Nate Belle Isle's Kenzai Mind program, Mind | JAN 2019, starts in 23 days.
Bells in the bag! GRADUATION POST
Completed the program and I am happy with the results. I took a break from Kenzai programs over the summer, and it felt good to get back into the groove of a guided program. I don’t think my body changed much beyond adding some muscle tone, but that’s ok. I’m happy with the results and how I’m feeling!
I have the momentum I need to close out the year, keep the bells going, and get into Mind in January.
It was great training with everyone! Be well!
GIF from The Office - NBC
Doing good. It feels nice to be swinging around the bells, getting a sweat on, and increasing resistance this past week. I'm starting to feel more like myself and am going to keep the bells action going through to the new year, then I think it's Mind in January for me!
Here's to a strong finish for the final couple workouts!
Days are getting shorter, nights longer, and the first snow is scheduled to come this weekend.
While it's always a struggle to stay positive and fired up with the winter creeping in, there's something about this year that feels like a different kind of hibernation is coming. One that is not about packing on the pounds and staying inert, saving every calorie, but one that is trans-formative, where a badass, fit Nate emerges from the icy cold into an awesome Spring.
Hopefully that's not just the matcha talking! haha
Hope everyone is doing good. Halfway there friends!
GIF courtesy of HBO's Game of Thrones
Things are going well. I'm not going to claim a perfect week, but it does feel good to be in a program and to have the structure that helps me take my health and wellness decisions seriously.
For my Bells and Run groups here are my intro questions!
1. Where are you from and what do you do?
Rochester, NY, USA! With my amazing wife Miranda and two furry children, Tulsi and Topper! I love being a Trainer for Kenzai, and writing programs as well (Kettlebell 1 and 2 so far! Here's lookin' at 3!). Picture is of us in Ghent, Blegium on our recent anniversary trip to Europe! Kittens couldn't come along sadly!
2. What are you passionate about?
I really love a lot of things, and I frequently fantasize about following a creative path that leads to a more self-sufficient, stay-at-home lifestyle. I'm an ideas man, so my biggest challenge is actually nailing what that path could be, down. Writing for Kenzai scratches that itch, but right now it's not a full-time gig, so I would love to explore just being a writer, podcast host, or honestly a board game creator! Something that exercises my creative muscles and is flexible and mostly home based just sounds so awesome to me. Miranda and I plan on having children of our own eventually, and to be home as much as possible to be involved in raising and teaching them is really something I would be passionate about!
3. What was the biggest turning point for you in your fitness journey that has led you here today?
After a belated graduation (high school) trip to Mexico (I was 18 at the time) I peaked out and spent about a year in my heaviest body, ~175lbs. It was a slow creep that came from transitioning to feeding myself as I became more independent, and not having an active or athletic background. Redbulls and Reeses peanut butter cups at work, almost every day, not kidding! So I was carrying way to much on my small frame (To put it into perspective, I have a fair bit of leaning out to do now and I'm at ~145lbs) , and I had very little muscle mass to boot. When I was 19 I stumbled across Patrick's blog at the time, and I knew I found what I was looking for to reverse the damage and actually get fit for the first time in my life. A year later I had completed PCP (Peak Condition Project, at the time, which later became Kenzai) as a part of the second group of trainees to enroll, and spent a month in Europe backpacking with a friend, something that was largely inspired by the confidence I gained from the process of getting in shape. While I still have yet to see my true "peak" fitness since then (~135lbs of muscle, and abs! haha), I've consistently been healthy and fit, and never backslid very far. It changed my life and here I am today!
Happy training to everyone out there and all my trainees in week 3! It's an honor to have this very special part of our lives in common with so many people around the world. :-D
Excited to be giving this program another go. I took some time off over the summer from both doing structured programs, and from training groups. The good thing about having some space from Kenzai for a good chunk of time is that when you are ready to come back, you are READY to come back. I'm geared up and excited to both be a Kettlebell trainee, and trainer, and also be training the Run 10km launch as well.
While I definitely didn't break any records or get in the best shape of my life over the summer, I had a good time, stayed active, and kept up on a healthy (albeit unmeasured) diet. I actually slimmed up a bit even though I wasn't trying too hard, and while some of that was probably a bit of muscle, some if it was definitely fluff and the couple inches off the waist has me in pants that used to a bit too snug, and looking better in my shirts. So yay!
So here I am connecting back with the bells, seeking some muscle building and further trimming down of my fat reserves. There's a ways to go to still get to my peak fitness levels, but instead of obsessing about the end game this time around I'm just enjoying the ride and taking it one day at a time. Plus, it's always nice to give the lessons and workouts the 10th (or 100th) review and fix any typos or issues I see. It never is perfect!
Happy to be training with a couple of fabulous teams! I'll definitely throw in some runs so that I can be on board with my 10km trainees too!
Away we go!
GIF from Better Call Saul on AMC. In my opinion, for what it's worth, the best show on TV since The Wire. Bold claim I know.
I've been pretty silent on the blogs. Just been enjoying taking some quiet time to myself, and start to get into a routine of running/bells/yoga by myself.
I couldn't help myself and signed up for Kung Fu body though! :-D I actually remember testing out some of those workouts for Patrick back in the day, and I look forward to doing them again. Don't think I'll stop the other stuff, just make it a fusion.
Most importantly I just wanted to drop on the blogs to offer a huge CONGRATS to KB1 group Moonstone. Check 'em out, give 'em some love, they deserve it! You guys all worked so hard and your final results are looking amazing. Hope to see you around and I can't wait to comment on your grad posts and see those final photos! Woot woot!
Grad post! GRADUATION POST
Alright so my third go of Reach may have been my most underwhelming. In spite of having a frenetic lack of attention and dedication however, I did maintain my flexibility gains from my previous round, and even push them farther in some respects, primarily my hamstrings. I'm please with that!
Wide angle forward fold will forever be my nemesis however!
My next steps with yoga and reach work is to actually get my but to a real world class. I have found I do a better job of pushing myself when I have someone telling me to do it, so I think that might be fun. And one of my "before the end of 2018" goals is to do a hot yoga class as well. Maybe I'll follow it up with a float day!
My next chapter is to take some time off of being in a structured program. I feel scattered with my goals, and I want a few weeks to do a little of everything. Iron, kettlebell, running, yoga. I want to blend them all! And while I could do this while in a program, I really don't like breaking the structure the Kenzai gurus have laid out, and I never feel good skipping workouts, even if it's to do a different workout. So I'll be keeping the diet honed in and working out a pattern of activities that works for me, for now.
Plus, Kenzai is all about being open and honest, everything above board, and I know I've been suffering as a teammate and trainee in our platform. The blogging, photos, and commenting on my team keep falling to the back burner, becoming my least priority. That's not fair to my fellow clan members, or the community! So, I'll still be around active with the groups I'm training and reading blogs of coworkers, family, and friends. But I think taking a step back form needing to blog myself will be good. When I come back for a program it'll be when I'm jazzed and ready (and available) to be a stellar teammate and trainee.
Much love to everyone out there in the Kenzai universe! Have a great spring, if that's what happening in your geographical location in this timeline of the multiverse. Otherwise enjoy whatever else it is! Autumn? Is that how Hemispheres work again?
It’s taken the better part of 7 months, but Spring is finally here in my neck of the woods! Now I have plenty of delightful “cross-training” in the form of yard work, and after that long winter I’ll take it!
Otherwise things are going pretty well. Focusing on tightening things up this week for the last days of Reach, and figuring out what my next step will be. I might go free form and do a skills course while I do a mix of Kettlebell, yoga, and weightlifting. Maybe even throw in a run or two! With the sun and warm weather here all I know is I’m amped up! Haha
See you around everyone!
Got a lot going on right now, staying busy, but holding steady. While my attempts at Reach could be better this go around, I do feel like I’ve establish a firm connection with a yoga practice. I find myself missing it if I don’t do it and I truly feel it helps center and ground me in positivity. Great stuff!
Finding some great go to meals as well as Miranda and I have been pressed for time. She’s found a few good ones and a recent favorite is roasting gnocchi, bell pepper, red onion, garlic, cherry tomatoes, and rosemary on a sheet try for 20 minutes at 450F flipping halfway. It’s super easy and absolutely delicious. A little drizzle of balsamic, fresh basil and red pepper flakes at the end sends it over the edge!
Hope all is well. Namaste my fellow trainees, trainers, cohorts, and earthlings!
Feeling better and been able to get a lot of healthy habits back into a groove. The one things that’s been lacking though is regular reach workouts. It’s hard to do the same program back to back actually, at least for my personality type.
It’s easy for me to rationalize, “well these earlier workouts are way easier, I’m not getting as much out of them as the final workouts” while simultaneously not wanting to add anything on top of them because why make things harder on myself. That a weird contradiction right?? Well at least identifying it makes it easier avoid.
So this week I’m regrouping and I’m resolved to put in the time. To mix things up I might do some yoga videos I love on YouTube. I honestly hope we come out with a similar thing at some point with Kenzai, I love following along with a video. It’s the way I’ve gotten some of my best instruction over the years! Starting actually with old videos Patrick did use to make. So maybe we will get them some day after all!
Hope all is well in the blog-o-sphere! And congrats to my KB1 crew that crossed the 1/3 point! Great job guys!
Had a crazy week and a half. Just busy and a lot going on, recovering from a minor stomach bug. Will
Blog more soon, but looking forward to a day off work and getting on track tomorrow!
Had a decent week 1. Played it a little loose with the diet but started week 2 off right and in the zone. Feeling good.
Stretches feel great. Already made progress on my forward fold as evidenced in my week 1 photo. Fingers are laying flat! Next comes the palms.
I love a good Reach/yoga practice. If I stick to it, then time where I do the practice every day I do feel relaxed and grounded. I think happier too, and more my true self. The same goes for any kind of regular workout routine, but reach especially, and right now it’s still really hitting the spot.
This Mr. Robot GIF cracked me up as I was looking for an image. Great show, and hilarious line and delivery that just feels like me right now haha.
Anyway. Hope everyone has a great week 2!
Final thought: think I might wanna do a ranger challenge next. Living the hype on the blogs!
Here we go! Flowing from one Reach into the next. Looking forward to it. This time I focus on my forward fold!
It's nice essentially being in a constant program. I slimmed up a bit during reach, even though it's not a cardio-centric, or even the strictest diet (even with the strict option), program. But the structure and good diet choices led to an increase in performance (still getting more flexy! And there's a ton more progress to make), and slimming down a fair bit. Huzzah!
Here's to another 2 months of bending, stretching, reaching, and yoga-ing!
Reach 2.0 complete! GRADUATION POST
Mixed bag this round. I’m feeling pretty good and flexy. I think I surpassed where I was at the end of Reach 1.0, but I owe my lack of better results to a weak ending. I have this nasty habit that’s developed of letting life get in the way towards the end of a program!
That said I still have to do my assessment, but I will actually do it as I begin Reach again! I really like the headspace that came with Reach, and I think the flexibility work is what my body needs right now. So I’m going to repeat and motivate myself to be strong throughout. Plus, Miranda is doing it again so we can be program buds!
I can touch all 5 fingertips down now in forward fold, so I hope to get my hands flat this time! I think that will be my weekly pose.
For Crow Pose this time, I never got past 24 seconds. But, I’ll keep working at it and hopefully break 30 soon!
It was good training with ya’ll. Namaste and keep on reaching!
The last week I've been getting back on track, ramping myself up for the final week. Reach 2.0 came with some ebbs and flows, and I would say that while I started the program off like a lion, it's going out a bit like a lamb.
Or should my illustration be cat/cow?
I'll be getting caught up today with photos and blogs. Looking forward to my final assessment and I'm glad that I made some great flexibility gains and I think even some strength gains, this time around.
I'll post my latest crow pose update soon!
Also happy to report I've slimmed up more than I expected for a non-cardio-centric program. Well, like I always tell my trainees, abs are made in the kitchen! That really [proved true for me this time around the block.
Have a great final week everyone!