Patrick Reynolds

Patrick Reynolds

Kenzai Member

People don't think of Reach as a tough program, but I am feeling BEAT UP. Doing this with running for cardio is hitting my muscles in all sorts of strange ways. My tendons feel like old rubber bands stretched one too many times. The other day I was sitting on the edge of the bed after stretching and my wife said "You look like a burnt out Russian athlete in the 80s." Very specific reference thanks a lot.

Still kicking February's ass. Perfect attendance at Aikido. Quick bird painting every day. Making music again. On top of work. Reading good books. Being a not-horrible parent. It means going hard from first thing in the morning (dynamic stretches) to last thing at night (evening stretches with a book). Feels good but I know I can't keep it up more than a few weeks before my brain says "Alright dude chill!"

I LOVE February!

February is usually my most productive month of the year. It’s such a beautiful month. So symetrical. 4 clean weeks! 4 Mondays, 4 Tuesdays, 4 Wednesdays and so on. The weather’s lousy, there are no big holidays, you’re still fresh into a new year and haven’t seen your hopes for the year ground into dust. I call it my “monk month” because it’s the one time of year I can manage to string together consecutive weeks of high productivity without losing focus.

Having a program going on is the perfect complement, especially Reach which doesn’t require quite so much pain on the food and exercise fronts. Honestly, I’d rather be having a quiet, productive, creative month of clean eating and exercise than any luxury vacation. This is as good as it gets!

Flexibility is coming along, morning dynamic leg swings are getting up to eye level now where we started at hip level. Hamstrings are opening up but my hips are feeling creaky. Too much sitting not enough living!

Have a great Reach weekend everyone! The picture is a part of my personal commitment this month to paint something every day even if I just have 5 minutes.

Core Beliefs

The question of the week is "What core beliefs do I base my decisions on?"

For me the overriding principle of life is the unity of physics. Everything you experience is that way it is because of the universal interdependence of physical reality. Something simple like hearing a song on the radio is the culmination of 10,000 scientific principles. For example how wave harmonics interact with your eardrum and neural network. Or how we can electromagnetically capture, store, and transfer of these sounds from a studio in New York in 1966 to a car traveling down the highway in 2019. Or how the reason you like this song is because it tickles your memory centers of a song you used to like in high school when your brain was forming its architecture of likes and dislikes. How it's pleasing to you because it's based off the chromatic scale you grew up with, whereas if you grew up in the middle east you'd prefer a song in the Byzantine scale. Or how the acoustics of a guitar vs a piano vs a clarinet are all just different ways to amplify vibration mediums. What I love is that you'll never run out of physics that explains how things got to be this way, you can keep learning all the way down and all the way around and it just gets more and more interesting.

And this is just a riff off a topic I thought of randomly. You could run a similar extrapolation for anything and everything you do. There's so much going on, and it all fits snugly together perfectly every single time. So when I'm trying to make a decision, I think about how everything in my little life is a part of this tapestry, and whether my choice makes the tapestry a more interesting, joyful, intelligent place, or if it's just more noise.

When we forget that everything is literally, physically connected and we can understand most of how those connections work if we learn enough, when we forget that we become small and mean!

Nurse Reynolds

It's been quite a week! Wife and daughter both got super sick, so I've been running from one room to the other with medicine, drinks, collecting bins full of tissue, mucus, and bile, staying up while they deal with night sweats, fever dreams, and coughing fits. Phew!

I've been knocking out the Reach stretches every day though. Morning dynamic stretches are literally one of the most life changing physical interventions I've ever experienced. I used to do them all the time but have fallen off in the last few years. Getting back to them feels so good, for those few minutes in the morning I'm like, "It's ME time baby!" When you're done and your body is suffused with warmth in every joint it's the best feeling and makes the whole day better. I'm convinced it's made dealing with the sick household a much more positive experience for everyone.

Every single Reach workout has been interrupted by a sick person! But getting them done in pieces.

Sorry to have not been around the blogs yet will catch up today!


Finished up Body 2 in early December, had a great break, and so glad to be back in training mode. Not just any program, the single best program in the Kenzai docket (in my opinion). This program will change your body faster than any other! Despite creating and extensively testing Reach, I've never properly done the full 8 weeks. Looking forward to the experience and sharing the ups and downs with my teammates.

I haven't posted in a while, so let's do a data download.

I have a training plan for 2019. The first half of the year my main attention is going to be on getting SMALL. I like change. I like having long crazy hair, and I also like having short neat hair. I like wearing all black for a week, then all Hawaiian shirts for the next week. I also like wearing different bodies. Sometimes it feels great to be big, strong, and see the intimidation in people's eyes when they're partnered with you in martial arts. But it gets old. Constantly working with pain thresholds as you build muscle gets tedious. I have nothing to prove to myself about how tough or endurant I am. Being bulky also makes daily life kind of annoying. When I'm really muscular clothes don't fit, and little things like taking off a jacket are harder than they should be simply because muscles are getting in the way of other muscles.

But mostly I was just bored of being large. My daughter took the attached photo when we were at a museum a year ago. This was when I had just finished Iron and was super strong. But just too big! After a trip to see the buffalo in Golden Gate park my whole family started calling me "bison" because I looked so big in the shoulders. Being big and strong is fun, but life is about change and growth, so I've been working to trim off excess muscle for the past year with good effect. Last year in Body 2 I shed about 5 pounds of muscle!

In this program I'm going to go for the last few pounds of excess muscle that's been hanging around, as well as knocking off body fat from the holidays. With running, flexibility work, and a tight diet I should be able to get nice and small by spring. From there the plan is to start adding muscle mass back up through July for a toned, fit, balanced birthday. Then a month of celebrating! That puts me into September for a final 90 days which, if I know myself, I'll be itching to get strong again. That's the plan, but as Mike Tyson said "Everyone's got a plan until they get punched in the mouth."

In terms of flexibility, I'm a walking advertisement for "use it or lose it." I used to teach about 25 hours of yoga a week, and was ideally balanced between flexibility and strength. Since closing my yoga studio and doing Kenzai full time, I've spent nearly double those hours working in front of a screen. My flexibility has paid the price. I'm looking forward to winning it back. Fortunately this program WORKS! It's powerful and so immediately effective. Reach is RAD! Let's do it!

That's a Wrap! 

Final video wrapping up my Kenzai Body 2 experience. It went much better than my first attempt two years ago. Very satisfying Awesome work everyone!

As often happens, I caught a cold immediately after training was over so looking a little rough in this video but feeling great.

If you want to see every single day of this program in vivid photos check my instagram ( 90 days straight, no misses!


Hoo boy do the day 70s lag or what? Second only to Day 50s in terms of time distortion. But looking at that Day 78 on the progress bar... the brain rounds up to 80, and 80 rounds up to 90 and we're basically done! Let's go!

Check my Instagram for a daily photo post for this entire program! (

Smoky Days

Intense record breaking fires 200 miles north this week. Lots of smoke covering the Bay Area, so it's been kind of a hermetic week staying inside with the kid, trying to keep her lungs from taking too much in. The picture in this post should be a bright blue California afternoon sun. Reduced to a red angry smudge.

An entire town burned down, so you think about everything in a town, all the tires, plastics, building materials, all mixed in with that smoke. It's nothing compared to what the people nearer are dealing with.

Still doing little 3.3km working towards a 100km month of running. After the runs my chest feels kind of tight, which makes me worry that I took in too much smoke, then I realize that after running my chest is always tight, cause I'm the world's worst runner.

I was doing Kenzai Iron this time last year and we had the same thing, a week of smokey skies and indoor advisories. My daughter thinks it's just part of Fall now, which is sad!

Everything on track with training. I've definitely let some larger carb portions slip in, probably some magical thinking about how big 50g of carbs really is, but nothing major. Days 70-85 are a kind of mini valley, they stretch on forever!

Onwards and upwards, through the smoke clouds!

Check my Instagram for a daily photo post for this entire program! (

Aw Yeah!

Tonight my daughter was looking at me strangely. Then she said "You look different. You look SKINNY!"

Aw yeah! The thing about a kid's opinion is that you can trust it's the unfiltered truth!

Check my Instagram for a daily photo post for this entire program! (

Happy Sacrifices

As people who know me know all too well, and people who don't know me are surprised by, I'm a pretty big video gamer. Some people unwind by watching sports, going to the movies, or socializing, for me there's nothing that produces a satisfied "ahhhhh" sigh than sitting down with a controller and diving into a deep single player game for a few hours.

Well, the biggest game of the year came out last week, Red Dead Redemption 2. All the podcasts and game sites are going nuts for it, there are screenshots and gifs everywhere and it looks amazing. Normally this would be a day one purchase for me, but I'm not going to even consider getting it before training is over.

Each hour I spend on a game is an hour stolen from something else that's important to me. And right now training is filling a lot of my slush fund hours. Not playing just one mission of a game essentially buys me back all the time it takes for cardio and workout tasks. It almost feels like if I cut games I get my workouts "for free."

It kind of sucks to not be part of the conversation with all the Red Dead talk, but overall it feels great to have priorities lined up. If I were to jump into a big game right now it'd be the worst of all worlds. I wouldn't really get that "ahhhh" feeling knowing that I was shortchanging my training, and when I was training I'd be rushing trying to make more time for the game. It's a happy sacrifice to not play right now, and when the time comes it'll feel awesome firing up the PS4 knowing that I'm making a choice to nudge it up the priority chain, not using it as a guilty pleasure.

28 more days!

Check my Instagram for a daily photo post for this entire program! (

Week 9, bring it!

Last week had some rocky days but I'm keeping the wheels on the cart. Trying to think about November as one big block - just get through November and you're home free! Easier said than done. Going to drink coffee the whole way through Halloween, it's the only thing that'll get me through.

Check my Instagram for a daily photo post for this entire program! (

Finally hit "that day"

Here we are in the mid Day-50's of training. And today, right on schedule, I was confronted with a wave of resistance and aversion to training. My thoughts have been flittering amongst these themes over and over again:

"Why do I have to do this? I'm already pretty healthy right?"
"Why am I the only one who has to diet and exercise. Everyone else is having so much fun."
"Is this even working? I don't feel any different the last few weeks."
"Why are the workouts getting harder. Why can't I just cruise by with an easy workout once in a while!?"
"This is never going to end."
"I'm not going to really be able to enjoy Halloween."
"Isn't my happiness important too? A cold beer would definitely increase my happiness."

I just want everyone to know that we ALL deal with these thoughts in the middle of training, even the person who makes the programs, who has seen thousands of people go through it, and who teaches you how to deal with these thoughts. If training was easy I would have never have started Kenzai. Kenzai is here BECAUSE training is hard. So don't be too tough on yourself. I'm not beating myself up about these thoughts, but I'm also not acting on them. I try to give them as much attention as a car passing in front of my house. Here it comes, there it goes, another one will be coming by shortly!

I've also noticed these trains of thought get really loud in times of stress. I was paying bills today, something which always stresses me out, and my mind just wouldn't shut up about how a cookie wouldn't be a big deal, that I could just do extra cardio, that a cookie and bill paying went together perfectly. When you write it out the inaneness is revealed but when these thoughts are in your head they have power.

So, anyone struggling right now, take a deep breath, recognize the obtrusive thoughts as the meaningless flickers of brain electricity that they are, keep your head down, and keep pulling that cart. Better days are ahead.

Check my Instagram for a daily photo post for this entire program! (


Had a busy week of work and travel, lots of time in airplanes. Just like a flight, travel during training is full of turbulence, things get shaky and you have some sudden dips, but the airframe is designed to withstand these things and you're still hurtling towards your destination. Got some big gym workouts in while on the road, so on the whole the week was effective for muscle building but with inconsistent access to training food wobbly on fat loss.

Going to make a clean tight run for the end of the month and then marshal forces for an epic final 30 days. Glad to be back at full speed!

Through it all I haven't missed a day on the Instagram daily upload!

Dark Mode Fun!

I installed the newest Mac desktop OS, Mojave today. One of the new features is "dark mode" which makes dark grays and blacks the primary background color. Over the years I've gotten to like dark mode more and more, it puts me in a different creative space and lets me focus on the content more. It's also great in the early morning work sessions when my eyes aren't ready for the retina-burning brightness of a computer screen.

I also loaded up the Chrome browsers dark mode plugin to make everything match. The cool part is when I come to the Kenzai site it's a totally different experience! We never optimized for this use case so some things look janky but it's still pretty fun!

Workouts at 100%, diet at 90% with missed fruit snacks being my biggest failing point. Looking forward to a slow and steady October in the crucible of training!

Check my Instagram for a daily photo post for this entire program! (

Can't Flood My Progress!

I was jumping rope with my wife outside our house. About halfway the session through my wife says... "What's that!?" About 100 feet down the street, the ground was exploding with water and mud. The street slowly started filling up, and in about 15 minutes was completely covering the whole street in about a foot of water!

A main water line had broken, and we ran around knocking on doors making sure people got their cars out of the street before they were flooded. Over the next hour the waters rose and rose, the police and fire department were everywhere.

So for the past two days we've been digging out. No major damage, just a lot of mud and cleaning. It was really tempting to cash in the flood as an excuse to miss the workout and go off rails on the diet. But it also felt pretty badass to get my workout done at 11 pm that night just to show that water main it couldn't get the best of me.

Everything back to normal now but was a pretty surreal experience seeing my street turn into a lake in less than an hour.

Carry on!

End of Week 5





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