And as he closes in on his second season around 200 innings, Kennedy has achieved those goals and then some, as he leads the National League with 17 wins.
"We have a really good program here that I like to follow," he said about the D-backs' strength and conditioning regimen that has allowed him to go deep into games consistently.
"For me, doing my rotator cuff exercises and the conditioning part of it, that's what's really important," Kennedy said.
The 26-year-old said he hasn't changed much from 2010, when he posted a 3.80 ERA in 194 innings.
"There's little parts in the middle of the season that I've adjusted and not thrown as much between starts, especially around start No. 20," he said. "Around that time, you know your stuff's going to be there.
"I used to be really tough on myself in the bullpen, but I kind of cut those down and it allows me to feel good, whereas maybe the end of July, early August, I had a little fatigue and was battling it."
Kennedy has pitched seven innings or more 17 times this year and has a 9-2 record in 11 starts post-July.
"The second time around, you know it's going to happen, so you can kick back," Kennedy said.