David Y.

David Y.

Kenzai Member

Been a few days, so I figured I’d give an update.

• Scale says I weigh 4-5 lbs less. Yahoo!
• The fabled abdominus rectus is making its appearance.
• My waist feels (and looks) slimmer—more of a V shape.
• Definitely can run longer without getting tired. That’s nice.
• I’ve been doing Kenzai for so long now that the diet doesn’t really feel that bad! The hardest part for me is cutting out carbs in the PM.
• That said, I haven’t cut out alcohol completely...I’ll have a drink on the weekend, but otherwise nothing. Gotta say it’s great for my quality of sleep!
• My wife likes the results so far. :)
• Since I work out at home, my daughter has started imitating me with her own version of kid pushups. It’s the cutest thing in the world.

Big challenge for me will be a 50th birthday blowout happening this Saturday. I’m determined to keep things in check despite the festivities...wish me luck!

Hi Beach Ready people!

So to answer Nate Belle Isle's questions:

1. Tell us a little about yourself! Who, what, where . . .
I'm David! I live in Los Angeles, and I'm a writer working from home. I actually did the Kenzai program over 4 years ago back when it was called Peak Condition, and have been a believer ever since.

2. What was your favorite Beach vacation ever?!
Tahiti. Unreal. No other beach vacation (Hawaii, Bahamas) compares.

3. What would be your dream job? Or if you do your dream job (awesome!) what is it?
My job is my dream job! I write novels (mostly young adult) alongside my wife, Nicola. It's big fun!

Just some thoughts. Mostly about the workout page.

A note: I usually keep my phone on and open to the workout page the entire time I'm exercising.

• A Next Workout button would be nice (next to the I Did It! button)
• A super-dumb Javascript countdown timer for each specific workout would be nice too. It could count down the rest periods and send a chime (maybe via http://www.createjs.com/SoundJS)
• A super-dumb rep counter. Doesn't have to remember the session state or anything.
• Show animated gifs and help information in-line by default (no pop-up). Might require some dynamic loading & off-loading as the viewport scrolls.

Still love Kenzai. Also nice job condensing the mobile menu too!

Me, I'm doing the relaxed diet + 5 workouts/week combo.

How about you?

Pact (formerly GymPact) is a service that tracks diet and exercise with an interesting monetary twist: if you don't meet certain health goals, you have to pay money into a common cash pool shared by all members. If you do meet those goals, you get rewarded cash from the pool.

So, cash for workouts, fees for laziness.

Would this work, do you think? Or is it just another version of the gym membership model, only without the actual gym?

I realize we all pay for Kenzai here, but the differences to me are the lesson articles and direct interaction with trainers. Like: if I have a question about gecko pushups, I can just ask Ward and get an answer pretty quick.


Being a UX guy, I can't help but think of ways to improve the Kenzai experience online. Some ideas:

• Javascript-based interval timer for the mobile site.
• A place to record the last color of resistance band I used for a particular exercise, so I can choose the right one right off the bat.
• Email notifications for blog & lesson updates.

Just some random thoughts. ^_^

Holiday sugar!

Holy crap. It's the holidays. Suddenly, I find myself surrounded by peppermint cookies and candy canes. It's all these year-end parties, school events to celebrate, and holiday get togethers...there are too many fun excuses to get together and indulge!

I had a peppermint chocolate chip cookie the other day—it was the first real sweet I've had for months—and it literally blew my head off. Literally. My head came clean off and rolled down the stairs. Took doctors forever to sew it back on.

Anyhoo, once I had a functioning head again, I thought about how our bodies are total junkies for sugar. The rush of eating just that first bite was pure pleasure. It's so deadly easy to eat so much of it, but I managed to stop at one cookie. I think about my childhood spent eating dozens of Chips Ahoy cookies and Big Gulps from 7-11, and I'm amazed I made it to adulthood in one piece.

The real challenge was my wife's company holiday party, which is a pretty opulent affair. The night ends with a dessert buffet of sixteen different goodies to choose from. My tactic: take one of each, take a half-bite each, and share with the wife. Discard anything past that half-bite. That way we satisfied our curiosity without having to go overboard. And still, it felt decadent as hell. Amazing how the definition of decadent has changed for me!

There are bound to be a couple more days before the holidays end where I'll be faced with trays full of brightly colored sugar, but I'll resist. It might be a little tough, but the thought of going back to my pre-Kenzai body is tougher. Also, I really do want to keep treats TREATS. As in, I do not want to get used to eating lots of sugar at once on a regular basis. In the meantime, I'll allow myself a just couple more of those peppermint cookies before 2015... :)

It rained in Los Angeles yesterday (for locals, this is a stunning and amazing phenomenon) so I couldn't do my workout in the usual backyard spot. So I set up in my living room and tried a few jumps, just to see if the rope would hit the ceiling.

It didn't! Wahoo!

Keep in mind I'm 5ft 6in. Taller folks might have problems.

But what this means is I could probably safely jump rope in a hotel without having to go the gym. Also great! I'm going to a hotel this weekend (just a little getaway with the wife) so I'll test it out. I LOVE not having to depend on gyms to stay fit.

