Jess Swarbreck

Jess Swarbreck

Kenzai Member

Here I am with my little workout buddy in the shitty English weather which calls for hoodies and hats in August.

Judging by the double chin and the way I've been living recently you wouldn't think that I'm a) a personal trainer b) studying nutrition or c) getting married this year. Quelle horreur!

Wedding day is 16.12.17. Today begins a tightening of the reins!

Watch this space! #wedbod

Reboot take 2- done!  

Had a great finish to the program with a bike ride and final work out with Dad today.
It's been a lot of fun getting back into the discipline of training with him...he doesn't do things by halves- well done Dad!
I'm still juggling a lot at home but the discipline of diet and exercise over the past 4 weeks has proved so helpful as always. Thanks for everything Scott, you're a legend.
Here's to the next challenge...but first, holiday! :)

Throwback challenge

My guess is that this was 1990 having just moved back to England from Bahrain. Peter S will know for sure...that's him in the tash!

Shins didn't last long

I knew all along that my new skipping spot is way too hard to skip on. No surprise whatsoever that my shins are shot already. I was actually limping around all day, even having rested yesterday. So boring.

Pleasantly surprised this evening that Ben suggested we dust off the bikes though and had an unexpectedly great work out!

Nearly half way...

...and I feel as though things are firming up so am glad about that. Got the work out done against the odds today as have been feeling ill most of the day. Have hardly eaten this evening which is a sure sign that I'm not well. I never skip meals!
So glad its Friday tomorrow!

Reboot day 8

I'm back to it after a slightly wobbly weekend which was spent at my soon-to-be in laws where I never find it easy to stay on diet. I was up super early on Saturday to work out though which was good. We then had a long day of clay pigeon shooting which was a pretty intense shoulder workout.
Just got home after a long day at work and worked out but am finding I have a lot more energy this week after some alcohol free nights sleep. It really does make all the difference!
Have a great week everyone!

Whole grains headlines

A couple of days ago a radio show I was listening to casually reported that a scientific study had just found that ‘whole grain bread is no better for you than white’. As a nutrition geek it got me all riled up. This is completely against conventional science and some of the most simple reliable nutrition advice. I was sure that this must have been a study funded by some food company and conducted very badly and yet this ‘lie’ was being reported in on the BBC as well as in one of the most widely read newspapers. ‘What a joke!’ I thought. ‘No wonder we’re facing an obesity crisis.’

As I delved into the claim being made, I was surprised that the research had actually come from a very well respected institute and one that’s pioneering research on gut bacteria on the cutting edge of nutrition science. Not only this, the scientists had proved their null hypothesis meaning that their results had completely shocked them. I was familiar with much of their similar research but had never heard it reported in mainstream media in such a sensational way that really seemed to miss the point.

‘Swapping your whites for browns’ is a really simple, and in my personal experience, effective way of managing energy levels and appetite; the mechanism thought to be behind this is that whole grains stimulate less of an insulin response to refined grains meaning that they promote more balance in blood sugar levels. However, this study found that this balancing effect was true in only half of the participants eating brown bread. In the other half, it actually had the opposite effect! Yes, half of the participants actually had a higher insulin response after eating wholegrain bread than white. Furthermore, the scientists found no differences in other markers of health in the blood such as minerals and liver enzymes between the two groups. Interestingly, the scientists were able to develop an algorithm to predict which participants would experience which insulin response based on the composition of their gut bacteria. This could mean that eating whole grains could be good for some of us, but not others. Essentially, this research is telling us that simple dietary advice like this might not be a one size fits all affair. In the future, our gut bacteria might be routinely screened to look at what foods are best for us and which ones to avoid.

HOWEVER, that time is not here yet but this is what should have been reported and the reporters who sensationalised this piece of research should be ashamed. This was a very small study, conducted over two weeks. The scientists themselves recognised the simplicity of the study and were explicit about how the results are not based on long term wholegrain vs refined grain consumption. If we look at the body of research on whole grains and dietary patterns including whole grains, there are a host of far more comprehensive studies linking the intake of whole grains to better health and decreased risk of things like bowel cancer.

I can just imagine how many people would have read the headline ‘brown bread no better for you’ and thought ‘Urgh! Science keeps changing its mind!’ So, at Kenzai, I hope we can do our part to keep things scientific and honest. We always have the power to delve into the research ourselves. Don’t believe everything you read, especially about nutrition!

Alternative cardio

Took my beloved on a run round the block today instead of skipping. As you can see, he was totally into the idea.

Reboot time!

Naturally I made day 1 as difficult as possible by hosting a bbq last night. At the point where I was ready for a cup of tea and bed I thought ah better have another glass...while I can. Rookie error. Today has been hell! Nevertheless, got home and worked out and now chilling out which feels amazing.
Excited to reboot. It's time to put down the mayonnaise.
Have a great one team!!

New jump rope!

I love this time of year - its by far the best time to train in the UK. The weather is good and the days are long. I got bored of my running route and decided to switch back to jumping rope this week which has been challenging in all the right ways.
Happy Wednesday y'all! And here's to everyone taking on programs this week. (Especially KB2. You guys are the best ones ;) )


I hope everyone is getting on well and still enjoying Reach. I've loved it but unfortunately am not managing to keep up with all aspects of the program and am going to have to duck out early.
It doesn't feel good not completing a Kenzai program but it feels worse doing it badly. Various things going on at home and long hours at work have meant I just haven't been able to prioritise this program, particularly in the evenings. It sucks, but it is what it is!
And to anyone considering doing Reach, I say do it!! I'm looking forward to giving it 100% some time next year or in the summer when schools out.
Peace out for now. Namaste.

Tired but ticking along

All my spare time this week I've just wanted to sleep. I don't feel ill at all, just tired- its weird.
I'm still enjoying Reach - it feels good to be working on things that have been neglected for so long.
Hope you're all having a good week!

Is this really so hard?!

I can't say today's lesson resonated with me, I feel SO good after each session, even the incomplete sessions.
That said, I have been wondering why I'm struggling so much to complete the evening stretches to the allotted times. Is anyone else finding that? I'm barely making it to 2 minutes on any of the stretches.
I'm laughing at myself now but mid stretching last night I was cursing the program thinking it was ridiculous to ask someone to stay still for 10 minutes. I realise that is crazy.
Maybe its all just too emotional and I'm avoiding it!
I realise I need to re-apply myself. It'll piss me off if I genuinely don't have the discipline for this.

Reach - Day 1

My dear friend Kate called me up at the weekend and suggested we do Reach together starting Monday.
Knee jerk reaction which I'm glad I kept to myself was fucking hell no, i don't have time to do anything else! I am.
Really excited to try this.

I used to think I had quite good flexibility but have realised recently that my ankle/calf flexibility for one is terrible.
Looking forward to doing the assessment later to see what else I suck at.

Let's do this!


Meet Bo. 11 weeks and finally today allowed out of the garden.
We took her for a very short walk (all she's allowed at the moment) and I carried on from there on a run.
I've been putting off working out properly since Christmas as its been so cold and wet- felt great to get out again today and blow out the cobwebs.
I'll thank my amazing KB2 teams for inspiring me to do so...and my new pup who I could not be prouder of!
Woof! xx

Jan 8th, 2018





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