Ward Willis

Ward Willis

Kenzai Member
Head Trainer
Switch Flipped!
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Week 1 was beery. Coming off a 30 Day moratorium on all things hops, I needed to get a bit loose before locking in again.

Week 2 is here.The training diet has dropped. I'm all in.

Last week I went 7 for 7 on the workouts with added hoops sessions on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Final trip to the ski mountain this Friday. My wingman gets after it. I've made it 30 days, several of those on piste with him sans beer, so it should be a navigable pothole.

Love me some 'bells. We ready for more sets, team. I know I am!

Song of the Day: Slow Rider by Cuddle Magic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pux_KDWqrM


The Wisdom of Calvin
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Kettlebell Windmills anyone?

Song of the Day: 5 Fingers of Death ft. Brother Ali https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAu1WVtD1Xc


Let's Swing
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Looking forward to making the training grade alongside this fantastic Kettlebell II bell crew!

Song of the Day: When I Get Low, I Get High by The Speakeasy Three

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acb-js00c40&list=PLyUKaKIB05bRZnk6sQKplsjjPefWSwiWG&index=1&t=0s


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I'm back at it. Hoops. Snowboarding. Mediation. Light (ish) Kettlebell workouts. Stretching.

Sadly, I'm not all the way back and didn't cross the finish line on Sunday with the other Rangers. Good news, Ranger will return. We'll be rolling the challenge back out in early July. So would-be Rangers, keep your membership status up and your eyes on the prize!

Now, Ranger Graduation Roll Call! First, some stats:

35 members of our community sent emails confirming they were interested in joining the Ranger Challenge. That initial cohort was comprised of 7 staffers, 28 members of the community. 6 trainees were in a program and therefore were only eligible for the pre and post test.

Of those 35, 25 people completed the Day 1 baseline test and posted it to their blog (a requisite of the challenge).
2 of those trainees who took the baseline suffered injuries (yours truly being one of them) and did not complete the challenge. 15 trainees completed the final exam and posted a blog (a requisite of the challenge) as of today.

All 15 of these trainees, without exception improved in some areas of there training. And many met the Army's standard for admittance into Ranger School. So in other words, these are some serious badasses right here!

They are:

Ren - https://kenzai.me/renfield/blog/de-ranger-d
Fish - https://kenzai.me/jasonf/blog/ranger-challenge-day-28-final-i-wanna-be-an-airborne-ranger
Jimm - https://kenzai.me/jimm2015/blog/ranger-challenge-day-28-finished-it
T-Bird - https://kenzai.me/thomas/blog/8k-my-latest-gucci-purchase
Matty B - https://kenzai.me/mattbe/blog/ranger-challenge-day-28-final-test
Caw Robin Caw - https://kenzai.me/robin/blog/ranger-challenge-final-test
Ashish! - https://kenzai.me/ashishb/blog/rc-challenge-final-workout
Elmo - https://kenzai.me/liz/blog/ranger-challenge-complete
ANDY - https://kenzai.me/andyc/blog/final-test
Amy G - https://kenzai.me/amyg/blog/kenzai-rangers-finale
Rahul - https://kenzai.me/rahulgo/blog/ranger-challenge-complete
Ryan - https://kenzai.me/ryanha/blog/rock-n-ranger-the-final-test
Sandhya - https://kenzai.me/sandhya/blog/weeeeeeeeeee-that-s-me-thrilled
Shane - https://kenzai.me/shanep/blog/ranger-day-28
Mike T - https://kenzai.me/michaelta/blog/ranger-challenge-final-stats

*If I missed your Ranger post test post, hit me up so I can add you to this list!

Song of the Day: Tougher Than Leather by Run DMC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFvYm-i3vls


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Dang. First lesson was fun and snappy. It culminated in 7 minutes of "do anything". Good news, I've been practicing.

I took a peek at the timer with 23 seconds remaining. One of the goals of the lesson was to fail. Mission accomplished. FYI....in only seven minutes...I felt like 100 times better. Less achy. More focused. I know this shit works, bro. But DANG, this shit works, bro.

Moving forward, I'm gonna bank some "mellow" vis a vis meditation, yoga, cooking, with some snowboarding and hoops mixed in from now until May when I jump into Reach. Hopefully by then the witch doctors will have me sorted out for a muscly September!

Bells II....I will crush you. In due time.

Song of the Day: Rebel Rebel by Sev Jorge https://youtu.be/XwQhZ5B1F5w?t=46s


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We believe in transparency here. So I ain't gonna fake it. Mail it in. Or play it anything but straight with yall.

I've never had to bow out of a Kenzai program before. There is zero shame in doing so, but things have always broken the right way and I've had the good fortune of completing all the programs I've started despite injuries. And yet...

This is the second time I've been sidelined during the Ranger Challenge. Last time around, I tore my ACL. This time around, things are far murkier.

Here's the deal. I've been dealing with some back, shoulder, neck, jaw, face pain. As such, I've been working with a Doctor specializing in Cranial Osteopathy. Things have been getting better, but last week I had a very clear directive. NO. EXERCISE. ZERO. EXERCISE. For five days.

The conversations went like this....

Doc: Ward, how many days of the year do you think you exercise?
Ward: All of them.
Doc: So not doing anything for five days in the grand scheme of things isn't a big deal?
Ward: Well I'm doing this thing for work.
Doc: What thing?
Ward: Ummm. The er...Ranger...ummm....it's kind hard to explain. It's pretty rigorous.
Doc: So you're getting treatment here and then going to play basketball, doing this work thing, and going snowboarding too?
Ward: Yeah.
Doc: And you wonder why things aren't getting better?
Ward: Well...ummm.
Doc: Five days. Period.
Ward: How about hot yoga?
Doc: No.
Ward: How about gentle yoga?
Doc: No.
Ward: Can I walk the dog?
Doc: I love dogs. And you can walk yours. But I don't want you to even pick up a rake to rake leaves.
Ward: Five days. Fuuuuuuck.
Doc: See you on Tuesday. Between now and then. No exercise.
Ward: Yeah. I got it.

So. Yeah. 28 workouts is the goal. I won't make that goal. So, it's a do as I say, not as I do type finish, Rangers. I don't go in for ego based training, except when I do. Ultimately, this shit freaked me out enough that I'm keen to listen to the Doc's advice and get my body right. I'm down a belt size since the kickoff and my diet has been super duper tight. Which is nice.

Going forward, I'm playing the long game. Because sometimes doing nothing is waaaay harder than doing something.

Song of the Day: Stillness in the Move written by Dirty Projectors performed by Solange https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34STLHtu97A


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Ranger rolls on. The biggest change in my approach to training has been dialing out the beer and booze. I got that rolling a few days prior to Ranger kick-off with the goal of the next glass I raise to be for my sweeties BDay/KB2 Completion Party in about 10 days or so.

Pro tip: Skipping those Achilles Heal Foods gets soooooo much easier after the Day 10 mark.

Song of the Day: Pristine by Snail Mail https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=s7tnTucP1UM


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Hey, Kenzai. Meet Jack.

Song of the day: Martha My Dear by The Beatles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZLA-Gxt4WM


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Pull-Ups - 12 in one go, 17 in 2:00
Push-Ups - 24 in one go, 33 in 2:00
Crunches - 142 in 2:00
5 Miler - 44:28:06

Three Years Ago I took the test - https://trello.com/b/nJHdsxUO/trainer-materials - and my results were almost identical. Kinda Crazy. Even crazier, only a few days later, I took a wicked tumble -
https://kenzai.me/ward/blog/ranger-down

I'll be on my board multiple times this week. All things being equal, I'm hoping to come out of the week in one piece!

Post up your baseline data, Rangers. As you were!

Song of the Day: SOLDIER BOY by THE SHIRELLES https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NYw83uAQig


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The first email is out. It includes a little housekeeping intel, some basics to keep you safe, and the first workout.

For those playing along at home. The baseline Ranger Fitness Test is pretty simple.

Pull-Ups - AMAYC in 2:00 minutes
Push-Ups - AMAYC in 2:00 minutes
Sit-Ups - AMAYC in 2:00 minutes
8K - Timed

Come Monday, 35 would-be Rangers will take the baseline test and post their results. Good times!

It's go time. I do hope you are wearing your parachutes, kids!

Song of the Day: Born on the Bayou by CCR https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=17&v=wIjUY3pjN8E


Ranger Roll Call
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Ward W.
Ren K.
Jason F.
Bill Wiswell
Jim M.
Thomas D.
Matt B.
Robin K.
Ashish B.
Liz BM.
Tim Z. (in KB2 - test only)
Arjun T.
Andy C.
Amy G.
Jess S.
Yin K.
Sonal D.
Rahul D.
Willet B.
Ryan H.
Brain B.
Brian S.
Oliver H. (in Iron, test only)
Sandyha K.
Chi G.
Rahul G.
Sachin M. (in Run, test only)
Cat B.
Moe S (in KB2, test only)
Jade B.
Todd M. (in Half, test only)
Patrick H.
Shane P.
Kate O. (in KB2, test only)
Mike T.

Saturday is the final day to throw your cap in the Ranger ring! Do you have what it takes? If you think you do, email me: ward@kenzai.com

If you are keen to see the Ranger Test, I'll post it on my blog Monday for context.

Album of the Day: New Energy by Four Tet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWInZ4N6C2g


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Things are coming together. We have some brave souls signing up for the 28 Ranger Challenge for folks in membership mode.

Drum roll please:

Jason F.
Bill W.
Ren K.
Jim M.
Thomas D.
Matt B.
Robin K.
Ashish B.
Liz BM
Tim Z. (in KB2 - test only)
Arjun T.
Andy C.
Amy G.
Jess S.
Yin K.
Sonal D.
Rahul D.
Willet B.
Ryan H.
Mae Lee G.
Brain B.
Brian S.
Olive H (in Iron, test only)
Sandyha K.
Rahul G.
Chi G.

Couple more things:

1. Ranger will be offered again.
2. There is a fair amount of running in this course. If that makes you shudder, it might not be a great fit no matter how experienced a Kenzai trainee you are.
3. If you don't know what the Ranger Challenge is, that's because you very likely in a program. Ranger is designed for folks in membership mode.
4. Want to know more, this post shares some Ranger basics: https://kenzai.me/ward/blog/skiboot-take-ii-dusted
5. If you are interested in joining in, contact me via email at ward@kenzai.com
6. Deadline is firm. Saturday, March 10th, 2018.

Song of the Day: Very Much Money - Tiny Desk Style - By Open Mike Eagle https://youtu.be/it3DnfTZIM0?t=8m44s

Photo by Kristin Johnson via Flickr


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The 28 Day Ranger Challenge kicks off on Monday, March 12th. Deadline for sign-ups are Saturday March 10th.

We've got a wild lot throwing in. Heeding the call are:

Jim M
Matt B.
Thomas D
Ward W
Ren K
Bill W.
Rob K.
Jason F.

We could use some ladies! Send all Ranger inquires to ward@kenzai.com

Song of the Day: Dinninit ( Stakes is High ) by De La Soul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v38Vk_sZJDk


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SkiBoot Take II - Dusted 

28 snappy workouts in the books. I love cycle workouts and mixed in loads of 'bells to keep the workouts fresh and minimize the sting of missing out on the Bells II program.

My diet was solid. But I used it mostly as a prep for the Ranger Challenge. What's the Ranger Challenge?

Community announcement coming in 48 hours. But here is the primer:

*28 Day Challenge
*Kicks off Monday March 12th, 2018
*Workouts land in your email inbox
*Day 1 you complete the Army Ranger Test
*7 workouts per week ft a mix of running, rope, and rugged body weight based movements
*You'll get a custom banner
*Diet is as you like
*Ends Sunday, April 8, 2018
*Day 28 you complete the Army Ranger Test
*Sign-ups will be handled by contacting me
*Firm cut off Saturday March 10th, 2018

Song of the Day: Bone Jam by Jef the Brotherhood https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9wmFRSVAKw


I ate a scone
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Moment of weakness. It was also a moment of weird. I walked into this coffee shop. There must have been thirty people in there. Not a single person looked up from their computer when I entered. As you can imagine, I'm used to the red carpet treatment!

The lack of eye contact was just the beginning. Everyone was seated back to wall, their laptop situated between themselved and the universe. Everyone. 30 people. And they looked soulless. Attractive, well dressed, and soulless. Fuuuuck.

I told the clerk, "It feels culty as hell in here." She didn't smile or laugh.

Slowly one person looked up at me and smiled. Just one. Clearly the cult leader. Bloody great scone though.

All workouts getting done. Diet solid. Final push. And then...Ranger Challenge. What's the Ranger Challenge? It was created by this guy: https://kenzai.me/renfield/blog/jetlaggard

That's how you know it's good!

Song of the Day: Two Loves by Koalas https://blahblahblahscience.com/pop/premiere-koalas-two-loves/


End of Week 7

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Current

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Kenzai Body
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Reboot
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Kenzai Body 2
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Kenzai Run 10k
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SkiBoot
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Kenzai Run Half
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Kenzai Kettlebell
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Kenzai Blast: Beach Ready
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