Elissa Imran

Elissa Imran

Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready | Day 4 (Member)
Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready
Day 4
Program progress:

Wow those weighted squats and lunges must be working. I have some sore glutes!

Shoulders are feeling it too with all that overhead bell work!

Definitely enjoying the bellz workouts, although that 3rd cycle has certainly upped the time they take. Did the Active Recovery day today before dragonboat practice. And then we got thunderstormed out! Honestly my shoulders probably needed the break.

Diet pretty much on point. And I’m seeing the mid-section flattening out a bit. Yay!


My parents were here for the last 12 days. We've had some good meals...including quite a bit of Chinese. Plus it was my daughter's 11th birthday. I wasn't totally off the rails on the diet but definitely not as clean as I'd like for a 6 week program. Hitting all the snacks. Meals at home are on point. Meals out...not horrendous....

I'm experimenting with the workout schedule this week. Dragonboat practice is Tue/Thu...and it's fairly intense. So I did my Active Recovery workout yesterday before practice. Tomorrow will be my Cardio day, i.e. just paddling. Today I'll do yesterday's workout. And so by Sunday I'm all caught up - just a bit out of the intended order. I'm aware that without real recovery days I may end up a bit too fatigued. Going to try it out this week and next and see if I need to make a change when we get into the even tougher/longer workouts in the 2nd half.

And I have not gotten this week's photo up yet. My shorts that I'm intending to wear for each picture are still in the laundry. Hopefully ready tomorrow for a quick photo! Oops!

Dragonboat team warmup - wall sit with gun show!
Chinese private kitchen dinner - complete with a pigeon each (and gloves to tear into it without getting our hands dirty)!
Dim sum lunch with the fam - yes I did eat one of those minions buns filled with egg custard - worth it!
Treats for my daughter's class - 32 Cinnamon Toast Crunch treats made with lots of butter & marshmallows - I had only 1 bite of hers at her insistence that I try it!
Daughter's birthday dinner at Din Tai Fung - we sang happy birthday over a piece of steamed cake (she loves it) but I didn't have any myself. I think I did enough damage with the dumplings!


While it hasn't been long since I posted an intro for my Kenzai Body 2 trainees - I'll chime in with my intro for my Kettlebells 2 teammates! Loving the program so far. Short but tough workouts. I've had to pull on the gloves as those exercises with rotation of the bellz were giving me some blisters - and I do not want callused hands! Also tried putting on some wrist sweat bands today for a little extra protection for those rack position exercises - I was getting a bit of a bruise just above the top of my wrists. It seemed to help.

1) The Basics: Where you live; What you do for work and/or play.
I live in Hong Kong (moved here from NYC over 8 years ago for husband's job) and am a stay at home mom to a daughter who turned 11 yesterday and an 8 year old son. When I'm not dragon boat paddling or hiking or spending time with the family, I'm a Kenzai Trainer!

2) How long have you been around the community and what program(s) have you enjoyed the most?
I first did Kenzai Body when it was still called PCP back in September 2012. It's hard to pick a favorite program. I really like the classic Kenzai style workouts with bands and body weight exercises - I can easily carry my workout in a bag and get it done anywhere. But I also really like changing it up from time to time with Sculpt, Reach, Bellz. Periodization in training for good total body health and fitness!

3) What did you like the most from the Kettlebell 1 program? What did you like the least?
I liked the change of workout style - cycles. And I liked the use of kettlebells for something different. I least liked getting blisters on my hands and bruises above my wrists. I'm a delicate flower...so I'm trying to fix that this round! I also find it a bit more difficult to have to be home or at the gym for a workout. Sometimes when the day is busy I get it done on the sidelines of my kids' soccer or at the park while they're in an activity nearby. I may have to hit some early morning workouts on those days...and that's not my favorite.

4) Why did you sign up for this program, and do you have any specific goals for yourself?
It was time for a change of pace after KB3 in the fall. I've got a little winter fluff to burn off. And I'm all for continuing to increase my fitness and strength.

5) Anything else you’d like to share with your teammates?
Looking forward to meeting more Kenzaites! I love the Kommunity here! I've got a very busy KB2 crew at the moment, but I'm hoping to still make time for being a good teammate!