Sick, sick, sick.

So I finally caught this bug that's been going around. First my daughter, then my wife, now me. I call it "preschoolitis." I debated working out for a solid hour before deciding against it, remembering Ward's advice to listen to my body and give it what it needs, and right now that's lots of rest.

But anyway: you know you've been through Kenzai when the first thought that runs through your head when you realize you're sick is, "But what about my workout?" ^_^

A "decadent" night out.

The wife and I went out tonight to get dinner and a movie. Here's what I ate:

• Two street tacos
• One beer
• Less than half a brownie (we split that, and didn't finish)
• One small popcorn
• One bottle of water

And it was absolutely decadent. Keep in mind, a night like this used to involve:
• A huge carnitas plate
• Two beers
• Medium popcorn, extra salt
• Soda (heavily watered down, but soda nonetheless)

Decadence is truly relative!

Did my first workout since Kenzai Body, and man was I jonesing for it. They're shorter, for sure—only 35 minutes—but feel great. Speaking of which, you know you've just completed Kenzai Body when...

• You think a 35 minute workout is short.
• You think jumping rope for 13 minutes is not that bad.
• You slightly feel like your cheating if you're not doing each workout to muscle failure.

I'm doing the relaxed diet, because I need a break from the world of egg whites, and the 5-day-a-week workout plan. Already I have the clumsies again, which is funny. I wonder if I'll start craving more eggs..?

Kenzai complete: I see the Matrix. 

I can't believe we're done. I was a little sad, even, putting on my workout flip flops (yes, it's true) and stepping out into my backyard for the last time as part of Kenzai Body. The day 8 workout was ridiculously easy. I felt like the boy who, after having been raised wearing iron geta sandals, took them off for the first time and went for a run. I could not believe those weirdly long rest periods. And so few reps and sets! I used the heavier resistance bands for most everything, and still I hardly broke a sweat. We've come a long way indeed.

I also feel a little like Neo when he is finally able to see the Matrix for the first time. Wherever I go, at work, or out with friends or family, I hear people talking about food, nutrition, and exercise, but all within the vocabulary of the Matrix. One guy I know is avoiding carbs altogether but does not exercise. Another goes on diet after diet, gaining and losing weight like a yo-yo. Another works out pretty regularly but doesn't watch a thing he eats. Another talked about something called "VB6," which is short for "vegan before 6 o'clock," after which you can presumably eat whatever you want—with no mention of exercise. The answer, as we've learned, is as simple as can be. No tricks. Just discipline, exercise, and a careful awareness of what your body needs.

I hope you guys feel the same way too. It's strange, viewing the world in this new way, and walking past all the illusions of food marketing and body image in a straight line towards our 90-day goal. I not only feel leaner and stronger, but wiser too, and really relish a whole new class of little things in life to enjoy. Stuff like getting up off the floor using just my legs, and with almost no effort. Bending down to pick up the spoon my daughter dropped (for the 10th time) without complaint. Or, like tonight, bouncing her on my shoulders down the entire length of a shopping mall and down the street without even remotely getting tired. It was giggles, giggles, giggles all the way.

Congrats, everybody! See you in Kenzai Life!

• Swear, loudly.
• Writhe in pain like a baby after the 30th V-sit.
• Make ridiculous faces while planking.
• Jump rope, trip, jump, trip, jump, and trip some more like a fool, all within 30 seconds.
• Work out shirtless without fear of being judged. Also saves on laundry!
• Switch to a tougher resistance band, then think "hell no," and switch back.
• Fart while doing floorjumps.

Indulgence: beer.

Met up with an old Boston friend who I haven't seen for at least five years, and decided to use that as my indulgence. I didn't eat like crazy—I stuck to the Kenzai diet—but I did have a couple beers.

They were awesome. Cold, bitter IPAs, sipped slowly over a couple hours while blabbing away with great conversation.

I used to buy beer occasionally and keep some in the fridge. But here's the thing: they never stayed in the fridge long, winding up in my belly, and would always leave me feeling a little guilty. So part of my post-Kenzai life will be to never buy beer for the house. I'll only have beer when I'm out with friends, which definitely doesn't happen every day (or week, or month sometimes, depending on how busy everyone is). I'm applying the same policy to cookies, chocolate, and stuff like that. Save it for a night out. Why leave those ticking bombs around the house, right?


So I showed my wife my before and after photos, and she was amazed at the difference. I guess she'd forgotten how I looked at the start of all this!

But the other interesting thing was how the conversation went:

Wife: "You're smiling in the after picture. You don't look as happy in the before shot."
Me: "That wasn't intentional—exercise regulates your mood better."
Wife: "You're also standing up straighter in the after shot."
Me: "That just naturally happens when you work out regularly. Also not intentional!"
Wife: "You look more confident."
Me: "That's because I am now!"
Wife: "...Really? Wow."

Kenzai has lifted us up in lots of little ways, hasn't it? I've found people can still be a little mystified by the differences, even among those who love and support you most.

Two weeks to go, people!

Final Photo





Kenzai Body
Kenzai Body

Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready
Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready