Patrick Reynolds

Patrick Reynolds

Kenzai Member
Another long day

Home at 11 pm tonight. Not a perfect day on diet but close enough and no cheats. Off to bed and repeat tomorrow!

Brain power

Cranked out a lot of work today. Did you know the brain, despite being around 2% of your bodymass, uses 20% of the body's resources? Most of that energy is going towards keeping your neural net firing. So I always wonder if a day when you're thinking hard and using your brain results in a higher caloric expenditure.

A little digging reveals that you may get 20-30 extra calories of burn if you're using your brain to do complex tasks all day long. That's woefully low! That's like 3 strawberries, a quarter of a banana, or the very tip of a croissant! Calories always bite you in the ass like that. Takes all day to burn them, takes 5 minutes to chomp them down.

Good reality check though. If you've had a mentally taxing day, you haven't really earned the ability to eat any extra food. You've just earned a pat on the back from the man.

Going to sleep now. Exhausted!


Well, wife and kid are back from the countryside, and as usual the extended family sent some vegetables home with them. The bounty is pictured here. I guess squash are in season. Even with AMAYW vegetable grams how are we ever going to eat all this!?

So if you've got some ideas about how to use a metric ton of squash, let me know!

Home alone

Wife and kid are visiting the countryside to see extended family this weekend. So has been MAN TIME in the house. When I'm training man time means living like a savage. Yes I'm eating my vegetable grams out of the colander. Yes I'm still wearing the same shirt I slept in, which is the same shirt I wore yesterday. Yes I fell asleep on the floor! SAVAGERY!

Got a ton of work done, caught up on some blogs, did some graphic design while watching a movie, drank too much coffee, stared at screens for too long. This is what passes for a wild weekend when you're training. Will get cleaned up and respectable by the time the family gets back tonight!

Hope everyone has a strong week 2 on Reboot. Exercises definitely jumped up a notch eh?

One week down

Simple 2.5 km run for free cardio. Felt like 10km with the 90% humidity and 31° temperature. Week one down and glad to say it was a strong one. 25% there everyone!

Balsamico bottle rant

I'm living large with some splashes of Balsamic vinegar with my egg whites. Just a few drops in the "cup" of a hollowed out egg is pretty close to heaven.

But what's up with Balsamico bottles? I've never, ever had a bottle that didn't drip down the side when you try to use it, didn't get that sticky dried balsamic corner-of-your-eye crud around the screw on top, and didn't leave a pungent ring wherever you put the bottle. In the background of the photo above you can see the scuzzy paper towel I keep the bottle on top of, and you can see a thin drip running down the front and the general squalid sticky mess at the neck of the bottle.

What's going on here? I've never seen a regular bottle of vinegar act like this. Is the viscosity of balsamic vinegar somehow unusual so that they can't engineer a drip proof bottle? Is it just tradition? Am I just an idiot and missing something here. Like, this bottle only has two functions in life. Hold the vinegar and spit out the vinegar in a way that doesn't create mayhem. It's failing that second task and no one seems to be interested in finding a better solution. I NEED ANSWERS.

Training is fine, food is perfect. Going to take a nice run tomorrow for free cardio. Life is good, balsamico bottles are bad. End of rant! End of blog!


Putting up bad week 1 photos is my speciality. The key is posting when you're "cold" with no muscle tone, horrible hair and a goofy pose. Then you can only go up from there.

Over the years I've seen more 2000 Day 1 photos, and for the people that are experiencing their first round of training, there's a certain facial expression that I see again and again. It's hard to explain, but it's a combination of a forced smile, awkward bearing, and a certain desperation in the eyes. One of my biggest pleasures is comparing that "chubby deer in the headlights" expression into the sheer joy and confidence of a killer final photo. Browse the graduates page ( and you'll see what I mean.

The fun of being an "advanced trainee" like all of us cool Rebooters is that we KNOW that it's just a matter of nutrition, sweat, and time before our best physiques get chiseled out. That's why our Day 1 photos are usually a less somber experience. Who's got two thumbs and is looking better every day? THIS GUY OH YEAH!

Argh my clothes!

On our trip to the US, we used big ass American washers and dryers a few times. In Japan, washing clothes is all about efficiency. Cold water wash, and hang that stuff out to dry. If anything, that makes clothes a bit larger over time.

Well, using those US machines, with hot water and jet power dryers, all my clothes shrank! So now everything is a little snug.

Since all my clothes shrank, I'm only left with one choice. I've got to shrink. And that's why I'm doing Reboot.

Good sore

It amazes me no matter how many times I shape up, after getting back into it after a break I can still get some pretty fabulous soreness going on in the first two weeks, even with light exercise.

I like being sore. Of course there's the satisfaction that you know, 100%, that you broke up some muscle tissue, but the best part is the free anatomy lesson you get.

Like today, my serratus anterior is feeling a little sore, probably from incline push-ups and some off-workout pull-ups. So all day I could feel a twinge when I did things around the house. So now I know that stirring a pan of vegetables and giving a kid a piggy back ride both use the serratus muscle. I might have intellectually understood that before but now I KNOW, I'm living it. Knowing stuff deep in your bones is a lot more impactful than knowing it in your brain.

Tomorrow morning the real diet begins. Bring it!

This goddamn rope...

... is driving me nuts. I'm really fond of the handles, nice ergonomic shape, custom lead weights inside, but as you can see from the photo, I've got some serious thinning going on in the middle. You see how the rest of the rope is thick laminate rubber? The whole thing used to be that thick. 500,000 jumps have worn it down to its current state.

You can see on the bottom the perfect taper from full thickness down to the plastic core, it's a textbook study in standard deviations, hundreds of thousands of jumps, with the rope striking somewhere in that zone at different sigmas (Σ).

The physics of this rope have become intolerable. There's now a lot more weight to the outside of that thinning zone that inside it. This means as it swings it has a flattened parabola, doesn't snap the ground correctly, and I trip way more than usual. Driving me nuts.

I really want to keep my handles, so I'm looking to do a rope transplant surgery. Now I'm scouting around for dead ropes who have signed their organ donor cards! Will keep you updated.


Pictured here is a Blue Star doughnut in Portland Oregon, one of the many food disasters that brings me here today!

Spent nearly a month on the road, had no pretensions about keeping training going during that time. Ate, drank, and was merry. Time to pay the piper now with a solid month on Reboot, and if things are on track will roll right into September 15th Kenzai Body 2 and make an end-run on 10% bodyfat by December 14th.

Just did first workout, felt good, nice slow start, these guys seem to know what they're doing!

Feeling really locked in for this round of training. 100% ready for some discipline, and feeling relieved that with the hundreds of decisions I have to make in the next few months, what to eat won't be one of them.

I'll blog daily, check back in tomorrow for more Reboot hijinks!


My daughter had a vaccination shot scheduled for Friday of this week, her first since she was a 1 year old. She has a great imagination and has developed a fear of the doctor's office, as she knows it's a place you go when you're hurt and painful things happen there.

We mentioned at the beginning of the week that we needed to go to the doctor, and she said "It's too scary!" and kind of freaked out. After a half hour of crying she moved on and was back to her usual self, but my wife and were wondering what to do. Should we bring it up again, and go through the freakout all over again, or just sneak attack her, not mentioning it again and not telling her where we were going on Friday, just pulling up to the clinic and getting it over with, even if we had to drag her in there?

This is one of those times where having a set of principles to live by really helped. One of my core philosophies is that people not only deserve to be told the truth, and beyond that, they deserve to know what's happening behind the scenes to arrive at that truth.

"Because I said so" is the mark of a fearful person. They either don't know why things are the way they are, or have reasons that they want to keep secret. Whichever one, their interest lies in protecting a weak position, not in getting closer to the true nature of reality.

This is all that Kenzai is; telling people the truth about how their bodies work and spending the time to educate them on the points that are unintuitive. It's a simple, clean way to do business, and it seems like a good way to raise a kid too.

So, for the rest of the week I kept reminding my daughter that the doctor visit was happening, that she was going to get a shot, that it would hurt a little bit. But that the doctor was giving her the shot so she wouldn't get sick later. And that she needed to be brave like the Ninja Turtles. The freakouts got shorter and less intense each time.

The appointment came Friday and she was really nervous, but she held it together and got the shot without crying, holding tightly on to her mom. She showed me the band-aid with pride in the evening.

Being straight-up with her seemed to give her ownership of the experience. That's the power of telling people the truth. They can take it or leave it, but at least you've given them a choice in the matter. Great to see that it works as well with 3 year olds as adults.


My eyes are assholes. I have terrible vision, astigmatism, and in allergy season (which I manage to go through TWICE a year) they get horror movie veins and itch so bad I want to stick icepicks in them. My pupils also don't dilate very well, which makes direct sunlight painfully bright and gives me red-eye in every single flash picture I've ever had done of me. Like, horrible, Satan has come to town red-eye. If I ever save up enough money I'm going to LASIK the hell out of my eyes, because they deserve to have lasers shot into them!

This weekend I was sanding a table top that had one of those white stains from a hot pan being placed on it, to prep it for a new coat of stain and wax. I went outside in a well ventilated area, wore a dust mask, and got my DIY on. What I didn't use was any eye protection. The dust seemed to be staying down and I didn't feel anything strange at the time. But a few hours later my wife said... "Uh, what the hell is coming out of your eye?" I looked in the mirror and there was a fingernail sized droplet of bright yellow "eye-snot" coming out of my tear duct.

Apparently I had managed to get a ton of really fine particulate wood dust in both my eyes. For the next two days they were bright red, and constantly streaming a sticky, bright yellow combination of saline and wood dust. When I woke up in the morning my eyelashes would be stuck together from the night's ocular emissions. It was, all in all, a pretty gross experience. Would not recommend.

But somewhere along the way I realized my eyes were actually, maybe for the first time in my life, doing something right. It was a rough two days, but my peepers eventually cleared out all that wood dust and things got back to normal. It was a good reminder that our bodies are doing the best they can to keep us ticking, despite all the dumb things we do to ourselves. Give a little love to your body, even those parts that usually let you down.

And the big takeaway from this story; use eye protection!


Last week SpaceX attempted its second rocket landing on a sea barge in the Atlantic ocean. The idea is that using retro-rockets and precise telemetry they can land the first stage of their falcon9 and reuse the unit, saving millions of dollars with each launch.

The first attempt, the rocket came in diagonally due to a lack of hydraulic fluid, crashed and exploded. Elon Musk, head of SpaceX, described it as a "rapid unscheduled disassembly". Last week the rocket came down well, but a sensor error meant the stabilizing rockets couldn't keep up and the rocket tipped over and exploded. Here's the video of the landing if you haven't seen it.

What I love is that throughout this all, Elon Musk and the SpaceX team have remained communicative and completely transparent. They live tweet the results of each mission and release footage as soon as they get it. They explain why things didn't work and what they're doing to fix it. And even though they're seeing million dollar rockets explode in front of their eyes they're almost enthusiastic about it. Each failure brings knowledge, and they're stoked for each new piece of data.

If we could all have the same equanimity in the presence of failure we'd get so much further. I'm working on accepting it as part of my life and getting a lot of chances to practice these days!


Was doing some research for an article and came across a lot of graphs like this for US obesity rates by age. Not much of a surprise here, not too much obesity in the teens and twenties, then getting heavier in the 30s and 40s, and around 60 years old there's one more spike then a gradual decline.

So my first read on it was, "wow, older people are really getting on track, good for them!" and then it took me a second to figure out that the reason there were less elderly obese people wasn't due to weight loss.... it was due to... well... LIFE loss.

We have a lot of fun on Kenzai, but at the end of the day this is life or death stuff. You can skate by your 30s and 40s being heavy, but you have to pay the piper soon after, and the piper wears a long black robe.

Getting dialed in for a lean, strong week. Saving money, building muscle, and getting work done! Hope everyone has a strong week too!

End of Week 5





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