Matt Berlin

Matt Berlin

Kenzai Member
Trainer
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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
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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.


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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!


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Father’s Day Rainy Run 
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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.


8 days to go Run-mates!
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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!!


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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
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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!

https://youtu.be/Kun0d0DxyHY


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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!


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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.

https://kenzai.me/mattbe/blog/winter-is-no-excuse-go-run

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”.


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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
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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).


KRun Cross Training
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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!


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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!
https://kenzai.me/jean-marc/blog/2019-04-28-14-29-40-week-1

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


Team Intro Blog
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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? 

Beer!

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
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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!!!


Final Photo

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Current

Membership
Membership

Completed

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

SkiBoot
SkiBoot

Kenzai Run
Kenzai Run

Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready
Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready

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

Kenzai Marathon
Kenzai Marathon