KB2 - it has been a blast! GRADUATION POST
Hi all - I'm really pleased to finish KB2. I set out with specific goals in mind, but it became a general well-being template which felt natural along the way.
I want to thank Team Aspen. I can really say that reading and commenting on everyone's blogs has made this a pleasure. A great group of people who were all attacking their KB2 from different angles but a common philosophy of encouragement. As I had my morning coffee it was great to read the blogs each day and I also really appreciated all the positive feedback along the way.
Matt and Ed were key to this program. You guys were so consistent with your guidance, your availability to answer q's was outstanding and the positivity as coaches helped me (and others) through the valleys. Congratulations to you both on your KB3 outcomes which were really impressive as well.
Also thank you to my wife Rachel M who is also finishing KB2. Congratulations to you on a great program that you were only 50% committed to prior, but became the 100% person along the way who helped me along. Your results are great and you should be proud.
My goals from here on are to:
a) have a set schedule of Kenzai maintenance workouts and daily cardio
b) swim twice a week
c) long run once a week
d) stick with the maintenance diets
e) choose moments to break my discipline and have good reasons for doing it
Best of luck to everyone on their health journey from here and see you in another program sometime soon!
Hi all... in an effort to contribute to the Kenzai community with good suggestions, I can suggest a new form of Free Cardio to do on Day 7....
"Teach a 5-Year Old to Ride a Bike" is what I call it. It is especially effective if you the 5-year old in question is quite capable, over-confident, and keen to ride and ride and ride and ride....
I spent yesterday afternoon in Yoyogi Park with about 90% of the rest of Tokyo who were there for their Spring picnics under the cherry blossom trees. We picked up a new bike for our 5-year old who announced that she was already very good at riding (with zero experience) and had intentions to take on the bitumen.
I lost count of how many laps of the bike track we did. The lessons had only progressed as far as pedaling and steering, and we had not covered the all important topic of braking, so it was my job to run beside her the whole way. It wasn't my intention for that to be the Free Cardio session, but it was a constant and hours-long workout. (There were some breaks where new height records were set in tree climbing - refer to the over-confident reference above).
So this was another weekend of Free Cardio that involved other members of my family. That made it super-enjoyable, but also quite surprising how light I felt and how long I was able to keep going comfortably. That's one thing I like about the Kenzai experience... it's full of surprises for the whole 90 days!
We're into the final countdown. Good luck everyone!!
For today's Free Cardio I swam an old program I have from last summer before my slide into being unfit pre-KB2.
I swam competitively a loooong time ago. Then last year I became quite consistent at the pool before work with a colleague who also swam competitively, but has stayed very fit. There's nothing like a quick, early 2km in the pool to make you feel like a champion all day.
Today was my first dip back in the pool for a while. But today was a great, new experience.
My 11yr old daughter has been doing squad training at school for two seasons now but most of our swims together have been stroke correction and just playing around in the water. Today she said she'd wear her training suit, cap and goggles and swim with me. You could have knocked me down with a feather from surprise at how well she swam. We swam the whole program side-by-side in the lane.
It made the pool session fly as I grew more and more amazed at how well she kept up with me and I also loved the chat at the end of each set. We all know a training partner makes the session better, but this was a new experience!
Here's a photo of us post-session. Tired but both very happy!
(Apologies for a second post - can't work out how to upload two photos from the app)
I had a great indulgence for my third and final one of the program.... Sushi, Sake and Asahi. Three of my favourite things.
And, to add to it, a friend introduced me to a new favourite sushi restaurant.
It was that good that my mouth is watering as I type!.....
I am a truly uninteresting person at the moment. Exercise, eat, work, sleep, repeat. I know that's life most of the time, but I don't feel like there's much notable happening right now.
I am exercising pretty well, hitting about 80% of my workouts - only slipped from 100% due to fatigue (if I miss a 5am cardio workout it just doesn't get done) or time constraints (if I have a work conflict at lunch the strength work doesn't happen).
Diet has been bang on which is good and hoping that 80/20 continues to work in my favour. I really feel that my current diet is sustainable in the long term.
My blogging and commenting efforts have been poor. Apologies - I know a blog update from me is a highlight of your day (joking!), but it is the part that is suffering the most.
I am feeling like being on KB2 is now feeling quite natural. I don't feel like its an imposition and that bodes well for the post-program routine. Taking my motivation from Patrick's message, I'll try and lift that 80% to close to 100% to finish strong.
The progress of everyone on the team has been outstanding in the last couple of weeks especially - all the photos are really changing.
Spring has sprung and I'm able to workout outside. First time this program.
Here we are outside the Imperial Palace in Tokyo!
When I was growing up, a favourite summer treat was shaved ice with sweet, coloured flavouring poured into it. The company that cornered the market was called Slush Puppy.
I thought about that all weekend as it was true spring skiing weather here in Japan. I was skiing on a mountain of shaved ice, not snow!!
The Kenzai-segue to this is that the conditions worked my legs hard. Those two days skiing left me feeling like I'd done the worlds biggest workout of floor jumps, creeps, lunges and squats. Fortunately I'm 8 weeks into a training program or I'd be walking on jelly legs today, back at work.
The great thing about the weekend was that my father joined us on his way home from his own skiing holiday in Hokkaido. I'm not sure how many kids get to ski with their grandfather, but I was sure to let my kids know they're lucky!!!
Feeling good and looking forward to a strong week.
Different peoples' psychologies work differently when exercising. I like to count up, not down when doing reps or time-based exercises. I also focus on getting through the first half and convince myself that the exercise or set is 'almost over' once I'm past halfway.
So here we are with more of KB2 behind us than ahead of us. That suits my psyche perfectly. It might suit the rest of the team's also as I'm noticing a lot of positivity on the blogs today. That's great. We can pump each other up to finish strong.
I have been really time constrained since Thursday last week. Lots of work commitments meant I wasn't able to get up early and exercise which is always dangerous to do as there's rarely another spot to do the exercises in the day's schedule.
So I have had to be a bit creative. I was shocked at how far my strength work had fallen behind when I was sick a few weeks back, so on Thursday, Friday and today I have skipped the cardio. I've done the strength workouts in order to keep up with the exercises which seem to be ramping up fast.
During KB1 I remember that we were told to always do the cardio if we were short of time, but I find I can pick up the cardio without problems if I miss a day or two. But the strength really needs to stay current.
Does anyone have thoughts on this?
Cruising along at the moment. This is the stage where I just need to get up and do the day's exercise and not think about tomorrow, next week or Day 90, all the while being in the diet routine that has formed over the past 6 weeks.
Still, this stage can be difficult to motivate yourself. This morning, I started skipping while I was still trying to wake up this morning and needed something extra. My family are away at the moment which means I can pump up the volume on the music. I put on an older playlist and a fave from the 80s came on to give me that push along.
"Show Me Some Discipline" by The Sunnyboys. It's a great Australian pub-rock 80s classic that takes me back. It has a strong bass line that keeps the jump rope ticking over. It got me through those important few minutes at the start of the 20mins (!!) cardio. I was listening to a live version but from memory the album version is just as good. You'll find it on your favourite streaming service.
Hmmm... so Ed has proposed some mid-program goals.
A few come to mind - running two laps (not one) of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo in a lunch hour is the best I have thought of outside the program.... My problem in doing something outside the program is time. I am already getting up at 4:45am to ensure I get my exercises done alongside my normal commitments.
My Achilles Heel is push-ups. I regularly fail when doing the normal push-up sets and I should build a goal around that. To others this might seem paltry, but being able to 25 strict push ups would be a big achievement for me. So I'll aim for that in one month.
On 14th March I will do 25 strict push-ups without failing. Putting it in my diary now and will report back on that day.
.... was a full body workout! I feel wrecked after that program today. It's a good feeling.
Anyone else get smashed by Day 37?
My blog on Monday noted that I had come down with the Flu but I thought I was coming out the other side. Well, I wasn't and I've spent the rest of the week battling it. I couldn't stay home and rest because of some work commitments.
So today was the first day I've exercised in 10 days. I missed 9 workouts. That's one-tenth of the program!! I am disappointed, but I'm also shocked at how the exercises have stepped up - you guys have been busy while I've been away!
At the advice of Matt and Ed I was to take today easily - I did all the skipping and all the sets of the exercises, but the final set of each exercise was stepped back a gear.
Whilst I have been sick I have stuck to the diet. I may have missed a fruit snack here or there, but my protein, carbs, vegetables and eggs have been spot on. In a shout-out to the 80/20 rule, I continued to lose weight while remaining on diet. That may have been a combination of sickness, loss of muscle tone and the diet, but I'm going to give the diet credit.
So I now look ahead. I really didn't want a "break" from the program but it does almost make the next 7 weeks seem extremely manageable and actually quite short. I am motivated to continue working and sucking the marrow out of the remaining weeks.
The one thing that the last 10 days has reminded me is how great it is to be well, walk lightly and tall, and feel strong. That's what this program does for us and I'm looking forward to getting back there.
Setting out on KB2 I was extremely motivated and clear-eyed on the commitment that a 90-day program required. I had a personal goal of doing 100% of the exercises and being strict with my diet to do that commitment justice. Three and half weeks in and everything was going well.
But then Influenza struck. On Wednesday last week I felt like I hit the wall and came home feeling ordinary. Thursday morning skipped my early exercises and slept, with intent to do them later in the day. As the day wore on, that looked less and less likely. Friday was spent sleeping, as was much of Saturday and Sunday. I'm back at work today, but feel like I'm only just starting to come out the other side.
I know "stuff happens" and you can't fight a sickness like this with exercise, but I am really disappointed I have missed four workouts in a row (maybe today's fifth, also). I have stuck to the diet which is good - although I still gave myself the indulgence on Saturday night which was a couple of drinks. The indulgence felt a bit hollow given I'm not exercising.
The silver lining is that it's still early in the program and there's plenty of room for catchup on the strength and cardio workouts. I'm busting to get back to it and hoping if today doesn't happen, tomorrow will see me back on the straight path.
Through KB1, Reboot, KRun and now KB2, I can't imagine how many egg whites I have eaten. I think I could write a book on the best ways to boil, cool, peel and eat them.
But some days, they beat me. Like today.
It's hard to understate the frustration when there's no way to get the shell off without half the egg peeling away with it. Or the shell coming off in microscopic fragments. Today I had everything go wrong and I was running late. I almost lost it.
And then I remembered: they're just eggs. I'm just peeling eggs. Keep it together. So I did. Just.