do your day. Going prone is very, very important.
Nick: What’s the greatest number of days in a row that you think you’ve trained consecutively?
Kizzito: Trained consecutively?
Kizzito: Oh, wow.
Nick: Just to envision this in somebody’s mind. Is it hundreds?
Kizzito: Yeah, it’s definitely hundreds. With the traveling now, usually the days I’m traveling I still end up going to the gym anyway. So it’s probably a hundred, maybe. I want to talk about injuries, too, because I definitely do get injured quite a few … Especially, last year I got injured a lot. It’s definitely because of the way I’ve trained. I’m very much a nonstop active person, if you guys don’t know. I joined a basketball team and a soccer team, and I’m still training weights, and still doing martial arts because I like to be active. Last year I was playing a lot of soccer. When I train legs, I train legs very heavy for a long period of time, which is not very good when you’re playing soccer.
Nick: This is before you go play soccer?
Heather: So he’s killing his legs and then he’s going and wreck them for 90 minutes.
Kizzito: It’s definitely … I don’t change my lifting style for anybody. I don’t change my lifting style, but I am now. I am now because, especially when it comes to soccer, you’re tapping into the same lactic acids that you do when you’re doing legs. Last year, there’s a lot of injuries. I sprained my quad during one game, then a week later I was “okay”. Went back on the field and I pull my hamstring on the same leg. Three days later I was okay. I was lifting in the gym and then because of the stress, my MCL gave out a little bit. I sprained that.
Nick: Same leg? Chastened.
Kizzito: Same leg. At this point I was like, “You know what? Maybe I need to take some time.” I didn’t for a while, until I went to the doctor. I went to the doctor …
Nick: He tied you to the table?
Kizzito: He didn’t tie me to the table, he just … I’m 31 years old now, and I still want to be training for a long period of time. So I figured to myself, “Why don’t I just take this period to heal completely and then get back to the gym?” I took that time off from pretty much the end of November until January, which is probably the longest time I’ve ever taken off from lifting. If I go to the gym, I know I’m not gonna slow down or not gonna stop at all. I don’t want to increase the period I’m going to be out of the gym. For this past year, was probably the longest time I’ve taken off the gym just because of an injury that would have been even worse if I pushed myself.
Nick: What did you do instead?
Kizzito: Nothing really. I just tried to focus on work and things like that. I was still very active. I couldn’t run as much. In the beginning I would do a lot of upper body. Upper body is so … I can’t just do upper body. I need to do something with my legs, or running a lot, too. Staying active. So I just took this period to take a break and just focus on career for a while. I knew I was going to come back once I got the all clear from the doctor, I was back in the gym slowing getting back to it. Now I’m back to squatting four or five comfortably.
Now I’m very cautious now when I play basketball or do martial arts. Martial arts is different. When I play basketball and do soccer I’ll try not to do heavy legs for a long period of time. I’ll just go do maybe high reps, not very much, but then I’ll take three days break before I have to do a soccer game and stuff like that. Just so I don’t get that injury again. You know, you live and you learn. People were telling me this for years, but hey, I’m Wolverine. I don’t listen until …
Nick: It must have been hard though.
Kizzito: It was very difficult. I was getting texts and messages from everyone in Central Florida because they didn’t see me at the gym for a long period of time. They’re like, “We thought you were dead.” I was like, “No, I’m not dead. I got this injury. I got to just lay low for a little bit.” Like I said, you live and you learn and I’m glad it happened. Now you just kind of know how to deal with it. Injuries occur.
Even before this big injury I was getting injured before. I would sprain my calf or shoulder, things like that. You learn how to work around it, but then there are certain injuries that say, “Hey, stop.” And it’s okay. It’s okay for when life tells you you need to stop for a long period of time and then you just get back into it, you know? It’s okay.
It’s different from not having a rest day. An injury is different from not having a rest day. Going prone is very important, but an injury that puts you out of commission, take your time, heal, you’ll come back. Especially if your body understands how to build that muscle again, you’ll come back and you’ll bounce back faster.
I was telling Keith, because he saw me in January, and he was like, “Hey Kizz, you lost some size.” I was like, “Listen, first of all, I’m black, okay? If I think about weights, I’ll get big, Keith. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be back.” Then he saw me back and I was like, “Yeah, I’m back.” Your body gets back to it and you’ll bounce back.
Nick: When somebody’s finding their way in this style of training, do you feel like there’s a rep range that is kind of magical for them?
Kizzito: Well, yes.
Nick: You sometimes lift heavier than you might expect, given the time of split that you follow. A lot of six to eight it seems like.
Kizzito: I lift … There are times in the gym where I’m surprised of myself. That’s when I get to dancin’, smilin’, and I’ll say, “Hey, everyone look at me. I’m lifting a lot.” I’m really surprised of myself. I’ve always stuck to, in the beginning of my lifting, I’ve always stuck to around four to six reps. That started with my back training. My back used to be my weakest muscle group. Now it’s my strongest muscle group. I just thought to myself, “I’m just gonna try to lift heavy back for every single machine. I don’t care what machine it is, my goal is to max out the machine within three or four months.” I would stick to around four to six rep ranges. That means I’d get to four barely, get to six. I noticed that sticking to that rep range, I was actually increasing my strength every single time, pretty much every week. Four to six, it’s a low rep range, but you can actually feel it. You actually feel yourself getting stronger and stronger and stronger.
At one point obviously the strength stops because there’s no more weights for you to add on the machine.
Nick: That’s a good problem to have.
Kizzito: That’s a good problem to have. Then I started to switch over to the other style of lifting where I would do compound sets. I’d do four to six, and then cut the weight and I’ll just get blood pumping into the muscle group. I did that style of lifting for a long period of time. I did the other style of lifting later on where I’m doing 20 reps, still heavy, because I’ve already learned how to lift heavy from my first portion, so I can still lift fairly heavy, but I could do 20 plus reps, but now I got the endurance and the strength. I can do that for a long period of time. After that I’ll switch back to the heavy cycle again and just have constant growth, constant growth, constant growth, you know?
That’s actually what the Chiseled Trainer is kinda like. People will say, “How do you keep getting bigger or stronger and lose fat at the same time?” Doing training this way, it does that. It’s good because every phase you feel so great. You feel great that you’re getting stronger. You feel great that you’re actually building more endurance, and you feel great that you actually last in a gym for a long period of time. And then the appearance, the physique, is a byproduct, a welcome byproduct of all of that.
Heather: That’s what I notice. You seem to break all the rules with the Chiseled Trainer. I mean, you’re doing hypertrophy and endurance together. You’re doing strength and hypertrophy together. You’re mixing and mashing things and I sat there watching, I’m like, “This can’t be right. What’s going on?” It seems like it really works.
Kizzito: It does.
Heather: What I’m wondering is, this seems a little bit advanced for someone who’s still kind of a novice to lifting. Is there anyone who really should pump the brakes before starting this, or do you think that someone can start working out seven days a week, maybe just cutting back on the amount of weight they’re lifting, but really getting into this trainer?
Kizzito: Here’s the thing, I always give an anecdote for me when I first started. When I first started in my whole fitness journey, I was doing martial arts and I was, especially in Central Florida, the cliché martial artist is an instructor that’s out of shape, but they can fight.
Nick: Smoke cigarettes, but they can fight.
Kizzito: Yeah. They were big beer bellies, but they can kick high and do all that stuff. I wanted to break that mold because I was actually turning into that. I want to be visually representative of what a martial artist should be, but also perform it the same way. I set a goal. I have an American Express day planner, and every year I set a goal of what I want for the year. I set a goal to start jogging and working out three times a week. I just had that goal in the beginning. After the first few months I was like, “You know what? I’ve already reached that goal, it’s a month and a half in, why don’t I just increase what I want. Instead of three times a week I’ll do four times a week.” Then I’d do five times a week. Four or five months I was doing twice a day.
Like I said, the people doing it in the beginning, obviously you should go full force. Set that preliminary goal that you have, but once you achieve it, set another one. I think that’s another thing that people have. I’ve seen a guy in the gym that’s been training for years and he does the exact same thing. He’s been asking me the exact same questions since 1974. I tell him the same thing. It’s because you’re doing the exact same thing every single time. You’re putting limits on yourself. Maybe you should … The treadmill goes up to 12 most of the time and you’re still doing six.
Nick: Just try it.
Kizzito: … For seven years. How about seven? How about you set a goal for the end of this month to do 10? That’s not that much. You’d be surprised what your body can do. I think a lot of times people start to … First they’ll put limits on themselves and they underestimate how far their body can go. You never want to do that. You always want to push your body, and then obviously pump the brakes if you’re going too much. You can kind of tell if you’re going too much. But, shoot for the stars. If you miss you’ll land on the moon. Always overset your goals. Period. Anything between there is going to be greater than where you were.
