Nate Belle Isle

Nate Belle Isle

Kenzai Kettlebell 2 | Day 22 (Member)
Kenzai Kettlebell 2
Day 22
Program progress:
Holding steady

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!

Hanging in

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!

Week 1 done

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!

Reach 3.0

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! 

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!

Week 6!

Last week wasn't my strongest. I failed on the whole "mission: get better about the blogs" thing and had a few dietary and workout slips ups. I had been checking off all the boxes and this was just a week that fell apart for me. Family stuff with my mom in the hospital (luckily just a bout of vertigo), and a crazy work schedule with multiple 5am days. Then that stress was capped off with an awesome visit from friends from out of town, and I over indulged in alcohol and some not the best food. I could've done a better job being diligent for sure, but I did make some saves where I wanted to throw in the towel. Verdict: could've been better, could've been worse. Sometimes that's the best you can do!

This week I'm feeling the drive to get dug back in and finish strong. This program has been good for me both mentally and physically and I don't want to waste the time we have left.

Team: I've been reading if I don't comment. I wish I could be a better teammate this time around, I'll try to better for the rest of it!

I do sometimes think that being a trainer, in some weird way, makes it more difficult to stay engaged on the blogs. We spend so much time reading and commenting when we train groups, I think there's kickback to want to just do a program and focus on the diet and exercise but spend some time off the site. I don't think that's good, and I don't think that it applies to every trainer. But it's a behavior I've noticed in myself. And that's the first step to doing something about it!

Anyway gang. Be well! Off to watch some episodes of Fargo with Miranda while I do my Reach workout!

Quick update

I’ve been a bad teammate! I hope all is well out there, I plan on getting around to reading and commenting this weekend and I slacked in my own updates.

New Crow Pose record: 24 seconds at week 3. It’s gktra be said, those last four seconds were pretty sloppy haha. However, my feet did come down nor did my face smash into the mat until second 24!

Otherwise things are well. Just busy. Finishing the last final touches on Kettlebell 2, it will be nice to have that program entirely in the bag. Woo hoo!

Bonus picture of my cats. Topper who loves getting up with me and would rather chill on my shoulders than let me do my morning stretches. And Tulsi, who just wants to cuddle in front of a space heater with her decapitated hippo toy. I have the best cats. Sorry for everyone else out there that has cats, mine are just better, plain and simple. ;) haha

Week 2

Week 2 went well! I have yet to miss a single stretch!

I am aiming for the max reps and times on all the stretches and to force myself to slow down and really breathe deep. It hasn't been perfect that way, but I'm happy that for the most part I really have been taking my time and mindfully adjusting my form and getting deeper into the stretches.

I forgot how much a 10 minute wide angle forward bend can make me exhausted, angry, and makes me sweat! I just feel like I should be able to do it better and it's frustrating. My legs just don't do that wide and I just don't fold forward that far. But I know I'm farther along than the first time I did reach so I expect to keep progressing. If it was easy, it wouldn't be worth it eh?

Hope everyone is doing well out there and enjoying the sessions! Peace and love!

Oh, new crow-pose record set in week 2, 20 seconds! Not a huge improvement (especially because it felt like a minute when I did it), but progress indeed.

Week 1!

Week 1 I give a B-

I did pretty good most days eating clean, but definitely had a couple naughty snacks and beverages as I gave myself the excuse, “it’s still week 1 ...” The classic excuse haha

Workouts went good. I did miss dynamic stretching on a couple early morning work days. Just have to get back into the habit. I still did them later to warm up before jump rope.

Strength training still needs to be done, I think I’ll hit up the gym for some Iron time.

Crow pose record week 1: 17 seconds. Let’s see what I can muster this week!

Reach 2.0

Reach has the honor of being the second program I’m doing a second time. I was going to do Iron again, but i decided Reach meshing more with my current headspace and goals. I want a good 2 months of the grounding a good yoga/mobility practice provides, while I focus on diet. On top of that, a goal I have this year is to cut back on media consumption and electronics usage. So why not make that even more weird by throwing in some ten minute forward bends?

I think I’ll tackle Kettlebell 2 next, then Iron again.

Happy to be reaching with everyone and kicking off 2018 with a flexible, mindful beginning!

The flexibility assessment went well. I’ve maintained some mobility gains but slid backwards a bit overall. I think I’ll make it all back pretty fast and I excited to see where this program ends.

I picked Crow Pose as my weekly photo. Not part of the assessment I know, but I want to work on inversions and balance so I can finally master the handstand. So I hope to have a deeper, higher crow by the end that I can hold for a good chunk of time. I’ll be throwing it in to the daily mix.

One other goal: correcting the imbalances in my posture and flexibility. Especially my shoulders.

Namaste everybody! Have fun Reaching!


