David O.

David O.

Kenzai Member

David O.'s Kenzai Body 2 program, Teton, starts in 25 days.

Best thing I have done in 2017 

Every year I like to try to do something new, something I haven't achieved in the past. This year my achievement has been to learn about my body, fitness and food.

I have always been a lazy eater. Kenzai has taught me how to take notice of what I eat. I learned how to pick a decent avocado, got more confident in the kitchen (even though I mostly stuck to my lifelong cooking motto of "if it cant be fried, it cant be cooked"). I used a lot of pepper, some oregano and garlic. I will take the Kenzai Kitchen course next year to follow this up. Overall I liked the food though, didnt struggler with sugar cravings like I thought I might or really miss beer. Toughest part was probably social situations (lunch/dinner/drinks). Some people find it really odd you're not drinking beer with them or dont eat half of your rice.

Didnt drop some of the crazy weight that some people did. Weighed myself yesterday and came in at 80.2kg, down from 84.7 that I started at (I understand that weight fluctuates). Having said that, I lost a ton of fat off my gut, developed the beginnings of a v-shaped torso, put on muscle in my arms, chest and shoulders and have nice tight calves from the skipping. I know that I was 25.8% body fat when I started. If I have lost 4.5kg of fat and put on 2kg of muscle that pushes my body fat down to around 19%. I will try to find somewhere to do a rough estimate on it this week. I have gotten a lot of really positive comments and the fat loss is clear just from my face. So super hapoy with the results on my body overall. Next stage is to get fitter and stronger and drive my body fat down.

Fitness and exercise
By far the toughest part for me. I hadnt done anything for four years* and so getting back into aerobic and strength work was extremely tough it started tought throughtout. I had never done jumprope before and so I moved from completely rubbish to still not very good but better by the end of the program. The headaches in the first couple of weeks were brutal. While pushups and much of the other upper body stuff were tough throughout, I was ok with the leg stuff. I want to run Spartan next year so there will need to be another significant step up in terms of cardio and body strength work but I am really looking forward to that. I want to be able to do pull ups properly

Next steps
The 64kg question. I have bought Kenzai membership for 2018 and will take some courses though I havent decided what yet. For the last couple of days I have broken every rule in the book including: chocolate, beer, pizza, Starbucks caramel machiato, curry and fried chicken. It was good but I am nearly over it. I will take a look at the diets and make a final decision but likely aim to be around the medium diet. I enjoyed the food for the most part so this should be fine. Execise I will need to be more conscious about and I will think through that over the next few days. More importantly, it is snow season and I want to get 15 days in fluffy paradise over the next 3 months.

This is an amazing program. At its core, its very simple. Eat good food and do regular exercise. The details though are very clever and the focus on managing your motivation and making the program viable in the long term is the genius. Thank you to the instructors for their encouragement and thoughts. Huge thank you to Team A who we a great help throughout. An apologies to my wife for cooking at midnight.

Onwards and upwards!

* I broke the ball joint in my knee in 2013. Playing Aussie Rules I landed with my leg straight and snapped my knee outward. Basically after hospital, some rehab and hobbling I proceeded to do somewhere between none and stuff all physical activity for the next four years. The knee weighed on my mind throughout this time as well even when it wasnt bothering me. Kenzai helped me to regain confidence in my knee and just to forget about it for periods which was amazing. For the sadists out that, the video of me breaking it complete with sound is out Youtube.


Graduation post to come but really proud to part of such a great group through the 90 days. Just at cheesecake soufflé thingy and some chocolate (first time in 3 months). Going to let my mind rest a bit before I pen my more general thoughts.

Team A we made it.

Last two (or one if you are a morning person) sessions kids, lets smash them!


Look back at your feelings from the first week. What has changed?
I took my original email to the group and commented on some of the things I wrote.

W1: I have never been an exercise nut but kept fit enough, playing some aussie rules and even finishing the Tokyo marathon in 2013. I then proceeded to break my leg quite seriously in mid-2013 and basically havent done much since. I am 6kg heavier than my pre-marathon training weight and 9kg more than when I actually ran. I also got my body fat measured and am just under 26%. I would like to get fitter and stronger, lower my body fat percentage but most importantly been able to sustain it longer term. I also think it will improve my work performance, concentration and general life outlook. I am also a super lazy eater (though thankfully I dont overeat, never seen the point in that) so this will teach me about food. I also wanna be fit for the ski season

-> I have lost about 5kg last time I looked but have clearly lost a decent amout of fat and my body looks much better. I take more notice of food and really enjoy breakfast now (today was an egg, fried mushrooms, tomato and avocado). I discovered greek yogurt and enjoying making food everyday. I am clearly fitter and stronger and have 6 days pure snowboarding in the diary plus what I do with family so hoping to get about 12 days on the snow. I have joined Kenzai for next year and will work out over the week or so what I do between now and my next program. Mood-wise I am more stable with bad things not frustrating me as much as they did. Having a big non-work focus has probably helped me to be more balanced in my general worldview.

W1: I dont have specific goals so much as thoughts. I think I will likely drop around the 10kg and lower my body fat percentage significantly. What is more important is that I develop some habits that, even allowing for some rebound, we keep me eating better and exercising consistently going forward. I also may be able to take my shirt off at the beach
-> havent lost 10kg but my body fat is clearly down. I will talk about going forward more in my graduation post but I have always maintained that is the real trick, continuing the good habits I have built over this course. Barring my borderline albino skin tone I may be able to consider removing my shirt outside of the bathroom.

5. I am a sucker for sweets. Chocolate, little milk puddings from the combini, tiramisu, creme bulee. Love all that stuff. I have dropped most of it this week barring some oreas on Tuesday and I am pretty sure I am having withdrawals
-> oddly enough this has been pretty easy. If I am hungry and go to the shop then the chocolate looks appealing but that is easy to control. I havent eaten any chocolate since I started and have eaten two little puddings both on designated cheat nights

Other random stuff
- I have always liked stretching but the stretching in this program is amazing
- I feel the confidence to do things that I thought were out of the question (such as considering Spartan rather than dismissing it outright and being able to snowboard more seriously again)

I am not completely set on what I will do post program but I have some ideas
- likely get the full kindly discounted year at Kenzai. Apart from the exercise programs the Kitchen (now that I spend time in the kitchen I probably should learn something about food) and meditation (I am an extrovert that talks too much and meditation would likely do me some good) are really interesting to me
- I will look to be kenzai complient a good deal of the time foodwise, I will speak to some people about this
- I am going to spend a decent amount of time on this snow this season, hopefully somewhere between 10-20 days, which will be an important part of my fitness regime
- I am going to go to Australia for two weeks over Christmas and other than the fact I am as white as Santas beard have a less embarrassing body shape for the first time in about 12 years
- I am thinking I might want to do Spartan in Japan next year. I will need to prepare for that so that is something to think about

In terms of this week, it was ok. On the exercise front, I essentially missed one full day but it was really I missed two resistance sessions during the week (but did the cardio) one of which I made up on Sunday and missed cardio on Saturday. Not perfect but not the end of the world and I did exercise on every day. Food was pretty good except Tuesday nights 4am karaoke session with some work visitors where I had a glass of wine and 3 jaeger bombs which I have an inkling are not compliant.

Oh and planks. I dont like planks. Just to be clear.

Onwards and upwards!


Damned travel.

It was going so well too.

Missed a session but made it up. Then missed Thursday with a morning till late night conference. I was shattered and couldnt get up early enough to get that workout in and Friday was the same. Took the overnight back to Tokyo Friday night, worked out Saturday, took an overnight train to Tottori with family (visit the Japanese anime Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro street). Train was 3 hours late getting in and I was shattered so missed the workout sunday too. This week back on track exercise-wise but still a pretty disappointing week from the exercise point of view.

Diet was broadly ok but between last week and a client visit (and 4am karaoke) last night I have had about 7-8 drinks over the last week or so. Annoying because I have been pretty disciplined around alcohol over this program. I did make sure I ate my eggs though, including shelling them in a big coference room very stealthily (is that even a word??)

The exercise has been the hardest part of the program for me. Diet over this last week has been a little off track but overal that part of the program has been ok. On the exercise, it has obviously ramped up and is really taxing and I have found myself sometimes trying to avoid it. But the skipping is in a pretty good place now which is a step forward and I am definitely getting strong even though my pushups arent where I would like them to be.

Some weight observations

I understand that weight on its own is a useless measure. Hell, I tell people all the time. I dont own a set of scales and have weighed myself 2 maybe 3 times across this program.

Having said that, tonight I achieved a mini-goal.

For the first time since late 2013/early 2014 I am under 80kg. At 79.6kg, thats well down on my starting weight of around 84.6 or so.

Having said that, I did somewhat fudge these numbers. I weighed myself three times during my work out. Once after jumprope (80.4kg), once part way through the legs/resistance (80.2) and then at the very end (79.6 - I know these are non-perfect conditions ). I wish I had weighed myself right at the beginning now but this didnt start as a concious experiment. I also drank about 1 litre of water from start to finish. Also, I am in Singapore where you sweat a ton more than late autum Tokyo (I did jumprope and legs outside, in the evening).

So, it gives a good indication of how much your weight can fluctuate over an hour or so of solid exercise and why people say always weigh yourself under consistant conditions. Or Kenzai say dont weigh yourself at all.

But, under 80kg. The little wins are important.

Onwards and upwards.

So I have been meaning to write about the exercise for a while. I have always found the exercise by far the hardest part of this program which is maybe different from a lot of other people. Skipping overall is better, I did the 4x5minutes today and while I am still tripping way more often than I should it is feeling better and better. I can feel the stability and stamina building in my arms which is improving my later sets.

