Consolidation GRADUATION POST
I am going to divide this into two parts. I will outline my thoughts around Kenzai Body 2 and then separately give my thoughts on Kenzai Body 1 and 2 as I did them consecutively with a break for December in the middle.
On KB2, I have been much more inconsistant this time which has been frustrating but have still made some huge strides. I dropped about another 4.5 kg in weight, finishing at 75.2 kg which is the lightest I have been in many years. I finally developed confidence in my skipping and in some ways learned to enjoy it. The CrossRopes helped, they are great. I am much stronger now and I can also say that I refused to do half burpees, I always did the full ones. On the downside, I missed a lot of workouts this time around. Without using it as an excuse, I lost my job on day 2 which really threw things arry and then I finally found one near the end of the program. As I wrote in one of the later posts, I was tired by the end of the program and really felt like I was finishing a marathon, just putting one foot in front of the other.
The overall thoughts however, are much more important. My theme for KB2 was 'consolidation'. I could see the situation where I completed KB1 and was really proud and then proceeded to fall back into my previous habits. Thats why I backed up pretty well straight away into KB2. I knew that it would be a bit of a struggle but that it would build real fitness, habits and self-belief. Self-belief, in my view, is only built the back of actual results. In order to change what you think you can do you have to prove to yourself you can do things you couldnt/didnt do before. I now feel like I can do things I hadn't thought about for years. Spartan? Signed up. Aussie Rules Football? Could play if I wanted to (I trained straight after my final Kenzai workout just for the hell of it, god I was sore on Monday). Another marathon if I wanted to? Sure. Overall I lost 9.5 kg and put on muscle and got stronger. And I know that I can keep getting stronger if I want to. I am looking forward to going to the gym for possibly the first time ever. The next 6 months will be key but I believe I have taken a huge step towards long term fitness and health.
Thank you to my team, and my apologies for not being as attentive as I should have been. For the trainers, Elissa and Jorge, thank you for the practical advice and for the pick me ups along the way. To Patrick and the other people involved in creating and running Kenzai, you have an amazing program and you should be very proud of what you have built and the community that it has created.
Onwards and upwards
PS for the photos, the first is the same t-shirt I used at the end of KB1, then pics from my birthday dinner and lunch and I had to upload the pic from the DAME post again because its too funny
A dose of comedy japan style.
For those of you that have lived in japan, you will know they are sticklers for rules, even if those rules appear to have limited utility. When something is against the rules, the classic word is “dame” (pronounced dah-meh) which means, no, bad, not now, not ever. The hand signal for this is the arms crossed in front of the body in a X shape.
It turns out that taking ones shirt off in the means bathroom is dame. Very very dame. Hence the classic shot you can see of me in a moment of pure vanity with the store manager chastising me behind.
Thanks all for the support on the last blog post. I have been a bad teammate over the last couple of weeks - sorry to al of you for that. I have been ticking away quietly in the background, a real one foot in front of the other phase. Food-wise, things have been pretty good, pretty much on plan barring the fact I had one of my closest friends come visit me last weekend which means I had some drinks last weekend but kept it pretty minimal (and I ate two brownies that he brought from my friends bakery in Singapore - they are actually the greatest thing in the world). Training-wise, I have missed one (I think) last week with my friennd visiting. This week I missed Monday but doubled up skipping Tuesday and circuit training Thursday so I am on track for this week. With Thursday now done, we have just two more days. A new gym has opened up on my street so I will check that out tomorrow and then get the last session done on Saturday morning. Skipping feels really good now, I almost look forward to it. I will probably write more in my graduation post.
A few things I am really starting to look forward to. With only tomorrow and Saturday's mystery session to go it finally feels close. Here is a selection of things:
- taking my photos on Saturday and comparing them both to early in this program and my KB1. I will take one in the same t-shirt I took a pic in at the beginning of KB12
- enjoying my birthday on Monday. Will do lunch with my wife and evening with my daughter as my wife has an event to go to. I will eat cake.
- My daughter (miss 7) has said she wants to have pizza with me on Sunday as she knows I am off my diet and we have done pizza on some of my previous indulgences. I might take here to the movies first and have some pop corn.
- I may go to Aussie rules training on Saturday afternoon for the first time since I broke my leg in 2013. Training twice in a day seems silly but it could be really fun
- shopping for new shirts and belts next week. I am pull one of my belts 2 inches past the tightest hole now haha
Importantly, for a few days I will just chill and take some time to reflect. I am runing the Spartan spring in May so I probaby need to get training again in a week though.
Two more days kids. Lets do it
I like positive posts. I am, the the opinion of my wife anyway, unnaturally positive most of the time. I have flat spots now and then obviously but I normally get through then pretty quickly.
Having said all that, I have been on Kenzai for 6 of the last 7 months and now I am getting tired. The second program was always going to be tougher, I knew this going in, and the theme for me of this program was really around the consolidation of the gains from the first program and making them more permanent. There have been some external stresses. I lost my job on day 2 which was frustrating and I finally agreed a new job last Thursday. None of this is any sort of excuse, Kenzai fitness undoubtedly helped with that stress, but the lack of routine and ups and downs of re-jigging your career have caused me to miss workouts more regularly than I would like. My diet has been mainly on point, other than so social situations I love eating on Kenzai.
Anyway, this post has gotten long and a bit disorganized but I wanted to get it down. I will work to smash the last two weeks but I will be happy to get through it to be completely honest.
I will get over this little dip, hope my down-ness doesn’t encourage other down-ness, that is certainly not the intention.
Just a quick one I have been a poor blogger in recent days. Enjoyed my indulgence last Friday night. Yakiniku and a couple of glasses of beer with my family and a friend from uni and her husband.
Had a pretty inconsistent week which I will wrote about separately.
Hope everyone is well
I wrote earlier in the program about habits and now I am doing my best to follow through on that. So, at the risk of shooting myself in the foot by declaring it publicly, my current challenge is to move my exercise routine to the morning. To begin with I am just focusing on moving the skipping portion and have removed the heavier ropes for now to eliminate reasons to procrastinate. I have now skipped in the morning 4 days in a row, trick will be to keep it up for another week or so I think before it sticks. Here’s to me not stuffing it up.
In other news, I decided to weigh myself today. I don’t own scales so I had to use my gym membership (first time since December) for their scales. Results:
Sept 1 (beginning of KB1) 84.7 kg
Dec 1 79.8kg
Jan 1 80kg
Today March 14 76.6kg
Nice to see but more importantly my body shape is clearly improving.
I know it’s against the rules but doubled up today. I was really busy all day Saturday. Daughters first piano recital (kaeru no uta “the frog song” and old MacDonald - very proud moment), seeing Black Panther (very good movie) with the wife my daughter hung out with the grandmother, went home, crashed out highlighting I need more sleep and then out to dinner with some Kenzai legends (see previous post). Result of all this was I was shattered Saturday night and for once prioritised sleep.
So the routine today way: breakfast, sat skipping, daughters jiu Jitsu class, snack, sat workout, lunch, tv, sleep (still shattered), coffee, home, dinner, Sunday workout, Mentalist on Netflix. Glad to be done though, I feel quite chuffed with myself for successfully catching up.
Hope everyone’s weekend has been good.
Great to enjoy some vegies (and watch the off program folk drink beer) with some Kenzai legends. Highly recomend Tap Room (this one is Harajuku that does yakitori, grilled chicken sticks and vegies) for some smoke-free Kenzai food and varying degrees of compliance drinks.
27 days to go guys, I may have to return again for something less compliant then
Just one. The rest of them required significant help from the ground below (low bar). And let’s not even talk about the chin ups I attempted following.
But back to news of the day.
I do a lot of my workouts in the car park space my apartment building but I have been using the park up the road more often as it has equipment for dips and also for my nemesis pull ups. It’s warming up a little here which makes this much more pleasant than a couple of months ago.
What space do people like to use?
For those of you that read my blogs you will know that was a terrible skipper for a long time. Most of the time I would trip every 30 seconds and maybe I could go 2 or at my very best 3 minutes before having the rotation halted by my impassable toe. More recently, I went and bought some Crossropes and last night decided to test the number of rotations I could do. With the 1/2 lb rope I had started around, maybe do 30-40 and then started the count from 0. First I got to 50, then 100, then 250, 300, 350, 400, 450, 500! Yay me! I had never got past 200 in the past (not sure I ever got close).
Then I backed it up with the 1/4 lb rope and skipped for 5 minutes straight (another record) which was 650 jumps just to prove that wasnt a fluke. The next 6 minutes or so was 336, 327 and 157 - I could feel myself getting tired.
Spent the final 4 minutes working on the fun stuff, crossovers and three or four double unders. The crossovers are improving slowly but the DUs have a long time to go.
On the ropes, going from the 1/2 lb back to the 1/4 lb feels amazing. I am going to start introducing the 1 lb into the workouts in the coming days as well.
Hope you are all having a great week.
Happy overall with the week. Missed one resistance workout, got the skipping and abs done and ran out of time. I wanted to make it up but that’s tough at this stage of the program. Other than that workouts have been very solid. Ran 7.3kms last night which tops the 6 I ran last week. Broke it up by visiting my friend who is absolutely smashing KB1, we picked out the bar we may frequent together on day 90 lol
I have been pretty tired this time, I can feel my body working which is good but slept on the sofa tonight from 8pm until 9:30 before I got back up and did my workout at the cursory 10:30pm time which seems to be my thing. Quite proud though as I am a bit tired and sore but felt great once I got through it.
Let’s smash this week team, only 40 odd sessions to go and it will pass by quickly
Took 3 weeks or so but my new jump ropes from Cross Rope finally arrived. I bought the Get Fit bundle which has the light handles with the 1/4 lb and 1/2 lb rope pless the heavy handles with the 1 lb and 2 lb ropes. I have used them for nearly a week now so I have a bit of a feel for it. A few thoughts:
- I have mostly used the 1/4 lb (about 115g) rope. I have played around with the heavier ropes but have not had a serious session yet. I am keen to start to add the 1 lb into the routine over time, its clearly going to be an amazing workout. The 2 lb rope is crazy heavy, so further away from using that seriously (plus I might knock myself out if I hit myself in the head)
- Using the 1/4 lb rope feels amazing. Its a bit heavier than the light rope I have been using so a bit of work on the forearms but the feedback is just great. The handles spin perfectly and feel great in your hands. I can now skip for as long as my calves and forearms will let me. Its a revelation
- I have started trying to learn some new skills. I can do 5 (baby steps I know but gotta start somewhere) criss cross back to normal skipping before I trip. Will keep working on this. I have never been able to do double unders but I managed to get 5 or 6 (and a bunch of failures) tonight.
- had some fun messing around with the routine tonight, some normal jump rope, some criss crosses (attempts!) , DU's (more attempts!) and then some absolutely flat out jump rope - kind like interval training. I needed to stop the clock and rest a few times but it was fun to break things up.
Overall, these ropes are stupidly expensive but it really is a totally different experience, especially with the amount of jump rope that we are now doing. Cant say I have any regrets.
For those interested this is what I got:
Life before Kenzai had more of this. Panna cotta was amazing and I tasted my wife’s crepe burle. Amazing. Might sack Kenzai and keep eating. Maybe not
As you work through the Kenzai programs you tick off little achievements. Its important to celebrate these little wins - they are the tops of little hills that for one reason of another you were uable to climb previously. Each little hill you climb lets you see a bigger, more ambitious mountain to summit. Put another way, each of these achievements adds another thread to the armor of confidence that you build over these programs.
Not to get too lost in metaphors, tonight I ticked off an important little win. I ran (ran/walked and stood in incredibly long toilet lines is a fairer description) the Tokyo marathon on Feb 24th 2013 and then broke my leg 5 months later. I did basically nothing then until KB1 last September. Tonight I had my longest run since the marathon, almost 6km, for my free cardio. It was very liberating. I just started jogging aimlessly, not too quick, around 6 min/kms for the running geeks. I didnt really have a specific goal, just kept going until I needed to slow down to rest which was 12 minutes in (another record since then). Then I picked a destination, made it there, and added a slightly further destination. Ran a few easy intervals to make up the last 5 minutes. It was a very satisfiying feeling.
What little personal wins have people had on this program?
Onwards and upwards,