Fast & Furious! GRADUATION POST
That was Fast & Furious, Short & Ugly, Sweat & Tears and Lots of Grunting! What a hellofa beast of a program! And I would do it all over again!
But man am I ready for a break! If I see Timed Alternating Push-up Swing Kicks or Timed Push-up Balancers in another program I'm running the other way!!
Full disclosure: My diet could have been a bit tighter. I tend to mono-eat and not get the grams or fruit required. Next time.
The new app is great! Some bugs but all in all really nice to use. The launch in January will be much anticipated! I know I'll be using it from here on!
I'm actually having my 60th birthday on Hanalei Bay at the end of this month. How ironic and awesome to get ready for that with Team Hanalei!
Great job Team Hanalei! Way to hang tough and give it the spanking it deserved! Loved all the support and commenting that occurred during the program.
A shout out to the Trainers and Big Dogs for all the encouragement while playing with us puppies!
@Ed - I'm forever grateful to you for getting me hooked on Kenzai. It has changed every aspect of my life these past 10 months. And you and I have changed the DNA of our genetics! See you in a couple weeks!!
I haven't been posting about my Blast Beach Ready experiences because I'm on a team that is beta testing the new app. It's AMAZING!!
But here's my post from yesterday's blog.
Today’s lesson made me realize something really cool! I’m seriously running with the Big Dogs in this program. Head trainers, Kenzai veterans, my cousin who’s a trainer and Kenzai legend. And then of course having the Chief of all Chiefs as our personal trainer. The honorable and highly revered Patrick Reynolds! Now I mean it when I say I’m not intimidated. But what I’ve noticed this past week, is I’m pushing myself harder and sticking with the diet as strictly as I’ve ever done, knowing I’m training with the big guns and want to prove I can hang with them. And to possibly, someday, be one of them! So when I feel my body start to fatigue and my mind start to whine, I think of all my Big Dog teammates and I kick it into overdrive and try not to throw up. So thanks Hanalei Big Dogs for letting me tag along in the pack.
Chop Wood, Carry Water! GRADUATION POST
The last day was a hellava workout. Wow!
Though I missed a week due to camping in the wilderness and this last week was not my strongest, I absolutely LOVED Kettlebells. My body took to it like a duck to water. I love moving this way, on all planes, with an extended weight at the end of your arm limbs. Functional Fitness personified.
Kenzai was spot on with the progress throughout the 6 weeks. Starting off slowly with bands and bells and graduating to more reps, more sets and trickier movements with the bells. I feel confident and enabled by how easily I can throw some big hunks of iron around.
My favorites are Figure 8s and Rotation Chest Passes. I know these movements, can at times, be required to perform a difficult task. That showed up for me when unloading, setting up and breaking down our camping gear. It can be exhausting "chopping wood, carrying water". My friends were like, Jeez June, you're a beast! Thank God we have your mighty muscles along for this trip!
I love how strong I feel. How nimble and limber I feel. I can't wait to do Kettlebells 2!
Thanks Vanguardians! You were a tight team! Well done and congrats to each one of you. I'm sure I'll be seeing you on another program.
Ward! You are an incredible trainer, inspirer, humanoid! You are truly the best of the best! And I beg you to make a Kenzai playlist for all of us workout music junkies! Please, pretty please! ~ Your devoted trainee!
Well I definitely failed week 5 wholley and horrifically. But I'm not beating myself up at all. I knew I was shelving the program to do a Na Pali Coast kayak trip for my friends 60th birthday celebration.
Good new, bad news.
The bad news is we got shutdown to launch our kayaks due to colossal swells and enormous shore breaks. The good news is we quickly switched to plan B and camped for 5 days on one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. We were able to bring luxury camping gear and set ourselves up in ultimate style. It was sublime though insanely hot, which made for sleeping late and lazy days. I didn't get one workout in except for some long (2 hours +) power walks on the beach. I ate and drank and didn't worry about falling off the program. These opportunities come once in a lifetime and sometimes ya just gotta go with the flow and enjoy every bite and sip while soaking in the ocean, the mountains, the stars, being alive outside in the wild open expansive wilderness. I could easily become a recluse and live out my days off the grid with my dog! Well until I needed more ice to make an adult beverage!
Got back in the saddle yesterday and will finish a strong last week. 5 weeks strong, 1 week gone to hell! I'll take that and a good camping trip on Kauai any day!
Well I'm off for my epic kayaking trip down the Na Pali Coast here on Kauai. I'll be off the grid and off Kenzai for the next 5 days. Though I am bringing my bands so I can get in a daily workout on the beach. There's no way in hell I'm lugging 60lbs of kettlebells on my kayak. I will however be toting adult beverages and as much ice as possible. Which will probably melt by day 2. Ice...such a commodity! The joys of camping in the heat!
Wish me luck with the launch and the return! Always so dicey when there's a NW swell. There's also been lots of Tiger Shark sightings in the area. Oh joy! Guess I won't be doing back flips off my kayak.
The photo is from our local newspaper a couple weeks ago. It's right where we'll be launching our kayaks! As if high surf and swells weren't challenging enough!
All my life, I've typically had a really hard time sleeping. Was even dependant on Ambien for a few years but that was over a decade ago.
What I have found since doing Kenzai programs is I sleep like a baby pretty much every night. I know it's due to the intense workouts I'm sure. My body definitely needs its recovery time. But I've found the quality of my sleep to be so gratifying. I wake up feeling refreshed, energetic and ready to face a full day ahead of me. I no longer hit the sheets at night thinking it's going to be a struggle with my mind to drift off to sleep. Instead I fall asleep quickly and wake up seldom. Even more glorious is I've been getting to sleep around 9-9:30pm and waking up around 5:30-6am. I'm literally getting a solid 8-9 hours of delicious sleep. This is unheard of in my sleep history!
So thanks Kenzai for adding that wonderful result to my training!
22 days of workouts. Haven't missed one so far. With added reps, sets and hikes everyday. Diet is 75%. I've had summer events and have imbibed a few times. But I'm still seeing strength and tone results.
Our team was asked to post a superhero we'd like to emulate. Dare I say out loud that I'm not really into Marvel movies or comicbooks (with the exception of Ironman because I've always crushed hard on RDJ!).
But if I had to pick someone as my alter ego, I'd say Black Widow. I saw her in one of the Avengers movies. She's just such a badass with so many mixed emotions and twisted relationships. But she stays true to herself while faced with all kinds of challenging hurdles.
And bonus...Scarlett Johansson plays with kettlebells. We can be friends!!
One of the best things I can do for my body is to lay in resting pose for a few minutes after a workout. Like in yoga. It gives the body and mind an opportunity to incorporate all the hard work you just asked them to do. What a gift if you have the time to do this. It makes such a difference.
Shanti, my pup, is always in resting pose. It exhausts her to watch me do the workouts.
10 workouts in a row completed. With added reps and a few extra exercises thrown in. Mostly abs. Proud of myself!
Who are you?
I'm a soon to be 60 year old ocean lover, outrigger canoe paddler, backcountry wanderer, no kids, one dog, sales and marketing expert, Kauai Island girl, lover of life and being human, Kenzai Slayer and all around badass in my own mind!! Oh...and I love Maine lobster more than anything!!!
How do you spend your time?
Mostly working as the Executive Sales Director (23 years now) for 2 very popular Visitor Magazines on the island of Kauai. I'm outside in the woods or the ocean whenever possible. I'm also a jeweler and am passionate about designing and creating. www.JuneStones.com
What part of Kenzai training makes you happy? Why do you think that is?
I'm not gonna lie. The results are what make me happiest! The way I feel after a workout fills me with bounding energy and a general sense of joy and ease. When I'm consistently working out I feel everything is right in my world. (Note: I say MY world, because the whole world is a bit sideways right now, but Kenzai programs help me cope with that a hell of a lot easier!)
What, obstacles do you anticipate over these next 6 weeks?
I emptied EVERYTHING non-Kenzai out of my cupboards and fridge. I even poured a huge bottle of vodka down the drain! Granted it was Kirkland Costco brand and half empty...I'm not that wasteful!! Cravings can sometimes get the best of me. Especially after dinner. I want something crunchy and salty, like pita chips. So they aren't allowed in my home at the moment. Also, I'll be doing a 5-day kayak trip down the Na Pali Coast with a couple friends at the beginning of September. We're paddling to a secluded beach that takes a year to get permits to camp at. This is an opportunity of of lifetime and I will be off the grid and shuttering Kettle Bells for those 5 days!
Are you managing any injuries?
Ward...you know about my knee. And I'm super aware of how to manage it.
Took my bells down for a sunrise workout on the beach! Got lots of attention from the local fishermen! Very curious and impressed with me swinging some iron around!
Kauai is magical all the time but especially at sunrise! I'm so blessed!
T-Shirt Representing! Kenzai Strong!!!
Aloha Vanguard Team!
I'm so ready for this challenge! I've been squeaky clean (in my book!) for almost 7 months. Then wine country happened! Sonoma County to be exact! And Cuzzin Ed C. (Kenzai legend and trainer) happened! One of the things we love to do together is drink us some damn good wines! And eat....wait for it....whatever we damn well please! So we did! And now I'm a chunky monkey and he's rubbing aloe vera on the belly rash he got from the button that's to tight on his jeans.
We did manage to get in a couple good kettlebell workouts that Ed was able to deliver! So toxins in, toxins out. Though our sweat did smell a bit like a well balanced pinot gris!
So Hello Kettlebells, I'm in love with you already. The movements just seem right for my body. Length with strength. Function with balance. Can't wait to see what transformations await my mind and body.
Does anyone read these blogs if you're not on a program? Hmmm...we'll find out!
I've been off a program now (chisel was the last one) for 6 weeks. And man oh man is it easy to fall back into old habits. Especially when socializing. Which is hard to do on a program. So I was definitely making up for lost time...or lost social engagements. How I love to have sunset cocktails on the beach, wine with friends at dinner, game night with the girls with a tropical adult beverage. Then there's the visitors coming and going that simply must try those Tai Chi's!! But what happened was I started saying "yes" to way too many invites. In essence, I started having way to much fun in the wrong arena!! A couple extra pounds crept back on and I knew it was time to pull the reins in.
The solution: My dear friend Kathryn, who recently completed KB1, and I decided to revisit the last 3 weeks of the KB1 program together. Perfect timing since I'm heading to wine country in California for vacation in a couple weeks and Lord knows I'm jumpin right back into the party arena!
It's amazing how much easier it is to stick to a commitment when you have someone along for the ride. Especially the last 3 weeks of KB1, which is essentially 6 sets of everything, everyday! But let me tell you...I feel fricken fantastic.
It just feels so good to work the body hard. To feel the body get stronger. To experience the subsequent benefits of working your muscles everyday. That rush of euphoria that comes after a good hard workout. The increased energy, better posture, and the ease of movement. Daily things like climbing stairs or lifting groceries become effortless! You feel your muscles working and you love them, thank them, rejoice in their strength. But what I really notice more than anything is, I'm much happier. My stress levels go way down. Things that would normally bother me simply don't when I'm doing daily workouts. I generally feel a sense of ease, comfort and joy. I feel smarter too! Brain fog is lifted and problem solving is not a heavy chore. My wellbeing is both physically and mentally noticeable by myself and others around me. People say things like; "June, you seem to be in such a good space in your life!" "You look amazing and you're glowing all the time!" "You seem happier then you've ever been!" These are huge testaments to making strength training part of your weekly, if not daily, routine.
Kathryn and I hold each other accountable on a daily basis. We send each other texts throughout the day. We send ✅I DID IT! when the workouts are done and share valuable insights on how we're both doing. Including new recipes that we've both been loving. It's so much fun! Our texts and conversations make me giggle. And we've both dropped a couple pounds!
So if you're in between programs and need a quick fix, grab a friend and do your own mini program. You can do any part of a program you've already completed.
Get Happy! Get Swole! Get Better! At Everything!
Kenzai For Life Baby! GRADUATION POST
I’ve now completed KB1 and Chisel back to back.
When I became a Kenzai newbie back in January, I, like so many of us, had reached a point of desperation. I simply couldn’t look at myself in the mirror anymore. I was pudgy, out of shape and didn't feel good.
5 months later I’m happy to say I’ve become a new person!! Well at least a much better version of whom I was.
Let’s take a look at some takeaways from the Chisel program and beyond.
🏆 There’s a lot of jumping and explosive propulsions in Chisel. I had to sub a fair amount out but was also able to perfect some exercises I never, ever thought I’d be able to do. Especially the dreaded Burpee. I can do 15 of those bitches in a row with perfect, smooth, control. HUGE accomplishment. Couldn’t do 1 to save my life 5 months ago.
🏆 My lungs, heart and muscles were challenged like never before. Not only did they persevere, they are champions now. Man do I feel strong. I mean bad ass strong! VO2 Max increased! ForChisel!
🏆 After struggling with overheating during the first few weeks from the extreme exertion Chisel demands, I figured out my sweet spot in the Red Zone. Though I wouldn’t say I mastered all of the crazy exercises, I definitely didn’t let myself flail or limp through them. Learning to control my movements with extreme awareness was a huge part of being in the Red Zone for me. Even if it meant slowing down or taking breaks to recover in between sets.
🏆 I laughed at myself a lot, all the time. Flap Jacks, Crab Crawls, Fakies, Frog Walk, Russian Dancers! I’d just imagine what I looked like doing these, while dripping sweat, beet red in the face and grunting like a glistening pig in the eyes of my dog!! She be like “WTF mom?” I mostly had fun with the workouts as punishing as they were.
🏆 The daily Lessons were paramount for me during this program. Motivating, educational and always timely.
While this 60 year old body still has some lumps and bumps and cellulite and crepey skin, I feel and look amazing. I’ve learned through Kenzai what it truly means to be fit in your own personal body. I don’t compare myself to other bodies like I used to. I look at myself with pride and confidence for the accomplishments I have achieved thus far. And I look forward to the future accomplishments yet to be achieved. I’m proud of myself and elated at how far I’ve come with the Kenzai programs. I am a devout lifer!
A special shout out to my cousin Ed Center for introducing me to Kenzai. You are my hero and mentor. And to Kim, Clark, Catherine, Kip and Vicky for hanging tough through another 6 weeks of insanity. I hope to see you all again in future programs.
Before pics are from January 7th, Day 1 of KB1. After pics yesterday at the completion of Chisel.
18 Buttons, 3 Mismatched Socks, 2 Buns and 1 Horse! HA!!
It's crazy how different each day has been for me this past week. One day I'm on blazing fire, the next I'm a smoldering ember.
Tuesday's cycle workout was super tough for me to get through. My legs felt like cement, my arms were hard to lift over my head, my lungs were rebelling and my heart didn't want anything to do with the workout. It took a lot of mental effort to get through the entire workout. But in all honestly I was only able to give about 75%. I tried every mind trick in the hat to get through it but there are times when the body simply won't cooperate with what your brain is telling it. Thus all the lessons about recovery were justified. My body was simply tired and in recovery mode. No punishing myself necessary!
But then today happened. The Beast within roared. Everything was on fire and amped to high voltage! The brain and body were in sync. All muscles cooperating. Thank you brain, thank you muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons and especially thank you heart and lungs!! I'm very proud of all my parts!!
"🎼I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter! 🎼Dancing through the fire! 🎼'Cause I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar🎼!" Katy Perry obviously wrote that song about me!! At least "Today Me"!
Today's image was "Tuesday Me".
Let's hope the next 3 days are full of cooperation!!
I've blogged a fair amount about how hot I get during, after and throughout the day after a successful HIIT workout. I really put my body through some serious punishment. Glorious as that may be....I do sweat more then the average bear!
Finding ways to keep myself from collapsing from heatstroke has been my mission. The cold towels from the freezer have been glorious. Taking a few minutes to rest after the workout has helped. But the number one thing that has been the best find is this electrolyte replacement powder. I mix it with lots of water and ice, sip it throughout my workouts, then add more water and finish it after the workout. It has made such a significant difference in how I feel following a tough routine. Seriously awesome stuff. Replenishes the puddle I left behind on the mat!! And I feel rejuvenated for the rest of the day and tend to sweat less. What a score!
I recommend it highly for any of you who are working out in extremely hot conditions. My favorite is the cherry pomegranate. I'm not a big Stevia fan but this has minimal after taste if you mix it with a lot of water.
I ordered it from Amazon!
I will always belong to the Glistening Pig Club but these things make it manageable without having to call an ambulance!!