Tom B.'s Kenzai Iron program, Iron | May 6 2019, starts in 12 days.
Tale of the Tape (reflections after 90 days) GRADUATION POST
• 12 kgs lost;
• 3 belt sizes shrunk;
• 83 days without shaving;
• 84/90 days sticking to diet;
• 90/90 days exercise;
• 90 days without cocktails (not to be 91);
• Priceless – the amount of new clothes I need to buy…
All-in-all, a good success. I am back to my weight from 20 years ago, but with way more body fat then I used to have. (Chalk that up to age, though just fires me up for round 2 in a month.)
I generally hit my primary weight target and was just short of my outside goal of another 3 kgs (yes, I know we are not supposed to focus on numbers). This will keep me motivated after a little rest post KB1.
For me the primary benefits of Kenzai was a refocus on nutrition side. After tearing my knee up 4 years ago, the diet went off a cliff, going out for dinners became the norm and eating less nutritiously was a daily occurrence. I was simply not paying attention to until it was too late.
What I liked about Kenzai program was the daily workout and diet schedules with the app. There was not much thinking about what to do; hit start on workout and go. And the diet program was quite simple. Eliminating salt and sugar really helped me think a bit more creatively about cooking. Yet the end of the program, I devolved to fixed veggie smoothies, handfuls of frozen then steamed veggies and multiple egg-recipe permutations.
And for my final KB1 thoughts - the three more surprising revelations in Kenzai:
1. Jump ropes – amazing way for cardio, low impact and injury free versus running
2. Bands – never imagined getting such a great workout from rubber bands as a weight replacement
3. Diet – a shocking amount of food throughout the day, while losing weight
I am looking forward to the next phase in Kenzai and lose the last bit of love handles.
Looking back, I realize I have made some gains, definitely dropped a belt size or two but still feel like I have not reached the goals I set out.
Still sporting the belly, though much reduced, I am putting my head down in the last two weeks and ramping up the exercise with a final. Trying to do an extra and separate set per day to widen the calorie gap eg swimming or running in the afternoon well after my morning workout.
Hopefully, that will help burn a few more inches....
...has hit Tokyo and I am suffering for the first time ever with allergies. The past three days have been tough to get motivated for the workout with stuffy sinuses and achy head. But have to plow through. Only a couple weeks to go.
Was a major challenge to manage Kenzai workout and diet for 9 days, 2 of which were basically spent in airports the rest - part holiday and part wedding festivities in Sri Lanka.
The Bad - ate more than intended especially with dinners. Hard to eat egg whites while at restaurants with others enjoying amazing curries.
The Good - managed to get every workout in plus swam for an hour each day and/or did 2000 jumpropes to "manage" the extra caloric intake. Diet wise, I was able to keep mostly to the food schedule nicking hard boiled eggs from breakfast for later and keeping to veggies as much as possible. Plus, the fruit bowls were amazing. 10 -12 different fruits and not a bad place to indulge (see below). Plus no alcohol even at the wedding while everyone else was shall we say a little tipsy.
All in all, weighed myself before and after with no change. Glad to be back to really focus over the next 4 weeks.
Just saw Ward's response to Scott about using protein powder for egg white replacement. Wish I would have known that before. A suggestion to Kenzai to emphasize this at the start of the program since may of us travel.
Anyway, Day 4/10 for a wedding / holiday in Sri Lanka. So the first day was almost 24 hours of flying/layover. I thought I was being good. Packed carrots, celery, bananas, apples and hardboiled eggs for the flight. But, a layover in Bangkok I had to toss the remainder of my carrots at customs. And a jaunt into the city for Thai curry dinner was a must. Lost in Bangkok with amazing curries had to be done (and only a little bit of rice for my daily carbs).... Being up for almost 24 hours is not good for the diet that is for sure. I can never really sleep on a plane and ended up being extra hungry.
So far, the rest of the trip I have been completely on my exercise schedule and for 58 days I havent missed one. The biggest challenge is the egg whites between meals (and for dinner). Not much of an option, so swapping egg whites with fish for dinner and snack when available. I am also trying to have sneak in my fruits as well. Good to know about the protein powder for next trip, since I have a ton of the right powder at home. I also have noticed how much hungrier I am as it is hard to keep the interval eating schedule eg snack schedule.
At the end of this trip, I may be a little off diet schedule but hope to be close. Exercise will not be a problem.
Finally managed to get my first set of the 8min abs today. Will start doing that regularly.
I like the new format with timed JRs at 3mins so you can get into a rhythm.
Certainly hard to believe its halfway. I am in a bit of a habit now getting up first thing and getting the workout done. Always a good start to the day.
This week I seem to be a bit more sore than last even though it doesnt seem like the exercise has changed.
What has gotten a bit more monotonous is egg whites every night. I have been creative adding various spices to change up the flavor and texture. I do know it is working since I can tell I am starting to shed some kgs (finally).
As for Cheat Day, taking a pass this week since I am saving for a wedding event in a week (9 days in Sri Lanka for the wedding events). I have been particularly concerned about keeping up with the program during my trip especially at this stage in the program when everything is clicking.
Good news, the hotels we booked have gyms (intentionally).
Bad news, food is great there, so I have to be diligent in keeping with the diet. (Stick with veggies). Other bad news, connecting flights will basically cost me 2 days of travel back and forth, so need to figure out how to sneak my exercise routine in. Will use those days as "rest" days and see if I can get on a treadmill or something before the flights. Or just speed walk around the airport in between my layovers.
Starting to lose some weight, though doesnt quite show on the photos. A bit disappointing. Egg whites definitely stepped that process up.
Workouts were definitely tough, but starting to get into a groove, so I have not been really sore hours after.
I did sneak off the the pool for a couple casual 2k swims this week which does seriously strip out any lactic acid in the muscles. A nice long, moderate swim is highly recommended if you are still sore from the various exercises.
Now that we are required to do over 1,000+ JRs a day, I decide to explore changing my jumprope.
I have been using a leather jumprope since the beginning, but noticed my arms were getting quite tired (even with correct form), since the leather rope has much air resistance drag, causing more arm use to keep the rope's momentum. The further I get into the week's workouts, the more fatigue I felt in my delts from the leather rope.
Thus, I decided to test a new rope and bought a WOD speed rope, using it this morning for today's 1,300 JRs requirement.
What a difference. The speed rope is fantastic, super light and cuts through the air like a knife meaning less focus on the arms. After the workout this morning, I switched to do a hundred or so JRs with my leather rope. The speed rope is like a Ferrari versus a Ford Taurus.
Still need to get used to the speed and timing, but it will make the increasing JR count much more efficient.
Downside, the Apple Watch YaoYao app cannot keep accurate count since it was only counting about a half of my jumps even at the most sensitive setting.
Still a shout out to Paul B. for recommending the app, which I will still use.
I look forward to Saturday. It is the "last" workout of the week, so getting it done early in the morning let's me rest my weary muscles from the week.
This week has been certainly a bit of a step up. Mid-week and feeling a bit sore all over (already). Abs were actually a bit tougher for me today for some reason.
Good news, it makes me want to go to bed early since I am hitting the gym first thing every morning. Easier to get the exercise done first thing then letting it fester throughout the day.
Four weeks down and day of "rest". Decided to mix it up a bit, so instead of doing a straight 1000 jumpropes, did half and then elliptical for 25 minutes. Breaks up the monotony of jumping rope.
Looks like the coming weeks will be pretty intensive. Looking forward to the progression. Am curious how challenging the final month will be. One day at a time for now.
I assume there is going to be a point at which we stop counting and focus on jumprope time like 15-20mins. It does get a bit monotonous constantly counting JRs.
I like that the diet is starting to cut down to "normal" levels. It is a bit of a change having lighter dinners since my "old" cycle was a big dinner usually late after working hours.....
After 3 weeks (really 2 weeks of proper Kenzai), I am starting to get into the rhythm. Having a regular workout routine prior to starting the program has made the transition easier. Now after 3 weeks I have a several key observations.
Results - I have not really noticed any fundamental body changes. In fact, I think I put on a kilo, as I am probably eating more than I did before, so I have not seen the physical changes. Probably the most positive result has been the mentality of routine. Getting up early to get the workout in. Sticking primarily to the grams and food mix. And managing the social side (eg work obligations, dinners, drinks, etc).
Jumpropes - the program has been a nice buildup. Jumpropes have been somewhat of a challenge given my heal pain from plantar fasciitis which I just power through. I found the key there is taking JRs off the list on rest days and doing ellipticals on Sunday. (plus ice, stretching and ultrasound therapy are helping the pain subside) And at this stage, I can only do about 120-140 JRs straight before my calves start cramping a bit and a quick 145 second break gets me back into rhythm.
Bands - The bands have been a pleasant surprise. I am amazed at the efficiency, since I do lift free weights and think I have a nice mix where I have a little soreness the next day, but not too much. I am very curious to see results by the end of the program. I am quite happy with the back exercises, which are something a little different than what I was doing previously.
Stretching - I am not the most flexible person in the world, though I have been trying to keep to the scheduled stretches after each session. Some of the stretches are a bit awkward, but cie la vie.
Diet - the diet is amazingly well balanced and I have not really had a problem. The biggest challenge here is constant cooking (see below). I am surprised at the amount of carbs. Have been bouncing between some bread (tried the Kenzai bread recipe) and complex grains like unpolished rice which is not hard to find in Tokyo. Other grains are a little more difficult to find. Across the board, the diet is basically something my parents prepared when I was a child - balanced and well rounded.
Cooking - as a corollary to the diet, I do enjoy cooking and the diet plan sans salt, sugar, oil, etc has provided a bit of inspiration in trying different spice mixes and recipe creations. To cook in bulk for multiple meals during the week is key. Otherwise, you will be spending hours in the kitchen everyday. One little trick I am doing is making veggie smoothies that cover a few days. Using a lot of greens the smoothies do not separate the mix over a couple days and adding yogurt makes it quite filling veggie dish to cover the morning requirements. Ass I experiment, I may post a few of my recipes online. I also bought an airfryer that is great if you want some crispy veggies rather than steamed all the time. Also, I had an Instant Pot which is great for other things. I can whip up something pretty quickly across the protein, carb, veggie allocation. (and thank goodness for online delivery which reduces constant trips to the grocery store).
Social - this is the hardest part. Since I am spending most of my time eating in, it has curtailed the social life. The upside, no drinking during the program has really helped with sleep cycle. I have been out with friends, while downing litres of water while they all sipped on cocktails. Of course, I get a little grief for not joining, but the Kenzi excuse is valid. It does help that a mate of mine is doing Kenzai 2, so we can trade stories and plan our "cheat day" out when it comes.
Will be interesting to look back on this post in a month and a half when things are considerably harder and "remember the days when".....
Jumps ropes up to 650. Lost count and did 750. Oops . better over than under.
I do dread JRs every morning, but once I plow through it is quite satisfying ....