I might not have graduated with the full glory I expected, but at the same time I think I've learned my lesson it's a bit too much to be training in a program, writing a program, and working full time. So next year, I plan on taking some time off to just focus on being a trainee. Especially because 30 is around the corner, and my best laid plans have not been executed as well as I'd like. So, Jan-June is going to be about getting my act together, and getting back to Peak condition!

That said, Iron was a great program and I will repeat it. I'm thinking Iron, Reach, and then Bells 2 back to kick off the first half of 2018! It might kick my ass, but it will be what I need to get into the shape I want.

It was a joy training with everyone! And I am having a blast with the Bells 2 Beta! It's very rewarding to write a program, and I do enjoy it even though it keeps me hopping!

I hope everyone has a great 2017 finale! I'll see ya'll in 2018!

Much love to all!

Final week!

Trying to salvage as much as I can at the end here.

It's gotta be said, I've fallen into a strange pattern of crushing a program at the beginning, but then fading towards the end. I really want to shake that. I guess this time a round I do have the added excuse of just being so freaking busy. No trying to make excuses, but I knew my schedule would be like this and I just didn't plan the best. There may have been a better time for me to conquer Iron! So January launch, here we go! I want to jump right back in and put all my focus on my training in the new year.

Great to see everybody else crushing it though! And I certainly think this was a great addition to Kenzai. The new year will be full of Iron, Bells, Reach, and hopefully Chisel to top it all off! Looking forward to it.

Shout out to all my Bellers who are doing the sometimes rough job of Beta testing Bells 2. I know it's been kicking your butt guys! I'm sorry! But all the feedback is wonderful, and I think it will shape up to be a worthy sequel of Bells 1! Just some tweaks are needed.

In the vein, to share with my Bellers, last weeks question was who is one of your best or most influential mentors? I would have to say by high school art teach Bill. Bill was an awesome dude. First of all, he made us call him Bill! haha. Secondly, I spent so much time withe guy over the course of 3 of my years in high school. His class room was always a haven for misfits and strays, and it was this awesome place where all these kids who might never be friends, got along, and really had a good time with each other as we created. Bill was super talented, loved teaching, and there were many times he said or did things that stuck with me for a long time. Not to mention I've never seen anyone ever have the ability to pull each persons individual talent to the surface. I can only imagine how hard it is to teach people something as subjective and personal as art in the first place! But to do it in a way that got to your own authentic creation, without making it his own? To teach you how to be better but unlock what YOU the student is after, not what the teacher sees? Man, I wouldn't be surprised if there's only been a couple hundred teachers in history that mastered that ability like Bill.

I've lost touch with Bill, but this post makes me want to send him an e-mail. He's since retired. While I think I took opportunities to let him know how much I valued his guidance, I think it would be awesome to let him know how frequently I still think about his class room, my time spent there, and how I can emulate his manner. And who knows, maybe I can still learn a thing or two from him! Actually, I'm sure I will.

Have a great final week of Iron everyone! And rock on Bellers!

Having a hard time keeping everything well balanced at the moment. Grams aren't perfect, but eating clean. Iron workouts have been a bit sparse this past week. I already know that I want to do this program again, and do an even better job, but I still want to finish right, so planning to rally for the finish.

Not an excuse, but working a full time job and writing a new program keeps you hopping! So there are definitely days where I truly feel like I don't have the energy to workout. I want to fix that though as when I do workout I generally feel like I do indeed have MORE energy, and greater focus. So Hopefully I can find a balance here at the end.

In the new year, I'm thinking I might do Iron again, right away, then Reach again , then Bells 2, then maybe my annual repeat of Run 10k. If I do that the end of Bells 2 should land right around when I turn 30, and hopefully that trio will be a potent way to get the results I want. I may not be where I wanted to be at the halfway point of this year, but I have made a lot of strides getting healthy internally, and addressing issues that I had been facing. So maybe the second half can be more about the physical changes I want to see.

For my Kettlebell 2 Beta group, this weeks challenge makes me think of a fresh memory! On our most recent vacation, when in Asheville, NC, I went up to this young guy sitting on the sidewalk with a typewriter that said "Poems on Demand." Long story short this guy, Phil Krell, has been paying his way around the country by writing personal poems for strangers that he meets. Miranda and I spoke to him for a bit and we had a nice little convo where we opened up about our lives to him. Something was so nice about his energy and demeanor, and it really had that potent feeling of sometimes it's really easy to be honest to a stranger. After the chat he wrote a poem, on a legit old school mechanical typewriter, recited it back to us, and then gave us the poem.

The poem was amazing. It was really good, flowed nicely, and it was personal, emotional, and touching. I seriously got choked up as he read it back to us. There's no way I ever would have been carrying enough cash to pay him what I think that whole experience was worth, but we gave him everything we had. It truly was so nice and powerful and really engaging, and I'll be remembering that brief intersection for the rest of my life. And now Miranda framed it in an awesome frame in our living room! So cool to have a tangible reminder as well.

Hope everyone is doing great! Keep on swinging and lifting it until the end of the year!

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