Ward Willis

Ward Willis

Kenzai Blast: T-shirt Ready | Day 1 (Member)
Head Trainer
Kenzai Blast: T-shirt Ready
Day 1
Program progress:

Team, I've labored over this decision, but I'm pulling out of this session of Bells II. It's weak sauce. I know it. But I'm doing it anyway.

I've completed every Kenzai course (some twice) but Silver and Run. I've taken Repeak three times and that doesn't even exist anymore. I've never had my heart half way in a program like this. Here's the truth, jumping in was ill advised and I need a fresh start.

Need proof. I haven't completed a workout since I put the plank challenge in the books. I can't tell you the last time I went 3 days, without a workout. Not to mention over a week.

Here's what I have been doing. I handled several epic house projects that were on the to do list following my successful completion of Chisel earlier in the summer. Head Trainer Thomas and I built a killer sliding door from 1970's hardwood I've had in our basement for six years! Plus, we re-modeled his shed. It looks dope!

This pill is super tough to swallow as I'll continue to be guiding the hand of my Bells II brethren, as a Head Trainer, no longer as a participant. I'll be hopping into KB3 today. And the next time they get a message from me, I'll be delivering it from a place of integrity!

To Jenn, Naoko, Maria, Raj, and Aalok, our small crew is getting smaller. Apologies. But I'm an adult. I gotta do me.

Angela S., I'm up to to 23 days hitting the 8 minute abs. Gonna be short of my target of 50. But I'm still fighting.

Ps. If 8 minute ab challenge crew aren't able to access the Kenzai 8 minute abs, hit this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNqrkGnkUWc

We are moving some content over to another application. Updated link: https://kenzai.wistia.com/medias/ga75cfotht

Song of the Day: Tuesday's Gone with the Wind by Lynyrd Skynyrd https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFNbTdLfBwQ


30 Days ago long-time Kenzai legend, Jason F., challenged the community to start planking: https://kenzai.me/jasonf/blog/...

And plank they did! On this, the final day of the Kenzai Ab-tastic August Discount Double​ 2018 Plank Challenge, a word from the man himself!


Plank you very much, Jason. If you participated and completed the challenge drop Jason a note to ensure your name goes up in lights...in what is likely the most frequented corner to the Kenzai-verse.

As for Bells II, the band plays on. Recently started to add in some juggling. Caution, weights are heavy.

Gonna be awhile before I master this one though: https://gfycat.com/gifs/detail/UnselfishFailingIrishwolfhound

Song of the Day: SpottieOttieDopaliscious by Outkast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXmqauitBkM


Go big or go home. I WENT HUGE!

Clearly, that's not my house, nor my car, nor my clothes. But that's my swag. Cultivated with Kenzai!

All right Bell II swingers, let's make the next half the best half! Wooot.

Song of the Day: Passenger Side by Wilco https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzkSlj8VUfE

9 miles...

No problem! To roll out of bed, hit the pavement, and rock a hilly 9 mile run with little to no run training just affirms that this Kenzai stuff allows you to be a cut above!

To do it as part of your 11th Wedding Anniversary Celebration lets you know just how crazy the Kenzai love is!

And yeah, all those (young) kids in the photo, smashed the run too. Freaking New Hampshire. Breeds a strange brand of cool.

Song of the Day: Crazy In Love by Beyoncé ft. JAY-Z https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViwtNLUqkMY

All Out

The Kenzai Illuminati has been in Portland, Maine. You'd think we'd be passing the egg whites and veggies 24/7. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our team, in full, assembles in person about once every two years. It's been more bacchean than Kenzai clean. So it goes. Seriously, no drama here.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel. Following my anniversary this Saturday things will simmer and I'll be aiming for four perfect week's to close this chapter of training (I probably shouldn't have opened in the first place).

In terms of challenges. I'm on point with the planks (can't disappoint the Fish) and have locked down 14 sessions of 8 minute abs since July 27th. The goal is to hit 50 by October 6th. It's gonna be close!

Songs of the Day: MAH Live on KEXP by US Girls https://youtu.be/PGN3XBy_1m8?t=9m55s

All In

I was on the fence about another training program. And then I thought two things:

1. Ward, you love being fit, you love the way eating right feels, and you know you have only begun to scratch the surface of what you are capable of.

2. You have road races coming up Aug., Oct. and Nov. You have a monster hike at the end of August: https://kenzai.me/ward/blog/trip-report


So I've sign up for Bells II. I'm running the 1.5 miles to the gym and back every morning. I've hit the 8 minute ab and plank challenge. 4 for 4.

Song of the Day: Get in My Car by Broncho https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ramIDfACLOg


In a program? In maintenance mode? In Alaska? In flagrante delicto? Whatever the case, you are invited, for the next 72 days, to take the Kenzai 8 minute ab challenge: https://www.kenzai.com/pulse/8-minute-abs-kenzai-style/

The premise is simple, do this - https://kenzai.me/angelas/blog - every day for 72 straight days. Well, do it as many times as you can and keep track. Why 72 days? That's when the Saturn session of KB3 ends. Angela S, up on KB3 now, started this adventure and I plan on keeping pace.

Who else is in? You can join us at any point along the way to see how many times you can get in an ab session by 10/6/18.

So far we have:


I'd like to see this list grow. I mean who couldn't use a little more core strength and structure to their wellness game!?! And who can't make 8 extra minutes per day to get this in!?!

If you are game, drop me a note and I'll keep the list. My goal is to get at least 50 days!

Song of the Day: We are the Music Makers by Aphex Twin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIXYPjIWPGY

Exit Stage Left 

Chisel is in the books. And this shit works! The final workout was a nice glimpse of how far my fitness has come in 42 Days. I crushed it and considered imploring my lovely to do a 2nd cycle, but I was afraid she might never speak to me again.

My fitness is booming - on the bike, on the courts, and in a workout. I could still dial down my body fat a bit, but doing so requires a pretty complete commitment to hermitude. That said, I've seen some nice gains in terms of my biceps, chest, quads, calves, and belly. My surgically repaired left ACL/knee held up like a champ. One legged burpees were a blast!

I'll always be swimming upstream in terms of my DNA, but I've gathered plenty of "Dude, you are in monster shape this summer" to make Chisel more than worth while!

Cap tip to Patrick for snappy, succinct lessons, and workouts that blend a little fear with a whole lot of fun! I love training alongside my wife. She is a pistol and a peach. Wait 'til you see her final photo: https://kenzai.me/belinda/blog

Now, my house demands my attention. Interior and exterior painting, landscaping, and building an interior wooden sliding door will be my cross training for the next few months.

The Kenzai big wigs will be rolling into town in August for some Maine fun. I'll continue to mix in Iron (x2) and Chisel (x2) workouts in maintenance mode in case those punks want to hit some workouts with the mistaken idea that they can keep pace with the 'Stache. #goodtimes #tonguemostlyincheek

I'll be back for another pass at Chisel in September and Reach in January. Of course, there might be a new program or two come then...so as my homie Klaus says...plans are for shit. I'll just take it a day at time.

Be well, Chiselers. Can't wait to start handing out those COMPLETE stamps and CHISEL badges.

Song of the Day: Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benatar- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5kisPBwZOM


Ward, what scares you?

Your limitless potential.
Someone hurting your dog.
Double Hang Time.
Being smushed like a bug on your bike.

Kenzai, what scares you?

Song of the Day: Vortex by John Carpenter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YZ60mQA4Q8


I was gearing up for my cycle workout this morning, when for the life of me, I just couldn't find my other sneaker. I was itching to get into the workout. But one shoe just doesn't cut it.

After a minute of looking around, I finally found it. Yup. It was already laced up and on my left foot.

You just gotta love the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that comes 5 Weeks into a rugged training cycle!

Song of the Day: Here Comes Your Man by the Pixies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPgf_btTFlc

14 More Days....

Dang. Only 14 more days of this fun. Chisel is a repeater for sure.

Today, we're gearing up for a Sunday hike. Aiming for a super tight Week Five. That belly fat is starting to mobilize. Team Leviathan rising!

Song of the Day: Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World by The Ramones https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6Xae9jsqxU


If Kenzai says it, it must be true! Haha. But if you are looking for some proof that deep breathing is a potent fitness hack, tune into the World Cup.

The most savvy footie vets, mid game, are finding ways to buy themselves a few precious moments to drink in a bit more O2 to keep pace with their sprightly rivals.

I'm thinking KDB aka The Pink Man, snuck in a few extra breaths along the way to herald this potent and heartbreaking (sorry Japan) final second attack: https://tinyurl.com/yawtx4sc

Chisel on friends and breath right!

Song of the Day: Elevator Operator by Courtney Barnett https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa1uup8n0OQ

Beer Snafu

Workouts crushed. 7 for 7. Plenty of extra credit going on too. Hoops, hikes, weights, and I busted out a 5 mile trail run following a bit of culinary carnage.

See, my dude Movie Phone (trail name) was in town Tuesday night. Ten years ago we smashed the John Muir Trail (https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/john-muir-trail/) in 14 glorious days leaving a plume of chaos and hilarity in our wake. So it was that a visit to Portland would include some off piste fun.

No drama. Back on the horse and loving the results. Chisel is leaning me out. HIIT...pardon the phrase...is the shit!

Album of the Day: The Hawk is Howling by Mogwai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEJcSvuZ3cE

No Drama, Mama

Week 2 of Chisel done. Things are about where they should be. Sore. Sleeping like a dead man. Food's tight. And I'm getting skinny.

Gonna digress from the Chisel relate izzle to bring you my favorite excuses from my pals for the reasons they haven't tried Kenzai or feel that they don't need Kenzai. I never push. I never initiate these conversations. And I always try and smile when the bonkers shit starts flowing.

Here we go....

1. I can lose the weight anytime I want to (Sure!)
2. I'm already in really good shape (Everyone thinks their in really good shape!)
3. Gyms are too hot in the summer (Who said anything about a gym?)
4. I'm cool. I usually eat only an apple for lunch then have 3 or for drinks with dinner at night. It's cool. (What?)
5. I'm injured (Bro, you've been injured for 3 years and I don't see a limp!)

I'm empathetic. Truly. These comments often speak to one's desire for change. And we are all stuck somewhere in our lives. I want to read more. Make more art. But I had to vent. Come summer I just see waaaay more people at social events and Kenzai frequently comes up.

Plus, if I can't bring that shit here then I might end up smashing people over the head with the Kenzai doctrine or worse, a raw egg!

Song of the Day: Egg Man by the Beasties Boys https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x5NCDYB1Lc

*Photo property of Business Insider http://www.businessinsider.com/

Papa Was a Rolling Stone

Being a step-dad is kinda weird. Being any kind of dad is kinda weird.

Being a good dad takes work. Though being a good one doesn't feel super hard. Certainly in American culture the bar isn't exactly set sky high. Cap tip to all the moms out there.

That said, anytime you do good work it's great to get a little love. I got a lotta love on papa's day and it felt great.

I won't bore you with ALL the details but there was: early am doggy walk to the beach, gifts, black coffee, Kenzai work, Kenzai workout, World Cup soccer, beer, grilled hot dogs, father'd day pick-up hoops throw down with a quorum of lunatics, hugs, grilled steak, and a movie with the step-lads.

It was a Viva Las Vegas, baby kind of day! It was the perfect exclamation point to the end of a tight week of a training. And it was the perfect papa's day.

Now, my game face is back on. Diet is in the queue. Dad stash. Check. Dad bode. No way. Bring on the Chizz!

Song of the Day: Papa was a Rolling Stone by The Temptations - Soul Train Style https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXbP4JBf8To

End of Week 7



Kenzai Blast: T-shirt Ready
Kenzai Blast: T-shirt Ready


Kenzai Body
Kenzai Body


Kenzai Body 2
Kenzai Body 2

Kenzai Run 10k
Kenzai Run 10k


Kenzai Run Half
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Kenzai Kettlebell
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Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready
Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready