A Salute! GRADUATION POST
A big salute to all my Team Denim teammates for finishing IRON, and big thanks to trainer Burnsie for all help and guidance. This was a serious program that required serious dedication and perseverance. I am grateful for all of your support throughout. Consistent with what I've found with each of the previous Kenzai programs I've tried over the past year, I continue to learn a great deal about nutrition and exercise and how my body responds to the various inputs and stimuli that I throw at it. Though work threw a few obstacles my way during the course of the program (hey, it's 90 days long; what are the chances that anyone can actually get through the entire program cleanly?), I did my best to stay on plan. I'm very happy with the results that I achieved on this program, both physical and mental. I didn't finish up the last week of exercises, so will take an extra week to get through them. It'll give me something to do to try to offset some of the holiday festivities that have already started.
I'll definitely repeat this program at some point in the future. I don't yet know which program I'll sign up for next, but will probably look to do a 4 or 6 week program next time. For now, though, I'm planning to take a few weeks off to fully enjoy the holidays and a couple of family trips we have planned in December and January.
My final photo is a dumbbell salute to everyone who has helped and supported me throughout my Kenzai journeys. Happy Holidays!
My sincerest apologies to Team Denim for my absence. Although I haven't been online, you've all been on my mind.
I won't bore you with the details of my daily pain other than to say that these last couple of weeks have been super crazy at work. Business trips all over Asia (both planned and unplanned), hosting client conferences and an unusually heavy workload have seriously kicked my ass. The end result:
- Missed 4 workouts last week
- Terrible sleep every day
- Off diet during business trips
I tried my best to get in my workouts every day, but still failed to get to the gym during 4 of the days last week. I've been spending this whole last week of the program playing catchup on last week's workouts. I'm planning to finish up the rest of the program after the official end. Can't settle for anything less!
I sincerely hope that everyone is finishing up this last week really strong. I'm going to try catching up on the blogs right now!
Sorry for the radio silence these last few days. An unplanned business trip to Delhi popped up and I've been trying to juggle the packed schedule with trying to be Kompliant. Each week recently has brought new challenges.
So how's Week 11 been going?
First off, the air quality here in Delhi is horrendous. You can see the air. That's usually not a good sign. I feel like I can cut through the air with a knife. I'm glad I'm not doing KRun right now. There's no way I'd risk running out in the current situation.
Unlike Osaka, my hotel here in Delhi has a subpar gym. No barbells available, so I've been making due with dumbbells. The gym is also TINY. Two people in the gym already feels cramped. Three people feels like clowns coming out of a Volkswagen. Also, no room to jump rope. The ceiling is too low, so I've been subbing in elliptical, which has added a lot of extra time to an already long workout. I really hate this gym.
Given the equipment situation, I decided to shuffle around the workouts this week in order to save the Back and Chest days for when I'm back in HK and back in my usual gym. So, I've done the Legs, Biceps, Triceps and Shoulders days so far. Heading back to HK tonight, so will do Back and Chest to close out the week.
Not Kompliant. I'd give myself a 5/10 on the diet front. I have no access to fresh veggies and fruit or a kitchen, and have spent my whole time here shuttling between hotel rooms and conference rooms. I'm eating what's available. I'm not eating heavily, just not anything resembling a Kenzai diet. (Also, I snuck in a couple of old fashioneds at a client dinner.) Flying back to HK tonight, so will get back on track starting tomorrow. Can't wait.
Back on track with the workouts after having missed a few days earlier in the week. Got in the Legs, Chest and Shoulders days to finish up the week strong. Today, I did a split workout schedule - went for a 30-min run in the morning with the wife, followed by barbells in the evening. I managed a nap somewhere in between. All around a good day.
Current status - I'm just in constant pain right now. Everything just hurts, more than I've been hurting prior to this week. All my movements are very deliberate at the moment. Also, I've been really hungry all the time these last couple of days. Maybe the 3-day layoff fooled my body into a false sense of inactivity and it's now been shocked back into ramping up the systems again.
Time for some sleep and some much needed muscle recovery.
Thanks again, Team Denim, for your support. Getting around town has really been difficult this week and things continue to be unpredictable for the foreseeable future. The roads to the building where my gym is located have been intermittently blocked, which has made access impossible at times. I ended up missing three straight days of workouts. I managed to get back in the gym last night, though travel was not straightforward - I had to walk part of the way to the gym and, afterward, had to wait more than 30 min for a taxi to get home. I usually drive to the gym, but there's no way to know if I'll be able to get there or get back, so driving has not been an option this week.
Anyway, getting back in the gym felt great. It did take a little while to get my rhythm going again after the multi-day layoff. I took it a little easier on the weight since I wasn't sure how my body would respond from the break. I did Leg Day, since I feel like that's the one workout each week that shouldn't be missed. Assuming I can get to the gym again these next two days, I'm planning to do the Chest and Shoulder days to try to finish up the week strong. I am assuming that I should stick to alt-cardio on cardio day, instead of trying to make up a lost weight training day. Don't want to head into next Monday's Leg Day too tired.
Onward and upward!
So, in my last post, I totally psyched myself up to grind out the last third of the program. I was ready to go. But I think I jinxed myself.
Those of you following the global news are probably aware of what's going on in Hong Kong these days. These last couple of days have seen an escalation of disruptions in many parts of the city. Getting around town has become extremely difficult and unpredictable. Gym access has been severely impacted. Schools and after-school activities have had to cancel amid safety concerns. My focus has shifted on ensuring the safety of family and friends. As a result, I've missed the first two workouts of this week. I'm trying my best to get back on the IRON horse today, but not yet sure if external conditions will allow...
The mental game really is more than half the battle with these longer programs. The hardest part of each day is always making sure to get to the gym. The constant body soreness is always a convenient excuse, as is the multitude of other possible distractions that pop up each day. The recent lesson on reminding yourself that the daily workouts are "non-negotiable" was timely. We all came together here for a reason. Gotta keep pushing.
As Matthew Wilder sang,
- Ain't nothing gonna break my stride
- Nobody's gonna slow me down
- Oh no, I've got to keep on moving
I'm pretty sure I look like this bird today wherever I walk. Legs-Only day will be remembered for a long time.
8 weeks down! We should all be proud of ourselves for getting this far through the program.
Been methodically ticking off the boxes this past week. All workouts in, but a couple of flubs on the diet front due to love of Japan. If I cared about grades, I'd give myself an A on the workouts and B on the diet front. But I don't! All that matters is how we feel and we are feeling good (very sore, but good)!
A few thoughts/reflections, if you'll indulge me:
- I haven't done a 90 day program since my very first Kenzai Body program. The last few programs (KRun, Bellz1 and Bellz2) have all been 60 days long, so by this point in those programs, I'd be nearing the end (and very excited for it!), but we've still got 34 more days to go in IRON! IRON is no joke. This program takes some serious commitment and dedication.
- I've been pretty darn sore almost all the time these past few weeks, especially in the legs. I'm definitely feeling stronger overall, so that's a motivating factor to keep pushing through.
- Looking ahead to the upcoming week - I'm kind of freaked out! These one-muscle-focused days sound pretty intense on that one muscle group. I'm gonna have to ratchet down the weight in order to get through the exercises.
- I am looking forward to the holidays and the feasts that will happen post-IRON.
- I am planning on a nice, stiff Old-Fashioned on Day 91. I can taste it now.
- Life is good. Life will be good.
When you get super psyched about finding a well-equipped hotel gym! Power rack in a hotel gym?? Score!!!
My wife laughs at me every time.
Woke up early on Sunday and joined my wife (who's on the Kenzai Run program right now) for a run. Ended up pounding out 6k for the 40 min cardio. Haven't run that much since I did KRun myself many months ago. Was super fun to do it with the wifey. :-)
I'm about to board a flight to Osaka for a short trip. While I think the workouts will be manageable with the hotel gym, I am much less confident about staying on point diet-wise. I have last week's indulgence saved up, so one over-the-top meal is accounted for. I'll need to try to be as sensible as possible for the other meals. Who am I kidding, right? It's Japan!!!
I feel like the workouts this week have hit me like a ton of bricks. Wowzers! It's been so tough grinding out each day.
The hardest part for me this week has been a lower overall energy level during the workouts. I noticed earlier in the week that I didn't seem to have the same level of energy or strength as I did in the previous weeks. Where I was able to slowly increase weights from week to week in the first half of the program and generally feel stronger as I progressed, I've had to dial things back one level this week just to make it through each day. I tweaked my lower back on Monday, so I've been conscious of taking it a little easier to make sure not to overstress the area. Maybe that has something to do with my strength; maybe it's just needing to get used to the longer workouts. Who knows? Anyway, I soldier on!
Kudos to Team Denim for hanging in there!
OK, so maybe I wasn't fully recovered from the weekend's activities, or maybe something else was going on with me, but did anyone else feel that Day 43 was a lot more difficult than Leg Month? Holy cow! Not a good start! I thought I was fine at the start of the workout, but really started to feel a bit more sluggish than usual while doing the squats. I knew right there that I was in for a tough time for the rest of the workout. It really was a grind to get through Day 43. It took me 20 minutes longer to finish than the Leg Month exercises. I hope this is not a sign of things to come.
To add oil to the fire, my lower back really tightened up last night. It's still sore this morning, but slightly better. What a tough day!
Fortunately, my awesome wife has already booked me a massage for later today. Reinforcements have been called in!
Hey Team Denim,
So, the past weekend involved three full day training sessions during which I was one of the presenters. Schedule was completely jam packed and my mental and physical energy had to be focused on getting through the event. One of the problems from a Kompliance perspective was that Saturday's schedule included some social gatherings, including dinner. Since a major component of this event was the business development aspect, it wouldn't have really in the spirit of the moment if I exercised full Kompliance restraint. I did try to portion control at dinner, so wasn't too bad on that front. I was, however, very naughty with the alcohol. Fell off the IRON horse on Saturday night, which led to a tough Sunday recovering from the aftereffects. Saturday was a complete miss - no workout and diet fail.
Sunday was a new day, however. I managed to get in an evening workout (did the Saturday (Day 40) workout instead and skipped the Day 41 cardio) after the event concluded and am now back on track. Speed bump is in the rear view, and looking forward to this beginning of Phase 3.
Good luck to everyone in Week 7!
Grinding out those squats today was more difficult than I expected. My legs were feeling really heavy.
I'm going to go lie down on the floor now and put my legs up on the wall.