I'm excited to be starting this program. Have been a bit too lax since mid-December...as evidenced by the fluff around my middle...
Time to reign in the diet and push hard on the workouts!
I've invested in some new bellz - twin sets of 16kg, 12kg, 8kg and 4kg. I actually did today's workout at the gym following the superbowl breakfast we went to. So it will be fun to break in the new bellz on Day 2!

I'll be balancing this with dragon boat training twice a week. Will see how I can shuffle the days a bit here and there as needed.

I've got my parents visiting this week over the CNY holiday - have some meals out that will certainly not be on diet. Will be super clean otherwise and ready to really go strict next week!


I spent the weekend in Bangkok with my daughter's U12 soccer team and other parents. We had a great time!

The girls played well - came in 4th of 10. And more importantly they had good sportsmanship, camaraderie and fun!

I may have had a bit too much fun...including the free flow wine at the Saturday night banquet! I think only in Asia would that be included for the parents at a kids' soccer tourney!

I did manage to get in a workout on Friday evening. But I opted to spend my other free time taking her to a foot massage. It was great bonding and a great massage.

Back in the swing of things. Catching up on blogs. And ramping up workouts in preparation for next week's start of Bellz2!

Oddly Tempting

I was asked to make an odd recipe for my kids’ classes this week. They are reading a book chapter by chapter - one book one school - in advance of the author visiting in a few weeks. This week’s portion includes a recipe for Extra-Gooey Marshmallow Cheeto Treats. Think rice crispy treats but with Cheetos in place of the cereal.
I bought the ingredients thinking “Yuck!” But once made I was oddly tempted to eat some. I resisted all but a tiny taste of the cheesy marshmallow goo stuck to the pot. It was pretty tasty! Good thing I’m shipping it all off to school with the kids tomorrow!


Allow myself to introduce myself.

1. Where are you located?
I’m in Hong Kong – moved here from New York City just over 8 years ago.

2. What do you do?
In addition to working for Kenzai part time, I am a stay at home mom to a 10 year old daughter and an 8 year old son. I love that they go to school all day. And I also love that I get to spend my afternoons, evenings and weekends with them.
I am an avid dragon boat paddler. I picked up the sport when I moved to Hong Kong, and I'm just starting my 9th season with the AWA Globe Paddlers. It’s fun being on a team of amazing women!
I love to travel. One of the perks of living in Asia is seeing so many places I never even imagined getting to. We are raising our kids to be adventurous travelers. We spent 2 ½ weeks in Thailand and Laos at winter break. It was an awesome trip filled with elephants, zip-lines, staying in a tree-house, playing in waterfalls and much more!

3. Why are you here?
I heard about Kenzai from a neighbor back in 2012 and did my first program in September of that year. And I started working for Kenzai in 2015. I keep coming back for more because I love the lessons, workouts, diet plans and most of all the community. I have completed multiple programs and aim to hit a couple more this year - probably starting with Kettle Bells 2 in February.

4. What podcast or playlist would you recommend?
I recently got into podcasts instead of music during exercise, although I sometimes switch over from Stitcher to Spotify playlists. Recent favorites include Dirty John, Bag Man, Serial (season 3), and Caliphate.

Happy new year!

I’ve been traveling in Thailand and Laos with family and friends for over 2 weeks. And as our trip comes to an end I’m starting to think about what to tackle in the new year.
I brought workout gear and a jump rope but it hasn’t really gotten used. We have hiked and climbed and biked and been fairly active overall. But I’m ready to jump back into some good workouts in the coming week. Between k-life and dragonboat I’m sure I’ll be sore a week from now. And the big upcoming decision - do I Chisel or Bellz2?

Much needed rest!

KB3 workouts all completed. And other than a couple more dragonboat practices before the holiday, I'll throw in a few light workouts...but otherwise continue with some much needed rest.
I've taken a bit of a break from the Kenzai site this week as well. Too much time sitting at the computer working on details for both winter and summer break (Anyone in/near the Berkshires? I'll be there for 7 weeks in summer '19!), plus all the other admin that crops up this time of year.
Will be popping back through some of the missed blog posts over the next week or so to see how everyone is doing!

My knee is doing much better. Shoulder back to 100%. But damn this right QL keeps throw things out of whack. It seems to be getting better and then hits me again the day after each dragonboat practice. Off to the physio for a follow up next week. Hoping for some good exercises to tackle over winter break and try to re-align a bit!

I may go a bit quiet here as I have travels ahead. The family and I will be heading to northern Thailand and Laos for 18 days of adventure. Really really really looking forward to it!


That was a tough 90 days! Enjoyed the workouts...although they got quite long the last few weeks!
I got just what I wanted from this program. I've been getting lots of compliments on looking very toned and fit. I feel strong. My endurance is up.
Looking at my photos, I think I see the shorts look a tad looser and the mid-section looks a tad leaner and the upper body looks a tad more toned. All of that makes sense given that I've only lost 1 kilo. But I've also found a pretty good balance on the diet. I'm not 100% strict. I have been imbibing and indulging a bit. But I keep things about 80% clean and I don't go crazy on the other 20%.
Now to find the exercise balance. Getting in an hour plus workout daily on top of dragonboat 2-3 times per week and some hiking and such as well is just not sustainable. I'm a bit burned out and having lots of little niggles (much improved after a week off...and I will still make up those missed workouts!). So the quest continues to keep up the fitness / life balance! KB3 was a great step towards figuring it out.
Thanks to Ward and my Kenzai team and friends for the encouragement and commiseration along the way!


About a month ago I was getting some pain in my left shoulder - pretty sure it was the tendon on the rear deltoid. After a few nights of disturbed sleep because of it, I headed to the physio. It took a couple weeks to get it to about 90% and a couple more to be back to full health. So glad I took care of it quickly and dialed back the resistance on the shoulder exercises in the interim.

But to add injury to injury...I started getting pain in my lower right back around the SI joint. I'm sure this was a combo of dragonboat and Kenzai. I was having this problem last spring but it resolved on its own. Since I was already visiting the physio about once a week, I had her take a look. She diagnosed it as a combination of tight quad and IT band along with a tight quadtratus lumborum - a muscle in that area. With some good massage and a few exercises, that has been improving gradually.

And just to keep things interesting, I did a stupid thing. My knees, which have been problematic since ACL tears in the mid-90s, have been totally fine all program. But I sub in lower impact options for the jumping exercises. Since all was going so well, I decided to try a few sets of floor jumps, butt kicks, knee slappers. And yeah...that was stupid. I have learned from experience that these just cannot be in my exercise repertoire. So lesson learned yet again as I've been having some tendinitis in the right patellar tendon and quad tendon. It's improved a bit after yesterday's physio. Been doing lots of foam rolling and stretching. And I know that it will take a few more days to fully resolve.

So with all of that going on, I've decided to be extra smart this week. I need not check every box! I've had dragon boat training (Tue/Thu) and some long dog walks and moderate hikes. I've done some physio-prescribed exercises and lots of stretching and foam rolling. But I've not done this week's Kenzai workouts since Monday (that's 3 missed so far). This is a hard choice for me to make. But I want to finish strong and nail Day 90! So I've decided to skip Days 86-88. Tomorrow I'll do some cardio for the Day 89 workout. And this weekend I will do the Day 90 workout - probably on Sunday since I have dragonboat training on Saturday. And next week I'll go back and do the missed days - because it makes me happy to check the boxes.

Training smart for my body - something I need to keep in mind!


I am having serious difficulty motivating for the workout today. We were invited to another friend's Thanksgiving feast last night - and it was excellent! But to much food and wine...makes for a slow morning.

We also had a full day Saturday - about 6 hours watching kids' soccer tournaments to start. Then it was Citibank family day at Ocean Park. It was much better than expected. We got a VIP pass that allowed us to skip all the lines - thanks to Shafi I for being a VIP! And we had to plan our afternoon/evening around a corporate show at 6:30pm. Shafi got to help hand out lucky draw prizes. And then our kids (and us with them) got selected to help in the sea lion / dolphin show.

With all of that going on, I had to count the hours walking the park (and riding rollercoasters...it's a core workout I'm sure :) ) as my alternative cardio. I added the other exercises on to my Sunday (which was Saturday's) workout. So yesterday's workout was seriously brutal!

But despite my low energy and procrastination, I am about to lace up my shoes and bang out today's workout. Right knee has been niggling a bit - quad tendinitis I think. So we'll see how it feels on the leg work...will dial it down if necessary. Just a few days to go - not letting injuries and niggles stop me. Have been in physio for some shoulder and back stuff (combo of paddling and Kenzai methinks)...will have her take a look at the knee when I go Wednesday.

Definitely ready for this 90 day beast to be over. But feeling so good that I've been able to get through it without any major injuries (couldn't say the same for the last round 2 years ago!)! So this Thanksgiving I've been very grateful for good health!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving! Even though I miss being with family in the US on this American holiday, we have always managed to get together with friends for a great celebration - this was our 9th Thanksgiving abroad.
I nailed my workout earlier in the day, including a great dragon boat practice (posing as turkeys in the photo).

I kept my portions pretty reasonable, but I did have a sliver of each of 3 pies (pecan, pumpkin and lemon) and I did drink a bit too much wine!

And now we've been invited to a friend's for a Thanksgiving celebration on Sunday evening also...so I plan on a repeat! Better keep up my workouts and keep the diet clean otherwise!


It's been an exciting week here. A nice little gathering for some Kenzaites with Ren visiting from Tokyo. And when I mentioned I could get him a seat on the dragonboat, he jumped at the chance. Despite his claims of lack of coordination, he did very well. A good example of what great fitness can do, especially for some of my teammates who are nearly finished with KB1!

The dragonboat team also had a fun outing Tuesday after practice on a junk boat. We actually had a pretty healthy spread of food - lots of veggies and lean protein - but also a fair amount of wine! And wow do I need to work on my tan lines!

Meanwhile, I'm feeling a bit burned out on KB3. Body is tired. But that's not stopping me. Workouts are happening. I did have to claim a couple hours walking around the Hong Kong Wetland Park with my son's class as my cardio yesterday, but I got the rest of the workout done after and still had time to clean up for dinner! I really struggled with motivation to get in the rest of the workout today after dragonboat practice. I was a bit crunched for time so my negatives were more like a 5 count than a 10 count. But I got the whole thing done!

Diet hasn't been stellar, but I'm still holding pretty strong on the 80/20 plan. Some extra indulgences, but healthy meals at home and mostly good choices out. Nailing my snacks, even if it means eating them on field trips, dragonboats, hikes, shopping, on the way to physio, etc. Preparation is key!

With just over 2 weeks to go, I plan to continue on this path and finish feeling fit (even if not thinner)!


I've swapped out cardio day a few times - moved days around that is. And I think I had to do a double up once...meaning I missed a day and combined a cardio and strength day (including that cardio). But I have hit 100% of my workouts to date (Day 68!). This is the way that works for me. As soon as I miss a workout, I'm tempted to miss another. 90 for 90 or bust.

But today's schedule is nuts. I've got parent teacher conferences back to back from 8-11 this morning. Then I need to pick my son up from a playdate and get to the American Club to meet some of the kids' friends for lunch at 12:15 and some playtime after. I'm bringing my workout gear, but it will depend on what they choose to do with their playtime whether I can head up to the gym or if I need to keep an eye on them. Then I've got to take my daughter to her first volleyball clinic from 3:30-5. And she really wants me to stay since she's a bit nervous about it.

And we've got a dinner booking back at the American Club for 6:30 (Diwali buffet night!). So certainly there's enough time to get in a shower between volleyball and dinner...but not really a workout.

Going to have to be creative to make it happen today. Especially since my left shoulder has been giving me trouble - will have to save that for another post. But suffice it to say that I'm not skipping rope this week. And alt cardio takes a lot of time!

Stay tuned for whether I find the time! Not so sure I can fit in a double up this weekend!!!

Final Photo



Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready
Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready


Kenzai Body
Kenzai Body

Kenzai Body 2
Kenzai Body 2

Kenzai Body 3
Kenzai Body 3

Kenzai Reach
Kenzai Reach


Kenzai Sculpt
Kenzai Sculpt

Kenzai Kettlebell
Kenzai Kettlebell

Kenzai Kettlebell 2
Kenzai Kettlebell 2

Kenzai Chisel
Kenzai Chisel

Kenzai Mind
Kenzai Mind