That’s my entire philosophy. If anyone is starting out, obviously you should have a high goal. Be shredded. If you’re overweight, I want to be shredded and ripped at the same time. That’s a great goal to have. When you start to work towards that and you look back to where you started, where you are now, you’re gonna be surprised, even if it’s not where your crazy goal is. You’re still gonna be further than where you were before. You’re gonna surprise yourself every single time. Always have a crazy expectation, always shoot for that crazy expectation, keep logs of where you are, and then look back. Look back and look where you are. You’ll be so much more confident. It’s gonna keep you going, going, and going.
If you see my BodySpace, when I first joined Team Bodybuilding.com, even before I joined it, I was posting progress pictures every day. The reason I did that was to motivate people on the site, but also to have a visual of where I was. It’s very hard for us to see ourselves. We see ourselves every day. You see it in the mirror. You’re like, “I don’t know if I’m really losing anything. Blah, blah, blah.” Then if you look two weeks, three weeks from picture day one and picture day two, you’ll start to see, “Wow, I have changed.” It gives you that renewed confidence to do it again, and again, and again. Keep pushing. I always tell people, “You got to take a log of pictures.” It’s not vanity or anything like that, but it’s just more of reaffirmation to strengthen your resolve of what you’re doing.
Nick: I imagine myself being really hungry training that much, though. Are you just fucking starving all the time?
Kizzito: Well. No, I don’t even eat.
Kizzito: I’m a freak.
Heather: He does intermittent fasting.
Kizzito: I do intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting and photosynthesis.
Nick: How big of a window are we talking about? You got an eight hour window?
Kizzito: I’m like Superman. The sun gives me energy.
Kizzito: Intermittent fasting. Here’s the thing about intermittent fasting that’s great, when I first started lifting I was doing the bodybuilder style. I was eating every two and a half hours. What I found was I was consistently hungry. It’s kind of like Pavlov’s Law. You train your body to eat every two and a half hours, it’s gonna …
Heather: You get hungry on the dot.
Kizzito: You’re gonna get hungry. You’re just gonna trigger your mind to think it’s hungry even if it’s really not. I hated feeling hungry all the time. I got a lot of stuff to do, I can’t be driving around training kids and doing this and having to think about food. I said, “You know what? I’m just gonna eat the way I’ve been eating since I was a kid.” I ate maybe two or three times a day. Just make sure I get my calories in. I stuck to that for a long period of time.
Then I said, “You know what? Why don’t I just try to get my calories in in the morning and then in the evening and just go about my day.” In the beginning it was difficult obviously, from switching from the bodybuilder style to doing this, but after a while your body gets used to it. Your body knows that it’s getting breakfast in the morning. He’s gonna have energy throughout the day because he’s eating breakfast in the morning. Then he’s gonna eat at night or later on in the evening, and he’s gonna replenish all the nutrients that you have and it goes right into your muscle and recovery.
People think that, “Hey, if you’re starving yourself for a long period of time you’re gonna hold fat.” No. If you’re training efficiently, your body’s gonna use all those nutrients that you put in at the right time for repair and recovery. In the beginning, yes, you get hungry, but at one point your body gets used to it.
Nick: So your version of intermittent fasting isn’t like a condensed thing. It’s you eat breakfast and dinner?
Kizzito: It’s breakfast and dinner.
Heather: It’s kind of like that eight hour fasting.
Kizzito: Yeah, it’s usually breakfast and dinner and …
Nick: Breakfast after cardio?
Kizzito: Breakfast after cardio. My breakfast is usually around 7 o’clock. My dinner is maybe 5, 6 o’clock.
Nick: After weights?
Kizzito: No. Way longer after weights. I’m training maybe 1 o’clock. I won’t eat after weight training. I’ll just go about my day and then I’ll eat when I get home. Then I won’t eat again until … So it’s like a 12 hour window, I guess pretty much.
Nick: So there’s a couple of healthy meals in there, then.
Kizzito: Yeah. They’re good meals. But it’s great. I have energy for the day. I can focus what I’m doing. When I go to the expos a lot of the athletes are taking breaks and they’re like, “Kizz, don’t you need to eat?” I was like, “No, guys. This is me. I got the energy, let’s keep going. I’m nonstop.”
