Patrick Reynolds

Patrick Reynolds

Kenzai Member
Sleep Woes

The past three nights I've woken up around 1 or 2 am wide awake with my thoughts racing. Takes me hours to get back to sleep. Does anyone else deal with this? I have pretty good sleep hygiene and never have any trouble falling asleep. It's just those middle of the night suddenly wide-awake hours that are killing me. Most sleep advice is for people who have trouble getting to sleep, not staying asleep.

Aside from that training is on track, nutrition locked in and workouts getting done day by day without excuse or complaint. I love month 1 of training!

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

Good busy!

There's a saying I've always liked - "A gentleman is always busy but never rushed." I'm feeling that "good busy" this training cycle, every day I'm putting in a solid day of positive work from waking to sleeping, without feeling stressed. Just knocking out kenzai work, housework and home improvement, keeping the kid's brain active, and my training requirements.

I know that I'm walking a tightrope here and if you go this hard all the time with no real down time you get burned out, I'm going to try to push this for another two weeks before getting some slower days in the mix.

Hope you're all feeling busy but not rushed too.

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

Just 11 days!

Nice thing about your second, third, or tenth round of training is that your brain and body slip right back into the rhythm. Here at the 11 day mark I'm feeling lean, strong, focused. Crazy that in less than two weeks your body can get with the program.

If you're not feeling great about yourself, and you have experience training, know that the good vibes are just 11 days away!

If it's your first time you'll be feeling this more at thirty days. Still so short! I know people who have been hemming and hawing about joining a program for 3-4 years. They could have been fit in just 30 days but have dragged it out for more like 1300 days.

I'm doing a daily update on Instagram for this training round.

Check it out, good times!

Bring it!

First breakfast of the training diet. Feels great to be on a plan. Some programs you fight cravings the entire time but I can already feel like this one will be light on cravings. My challenge to myself for this round is to eat more fruit. I always end up with bananas and after a month am so sick of them. Time to do some research and get adventurous in the fruit section!

Week 2! Still feeling like we can take on the world! How will things look in 40 days! GRIM!

Opening Questions

Time to answer some intro questions! Oh yeah!

1. What do you want to get out of this training?

For me this is a straightforward bodyfat cut. Been busy with life stuff and gotten loose with food and drink choices. Muscle mass is good right now, if not too much! I know that I love the holiday season and all the ladies in my house have birthdays in December, so the goal is to be well out of my bodyfat hole before going into the festival season!

2. What do you need in order to make that happen?

As I'm sure all of us will say, I need more TIME, always need more time. Aside from that I need to get out of my afternoon cookie craving. No booze, no junk food, no problem, but around 3pm the cookie monster rears his head! Get back you soft, sweet, salty, chocolate-chipped beast! I'M THE ONE IN CHARGE HERE!

Gonna "IG" this one

What's up everyone! Whenever I do a big training cycle I try to use it as a chance to do some R&D on how we can take the best of technology and meld it with the best of motivation and training support. In the past 5 years we've seen people massively migrate away from text based posts and on to photo sharing services, mainly Instagram.

So I'm going to post a daily training photo to my Instagram for these 90 days. Trying to find these little moments that reflect what real training looks like, the good, bad and ugly. My Instagram is so check it out if you're interested. I'll also be blogging here too of course.

The new Kenzai tech platform is getting closer every day, and I can tell you that sharing photos and even videos will be so easy. This is a trial for me to see how it goes.

Day 2 done and done, no sweat!

Alright Party People!

It's been a stressful summer. Between work, travel, moving house, and getting the kid back to school there's been a lot of poor eating and drinking choices. Time for the splash of cold water that is training. Time to clean it up!

The last time I did this program I had just moved to San Francisco and was so frazzled I didn't give it its due. This time looks like smoother sailing. But you all know that in any given three months life has so curveballs to throw you. Hope the ones with my name on them aren't too loopy!

90 days is a long-ass time everyone. But let's suffer and succeed together! This program can be really, REALLY grindy in the middle. As we work our way through it send me any feedback and maybe there's something I can do to make it less of a soul-crushing experience.

The good news: On December 2nd we'll be done, living in some high performance bodies, having our new year's resolutions checked off before the new year has even arrived!


Trainees have some tough weeks, it's an inevitable part of the process, and my advice to them is simple. When you've gone of the rails, don't waste mental cycles on guilt or self-recrimination, pour your efforts into having a really solid week or two. It's amazing what just 7 days of getting it right does for your mental state. You feel back in control, confident, and eager to confront your challenges (instead of hiding from them).

I've been running a tight diet all summer, and exercising fairly well, but I've definitely let some bad mental habits accumulate. Namely a lot of distracted, unfocused attention and procrastination. At this point it's stressing me out and interfering with my happiness levels. So just like I'd tell a trainee, I'm going to take my own advice and run a mentally tight two weeks right up until my birthday.

What does this look like?

• Reducing that slack jawed dead time. Less time on Reddit. Less mindless web surfing before getting down to the work of the day. Less fiddling with gadgets.

• Setting a tone of forward moving action. This doesn't mean every moment has to be super productive (not possible) but that there won't be a feeling of "Well that was a crappy use of time." So maybe it's work, house cleaning, organizing files, answering emails, working on drawing, music, or meditation, it's all better than what I've been doing.

• Eating some frogs. I've got some big ugly tasks I've been putting off. These two weeks they'll meet their maker.

• Making conscious choices to stop working when a good day's work is done. I could work on Kenzai 18 hours a day 7 days a week and still have more to do. For these two weeks the plan is to put in 4 hours of deep work a day, 4 hours of less taxing light work, and take one day off a week with only 2 hours of Kenzai time on that day.

• Of course mental health is a companion of physical health. No alcohol, no sweets, no problem. Every day something has to get done physically - a walk, jumprope, a run, or aikido.

• Finally, helping my family to get their own schedules right. For example, I tell my daughter she needs to practice her music or do her summer reading but I don't sit down and help her with it. Of course she's going to skip it! The summer is so tough, you really have to make your own "school day" for yourself, even as an adult.

Two week challenge - START!

Kenzai Run in Review 

Tired and sunburned from yesterday's run, I sat down in front of my computer for a few minutes to process the Kenzai Run experience. Watch it at the link below!

(Youtube embed seems to be misbehaving so you'll need to click the link to get through to the video, sorry!)


I wanted to finish this program in style, so I arranged a little shopping at the Japanese grocery in the city, and convinced my wife to "abandon dog" me at the Sutro Baths on the western edge of San Francisco (indeed, the western edge of the United States). From here the mission was clear, run 10 kilometers with a strong finish over the Golden Gate Bridge.

This is a touristy area on a sunny Sunday of a three day weekend - there were a lot of visitors clogging up various points of the run. I did my best to make up the times I was slow jogging around large group with bursts of speed in the areas that were clear. So it was almost a fartlek at some points - I was glad for the training! I made a special effort to not get annoyed by the photo-snapping people, after all, it was a beautiful day and I was the obnoxious one going on a run when they've traveled thousands of miles to enjoy the day.

This run has a huuuuge long hill. The longest hill I think I've ever run. It just goes on and on from sea level to way above the Bridge, I couldn't believe it when it didn't top out, I was almost laughing and crying at the same time. It was less steep than the hills in my usual neighborhood so it wasn't too bad, just long. Again I was thankful for my training. Taking on that hill as an "amateur" would have been a soul-crushing experience.

Once that hill was slayed it was mostly downhill. Tons of people on the Bridge, I jostled a few shoulders but always apologized. When you walk or run the Golden Gate you realize just how much it curves in the middle, it's essentially a little hill. But once I crossed the halfway point it was smooth sailing and my 10k alert went off just as I was rounding out the viewing point on the north side.

I purposely turned off any time notifications for this run, I didn't want to hear how fast or slow I was going. So it was nice when I opened the app and got a medal for my fastest 10k ever at 1:07:47. I've had this app going for all kinds of long runs and even a 10k race so it wasn't just the fastest 10k because it was the only 10k!

This run had lots of twisty trails and lots of slowdown for tourists, so now I'm wondering if I could have hit a sub hour on a 10k with a flatter surface and no people. Maybe! But the people certainly made me bring my A-game so who knows.

After the run I was feeling really good and the weather was perfect so I went ahead and walked to Sausalito, probably another 5k, it was a great cool down. I called my wife and she picked up the old abandoned dog and we stopped by the supermarket for a beer, which I happen to be drinking right now!

This was a great run. No pain except for some mild arch crampiness on the trail section with all the rocks and roots. No breathing issues, no pacing issues, tons of fun, fantastic views in every direction. I felt prepared, well-fueled, well rested. Couldn't have gone better.

It took 29 runs but I can now say "Running is ... pretty ok I guess."

Will wrap up this program with a final post tomorrow!


Last crosstraining of the program, I strapped the kid to my back and we went to the pasture and back. It was a Saturday morning which meant the weekend warrior bikers with $5000 worth of gear were screaming "PASSING ON YOUR LEFT" every minute or so before passing us so fast it blew our hair back. Jeeze dudes chill.

My daughter and I discovered a fun new game on this ride - you take turns pointing out and saying the name of something natural you see. Tree, rock, grass, etc... The challenge is that you can't repeat a word. So you have to start saying things like branch, twig, bark, and so on to complete your turn. It's pretty amazing that a little human who's been alive for 6 years has access to hundreds, maybe thousands of words on one small topic alone. Seems like yesterday she would just point to things and say "Ga ga".

I realized about halfway through this ride that my tires were low. That along with the weight of the kid, a too-low seat, and a bike stuck at the highest gear made this a real workout for the quads. Still better than running.

Next up - the big, final 10k finish!


I was feeling really tired this run. Goal is to spend the last 5-10 minutes ramping up the pace and cross the line at good speed.

I've been struggling with my pacing this whole time. When I think I'm going fast I'm going slow. And days I didn't feel like I was going particularly fast I've had better times.

This run I spent the last 1.5 km at a better speed and the last 300 meters were actually pretty zippy, all while gaining elevation.

Nothing interesting happened on this run, my brain was fried from the week and I kind of zoned out. No news is good news.

Run 27 : Dumb brain run

This week has been the busiest of 2018 for me, but we don't let that get in the way of a program right folks!?

The occasion of this run put me in the situation where I was squeezing it in between getting home from the office and the start of dinner. It was the last sliver of daylight and I knew if I didn't do it then and tried a night run with a full stomach it'd be a total fail.

The problem was I had 5 houseguests and visitors all basically waiting for me to get back to start eating. I told them to start without me but they wouldn't listen.

So the whole run I'm feeling tense because I know I'm holding everyone up. So my brain says "You better run faster - they're all waiting for you." This worked pretty well, my pace picked up and I was going pretty fast (for me).

The only catch - this was a timed free run. It didn't matter how fast I went, I was out for a 35 minute run no matter what. So I'd tell myself "Dude this is a timed run, running faster doesn't matter" and I'd slow down. But a few minutes later my brain would say "Argh everyone's waiting run faster!" and I'd pick up my pace for a minute before I remembered again that it was a TIMED RUN and slow down. This cycle repeated like 4 times.

Dumb brain is dumb.

Got the run done and came back - everyone took a look at me post-run and grimaced at the sight before turning back to their conversations.


Been a busy week so I'm catching up with the past few runs late. Sunday was a big 9km. I've been wanting to try a new loop that starts on one mountain and goes to the other. 9km seemed about right so I headed out. Nothing but hills. Big hills - 100 meters elevation gain all the way to sea level and back.

This was a really bad idea. I felt like crying a few times. It occurred to me running hills is a lot like life. When you're running up a hill it's like those times in life when you're working on a big challenge. You toil and toil and finally you make progress and are at the top - and before you know it you're on the downhill - which is nice because it's different but still something you need to manage. This is like when you make some progress in life but realize that you've just introduced a new set of problems for yourself.

The bottom of the hill is something you don't even notice, because you're already looking at the next hill looming above you. This is like when you're gearing up for the next challenge in life - next project or job or life event.

Basically the road is only flat in two places - at the top and the bottom, and both of those are so short lived that they're over before you know it. And then you die.

Running and life - unending misery from start to finish, punctuated by ephemeral moments of peace that slip through your fingers like sand.

This was an awful run.

Run 25: Sore butt run

Uneventful run, except that my right glute was super sore from skateboarding the day before.

Here's a tip for you if you want to understand how your body works. When you're sore, break out a good detailed image of human musculature. Figure out which muscle is sore (pretty easy through trial and error. Then the rest of the day or two when that sore muscle pings, you've discovered how that muscle is used in everyday life.

For me, I now know that the gluteus medius fires strongly when you run uphill. Took me about 30 seconds to figure that out! Super unpleasant, it threw my stride off and made for a choppy run with a poor pace.

25 runs in and it's still super hard. Thanks running!

End of Week 5





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