Matt Berlin

Matt Berlin

Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready | Day 8 (Member)
Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready
Day 8
Program progress:

If you're not on program currently, and haven't signed up for your next program until mid-April at the earliest, check your dashboard and read about the Kenzai Community Ranger Challenge. Let's have some fun as a large group these next 4 weeks, in-between programs. We're looking for a lot of you dedicated trainees to join in and challenge yourself, as we take it on together. How about it Patrick R., Ed C., Nate B., Jess S., Kim B., Adelyn C., Sean K., Wendy B., Tuck O., Heidi H., Michael T., Dermot M., Ambar T., Willett B., Rahul G., just to name a few. Come on recent grads of the Run, Run 10K, Run Half programs. You all did great. This is a perfect way to test those running skills you just built for yourself. Come join us!


Outstanding program!! One of my favorite programs to date. Run-Half, Body 3 and Iron were my 3 favorites before this. This one might have an edge over Body 3 and Iron simply because the 6-week format is more motivating start to finish versus the 90 days which turn into a slog after awhile.

The HIIT workouts built up both fast and steady. Challenging each day, and never got boring. That 3rd cycle was rough when introduced, but the body adjusted quickly and it felt like the perfect amount the last few weeks. The final workout was relatively easy, which part of me wanted more, while the other part was glad to be done.

The lessons were spot on again. Really liked the additional education in the realm of high intensity training. A great add to the Kenzai Program offerings!

This team was one of the best I’ve ever been on. Full of energy and motivation. Thanks for all that everyone gave on the blogs these 6 weeks.

The body is cumulatively fatigued. Looking forward to a tiny break. And then it sounds like I’ve been roped into the Kenzai Ranger Challenge. Let the madness continue into March I guess.


Workout 39 for 39 completed. Took videos of 4 of the cycle exercises today. Reasonable form, but the body is in cumulative fatigue mode, so speed is at a moderate level at best. But getting the workouts completed in full, and then enjoying the subsequent 23 hours until the next workout.

Grilled up some chicken breast, salmon and haddock on the grill yesterday in the mild end of winter temps. AMAYW's across the board on the diet, so fueling up with as much as I can to finish off these final few workouts right. 3 more to go!

Chisel on!

Traveling Home

The week in Costa Rica is complete. Lots of fun, lots of work and lots of sweat.

Sitting in the shuttle ride to the airport reading some trainee graduation blogs with the sporadic internet reception I can get. Got my workout complete at sunrise once again, so 36 for 36 so far. Those one legged burpees were a challenge. Fun and hard at the same time.

Yesterday for cardio day I “ran” some hills on the extremely steep driveway of our rental house. More like short step jogging and speed walking. I had my garmin watch and it said the gradient was in the 30-40% range most of the time. The “flat” parts were 20-25%. Three laps down and up completed a mile. I was gassed. Was thinking of doing a 4th lap but was worried about shin splints from the downhill part, bracing the legs in a different position than I'm used to running. The 100 v-sits after felt like heaven compared to that hill. Push-up challenge...42.

That morning we then did kids surf school again with HT Thomas. And I got some time to try too. I love the ocean but balance has never been my skill. It was fun and tiring trying it, even if I am by no means gonna be a surfer in this life.

That’s it for now. Long travel day. Will be online tomorrow to get caught up with the team. Hope everyone is chiseling well!

Chisel in Costa Rica

Day 31. Sitting inside during the midday heat and humidity and getting caught up on my blogs. Between internet being sporadic, as well as just busy on vacation, I finally got around to team cyclops blogs today. Had to prioritize the teams I’m training in the little time I had. Great to see our team is going strong into this 5th week. Once we all get over this midweek hump, we’ll be hammering the final 10 days strong!

My quick update. 31 for 31 workouts complete. Did Sunday’s workout at 4:25am before our morning flight. Glad I did because our travel day was even longer than planned so there was no way I could have fit a workout in that night. Didn’t do the push-ups challenge. Ran out of time. Plus my arms were done after that Chest Dip century. Damn!!!

Got days 29-31 done early in the morning. Nice and quiet and the coolest part of the day. Get to look out over the jungle, at the sunrise light hitting the ocean once it clears the mountains, while listening to howler monkeys have their morning conversations. I thought I recorded a quick video of them this morning but alas I didn’t. So instead i can only post a photo of the workout location. I’ll try again one of the next few days to get a good video.

Been a busy few days already. Got some beach time in and some surfing time for the kids thanks to HT Thomas and his surf lessons. Did zip-lining today thru the jungle canopies. Incredible! Kids liked doing some of the zip runs hanging upside down.

Diets been reasonable. Limited protein options has me downing a lot of eggs as substitutes. But my protein powder survived customs so I’ve got that going for me.

Off to cool off in the pool. Later Chiselers.


Optional Indulgence. Oxymoronic? Antithetical? Irony? Where’s Ethan Hawke when you need him to define things for you.

There’s a first time for everything on a Kenzai program, so this was a new one for sure. I like the idea, especially for a shorter program. Some trainees prefer to run it tighter on the diet and sometimes a small indulgence simply becomes a slippery slope into a few days of bad choices. Having this option is a good choice for Chiselers to think about.

