Matt Berlin

Matt Berlin

Kenzai Run | Graduating (Member)
Kenzai Run
Program progress:

Get out and vote today in the US. No excuses not to. Flex those civic muscles too.


Tomorrow, All Hallow’s Day, my wife and I celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. I pulled up some photos from back then that have the Halloween theme to them. We honeymooned in Hawaii, and then on the way back stopped in San Francisco so we could go to an Oakland Raiders game (wife’s team and her idea) and sit in the Black Hole. My brother bought us some masks so we could fit into the crazed them of the The Black Hole and presented them to us at our wedding reception during his toast. Think I still have that monster mask. Should dig it out for our anniversary date night dinner this weekend.

Kids are all primed up and ready for the candy haul. We’ve got: 11 from Stranger Things, a Mets player (some kids have to learn the hard way), and a Snow Princess for Halloween ball last Friday and maybe a Butterfly for tonight (both improvised since Amazon F’d up her Belle costume delivery…twice!). Good luck all on keeping those candy piles from calling you late night. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups stuffed with Reese’s Pieces…what?!?!?! My god who invented that torture device. Those aren’t gonna help the Bells 2 final photo one bit.

Beware of hungry pumpkins...


Choose a chilly 10K morning run for active recovery day. Had very little motivation to run today, especially with the 31F feels like temp, so I had to resort to the “just lace them up and go” mindset. First 5 minutes are always the toughest on these days but after that you’re out there and it’s easier to just keep going. Now it’s done, workout checked off, and finishing up with the Legs Up the Wall stretch to add some recovery into the AR day.


3 weeks complete...3 weeks to go. Wrapped up week 3 with a Saturday double of day 20’s Kettlebell workout and then an afternoon bike ride in the crisp autumn air. Haven’t been able to get a lot of bike time in lately unfortunately, so it was great to get out for a bit.

Then some Saturday evening fire pit action, with some of Jim M’s Rhinegeist (and a few others) for indulgence (even though the CA trip was an indulgence in itself, but I digress).

Sunday turned colder quickly, so the bike was swapped out for a chilly and windy 7 mile run. Out of running shape for sure, but happy to get out for some outdoor cardio to close out the week.

Second half is here for us Bellmates. Let’s get at it!!!


1)“What is one of the hardest times you ever laughed?”

Maybe not the hardest, but it’s a story that can still crack me up anytime I think of it. College years, one of my buddies John, who is a big, tall Irishman. We’d all been out drinking, and he came stumbling home with a group of us to crash at our apartment. He was zig-zaging (staggering) across the apartment and heading towards a bedroom to sleep. Just inside the doorway was a wooden standing drying rack for clothes. He proceeded to trip/fall right into this drying rack, in what seemed like slow motion, and crashed to the floor, making that rack a pile of toothpicks, with pieces flying everywhere. He was totally fine…rolled over and crawled to a bed. I wish I had a go pro video of it, but it’s almost like we do in our minds.

2) “What is the most meaningful interaction you've ever had with a stranger?”

12 years ago, our oldest was in the hospital, very sick at 2 months of age. Scary as hell for us as first time parents, but she was just temporarily sick, luckily. I remember the doctor saying to me, “your daughter is sick, but she’ll get better. Some of these kids in here, they aren’t gonna get better”. Talk about perspective. And there was one little boy there in an adjacent room, about 18months old at the time. He was very sick. Very. But every time he went by on his push-tricycle in the halls to get a break from his room and procedures, he always had a beaming smile. Can still remember that smile to this day. I followed his blog his parents kept on him for a few years, until he passed from his illness. It’s the smile I always remember…and always helps me find perspective on things as a parent. Thank you Hunter.

Back Home

Back to reality. Vacation living is way too fun. Miss it already.

Was a great trip top to bottom. And was able to keep to my exercise goals for the full week. Capped it off with the sunrise trail jog/hike which was worth the early rise for the views it provided. Even had the wife and a few of the group of friends join in too.

Got all caught up with my teams I’m training last night and today, and just read all our teammates blogs to see how everyone is doing. 2 weeks down. Has been a strong program already, and looking forward to what else is in store for us the next 4 weeks. Will do another blog for the QOTW.


In the middle of a 5 day vacation to California with the wife and a group of friends (no kids!!!). 1 day in San Francisco and now a few days in Napa Valley. Getting plenty of the fruit grams in...liquid style.

Been keeping the exercises going each day this week. Hotel in SF had a few Kettlebells at least so I was able to get day 13’s workout in, after a great 7 mile run around the SF Embarcadero. Then a fun sightseeing bike around with the wife to the Golden Gate Bridge. This morning got a scenic 7 mile run in around wine country. Beautiful scenery and sweet smell of grapes. Great way to start a day (and work off the Bacon Bar from last night). Tomorrow the plan is for a sunrise group run/jog/hike up a trail near our place.

Be back on the blogs next week to check in with the team. Have a great weekend Bellmates!


To answer Kettlebell juggling sensei Ward's team questions:

Who are you?
I’m Matt, one of the trainers here at Kenzai. Live in upstate NY, a few hours north of NYC. Here with my wife (who’s also on this team), and our 3 kids.

What do you do with your time?
Family, road cycle, run, shuttle kids to/from their endless activities…

What is your temperature? In other words, are you rolling into this course with a ton or energy or are you weary?
Lots of energy for this program. Been wanting to do it for a while to build upon Bells 1. Finally got a time slot in the calendar to make it work.

What's your favorite Halloween candy?
No brainer…Reese’s Peanut Butter cups! End of discussion.

What are your goals?
Focus on strong form while learning some new moves that I don’t yet have in my Kettlebell repertoire.

What is the best version of you look/feel like?
Not sure, although I’ve improved a lot fitness wise, I’m hoping I still have the best version ahead of me.

Photo credit: The Hershey Company


And we're off! Excited to see how this Kettlebells 2 program develops. Have seen nothing but rave reviews while watching other teams do it, so pumped to finally get a taste of it.

Day 1 was a good start. Workout done in the morning. After the last two weeks of doing 4 workouts from 'Bells 1 week 5 the previous week, and 5 workouts from 'Bells 1 week 6 this past week, it was nice to have a short and sweet 25 minute all in workout to kick things off, versus those 50 minute ones.

Picked up a new toy for a new program. The RX Kronos heavy jump rope. Did the first 4 minute cycle with this beast. Wow did I underestimate the centrifugal force a 1 pound heavy cable would produce for the shoulders. Did the second 4 minute cycle with my normal weighted handle rope. Felt like I was spinning just a piece of string around me after that Kronos. Nice to finally have a true heavy rope in the arsenal.

Here we go Bellmates!!!


7 days to go until the last Kettlebell 2 program of the year begins. All signed up. Anyone else interested? Lots of Chiselers and Sculptors out there hitting grad days just in time to join Bells 2 Monday!

Completed 4 workouts with the Bells last week (day’s 30-33 from Bells 1). Targeting another 4-5 days this week (started Monday with day 34’s workout) to get the body prepped to the regular Bells day to day routine coming for 6 weeks.


First blog since end of May. No teams to train this summer and no Kenzai programs myself, equaled a break from the Kenzai blogs for the summer. Been keeping busy fitness wise thru all the summer bbq, beer & bourbon too. Mostly cycling and running, along with a mix-match of Kettlebell, Iron and Body-Life strength workouts here and there. Have several guys weekends coming up soon, and a large friends group trip to Napa this October, so no Kenzai Sept program for me. But planning to enlist in one of the October programs.

But Sept is here and am lucky to be called from the trainer bullpen to train a few teams this fall. So Iron-men and Iron-women, as well as you K-Runners, let’s get ready for Monday’s day 1. Time to get fit for fall.

Photo is a little grocery shopping envy. $1 an avocado. Lucky to have this available to us here at these prices. And yet so many people’s carts at the store were missing them.

Bells Swung! 

Kettlebells 1 complete! Like I said in the beginning, it had been hard to fit this program into my schedule for a while now, and had to force it into spring cardio season this time around to finally just do it. Glad I did. It was a great 6 weeks (I so prefer these 6 week programs over the 3 month slogs), and worked well since the spring has been so rainy and spotty on the weather front. So this worked to force me to do some indoor strength work, which I tend to drift away from in favor of cardio time when not on a program.

Solid program start to finish. It eased anyone new to kettlebells in nicely. Did I want more kettlebells and less bands earlier on? Of course yes, but it’s a smart approach with how the first 2 weeks start off, how the middle 2 weeks step it up with more Bells, and then the full on Bells assault for the final 2 weeks. Not to mention the constant speed roping. Since I’m not the biggest jump rope fan (gets too boring and doesn’t mix well with running for extra impact on the joints), I like the short spurts of the speed rope, as well as the small chunks of normal skipping in the earlier week cycles.

Glad to have this one in the completed column because I am really interested in doing Kettlebells 2. That looks like an intense and challenging 6 weeks. Now the question is when? Seeing that there’s not one on the fall calendar currently (unless maybe one can be added to the Sept/Oct schedule pretty please), I may have to wait until 2019. But regardless, I’ll keep swinging the Bells along with the dumbbells and barbells when I’m forced inside this summer to workout.

Until next time teammates!


Done! Did the final 5 kettlebell workouts starting last Sunday thru this morning (skipped the rest day and shifted the day 35 & 41 cardio workouts to this coming weekend). Now all set to hit the air for the long weekend to Chicago without kettlebells in the luggage. Got my running shoes packed for a few runs if the knees are up for it, and have a HIIT class scheduled there too.

Final thoughts on the program coming on the grad blog. Have a strong final few days Bell-mates. The last workout is a fun challenge (did mine all with the 40lb/18kg bell). Here’s my video compilation of it…

Oh yeah, and the 48 spider-man push-ups after the workout too...


Week 5 in the bag. 35 for 35 on the workouts. Was still able to get two-a-days in on 4 of the days this week with 2 runs and 2 bike rides. The weekend was a washout though, so Bells workouts only. I shifted Monday’s workout to Sunday, which worked well anyways because I’m planning on wrapping up all the rest of the Bells workouts by Thursday. We’re flying to Chicago Thursday evening to visit my brother and his family for 5 days over the long holiday weekend. So the cardio and rest days will be shifted to next weekend (hopefully some runs along Lake Shore Drive), and make Thursday my day 42 workout. And by judging how day 36’s workout went I did this morning, it’s gonna be a hell of a final 5 Bells and speed rope workouts.

As for the weekly challenge, this photo is from my Friday evening bike ride. No big climbs on this ride, but was still able to get a good view from the top of some of the rolling hills.

Good luck this week Bell-mates. This week’s workouts look challenging. Finish things off right!!!

Instagram @KenzaiFit

Recorded clips of Monday's cycle workout to check out my form on some of the exercises. Compiled it together, along with some bonus v-sits and spider-man push-ups for the monthly challenge. For those of you on Instagram but not yet connected to Kenzai on there, check out @KenzaiFit and @Kenzai_India.

31 of 31 workouts complete, plus the 32 spiderman's today too. Apparently Math Wizard Fish says we're only 27% of the way there on the spideys...damn you Robin!!!

End of Week 7



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