Elissa Imran

Elissa Imran

Kenzai Member
Ski Booted! 

Loved the quick cycles! It was great to have a last program to help me keep up the routine at the end of the year. Things fell off a bit the last week or so - I definitely did not fully do justice to the end of the program with holiday parties and travel taking over. But as I often tell people, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be worth it!

I’m already on holiday in South Africa. And staying with friends where we don’t have much control over the menu. So it will be 3 weeks of a very relaxed diet. And I’ll surely be ready to clean things up in January!

But we’ve also planned a very active vacation. So I’ll throw in a few body weight exercises along the way but I think overall I’ll be feeling fine on the exercise front.

Happy holidays!


As my T-shirt and KB2 groups are graduating and I still have a week to go in Ski Boot, I am feeling in a bit of a slump. I'm sure part of it is back to back to back programs this fall. I thought keeping it interesting by doing different styles of training would keep this from happening. In fact, maybe it's not that at all but rather holiday season.
In any case, while I usually go max raps, max cycles, etc, this week I've been cutting some corners. But I'm still moving my body daily. I've still got dragonboat training twice a week and hiking at least once if not twice a week. And I've kept the diet in the 80% range, which was my plan.
My weight has stayed steady and my clothes fit the same. So actually maybe this is the right way to go - using this program to keep me on track instead of blowing things out in the holiday season from Thanksgiving on.

And now I've got a super hectic week coming up. I have plans almost every lunch and dinner. I have holiday things going on at the kids' school. I have a cookie swap to bake for. And I have to pack for myself and the kids - we fly late night on Thursday for 3 weeks in South Africa. Plus I know I really am not likely to keep those workouts up once we hit the road. We're visiting friends for part of it and have a schedule packed with animals, action and adventure for all of it. So I'm owning this not strong finish now. It was a strong first half. And I'll carry on through the 2nd half. But I'll know that I could have done better.

Halfway there!

Well that workout sure ramped up a bit! The combo of exercises had my shoulders burning by the 3rd cycle and fatiguing by the 5th!
Ready for the 2nd half!

I love Thanksgiving!

I miss spending it with extended family, but in 9 years here in Hong Kong we have always managed to have at least one Thanksgiving celebration a year with friends. Probably a good thing that this year was only 1 celebration!

Yes I over ate. Yes I had some wine. Yes there was dessert. Yes I felt pretty gross after, even after walking the dog for 45 minutes. But oh did I love the turkey and stuffing and sweet potato casserole (with marshmallows on top!) and cranberry sauce and pumpkin and mashed potatoes and roasted veggies and cornbread and chocolate bourbon pecan pie and apple pie with a little ice cream. But no regrets. I decided in advance that I was going to just let loose. I don't really have any weight loss goals at the moment...more just enjoying the variety of shorter Kenzai programs to keep my training interesting. And so I've been pretty good the rest of the week and I'll continue on the straighter path from here on out! No lasting effects from Thursday night's indulgence!

Another hill to climb

Hiked from Aberdeen to the Peak today. That was a good glute workout with a not so gentle incline the whole way. Enjoyed the stroll around the flat loop once we got up there.
Still conquered all 4 cycles of the workout when I got home. Loving these fairly quick workouts! Fits well into the busy schedule this time of year!
Also a lovely sunny day today. Yesterday was the first time this season I needed a light jacket on the water!


Had a great time getting out for a hike in Ap Lei Chau / Ap Lei Pai yesterday. Love the weather here this time of year!
Who needs skiing when there are peaks to climb!

Ski Bootin'!

Well, I can't exactly join the Ski Boot Social Club. I have never skied. And I never will...thanks to blowing out both knees back in my high school soccer playing days.

But I dragonboat. So I'll just translate to that where applicable. We've got a community of enthusiasts, a love of the sport, making instant friends with those carrying a paddle, battling the elements (on the water instead of the slopes).

Here's today's post-training photo - with the wind in my hair. And believe it or not, the legs are key on the dragonboat. You use them to anchor and drive the body from leaning forward back to upright while pulling the paddle through the water. If your quads and glutes aren't sore after a session then you are not doing it right!

I've just finished Beach Blast (abs) and T-Blast (upper body) almost back to back. So now I'm rolling into Ski Boot for the leg focus. Periodization for the win!

Looking forward to getting to know the team here...despite feeling a bit lost in the ski lingo!


This was a fun 4 week jaunt into dumbbell training. I’ve used them before in my own workouts but never in a very planned out way.
I had an interruption due to my previously blogged about medical tests that caused me to have to miss 9 workouts. I came back to knock the final 3 out - with gusto! But it still leaves me feeling a bit less complete here than usual.
Nonetheless, I can see and feel some changes in upper body strength. But as per today’s lesson, I am an easy gainer. Having done both Blasts almost back to back, I definitely got more noticeable results on Beach than T-shirt. And I like the toned physique that type of workouts produces for me more than the easy gain of bulky muscles that I get from lifting.
Looking forward to changing gears as I jump into Ski Boot next!


After nothing but dog walks for exercise for the past week, I went hiking today. Seemed a good start to get back into it - dragonboat tomorrow - and back to T-shirt workouts on Friday. It was a gorgeous day, despite the turmoil in HK that caused school to be canceled for my kids. My son decided to come along on the hike, which was nice. It was a bit of a scrambly trail out to rhino rock and back. Had a great time!


I have had a good reminder the last couple weeks of how true that "I get to work out today" lesson is. I don't even remember which program it's from, but it has stuck with me. I had a suspicious spot (cluster actually) on a mammogram a couple weeks ago. After seeing my regular doctor and then a specialist, I was sent for an MRI and biopsy. Unpleasant experiences but worth it for the peace of mind...all benign! Whew!

