Nate Belle Isle

Nate Belle Isle

Kenzai Kettlebell 2 | Day 30 (Member)
Kenzai Kettlebell 2
Day 30
Program progress:

So this is the intro I posted for my Bells 1 trainees, and it's doing double duty for Bells 2! Sorry it's late!

1. Who, What, Where - Rochester, NY, USA with my beautiful wife Miranda and our two amazing cats Topper and Tulsi! It's a somewhat decent town that keeps getting a little cooler and more fun every year. Parks, activities, restaurants, micro-breweries and the like. Worst thing is the winter (which some day we might flee)! But we are currently enjoying this spring with gardening, rock climbing, house projects, and an amazing farm CSA for most of our eggs, fruits, and veggies. Local and healthy!

I'm currently doing Bells 2 as a trainee! And I wrote both Bells programs. I work in the health industry in addition to my time with Kenzai as a Trainer and Program Author.

2. My feelings on bells - I love the way training with kettlebells makes me feel. Summed up? Like a badass! It's fun, dynamic, and you can get quite the workout in a short time. Writing Kettlebell 1 and 2 made me feel so much more confident when it comes to form and technique, so I really benefited by being forced to drill down into the finer points of training. It's a great complement to other activities I enjoy as well, like yoga and rock climbing!

3. Hobby or project - It's been the year of home projects! So I haven't been able to devote much time to my usual hobbies or passions. That said, Miranda and I take the DIY path a lot of the time, so I get a creative outlet through these projects. I hope to be writing a new program for Kenzai soon, which I also find is a rewarding creative outlet. And when I get some downtime I'll resume some crafting hobbies I have on deck!

Bells 2 has been going good! Feeling a little stronger. Trying to stick to a good routine. Resetting from today for my blogs. Want to get caught up on my fellow Bells 2 peeps, and get back into short, daily posts to help myself stay on track.

Hope everyone is doing good! Rock on!

Beach Blast is done, now I’m hopping into Bells 2! I’m a week late, but I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile but the schedule hasn’t synced up with mine!

I’m hopping right in on Day 8. Leaving week 1 workouts behind.

Day 8 - Solid workout. Felt good and I’m stoked to be moving some weight.

Here we go!

Day 24 - Popeye!

Rock climbing day. Had a blast! Wish I could go every day.

Mastered two new V3s, the last was brutal on my forearms. All these little crimps and pinchers in a corner that relied heavily on the left side. Forearms pictures reflect what happened. I should post a normal photo later haha! But I’m not flexing in the photo and my forearms were so tight and protruding. 💪🏼 🤣

Scar is from a surgery for fixing both broken bones when I was 15. It bugs me a bit while climbing, the plates sometimes limit range of motion, but I think it’s really good to exercise the forearm muscles as my left has always been weaker than my right as a result. Time to fix that!

Day 17

Day 16 - Hadn’t mentioned this yet but man, Chen has pulled all but 50g of carbs at lunch for me. While that feels lean and mean, and is the least carbs I think I’ve ever had in a program, I’m good with it! In Run programs he shoves so many down my throat I can’t eat them all! Haha! Day 16 workout was good.

Day 17 - Had a weird schedule. Yard work in the am, worked late, then had a date night with Miranda! We needed to get out of the house and went to an awesome little vegan restaurant in the city. Did not have grams (carbs at dinner?!?!) and food was a touch naughty, abstained from alcohol.

The biggest bummer is I didn’t get in the workout! That’s my first miss on this program. But with 11 days left I can nail every one. So it goes. We needed a nice relaxing evening after a couple stressful days and we had a blast.

Onwards and upwards!

Day 7

OK first off, to answer Patrick's intro:

I am doing this because I want to look good this summer! Plain and simple. A punchy four weeks sounded good to me, and I want to drop a couple percentage points of body fat and pack on some muscle. Plus the body weight workouts will dovetail nicely with rock-climbing.

Day 6 workout was intense and felt good. But man it's tempting to use one of those tickets today! It's a cold, rainy Sunday and I just want to cash it in! But a part of me wants to wait for when I really need it. We will see what happens!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Day 6!

Day 4 - Workout good. Felt most sore in the rock climbing muscles. But felt exhausted after workout

Day 5 - OH man. So the Beach Ready workouts have caught up to me. I was sore! After this workout I was tapped out and tired. Navigated a social hang out with no alcohol and some veggies and my fruit snack!

Day 6 - Woke up sore. Surprise! Haha. Loved today’s lesson in the intensity matrix. That really clicked with me. Will be working out this afternoon and navigating some more social engagements.

Rock on everyone!

Beach Ready Day 4!

Day 2 - Workout kicked my butt again! Thanks Patrick! Surprisngingly wasn’t as sore as I thought I would be, maybe it’s all the extra yard work I’ve been doing ... haha

Day 3 - Went Rock climbing with some friends. Felt really good! I got up a couple bouldering routes I hadn’t been able to make before. That always feels amazing. V0-V3 feels pretty good, now on to V4!

Day 4 - It’s looking like a packed day for me today. I’ll probably be working out late! Wish me luck!

Beach Blast!

Day 1 - Workout kicked by butt! Felt good. Looking forward to these 4 weeks. Feeling a nice afterglow of a hard workout yesterday, today. Ready for the day 2 Blast!

Ranger challenge went OK, could've been better. Haven't done my final test yet but will this week and post the numbers.

Happy training everyone!

Final Days

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! 

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?

Spring is here!

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!

Final Photo



Kenzai Kettlebell 2
Kenzai Kettlebell 2


Kenzai Body
Kenzai Body


Kenzai Run 10k
Kenzai Run 10k

Kenzai Body 2
Kenzai Body 2

Kenzai Body 3
Kenzai Body 3

Kenzai Reach
Kenzai Reach

Kenzai Kettlebell
Kenzai Kettlebell

Kenzai Iron
Kenzai Iron

Kenzai Mind
Kenzai Mind

Kenzai Chisel
Kenzai Chisel

Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready
Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready