Matt Berlin

Matt Berlin

Kenzai Marathon | Day 6 (Member)
Kenzai Marathon
Day 6
Program progress:
Marathon Day 1

And we’re off. Nice easy 4 mile morning run to start the week and start the newest program. Looking forward to seeing what Malia has in store for us these next 16 weeks.

T-Shirt Ready Complete 

Another 4-week program completed!! Really liking the addition of these shorter programs to the Kenzai offerings. As I said previously, the dumbbells had been collecting dust the last several months, so it felt great to get a full use of them these past 28 days! Iron-Boot is just what the body needed. I liked this one far better than Beach Ready.

I put together a personal ranking of programs I've done to see where I'd put this one. First draft has it at #6. Be curious how this list evolves:

Completed (as of Aug 2019)
1 Iron
2 Run Half
3 Chisel
4 Body 3
5 Kettlebell 2
6 Blast: T-Shirt Ready
7 Kettlebell 1
8 Run-10K
9 Body 1
10 Run
11 Ski-boot
12 Mind
13 Blast: Beach Ready
14 Body 2

Not Completed Yet

That's 14 programs completed, and now with Marathon being added this month, that leaves 4 programs still on the To Do list. Not sure which one I'm going for next, maybe marathon as I have a running event in October so I'll be running the rest of this summer and into the fall anyways. This completes back-to-back-to-back 16 weeks (Run; Beach Ready; T-shirt Ready), so what's another 16 weeks?

It's Thursday...

...that means it's time for Super Heavy Upper Body Workout day. The last in these 4 weeks. Ok, let's go do it...

**Post Workout Update**
After an hour of rope, full-body blasts, 20 sets of Chest, 6 sets of Back, 14 sets of Biceps, and 14 sets of Triceps, ending with 6 sets of Dumbbell Davinci’s is just brutal.


1 week to go. Really liking this program...Iron-Boot (still tbd where it falls on my top 10 list). 3 weeks of consistent dumbbell work is really being felt now. Muscles that had been laying dormant for a bit are awakening again. Granted, the cardio is suffering as I haven't had time to run or ride that much, but hey I'll get back to that after this final week of T-shirt.

Heading out for a week's vacation next Saturday so I have to figure out if I'm going to shift the workouts ahead a day or two so I don't have to pack the dumbbells with me to hit Saturday and Sunday's final workouts. Or then again I might just bring them anyways as I'm sure I'll be itching to use them to break up the routine of running on vacation.

Finish strong teammates! It's only 1 week and you want to have the feeling of personal success come that last rep next Sunday!


Quick post wrapping up my July new veggie challenge. I’ve been grilling the Kusa and summer squash with some steaks and chicken this past week. Will continue to add the kusa variety to my farmer’s market shopping list. It’s not drastically different than the other squash/zucchini varieties, but the more in the mix the better.

The last new veggie was the 8-Ball squash. I found a recipe online that included baking it with an egg. I amended it a bit, taking out the goat cheese and salt, adding in other spices, and added some bell peppers and tomatoes. Pretty simple recipe and tasty. July challenge complete.


Who are you, where are you, and why did you chose T-Shirt Ready?

I’m Matt, one of the trainers here at Kenzai. My wife and our 3 kids live in upstate New York, a few hours north of New York City. I’m here for T-Shirt to take advantage of 4 weeks of dumbbell action. The dumbbells have been feeling neglected at home so it’s been a good first week plus of getting back in the mini Iron routine.

What is your favourite T-shirt of all time? Do you have one? Come on you Metallica fans, I know you are out there! Extra points if you share a photo.

Unfortunately can’t dig out any photos in some of the classic 80’s concert t-shirts. Some photos in Rush and Van Halen three quarter sleeve shirts are somewhere in storage boxes at my mom’s house I’m sure. They went well with the painters caps too.

As for the program, really enjoying it thru week 1 plus. The variety of the days has been keeping it challenging and filled with active recovery at the same time.

I’m currently on the road in western NY with my son with his Little League All-Star team in the 10U NYS tourney. They won their first game vs a strong team from Long Island. Second game this evening versus a local team. We’ve had one day cancelled due to the heat and yesterday due to rain. So there’s been idle time in a hotel for a few days to keep 13 ten year olds occupied. Thankfully the hotel has a decent gym. It’s dated but has a good selection of dumbbells and space for rope and body weight exercises.

Hope the team is doing well. Will try to find some time to make the rounds in between the teams I’m training.

Day 4

Yup...the workout title says it all. Can't think of a more challenging workout by day 4 in any other program to date. Really liked hitting the chest, back, biceps, triceps and shoulders with the dumbbells all in one day. Great to be back with the weights. But my sympathy to anyone coming into this program cold...that one had to be tough. Hang in there Shirt-mates.

Dumbbells Ready!

"This warm-up workout gets your body moving..."

You know it's going to be a fun 4 weeks when 10 minutes of rope and 11 exercises with 37 sets qualifies as a 'warm-up workout'. Compared to last week's Beach Ready workouts, yes it was a warm-up, but if you come into this program being off program for a bit, that surely felt like way more than just a warm-up.

Got day 1's workout done in the evening (which is a rare one for me), but the craziness of the day more than usual, with the flat tire being the cherry on top of that crap sundae, forced the workout time to shift to much later. But it's done. Now ready for what these 4 weeks have ahead of us. Psyched to be hitting the weights. They've been neglected lately...and so too has the muscles mass. Time to get back at it.

Beach Ready Complete 

Really liked the final workout!!! My biggest suggestion would be to change Sundays every week to a Blast only day just like that. I think that would be a good change to the 4-week monotony of very similar workouts. I'm fine not having the traditional Sunday Free Cardio (although I do it anyways regardless), but the 4 weeks of the same routine dragged a bit. The intensity was great from day 1 (definitely need to come into this with some conditioning...not off of a training break), but I much prefer the cycle formats of Chisel. So, sorry Beach Ready, you're not making my top 5 all-time favorite program list.

Great training with you teammates! Hope to see you on another team soon. For me, that's going to be Blast:T-shirt Ready. After 4 weeks of Skiboot, 8 weeks of Run, and 4 weeks of Blast:Beach, the upper body needs some attention again. Bring on the dumbbells!!

24 Complete...4 To Go

Been doing the last few days workouts outside on the patio in the morning before the heat of the day while watching the dog. He gets his run around workout in the yard first so he’s tired and lays down during mine. I usually workout in the basement which is air conditioned so the pools of sweat are now quadrupled outside.

Got some fresh scallions, summer squash, kusa squash and an 8-ball squash at the Farmer’s Market this week for the next installment in the July veggie challenge. Found a recipe for the 8-ball squash with an egg so will post that when cooked.

4 more workouts to go. Definitely looking forward to the monotony to wrap up this weekend. Finish strong teammates!!

New Veggie Challenge #1

Already beaten to the punch by Kenzai Global Ambassador Watson ( and his 3 new veggies. I pulled out a common veggie, but one rare for my plate. The traditional eggplant. Not my favorite, but probably because I gravitate to veggies I can just eat raw at the ready. Which eggplant is not.

Looked up a few recipes. Went with a mix of a few. Salt brine to start to get the bitterness out. Rinsed, and then added some fresh squeezed lime and then a 5 pepper spice (ancho chile, chipotle flakes, cayenne pepper, roasted chili pepper, black pepper). Used some foil to start on the grill to avoid having to use oil on the eggplant. Seared it on the grill without the foil at the end to get some grill crispiness texture to it.

Overall pretty pleased with it. Simple, and some good spice flavor to it. It went well with the grilled red bell peppers and some turkey burgers. Friday dinner success.


June is just about complete and with that we’re ready to wrap up the first half of 2019. Hopefully the goals you started the year with for your nutrition and fitness here at Kenzai are still on track. 

With the second half of the year ahead of us, it’s time to make sure we don’t lose sight of those goals, and continue to keep healthy eating a key pillar of the year’s success. But even with all the best intentions, we all can get stuck in food ruts if we’re not careful.

For that reason, I’m setting myself a goal to start off this summer. Time to commit to adding some new variety to the healthy eating. Time for a New Vegetable Challenge.

Here’s the challenge. Commit to adding three (3) new vegetables into your eating routine during July. Maybe it’s a completely new vegetable you’ve never even seen before. Or perhaps a vegetable you have seen at the store for years, but never took the time to learn how to add it to your meals. Or simply a vegetable you’ve had before, but it’s been out of the rotation for a long time and needs to find its way back onto your plate in a new way. 

Scan the grocery store produce section, on different shelves than you’re used to looking. Hit those farmer’s markets to see if you can find something unique to add to that salad, or steam as a side for your next meal. The options are numerous if you take the time to look.

I’m planning to go to our town’s farmer’s market the next few Saturdays and see what the early summer’s harvest is starting to produce. Maybe I'll target some new herbs I haven’t tried before to spice things up a it. I’m going to look for some veggies I can add to the grill for some tasty color to go alongside nice pieces of fish and chicken.

Take on the challenge, add those new vegetables this coming month, and share it on your blog.

1/4 Complete

Week 1 workouts complete. That was a fast start for sure. Found a better rhythm with the second half of the week. Enjoying the Blast parts, but 15-20 minutes of rope on Sunday...ugh! Boring. Unfortunately had to do the rope for cardio 6 days in week one, subbing Saturday’s for a 30 mile road bike ride. Sunday’s planned run got lost in the busy day of our daughters birthday party. Two hours of 12 ten year old girls in the house...that was a workout on to itself. Squeezed in a bonus 5k Run Friday during our son's guitar lesson, but no other extras. Hopefully more runs in week 2.

Previewing week 2’s workouts looks like a lot of the same of week 1. Get ready for more jumping and sweating.


Zero to 60 in just the first day! That was quite the start. With only 4 weeks, guess we have to start off quick to burn those fat reserves. Feels like it’s going to be Chisel Redux.

Just finished 8 weeks of Run, so it’s been a while since I picked the rope up. Can’t say I’ve missed it. Definitely gonna mix in some runs and bike rides as alt cardio to keep things from getting monotonous.

Here’s a photo of my stalker during this morning’s workout. He fell into the basement window well and had to be rescued. He was waiting for the frog stretch at the end...only to be disappointed.

Have a strong week 1 teammates!

Father’s Day Rainy Run 

Enjoyed a cool and quiet run in the rain this morning to complete day 56’s final 10km. 8 weeks complete!

Great to train with everyone. Really enjoyed being part of a team I was training to get a better perspective on the training cycle. Definitely plan to train with my trainees on another program in the future.

Congrats all. Hope your final run was a satisfying success. I’ll see you on your next programs. For me that means Blast:Beach Ready tomorrow.

Starting Photo



Kenzai Marathon
Kenzai Marathon


Kenzai Body
Kenzai Body

Kenzai Run 10k
Kenzai Run 10k

Kenzai Run Half
Kenzai Run Half

Kenzai Body 2
Kenzai Body 2

Kenzai Body 3
Kenzai Body 3

Kenzai Iron
Kenzai Iron

Kenzai Chisel
Kenzai Chisel

Kenzai Kettlebell
Kenzai Kettlebell

Kenzai Kettlebell 2
Kenzai Kettlebell 2

Kenzai Mind
Kenzai Mind


Kenzai Run
Kenzai Run

Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready
Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready

Kenzai Blast: T-shirt Ready
Kenzai Blast: T-shirt Ready