It’s like you said, it’s different for everyone. I just like to … When it comes to diet, I say if you’re not gonna be able to do it for the rest of your life, you shouldn’t do it now. I knew I was not going to be able to eat every two and a half hours for the rest of my life, so why don’t I just learn to eat the way that I’ve been eating since I was a kid and just learn how to train and love fitness and incorporate that into my life. Eat the right foods, obviously, because calories in … If you just get the right nutrients in you should be fine. Learn how to eat that’s gonna be best for your life. Don’t try to change too much all the time.
Even in my Chiseled Trainer, I gave the meal plans but I said you’ve got to learn how to apply this to your everyday life.
Nick: It’s a behavior.
Kizzito: Yeah, it’s gotta be a behavior because there’s no point of starting something that you’re not gonna do for a long period of time. You’re just gonna fall off. There should not be an end goal for your fitness. There should be a routine, something that should be in your life no matter what. Learn how to implement it. Learn how to eat the way you are and just eat the right foods, obviously. Just incorporate it into your life.
Nick: Do you still do competitive martial arts or are you more a teacher?
Nick: I imagine you going in there and just terrifying somebody.
Kizzito: Yeah. I’m a bubbly person. I’ve been doing martial arts since I was 15. We did competitive for a long time. I was a school instructor of the year for years and competitive-wise … but the competition scene after a while when you’re so good … It’s kind of like when Michael Jordan used to get fouled, or didn’t get fouled, it was called fouled no matter what. Same thing happens in martial arts. After a while, if you’re good, you just win no matter what. It was no longer a challenge. I kind of pulled back a little bit.
Then we started getting into the MMA style. In Central Florida it was pretty big, but the thing about MMA, the average career is about two years and I see that you get knocked out. It’s not really … I don’t think … It’s not for me.
Nick: It’s a tough way to make a buck.
Kizzito: Exactly. The reason I did martial arts was more for helping others, helping others become who they want to be. Strengthen their goals, their discipline and self-esteem, especially with kids. Even adults, there were a lot of adults that came with low self-esteem. You teach them through martial arts, use it as a tool to better themselves. So that’s more of what I wanted. I don’t do any of the competition or teaching anymore. I still do train with my instructor, because it’s very much a part of what I believe in my everyday life. The martial arts strengthen my beliefs, strengthens my disciplines, strengthens my self-esteem as well as the gym. It needs to be a part of who I am.
We did this whole new trainer where we’re talking about martial arts and why it’s important for fitness, but fitness is the same thing in my respect as martial arts. When you’re in the gym every single day or consistently maybe three or four times a week, it builds your discipline. That discipline translates into work. You get used to a routine, you’re used to that. When you’re lifting weights and you’ve been struggling for a long period of time and then you finally get it, you finally reached a PR, it makes you feel good about yourself. That boosts your confidence.
Through failure and success, you learn how to win. That gives you the confidence to tackle anything else that you may have in life. If there’s a new project, “You know what? I can do this. I may fail a few times, but I know what it feels like to fail and succeed.” It gives you that strength and confidence. That’s the same thing with the gym. When it comes to martial arts and the gym, it’s about more than just building your body. It’s about building your mind. If you stay consistent and you start to achieve your goals, it builds you up. It translates into your everyday life.
Nick: That’s pretty solid sentiment to end on right there, man.
Kizzito: Sometimes I get deep.
Heather: I don’t know how we can top that.
Nick: Where do people find you online? Everywhere, right? You’re everywhere.
Kizzito: You can find me everywhere. On Instagram: @kizmvp. YouTube: KizMVP. Facebook: Kizzito Ejam/kizmvp. Bodyspace: KizMVP. The reason I use the word MVP, it’s been my tag since I was a kid and MVP stands for most valuable player, right? No matter which avenue you’re in, career-wise, job, whatever, you have to understand that you are the most valuable player in your life. A lot of times people say, “I can’t be successful because this person, or because this job.” No. You are the most valuable player in your life. You have to act as if you are the most valuable player. Do things that are gonna make you valuable. I say success is a decision, so every day you must decide to be successful and tell yourself that I’m the most valuable player, that my success depends on me and the things that I do.
Nick: Awesome. Thanks for coming in, man.
Kizzito: You’re welcome.
Heather Eastman: Thank you.
Kizzito Ejam: You’re welcome.
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