My choice? I took it, thank you very much. Some Friday night homemade Blood Orange Whiskey Sours were perfect! And even contained some of my Evening Snack allotment of egg whites and fruit in them. Two birds…one stone!

It’s good to have 4 weeks just about done. Friday’s cycle B workout was brutal. Low energy morning + high intensity cycle workout = sweaty and exhausted mess. And in previewing this coming week’s workouts, it looks like it’s only getting tougher. Saturday was a good workout. Did most of the biceps and shoulder exercises with the dumbbells. And hit two solid speed rope sets with no trips. Both in the 190-205 range.

The family and I are flying out for vacation to Costa Rica tomorrow morning for 9 days. Gonna be a loooooooong travel day Sunday. Unless I get up at 4am, it’s doubtful I’ll be getting the Sunday cardio day in. This was the one day of the 42 I knew I’d have the most difficulty with. Maybe I’ll have time to skip rope late night after we arrive and settle in. We’ll see. Jump rope, bands and running sneakers packed. Will be getting the workouts and hopefully some runs done early each day since it’s gonna be hot and humid. Coming from the frozen winter of Northeast US, the body is in for a shock.

I don’t plan on having a perfect diet during vacation, but I also don’t plan on wasting these 4 weeks of work so far, and the final 2 weeks of workouts. I’ll find the normal balance I tend to migrate too. I’m not a foodie, so I’m usually good there. But some local fresh seafood has my mouthwatering. And might have to try a few of the local beers.

Second photo is of my new protein powder container Amazon just delivered. After going with the 2lb container for a while, finally got a good price on the 5lb. one. It’s BIG! Also got a 1lb. bag that I’ll hopefully be able to get thru Costa Rica customs. It’s been a help to cut down on the volume of my daily egg white allowance. Fingers crossed it doesn’t get confiscated.

Have a great rest of the weekend Chiselers and get ready for whatever Patrick has in store for us in week 5.

Free Donuts!

At the car dealership getting my wife’s car serviced before we go on vacation this weekend. As I’ve blogged before, this place has free donuts in the waiting area. But surprisingly there is now a basket of fruit next to them. I wish there was technology that could record people’s internal monologues when they go to get a coffee and are presented the ‘donut or fruit choice’. I wonder how many people are giving it actual thought of a choice, and how many are just mindlessly grabbing a donut, with their mind’s eye not even acknowledging the fruit. As for me I already have my banana and apple with me for my wait. I might take a few bananas for the road though.

As for Chisel, completed 21 for 21 on Sunday with another cycle on the indoor trainer. Then followed it up with 45 push-ups in the minute for Jim’s side challenge (45 deg handles). Then choose the sharp stick in the left eye of Plank for 5 minutes, vs the sharp stick in the right eye option of the 3 Min Wall Sit. The Shoulder Press century wasn’t doable after Saturday’s shoulder work that I did with weights. Not that my bum shoulder enjoyed that plank either.

Now day 22. Cycles up to 3X, more reps and adding pushups into the Burpees. Now that was an awesome workout. Loved it. Totally drenched. Note to self, need more towels to cover the home floor workout area. I’m a dripping mess by that 3rd cycle.

3 weeks down. 3 killer weeks to go. But only today matters. Get it done Chisel-mates, one day at a time!!


Per Jennifer’s request, I recorded the Russian Dancer from this morning’s workout. I also recorded several others to give me some personal feedback (and accountability). [Jennifer, you can fast forward to about the 3:20 mark of the video for the Russian Dancer part].

Chisel Day 19 Cycle workout:

Jump Rope - not recorded…no need to.

Double Hang Time - some better kick back hang time. Visualizing a tiny bit of kick up like a handstand start helps. Need to straighten the back out a bit more in the plank position.

Tire Run - such a solid exercise…simple and effective. Hard to keep those knees up for a full 60 seconds...and boring to watch for 60 seconds (sorry).

Pelvic Pump - didn’t bother recording that move for internet viewing. Didn’t want YouTube to censor another of my videos.

Heel to Butt Jump - decent form.

Fakie - that’s a fun exercise. Reasonable form. Could go higher in the jumps and deeper in the landing, but legs can only do so much in a cycle.

Outside Mountain Climber - a good mix up from the regular mountain climbers we’ve been doing. Always interesting to feel your flexibility on one side better than the other.

Chest Dip - always easier when it’s just 1 set of 10 per cycle, versus 5 sets of 12 back to back.

Mini Squat - skipped recording that. Form is easy to monitor.

Pass Off - didn’t record.

Russian Dancer - I like this one. 30 seconds wears you down…in a good way. Upon review, wasn’t getting as much two feet in the air hang time as I thought I was. And could use some straighter legs, but tight morning hamstrings didn’t help. But overall ok with the effort.

19 workouts up…19 workouts completed.

Our oldest daughter turned 12 today. I’m looking forward to enjoying some birthday desserts with her tonight. That’s never negotiable in my book…training or no training.

Have a good weekend Chisel-mates!!

Chisel Week 2 Complete

Quick Sunday Recap:
-14 for 14 workouts completed.
- 1 hour on the bike trainer today for Cardio day.
- Then Viking Longboat 3 minutes (by no means straight thru...several pauses as my back was not liking those today).
- 42 push-ups in the 1-minute challenge (180 degree handles position this week).

Caught up on the blogs. Now off to watch the Super Bowl...with my evening snack of fruit and egg whites (that's just not right in so many ways).

Have a good start to the week Chiselers.


Day 12 cycle workout complete. Over a quarter of Chisel finished already!! I like these 6 week programs.

Excellent lesson on the Double Hang Times today. Worked on some more ‘float’ in the back kick part. Makes me think back to my Kenzai 2-Week Handstand Skill Course. Need to work on those handstands again sometime this year.

Fired up the grill yesterday despite the freezing temps. ~4.5 lbs (~2,000 grams) of chicken breasts, and ~2.5 lbs (~1,100 grams) of Mahi Mahi. Both with some simple dried spices and a bit of citrus. This will tide me over for lunches and dinners for the next few days.

Keep the diets tight teammates! Have a great weekend!


Day 9 cycle workout complete! That got the heart pumping! Alot of good explosive movements in the first half of the cycle. Took some video of my second cycle of Double Hang Times to see if I was even close to the form my mind's eye was feeling. Not bad, but plenty of room for improvement. The explosiveness needed for height evaporates quickly on those. And then following those up a few exercises later with Yahoo Jumps, Fakies, Mountain Climbers and Wall Chairs. I was never so happy to be doing Chest Dips and V-Sits just to give the legs a break.

Day 8 diet spot on. Day 9 starting well. Keep chiseling team!

Chisel 7 for 7

1 week down, 5 weeks to Chisel. Jim has started some challenges for all the Chisel teams. ( 42 for 42 workouts is one of them. No doubling up or making up days. Just 42 straights days of consistent effort. I’m game. I have 2 long travel days in February that might make it tough, but 42 is the goal for sure.

Diet week 1 has been fairly good. Not perfect, but 100% isn’t a goal of my mine. As I’ve said in numerous blogs in the past, my general target is to stay in the 80-90% compliance zone most of the 365 of the year. I definitely dip lower at times, and go closer to 100% at times. But I don’t like the roller coaster of 100% on program and then 60% off-program that I see too often. It works for some, just not for me. BUT, I will say I’m a bit more motivated to stay tighter on the diet for this program. This is my first less than 90-day program in about 2 years, so I’ll give it a go more in the 95%+ range this time around. Hopefully.

Today was food prep and cardio day. Big batch of butternut squash being baked this evening to use for the week. And for cardio day, I took advantage of the unseasonable mild January upstate NY winter day and went for a run. Took some motivation from all the Kenzai running program teams I’m working with this session, laced up the sneakers and enjoyed about 2 hours of fresh air running. Felt good!

Onto week 2 Chisel-mates!

I Am The Egg Man

They are the eggmen
I am the walrus
Goo goo g' joob g' goo goo g' joob

The Egg Man? Yup, that’s what I feel like after checking my week 2 Chisel diet. 9 eggs (2 whole & 7 whites). Nine?!? Really?!? The only saving grace is that the 3 whites for After Workout have a protein powder option if I want. Yes, I think I’ll be using that option often to save the body (and the family) from the egg-static-side-effects.

Didn’t realize Kenzai Chisel was going to be a Magical Mystery Tour.

The question still remains though, if I am the Egg Man, who is the walrus? It’s not Kramer obviously.

Source: All Beatles material here is copyrighted and owned by someone other than me…maybe Michael Jackson’s estate still?


And we're off! Cycle workout (2X) of jump rope and a variety of full body, abs, chest and legs exercises. Strong way to kick off day 1. Combine that with this from day 1's lesson:

"Chisel isn't a bus that picks you up and stops where you want it to. It's a train that you try to hold onto as it barrels through the countryside. Hang on tight."

It's gonna be a hell of ride from the looks of things!

First week diet: "Clean up your diet, removing any processed or overly rich foods. Eat no carbs after sunset." Sunset in January...~5pm. Sunset in June...~9pm. Poor timing on our part.

Looking forward to seeing what's ahead of us these 6 weeks Chisel-mates!

Chisel It Is

Happy New Year Kenzai-ers!!! Hope the year has started off healthy for everyone.

I was up in the air on what program to take on to start off 2018. Kettlebells 1 was the goal, but the February start wasn't ideal with my calendar. I was thinking Reach. But behold, the program gods added a new Beta...Chisel. I wasn't around Kenzai in the Peak Conditioning Project years, but have heard stories of the old Chisel program. So I'm excited to see what the new and improved version is. And 6 weeks sounds good to me. It'll add some motivation to keep the strength workouts going to bridge me over to the spring cardio season.

Looking forward to seeing the blogs on fire next week with all the programs kicking off.

End of Week 1



Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready
Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready


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