What I am not happy with is push ups and pull ups. Push ups I just cant get through the sets. I usually end up on my knees from somewhere late in the second set and by the last set I can only get through 2-4 pushups before I end up on my knees. I know the bars make it harder, you go deeper and there is no cheating but I feel I should be stronger. On pull ups, I am travelling so I tried an actual pull up in the hotel gym. Not. Even. #%@$#. Close. Went to the lat pull down machine and I can do about 6 reps about 20kg short of my current body mass. Long way to go. Anyway, rant over on that for today.

Question of the week. How has my overall lifestyle changed in the last two months?

I eat better and exercise.

Pretty straightforward. I am not routine guy, so I find the consistancy the biggest challenge. I missed Friday altogether as I was out Thursday night and shattered Friday. I made up the exercises tonight after Sunday cardio so I have really just missed Friday cardio. I dont get so hung up on it now which is a step forward I think.

The real trick is going to be post program as falling back into my previous sedentary life. Most of the stuff here is not hard per se but it requires a certain consistancy of focus that I think will be harder post program.

In other random news, I cooked eggs in an electric kettle in my hotel room. I will try them in a bit, see if I got it right.

Anyway, apologies for the long post. Getting closer now.

Onwards and upwards!

Overall feeling good about where I am in the program. Specifically yesderday I noticed that a bit more fat had come off of my gut just under my ribcage which was encouraging.

On energy levels they are pretty good.
- However I am going to bed too late and getting up too late. I have tended to exercise in the evening after my daughter sleeps so often at 10 or 11pm and so often not sleep until 1 or 2. I need to pull this earlier as my routine is all over the place. Today I did my cardio and abs late morning so I will only have legs and shoulders tonight, see how that goes.
- On the upside, my mood is generally constant and not too much really bothers me
- I really need the sleep now. Been like it for 2-3 weeks

Separately, I missed my Saturday workout but not panicked by that. I spent the day taking my daughter to gymnastics and then Pokemon Center and by the time I got home I needed to sleep for a couple of hours and my wife was out in the evening so I couldnt get out. Having said that, the full day off was probably a good thing, I felt better for it. Got up Sunday and did the cardio and back into it now.
Travelling next week so planning for that.

Onwards and upwards!

Bluetooth love

Bought the Bose sports Bluetooth headphones a few weeks ago and they’re great. A bit of adjustment but once they are in I can skip and exercise and listen to music without carrying my damn phone on me. Well worth the investment. What do other people do?

My ‘gym’ and stretching

This is where I have been spending my late evenings for the last 3 or 4 weeks. I joined an actual gym near work, but the building car park at my home apartment is quiet, has space for my uncoordinated skipping and somewhere to anchor the bands for resistance exercise. I do need to get a yoga mat so I can stop lying on the concrete though.

Separate to that, how good are there stretches? Makes sense when you do a fitness course started by a yoga instructor but I have been super impressed nonetheless. I think it is a key reason I haven’t been that sore through this process. Anyway, day 53, we are all getting closer.

Onwards and upwards!

As Eric correctly points out, the blogs have been quiet and I am guilty here. Its been my most challenging week for a few reasons I will go through below and this has led me to blog a bit less. I need to work on this. But first, QotW.

The day I find hardest: the weekend generally. There is less routine on the weekend and I tend to be tired from the week and that throws my rhythm out. I need to find a way do this.

Back to my not great week. Summary below:

- I had another business trip and I was busier this time, plus my boss was there so needed to work around his schedule to an extent
- I was extremely tired. I really found getting up tough last week and that put to bed any chance of exercise in the morning. I had client meetings every morning so there was no flexibility on time. I am hoping the tiredness means that my body is changing but this is hard for me to judge
- on the back of this I missed Wednesday and Thursday's workouts. Pretty frustrating but I have moved on now, whats done is done
- My diet was mostly ok although I missed some fruit. I did find a hawker centre in Singapore to sell me eggs and that did vegies in plain soup which was a win. I did have two beers though, one Wednesday and one Thursday, both at lunchtime
- Overall felt a bit flat so maybe the indulgence came at the right time for me. Had pizza, coke, chocolate and convinence store pudding (so good!) last night with the family

On a side note I left my skipping rope in the carpark where I train Saturday it seems. I didnt realise till I went to skip last night so I had to improvise. I went with 7x 3 minute blocks of cardio broken up as
0-1m - starjumps (jumping jacks)
1-2m - jogging on the spot, some fast, some slower, some high knees, some kicking legs up at the back
2-3m - starjumps
if I cant find my rope I need to get a new one today

Why aren’t I quitting

No reason to. I am happy with the progress, I have been pretty consistent and it’s not life breaking. I have tried to not ride the waves too much just take each exercise as it comes and not look too far in front.

Onwards and upwards!

airport eggs

Wasn’t sure if I could get eggs through airport security but managed to convince the ramen shop to just sell me the eggs without the ramen #kenzaiwinning

Shirt fits

Bought this shirt in Italy last year. I really like it but never wore it as it hugs the figure and mine didn’t need hugging. Not all the way there but I have now worn this shirt for the first time. Important to celebrate the little wins.


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