So now I'm a bit sore and I'm restricted to only walking for a week - no strenuous exercise - while the biopsy wound heals. I'll miss a week's worth of Tshirt workouts and a couple dragonboat practices. But come Thursday I plan to get right back on track and just be thankful that I get to work out.

5 sets!

Today's workout felt so long! Not sure if that was the many exercises that ramped up from 4 to 5 sets? Or the fact that I had such a busy morning that I couldn't get to it until 3:00 this afternoon? Or that my son came home while I was mid-workout and I had to pause to sort his after school snack? All of the above perhaps?

But I got it done! And my make-shift bench didn't fall over as a flopped from side to side for the reclining shoulder fly!

I had some probably good news today. My left hand, the one where I broke the 5th metacarpal 3 years ago, has been bothering me on and off lately. It doesn't hurt all the time and it doesn't even always hurt from the same activities. Sometimes kayaking bothers it. Sometimes lifting bothers it. Sometimes it just aches a bit and I can't place the cause. Well, 3 years ago there was not a proper orthopedic hand surgeon in Hong Kong, so the guy who fixed it was really more of a shoulder, elbow, wrist guy. But now there is a specialist! So I went to see her today - took 3 weeks to get the appointment. Guess there was a need! The x-rays showed the bone is fully healed, the plate and screws are still in place, and there's no obvious issue other than the bone not really being straight anymore (already knew that). The tendon is weak. And that could be because it's rubbing against the plate...which could mean it's getting damaged and the plate will need to be removed. Or it could be fixable with some physio. So the other new specialist is a physio who specializes in hands...who I can't get in to see until after Thanksgiving! If it's not improving by January then I'll get a dynamic ultrasound to see what it looks like when the tendon moves. But in the meantime, I'm optimistic about the physio! Hence probably good...

I was a bit afraid that she'd tell me I needed to have it rebroken and reset. So honestly I'm pretty damn relieved about it right now! Whew!

I don't have the new x-ray files just yet...so just showing off the old ones for now!

TBlast Week 2!

Rolling on along well. Been super busy - will catch up on everyone's blogs in the next couple days! Did a 9 mile hike yesterday and tackled the strength portion of the workout after. Check out my MacGuyver'd weight bench! We have been holding on to those stools since the kids were little enough to need them to reach sinks and shelves. Looks like they've come in handy again!

I was super sore Friday/Saturday. But Sunday's rest day was just what I needed for the shoulders to relax a bit. Did a long brisk walk with the dog plus some swimming from the junk boat we were on in the afternoon to get in plenty of alt cardio.

T-shirt Blast Intro

1. Who are you, where are you, what do you do?
Been living in Hong Kong for 9 years now - moved from NYC for my husband's job. I spend my time parenting, doing household admin, planning family travel, hiking, dragonboat paddling, and being a Kenzai Trainer....not necessarily in that order!

2. Why T-Shirt? What are you looking to achieve in 28 days?
Just finished Beach Blast and thought this would be a good change up. I definitely like the short programs better than the long ones. Much easier to stay committed. And I like the periodization of training. Can't focus on everything all the time. But over the course of the year I keep things fairly well rounded...or well toned as it were!

3. Do you have a favourite T-Shirt, one that has stayed with you for years? If so - PHOTO!!
Unfortunately I don't think I do. My old favorite T's from concerts, college and other events were much larger and are now either gone or have migrated to my husband's closet! I quite like having a range of plain color soft cotton v-neck T's these days. But I still find that I can see my Kenzai results best when my mid-section is visible, so I'll stick with the shorts and sports bra for my weekly photos!

Have a busy weekend planned. Going to a friend's party to watch the rugby tomorrow. Bringing a fruit plate. And on a friend's junk boat on Sunday. Bringing a veggie & yogurt dip platter. I can't say I'm aiming for 100% compliance. When I jump from program to program I find I keep my sanity a lot better by being more at the 90% level...so there will be a little indulging. But I've kept things clean the last few days, so I'm feeling good about it!


Well that sure didn't start off easy. Day 1 workout was tough! Looking forward to more...glutton for punishment I guess!
Started the day off climbing around in the Tai Tam tidal pools with my son's 4th grade class. Headed straight home after to tackle the workout. Keeping the diet tight and ready to rock these next 4 weeks!

Kenzai is a Blast!

Having completed Beach Blast (on the new app beta!), I'm ready to tackle T-Shirt Blast! Feeling pretty fit and trim and ready to try out using some dumbbells. Due to space constraints, I opted for a set with adjustable weights. Hopefully that won't prove too annoying during my workouts.

It's been a busy month. I really liked the Beach program, with fairly short workouts. And it was super easy to manage while traveling - I only brought along my rope and push-up handles. With an 11 day family trip to Indonesia and Malaysia I actually only missed workouts on the travel days at either end.

Been getting in lots of good cardio but giving my body a break from most of the strength training since finishing the program. Hiking, kayaking and dragonboating are keeping me feeling good. And I haven't let the diet go off the rails either...just a couple chocolate bars over the last week to scratch that itch before jumping on another program.

My KB2 crew is rolling along well. Keep it up guys! And I'm going to pop around to some friend's blogs now, since I've been a bit MIA on that front.

Cave tubing in Central Java
Javanese archery lesson
About to climb the steps (almost 300) to the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur
Family kayaking outing in Stanley
Being amazed by Borobudur, an 8th century Buddhist Temple
Tuesday's dragonboat training

End of Week 3





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Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready
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