Sending love, health and SAFETY to all our Kenzai community impacted by typhoons and hurricanes in Hong Kong, the Philippines, China, and the US Carolinas.
I hope you and your friends and loved ones are safe. I watched some videos yesterday and it looked really scary out there.
Anyone on program is definitely allowed a couple indulgences this week as a coping mechanism.
1) The Basics: Where do you live; what do you do for work and/or play?
San Francisco, I work for a poverty fighting non-profit, I love soccer, running, generally being social. My nerdy hobby is raptor bird watching (it's currently migration season and there are some great watching spots in San Francisco). My husband and I have two sons ages 7 + 1.5. We call ourselves the #houseof8balls
2) If you’re new to Kenzai, how did you find out about Kenzai and why did you decide to join? If you’re a Kenzai veteran, how long have you been around the community and what program(s) have you enjoyed the most?
I think I'm in my fourth year of Kenzai. I know this sounds like a wussy answer, but I've really enjoyed each Kenzai program on it's own merits. Reach is different from Run is different from Chisel, all in great ways. Having said that, I think Chisel will be my go to program for awhile because of the results one can get in a short period.
3) Do you have any prior weight lifting experience?
I started lifting my senior year of high school. I've been pretty regular since then. I'm in this program not so much to learn about weight-lifting, but to do it in a focused way with the support of the community and the diet. Having said that, the lessons on Bench and Squat were great form corrections.
4) Why did you sign up for this program, and do you have any specific goals for yourself?
I'm focusing on gaining some muscle mass while dropping a little of the mid-section fat I gained over the summer. I also have some performance specific goals that I'll save for another post.
5) Do you have any weight lifting or training role models?
I like watching Jordan Yeoh's videos. They are fun, effective, and he's easy on the eyes.
6) Anything else you’d like to share with your teammates?
The Kenzai community is what keeps me coming back. At this point, I know how to workout and diet. But the accountability and fun of the team is what keeps me coming back. I'm thankful to be on a team with you all. Also super psyched to have Coach Matt who is one of the most knowledgeable and thorough in the Kenzai family. Coach Sara will bring us more support, TLC, and tons of fun. We are poised for a great program.
Early fall is a great time to hit Kenzai in northern California. This pic is just part of my farmer's market bounty this morning.
When Coach Matt looks up at the camera and says, "I know a couple of you skip those stretches - don't do it! Don't cheat your muscles, you will pay for it!" and I feel like he's talking directly to me.
Okay, Matt, I hear you... *slinks into the corner and stretches*
Baseline photo is up. After a fantastic summer of travel, great meals, and loads of cocktails and wine, I'm definitely at a high body fat percentage for me. I'm not mad about it - I wanted an indulgent and Kenzai-free period knowing full well that I no longer have the metabolism to sustain that kind of eating. The advantage is that I have potential for great before and after pics come December!
Our lesson was introduction to the bench press. I love that it says, each week you will deepen your relationship with the bench press. I have a strong relationship with this exercise, so I guess I'm renewing my vows. Having said that, I haven't increased my max on this exercise in probably 10 years. So I'd love to see a small new personal record over Iron. But form first!
I've been excited for this program to start. I haven't done a full 3-month program in over a year. I want to give this one my full attention and go 100% with the diet, exercise and connection to community. Thrilled to meet new teammates already and I'm confident we will make great progress together.
So do we have full permission to engage in awful gym bro language like, gainz, pump, guns, and leg day? We could spend the next 90 days communicating with some truly terrible memes.
As long as I can remember, my shoulder flexibility and mobility have been low. The hips too, but that's a different story. I'm going to spend the next six weeks working on this. Kind of my mini-Reach that is focused on my shoulders. I'm committing to 10-20 minutes every day focused on shoulder stretching. Here are my baseline photos.
I'm going to be following the video below, with some help from Baby Daddy who is a yoga instructor.
I'd love any advice (or just encouragement) you all have.
UnChiseled, but Content GRADUATION POST
My previous post was essentially my graduation post. As I mentioned, I didn't give Chisel the focused diet effort that I had planned to, but it kept me from running off the rails.
I'm in my month-long summer holiday in Hawaii enjoying unrestricted food and less intense exercise. I already feel the effects in my tummy pushing against my pants. Man, things can go off the rails quickly. I'm going to continue enjoying unrestricted diet through August.
I haven't done a three month program yet this year. I've decided to take on Iron in Sept. I've wanted to do this program for almost a year now, but the timing hasn't been right.
I'm going to give this one 100%. Full focus, no excuses, get that great dialed in Kenzai feeling back.
Thanks to my great teammates on this program and to Ward for your encouragement.
As planned, this is basically the end of my Chisel program. My Hawaii vacation started last Friday. I will continue to workout every day, but for the next month, I'm going to enjoy all the foods of my childhood and lots of wine and cocktails.
My heart wasn't fully in the diet and community part of the program this time around. I was really lazy on the diet and the results show. I'm not mad about it - I know Kenzai is a permanent fixture in my life now with ebbs and flows. So I didn't obtain the beach body I wanted, but I also feel fully comfortable shirtless.
This pic is the first day on the beach with my son and our borrowed dog. We are house and pet sitting for Kenzai Malia and Peter H from the Kenzai community, and my kid fell in love with their awesome dog in about 3 seconds.
To get a sense of my Hawaii diet, the other picture is a Portuguese sweetbread and linguica casserole that I baked for the World Cup final which was at 5am here. What a great game!
Chisel workouts are perfect for family vacation- it's great to get up and get them done in a short time and then get on with the day. I'm going to do that right now and then head out to a beach!
Folks in our 40s and up will find this familiar -
- I tweaked a muscle in my back.
- I have absolutely no idea.
So I have a minor muscle tweak that showed up on Saturday. I'm going to skip the Cycles on Monday and Tuesday and go running instead. Honestly, I've missed my runs, so I don't mind the change of pace. I love the intensity and brevity of the HIIT workouts. But I don't get that peaceful, meditative flow that I often experience while running.
The back pain has gotten better over the last two days so I expect to be back to burpees on Thursday.
This is my last week of diet since my family vacation starts on Friday. Looking to be fully kompliant this week!
Right now the horse stance is winning.
Today I fought with high pitched groans bursting through gritted teeth to hold it. I made it to 50 seconds before needing to take a microbreak.
I know it's mostly mental. I have lots of leg strength and muscle endurance from soccer. It's the stationary aspect of the exercise that has me in my mind wondering why it's so painful and why time passes so slow. Goal for next time is 60 seconds.
On Saturday, I met up with this Kenzai trainer and pillar of our kommunity to do a different type of fitness- exercising our free speech rights at the #familiesbelongtogether march in San Francisco.
Our family tradition in the Trump era (that is painful to say) is to attend rallies with 12 dozen donuts and pass them out to marchers. We make signs on the boxes with puns - Donut Support Trump, Donut Separate Families, Donut Support Xenophobic Policy. We passed out 144 donuts in 6 minutes. Okay, maybe not 144. I might have eaten 2. My son may have had around 4.
Then after marching a few blocks, we stopped at market for some unkompliant beverages and marched upstream to a park where the kids could play and we could drink and eat sushi. It was such a civilized way to express our first amendment rights.
As exemplified in the above anecdote, my diet has been loose and free this past week. Lots of alcohol and lazy decision-making. The World Cup has me at pubs with friends which is a perfect environment for poor caloric decisions. Vowing to tighten up today for the next two weeks when the Hawaii trip commences.
Sunday is pancake day at our house. I don't allow maple syrup because I'm an evil overlord and I don't want the kid to start off the day with that much sugar. So he douses his pancakes with applesauce while I make this Sunday version of avocado toast.
I think for the first time in three years of Kenzai participation, I got the auto email notifying me that I'm a blog and pic delinquent. I'll spare the excuses, but I'm here and I've been faithfully on program with all the exercises and maybe 80% diet.
I've been loving the workouts. It's been only a couple months since I completed my first run through Chisel, and I'm happy to find that my conditioning from that program is mostly still there. So I've been ramping up the workouts doing a few more reps with each exercise and adding and extra cycle if I have time.
I've also been staying focused on the grams, but it's summer and I like my rosé or bourbon on a big ice cube. Apparently I like it so much that I had a dream that head trainer Thomas took a break from his year in Central America to visit with me and tell me that bourbon is actually a wonderful part of a healthy diet. So if the dream head trainer says so, it must be ok!
Despite the evening drinks, the diet and exercise are having an impact and I see some nice progress from the last two weeks. Progress pic coming soon.
Excited to take another crack at Chisel. I think it's my favorite program to date. I love the intensity + the efficiency. As a busy working dad, getting out in the morning and dripping sweat but getting it done in 35 mins really works for me.
Since I finished Chisel 6 weeks ago, I've gotten just a wee bit softer in the middle, but no biggie. The goal is to stay on diet for a month with the exception of some wine and cocktails with friends maybe once or twice a week. This is summer after all. A month into the program I'll start my family vacation in Hawaii (beach time is a key incentive for this program). At that point the diet will be off - I can't resist the delicious unkompliant foods that I grew up with - chicken katsu, malasadas, shave ice! I'll have to do a killer program in the fall to make up for it.
Special thanks to my accountabilibuddies - Jolene, Sarah and Nikhil from my last Chisel team. We've been tracking diet and exercise on a spreadsheet and cheering each other on.
Last Sunday, I completed the Spartan Race that I’ve been working towards for about eight weeks. Here’s what I learned:
Altitude Sucks. I had trained for the obstacles and I had trained running up hills. I was in no way prepared to do all of that at Big Bear ski resort. The race starts at the ski lodge at 6700 ft and promptly proceeds straight up the mountain for about 4 kilometers. Less than a kilometer in, I was gasping for breath. I yelled at my teammates, I’M WALKING THESE HILLS, and that was the last major breath I was able to get out that morning. My younger teammates seemed less impacted by the lack of air, but were nice enough to slow their pace and stay with me.
Obstacles Rock. The main features of a Spartan race are the 20 or so obstacles that challenge the racers. I saw these as opportunities to stop running for awhile. I successfully completed 17 out of 20 obstacles. I was particularly adept at jumping and strength obstacles – thank you, Chisel. I was disappointed that I didn’t get up the rope climb even though I had practiced for it.
At some point doing the race, I shouted to my teammates, “Their motto should be, ‘SPARTAN RACE: It’s fun in retrospect!’ That’s actually how I feel. It was grueling. I hated so much of it. But I would absolutely sign up for another.
At sea level.
I'm really enjoying training in my Accountabilibuddies group. Thanks Sarah, Jolene and new team member Nikhil for the camaraderie and support.
I definitely went off program this weekend - enjoyed the wine and some extras. I had some great temptations like free tickets to the Taylor Swift concert last Friday (yah, I ate a hot dog and a beer), and friends popping buy over the weekend with rosé. It's spring and I'm not technically on program so I enjoyed the indulgence, but in general, I'm exercising every day and staying close to the diet.
I have my Spartan Race this Sunday. Wish me luck.
(image is my new fave version of cauliflower rice: turmeric, smoked paprika, coconut oil, furikake)