Matt Berlin

Matt Berlin

Kenzai Marathon | Day 8 (Member)
Kenzai Marathon
Day 8
Program progress:
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.


Nail your Sunday 9km...and then 1 final week to keep the grams tight and the sleep training on track too, to prep for that final day 10km! Let's finish right!!


This was one of the challenges I liked the most when doing the original Run-10K program a few years back. I had regularly run with headphones, listening to music, and still do. But this challenge was a good help to try a different approach, and see the value in both sides. I take a break from the headphones more often these days, which is a HUGE help to your breathing too. Listening to how well, or poorly, your breathing is going on a particular run, instead of it being drowned out by the headphones, is a big help to do every so often.

I had to swap some runs and cardio around to make it work into the kids' schedules. Cobbled together a pair of runs during Friday happy hour, first during the son's baseball practice. Second during his guitar lesson right afterwards. I'm slowly adjusting to the reality that these little runs here and there are how I can get things done with the time I have available. Then Saturday, after the morning baseball game, was able to get out for a few hours of road bike riding before the thunderstorms rolled in. It was snowing pollen so much it looked like winter in June. I plan to get my Sunday run in later this morning once the wife is awake to watch the dog and kids. Then I can mark off 6 weeks complete.

Only 14 days to go teammates. Keep it tight and strong to get the body prepped well for the final day's 10k!

Memorial Day

Marched with our son in the local Memorial Day parade with his little league baseball team. Beautiful weather and a great day to spend outside with our son recognizing those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Capped off perfectly with an ice cream for the boy and pipes for dad!


Brought the phone along on this evening’s run into sunset to take a few pics for this week’s challenge. This is a small stretch of trail close to our house that is good for both shade in the summer and some small stretches of softer surface running in between the asphalt roads. Nice cool breeze for tonight’s run. Ideal.

For Sunday’s run, I ran some laps in a park up in Vermont that we traveled to for the son’s travel baseball doubleheader. Right next to the ball fields they had a compact dirt, crushed pebbles running/walking path. 1 full mile loop in excellent condition, even after the excessive rain that fell the few hours before our arrival. Clocked 8 1/2 laps before first pitch and didn’t have to miss a run or an at bat.

First half of Run complete teammates. Let’s make part 2 even stronger!


I went back and looked at the mantra I posted for this challenge when I did the original Kenzai Run-10K program back in the winter of 2016.

Still a fitting mantra...just need to swap out “Winter” and insert “Rain” with how water logged the start of this spring has been. “Rain is No Excuse. Go Run”.


I don’t need to be licked on the head and neck at the same time. And being sat on during Drawbridges isn’t a help either. At least Pushups didn’t turn into pile ons too.

Lessons Refresher

I've been enjoying doing this program with my trainees. When training a program, I'll preview the upcoming lessons a week ahead of time to refresh my memory as to what is coming that week for the teams, to assist with any potential questions. But it's just an overall review and not a full re-read of each lesson, as I already know what's in them from when I completed the program previously, and trained it before too.

But with being on the team this time too, I've been re-reading all the lessons in full from a trainee’s viewpoint. It's been a good refresher of some smaller details in the lessons, and a reminder to re-practice aspects of the lessons to give some focus back to things that sometimes slip into the background of your regular training. The belly breathing one is a very important lesson of this program, and an excellent reminder. It’s not an easy lesson to implement immediately teammates, so be patient. Keep working on it little by little and it will feel more natural.

Almost 3 weeks complete teammates! Good work. Enjoy your Sunday 5K run. I'll probably squeeze mine in on Saturday evening since it's Mother's Day in the US Sunday, so time for a "run for dad" won't be the smartest choice (I'm not the smartest guy...but I'm not the dumbest either).


Was able to squeeze in an afternoon bike ride Saturday for day 13’s Cross Training. Free time to ride has been very limited lately, so it’s good to get out when I can. Sunday now. Up at 5:15am with the dog. Drinking coffee, sitting on the screened porch, listening to the rain, waiting to get my Sunday run in. Will have to squeeze it in around the son’s 2 baseball games today (in two different towns), and the wife in the office for part of the day (on a Sunday...#sucks!).

Two weeks complete teammates. We step it up to 4 runs a week now. Get that Sunday food prep done and schedule out your run days for the week. Prep for Success!


Disclosure...I didn't take the scale out once during Skiboot...or Mind for that matter. Actually it's been awhile since I've used the scale for a program. I'm used to portion sizes, and really it's just a matter of taking sweets and alcohol out of the equation for me to be on-diet vs. off-diet. But I figured if I'm going to train these 8 weeks with my trainees/teammates, it would be good to walk the talk. So broke out the scale for Sunday breakfast to measure out what Chen gave me for week 2. The veggies of 170 is so paltry, especially once you start throwing some water logged tomatoes to the plate.

Got some grilling done before too, so the fridge is protein supplied for a few days. Salt-free 5 pepper spice worked well for the shrimp, and some grilled chicken is a stable on program. So much easier when the food is ready to go during the week. Case in point...teammate Jean Marc showing how prepping for weekday lunches is done!

Ok teammates, let's get prepping. Diet starts Monday morning sharp!!

Team Intro Blog

1) The Basics: Where you live; What you do for work and/or play.

I’m in the U.S., a few hours north of New York City. I’m a part-time Kenzai trainer, full-time at-home dad (which means full-time Kid-Uber-Driver), and now full-time dog trainer to our almost 5-month old golden-doodle (so basically a 4th child now 😫).

2) How long have you been around the community and what program(s) have you enjoyed the most?

I completed Kenzai Body back in the fall of 2015. Have completed 11 programs to date, looking for the 12th badge with this session. My top 5 favorites in order are: Iron, Body 3, Run-Half, Chisel, Bells 2.

3) Do you have any prior running experience? And if so, what experience, and what is the longest distance you’ve run?

I was a late comer to running. It never appealed to me in my 20’s & 30’s, so aside from running as was necessary for sports practices, I was not a runner. I randomly started running when I turned 40 as a cross-training option for my cycling. Little did I know that I would end up enjoying it as much as I have. So much so that within the first year, I was hooked and ran my first marathon. I wish I had begun younger, but I am very glad that I at least started when I did.

4) Why did you sign up for this program, and do you have any specific goals for yourself? 

Primary goal: The timing works out well for the start of spring running season to join the two teams I’m training and share the journey of these 8-weeks.
Secondary goal: Getting a badge that Head-Trainer, Badge-King Ward doesn’t have yet.

5) What one food or drink do you miss the most when you’re on a training program? 


6) Anything else you’d like to share with your teammates?

As you all know, you get out of this what you put into it, both out on the running trails and out on the blogs. Be both an active teammate and focused trainee, so you can get the most out of these 8-weeks of training. Let’s go!!!

Kenzai Run Day 1

Decided to jump into the April session of Run starting today to join the two teams I'll be training. I think this is the first time I've been on a team I've trained. Figured it's a good way to see the program from both sides. I've done the Run-10K and Run-Half programs, so might as well add the 8-week Run program to the completed badge list too. Looking forward to running with you all teammates! Let's get running!!!

Ski(Run)-Boot Complete 

Very good program. 4 weeks of leg and core focus (and rest of the body in parts too). Just what the body needed to move thru the last few weeks of winter into spring running and cycling season. Week 1 eased into it, but from week 2 on, the cycles stepped up. And the last week, 6 cycles. Ouch!

And this program is not just for Skiers. Yes, the lessons are geared to that purpose. But these cycle workouts are an excellent way to kick start the body back into stronger form. And if you like the cycle workouts of Kettlebells and Chisel, when you're looking for a short 4 week program to fill in some training gaps, give Skiboot a try.

I finished today with a nice rainy, windy 8 mile Sunday easy run. Legs felt good, even for not running at all for the last several weeks (lungs need some work...hence the haggard final photo look).

What program next? Not sure. Going to be focusing on running and cycling April forward. But might add in a short program here or there this spring/summer. Reach in May might be the target if no other new programs pop up before then.


At Kenzai you know we like to target the core strength of your body. As you’ve experienced firsthand across many Kenzai programs, we include exercises for the abdominals more frequently than any other muscle group. Like the lesson in Body 1 stated, our abdominal muscles are stubborn and hard to grow so we go at them frequently to steadily build them up.

Kenzai Body gave us 8-min Abs with Blue Lycra man (, and now we have a new favorite of Kenzai Members, 8-min Abs Kenzai Style ( But those are ONLY 8-minutes long. Let’s try a 9-minute Ab Cycle.

9-Minute Ab Cycle

Otter Kicks - 30 reps

Side Plank Dip - Left Side 20 reps

Side Plank Dip - Right Side 20 reps

Dynamo Twist - 30 reps (add a kettlebell or dumbbell to increase the challenge)

Over Under - 30 reps

Repeat for 3 Full Cycles, with no rest in-between cycles. It will burn!

Add this cycle to any of your daily workouts when you’re looking for a challenge. Be sure to follow up your workouts with healthy eating to see the benefits of your extra ab effort.

To keep you safe and maximize ever second of effort, let's review some exercise Details:

Otter Kicks:

Sit on the floor with your hands palm down under your buttocks. Tip the upper body back and raise the legs to around eye level. Slowly begin to kick the legs up and down. Don't tense the neck or face, keep the energy centered on your lower abs. Breathe steadily throughout the exercise. Each time your left leg returns to the top, that is 1 rep.

Side Plank Dip:

Start from a regular Plank position. Rotate your right arm 90° so that the fingers of the right hand are pointing directly to the left. From here pivot up to a side plank. Stack your feet on top of each other. Lay the left arm flat on your side or put your left hand on your hip. Keeping your body in a straight line, lower your right hip close to the ground and then raise back up to the start position (that’s 1 rep). Don’t pause at the top or bottom, keeping the movement steady and constant. Breathe smoothly and deeply throughout the exercise, without holding your breath.

Dynamo Twist (with or without a kettlebell or dumbbell):

Sit on the mat with the legs outstretched. Tip the hips back and raise the legs out straight. Knit the hands together into a fist at belly height. For an added challenge, hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in your hands. While maintaining the leg shape, twist the torso so that the fist goes first to the right, then the left. Move between right and left quickly. As you move into later sets, the legs will want to drop from fatigue. Do your best to keep them high. Count each movement as one rep. Left side 1, right side 2, left side 3, and so on. Exhale as you get to the deepest part of the twist on each side.

Over Under:

Sit on the mat, holding your resistance band between your hands. Bend the knees and raise the legs. Hold the resistance band up and attempt to pass it over the toes and under the legs. Your arms are much shorter than your legs, meaning you'll have to suck the knees into the chest to give the resistance band enough clearance. Then repeat the process, bringing the band back from your the bottom to the top of the legs. Don't let the feet touch the floor for the duration of the set. Count each pass, either over or under, as one rep (under:1, over:2, under:3, and so on). Exhale your breathe during the hardest part of the movement when you’re pulling the knees tightly to the chest.


So Skiboot workouts got halted for a few days after Sunday evening we had all 3 of our children wake up vomiting from the stomach flu a few hours apart of each other. And then Monday the wife and I fell ill too. So that combined with the sleep deprivation meant workouts were the last thing on the world to do list for Monday and Tuesday.

Come Wednesday now, thankfully everyone is back to school/work and feeling mostly better. Did day 15’s workout today. Missing two days to illness and little sleep, and then stepping the cycles up from 3 to 5, yeah that wasn’t a fun combination. But the body needed some positive blood flow. Plan to just stay staggered a few workouts behind and get them all in since this is only a 28 day program.

Hope Kim and Sean you two are faring better on the health front and hitting those slopes (and runs).

End of Week 1



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