Ward Willis

Ward Willis

Kenzai Member
Head Trainer

I've settle into a little bit of a weekly routine (okay a fairly obsessive routine) as I await the start date of Kenza Mind in March (and try to forget about bailing on my fellow Runners only a few short weeks ago).

I'm hooping, doing some targeted lifting to rehab my separated shoulder, enjoying some mobility exercises, mixing in some Reach workouts, and hitting the slopes as often as possible. It feels good.

And yet....I haven't gone three months without being enrolled in some kind of Kenzai course, for years! At once I feel like I left the house without my pants, which is both startling and liberating. Er.....or something like that.

Songs of the Day: Awake by Tycho https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEI1_oGPQr0

43 Years Young

Bday popped off on St. Valentine's Day. This aquarian has loads of love for the spirited warriors of Kenzai.

From those newbies learning the ropes, to those experience trainees that have helped to shape our community, thanks for helping to make everyday feel special.

I completed the Peak Condition 'Program in my 36 year: https://kenzai.me/ward/blog/birthday-week

I'm looking forward to aging (some more) with KENZAI!

Song of the Day: Sunday by Moby https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=159&v=WZIKu7pYsgQ

Test Post

Test Post



I've worked out for a minimum of an hour every day since January 2nd. I've been running the diet tight since a week prior to Kenzai Run kicked off. There have been a few beer snafus along the way, but all and all, things on the culinary side are going great. My kitchen scale is my best friend (besides Jack the Dog). Tons of veggies are hitting my plate and I'm loving it.

But it's the Run based training that just feels like a poor fit right now.

Currently I'm nailing 4 out of 7 workouts as they are laid out in the program. 2 strength sessions (with Kettlebells), 1 cross training (Snowboarding), and the weekly distance run (I crank out 5 miles on Sundays). In addition, I'm mixing in 3 days of hoops and one more strength session. The routine is rugged. KENZAI even. But it ain't Kenzai Run.

This point was really driven home when I spent some time with Stephanie Doyle yesterday: https://kenzai.me/stephanied/blog. Her approach is air tight and I just don't feel right about collecting a badge in a few weeks, when I'm basically training....but not doing Kenzai Run.

How did this happen? Hmmmm. I spent the past 24 hours thinking about this.

I've worked really hard over the past several years to learn how to eat and train. I'm feeling the value of integrating that learning and this Kenzai stuff is 100% a lifestyle at this point. I have a rhythm right now and I aim to keep it.

I've spoken with so many of you over the years in the back channels that are itching to see a more responsive approach to Kenzai maintenance mode. In other words, building out Life workouts to include the many program features (Run, Reach, Iron, Bells) we've studied deeply over the years. The Kenzai Team couldn't agree with you more. Until it comes together though, I'll do it DIY style, setting myself free from the confines of a program.

To date I've completed 13 current programs and one retired course (Repeak anyone?). I've done a couple programs (Run 10K, Iron) twice. I'm going to march to the beat of my own drum (hahahaha, as if that's a new thing) for a while and just see how it feels. I'll flex my wit out on the blogs and stay accountable to the many community members - new, old, current, and alumni - by keeping my Kenzai game on point.

Thanks for listening.

Song of the Day: I gotta Be Me by Sammy Davis Jr https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbLlCxK0pHY

That's My Mayor!

This photo pretty much says it all. We've been busy over here in Portland, Maine preparing for a certain Kenzai Warrior Goddess to run for Mayor. Yesterday it became official. Belinda (https://kenzai.me/belinda/blog) is in the race!

Our efforts in life have, as has been true for the last five + years, been bolstered by clean fuel, regular exercise, and a growing community of global citizen that we know have our backs.

When jumping into a 90 program comes up among friends, people too often that say, I'm too busy to do Kenzai. Moving forward, I'm just going to point to my wife and say, busy ain't got nothing to do with it!

Run on runners.

Song of the Day: Cherry Bomb by Joan Jett https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW_HCdU-qEY


One of my favorite wing men (hoops, bikes, snow sports) is a Doctor. People often ask if he is really a Doctor. Which probably isn't a good thing. But he's available for informal consultations, often mid game or ski trip. He recently diagnosed me with a separated shoulder. Admittedly, it has been hurting like hell.

How did it happen, Ward? So nice of you to ask, Kenzai.

Lemme set the stage. A couple weeks ago I was making some snowboard turns. I was in the woods, swerving this way and that, like a real fucking boss. The run out was steep and fast. Again, no trouble there. I turned the corner, the slope flattened out, and that's when things went sideways.

In the middle of the trail stood a small child, maybe 6 years old. He had ski gear on. But dude was facing the wrong way. He wasn't skiing. He didn't even move a muscle. There was not a single other person around. We made eye contact and I went down like a ton of bricks. No jumps. No bumps. Just tick tock, caught and edge, and BAM. I landed on my head, neck, and right shoulder. It felt like I had fallen out of a five story window onto pavement.

I look back. And the kid was gone. WTF?

As far as training goes, I can run and jump, but shooting a basket ball (which I do about six hours a week), doesn't seem to be helping.

Good news, diet is on point.

But Kenzai, just watch out for Damien. Dude could make an appearance virtually anywhere. He doesn't abide by the same limitations of time and space as you do. He seems nice. Blond hair. Blue eyes. And yet, separated shoulder. Consider yourselves warned.

Song of the Day: My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me by Geto Boys https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JZj47qLzdo

Fly Butter Fly

It's cold out. Yesterday I flipped a run for the strength session following one of my weekly hoops games. So it's go time. And I'm not feeling it.

I've tackled loads of runs and workouts in my life, but that doesn't mean that from time to time I don't dread putting one foot in front of the other.

As a wise person once told me, everyone gets butterflies sometimes. The key is to talk them all into flying in the same direction!

I got this.

Song of the Day: Thinning by Snail Mail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMRHo7jDgyA


Hey, newbies. Hello experienced Kenzai assassins. Time to make with some intro love!

First and foremost. I used to be a plus size model. Model of chaos and excess. Things have changed. Thank goodness.

Now, then. I live in Maine. My professional background is in the helping professions - nursing, counseling, coaching, yoga, and wellness education.

I train because I like it when my pants fit well. I also like to move fast and compete. I'm kinda like a puppy that needs to run around to be happy.

The three year anniversary of tearing my ACL on my snowboard in the woods on NH is coming up. I learned the hard way - the tree always wins. Other than that, I have no major injuries or obstacles to Kenzai success. Though I did just have surgery to remove an octopus shaped mole the size of an orangutan on my torso.

Stitches come out in a few days. Not working out has become far more challenging than working out for this Kenzai devotee. That's been a five year journey.

I'll be rocking Kenzai Run starting January 14th! I am a winter guy - pale as hell and love the snow. Wearing a bad sweater and a mustache is socially acceptable during the winter months here in Maine. So running in the snow is just a natural extension of that.

I am inspired by the great mother - nature that is. And my beloved Boston Celtics.

Enjoy your program, whoever happens upon this post. New beginnings are great. Ride that bump in motivation that comes in January. But be warned, those energies can dissipate. Great habits though, they endure. Lock in!

Song of the Day: Gold Lion by Yeah Yeah Yeahs https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=18&v=jMMkP_ofpXg

Wicked Tough!  

As they say in Maine, that workout was a pissah, bub!

I've done KB3 before. And I am very obviously privy to all the top secret workouts and Kenzai related intel. Plus, I looked at the freakin' workout at the beginning of the week. So you'd think I wouldn't be surprised by how hard the final push up the mountain was.

And yet. I'm a dub. I guess I edited out the hard in my head. No doubt in self-preservation. So I was a bit surprised once I was knee deep into the century fog mull! 1,000 reps. Talk about a good larrup!

So, that was hard. Fun hard? Sure. Near black out hard? Sure. Glad the gym wasn't empty in case I slipped my wind.

And maybe, just maybe, rolling in on snowboard blasted legs was less than ideal. But, now that it's over, I'm feeling fatter ’n a settled minister. Which is a good thing, so I've been told. Ayup.

Happy xmas. Pleasure to Kenzai with, at, near, adjacent, proximal, and towards you Bisons! Top shelf crew. Without a doubt. Now it's time to tear up the slopes!

Ward Decoder Ring: http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/13/living/everybodys-heard-about-the-maine-words/

Song of the Day: Oom Sha La La by Haley Heynderickx https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=ZyvYIYwLzTw


I'll be honest, I took my weekly photo on Wednesday before the Turkey Day chaos got her hooks in me. Feeling good about my result to date. Feeling like I could have exercised a touch more restraint over the holiday. Sigh.

Yesterday, I recorded a video shout to introduce the last week of the workouts for the team and dubbed them as a tapper week. Today, having tucked into a workout earlier, I'm like...okay...they are a bit easier....but they sure as hell ain't easy.

Oh Kenzai gods, you are tricky devils indeed. That said, to think about how far I've come since I couldn't do a proper push-up or pull-up during my first 90 Day course, is truly remarkable.

Firm reminder. We cannot control the weather. Politics? Not so much. But how you train. What you eat. And how you show up for others. These things are within our grasp! Kinda dope.

Photo Credits: Homeboy Eli http://burakianphotography.com/

Song of the Day: End of the Line by the Traveling Wilburys https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMVjToYOjbM


Dope trip to NYC. It was stunning. We touched a lot of bases.

Day 1 - Land at JKF. Tromp to the Bronx. Hit Noches Mexicanos for some grub. Got shut out of the Bronx Brewery (I know, I know) as they were filming an episode of Instinct (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcuN4vCVaVg). From there we took in the Nets vs Heat and finished the evening in our under pants watching LeBron James roast the Trail Blazers on the tele while tipping Modelos and eating ruffles potato chips (I know, I know).

Day 2 - A trip to Wall Street to see the Fearless Girl and the Bull. From there we hit Columbia University for a tour of the campus from step son Evan. Then a trip by foot to Washington Heights to meet his roomies and we topped off the evening at Harlem Public. Think Hogwarts with burgers and beers. This is when the snow came and all hell broke loose in NYC. For Mainers...it was a breeze.

Day 3 - A glimpse of the New York Public Library Reading Room (we're nerds), Grand Central Stations, then a trip to the High Line. Turns out there are trees in NYC and you can actually walk for a couple miles without hitting stoplight. We finished off the whirlwind mid-week trip with some food at a stellar Italian spot serving....wait for it...Maine beer. We opted for the cab, gnocchi, and hanger steak salad (I know, I know)

I can't tell you the last time I settled into 48 hours without a laptop. Turns out vacations - even short ones - feel as good as smashing a workout and eating some veggies.

Further as a hip hop head and film buff, it's bonkers to travel across NYC. Just the street names alone invoke such a visceral response. It had been 20 years since I had popped to Gotham and I can't wait to get back.

Now, I'm looking forward to a happy and festive Turkey day, as well as a rousing finish to this training cycle. One love to all. And hope you enjoy some photos from my jaunt. Just snapped a shirtless photos (take it easy) and I gotta say, despite the off piste chow, I'm feeling good about where things are as I swing into the final lap.

Song of the Day: Mass Appeal by Gang Starr https://youtu.be/y9lNbNGbo24

Headed to NYC

Man. I love going north. The mountains. The snow. Less people. But I'm not going north. I'm headed south. To New York City. New York scares the hell out of me. Course, I adapt quickly and I don't just train to avoid being a chunky monkey, I train to have the stones to do shit that makes me nervous.

Headed out to smash a KB3 workout pre-flight. Tonight, I'll be going to see these guys at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn which will be DOPE:

The Fro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjKMiwpbxg8
Sweet Joe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWkqOCqXvSk

Song of the Day: Just Like Tho Thumb's Blues By Bob Dylan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeA_GPiG_eg

Friday Flip Flop

I've been regularly moving the end of the week cardio day to Friday throughout the fall to take advantage of the stunning autumn weather here in the Eastern United States. Yesterday was no different. Here's a photo from my hike in the Moat Mountains of New Hampshire. Views to the snowy summit of Mt. Washington.

Off to the gym to shake off the DOMS and smash a KB3 workout! Next week will find me headed to NYC for adventure with my wife and to visit our kiddo at Columbia University. Gonna run it ultra tight before the variables get a bit less predictable.

Song of the Day: Mother Earth by Neil Young https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fg4QFd8fOo


Cuz if you don't know, now you know, suckas!

I live in Maine. My professional background is in nursing, counseling, coaching, yoga, and wellness education. I train because I like it when my pants fit well. I also like to move fast and compete. Plus, I'm kinda like a puppy that needs to run around to be happy. The three year anniversary of tearing my ACL on my snowboard in the woods on NH recently happens this season. I learned the hard way. The tree always wins.

I won't be training alongside you doing Ski Boot workouts, but I will be rocking Kenzai Body 3. So we'll be walking the straight and narrow together. I am a winter guy. I'm pale as hell and love the snow. Wearing a bad sweater and a mustache is almost socially acceptable during the winter months here in Maine. And when I hit the karaoke bar I'm belting out Young MC's Bust A Move

Song of the Day: Bust A Move by Young MC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZQQGX24Teg

I got a letter!

Whoa. I got the coolest thing in the mail the other day. Yeah. Like the proper mail. Not a DM on IG. Not a message on FB. Not even an IM on Kmail. This was a parcel. From a trainee (you know who you are)!

Said trainee had smashed KB3 over the summer (right?). And now, here I am working to put the same training cycle in the books. Truth is, I don't lack for workout motivation. This wasn't a rara type of mail. But it mos def gave me a lift. More of the 'humans are still cool' type of lift, not just a 'stay in the game' type of lift.

So this is a shout out to all the many trainees (and one in particular) that grind with Kenzai the world over who have not only put in the work to change their bodies, but allow themselves to be known. That takes courage. Especially in this seriously fucked up place called earth.

As a show of my gratitude, for gratitude shown, I've placed the non-letter portion on a very important place. A-oooooo!

Song of the Day: Edges Run by Mipso https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Iv81OKGBus

End of Week 7





Kenzai Body
Kenzai Body


Kenzai Body 2
Kenzai Body 2

Kenzai Run 10k
Kenzai Run 10k


Kenzai Run Half
Kenzai Run Half

Kenzai Kettlebell
Kenzai Kettlebell

Kenzai Body 3
Kenzai Body 3

Kenzai Reach
Kenzai Reach

Kenzai Sculpt
Kenzai Sculpt

Kenzai Iron
Kenzai Iron

Kenzai Kettlebell 2
Kenzai Kettlebell 2

Kenzai Chisel
Kenzai Chisel

Kenzai Mind
Kenzai Mind

Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready
Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready