Making progress…

This week I’ve being reflecting a bit on how far I’ve come since starting Freeletics nearly two years ago. Sometimes when you’re faced with Aphrodite again, it’s hard to step back. When I started I could barely get through the warm-up without getting sweaty.

Here are the things I’ve noticed this week

  1. When I’m cycling now I notice I have more power in my legs. I can go faster for longer and I find hills much easier
  2. I feel more flexible
  3. I actually look forward to working out most days
  4. I drink more water
  5. I eat better – less sugar, more vegetables, less saturated fats and processed food
  6. My body shape is more in proportion. I feel more attractive.
  7. I have stronger arms and can carry heavier weights
  8. I can almost 
  9. I have more defined abs and pecs
  10. I have more energy
  11. I am able to apply the stamina developed through Freeletics workouts to other parts of my life

And here’s a progress photo to show how I’m doing…

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Making progress…

Entering the final week of #CoachChallenge

Tomorrow I start the final week of #CoachChallenge.

I have to say, I’ve found the promise of a voucher and the Week 3 40% discount has encouraged me to not break my routine. So often with Freeletics, I’ve had breaks or a week where I haven’t exercised once. Hence why, even though I’ve been doing Freeletics for nearly 2 years, I’m still only on Week 47. But now I’m in more of a regular routine, exercising in the mornings rather than evenings, I find it much easier to stick to the plan.

I used the Week 3 40% discount to buy a new pull-up bar, which I can adjust to do the exercises that require a lower bar (incline rows, negative bar dips etc), and an a resistance band which I’m going to use to try and finally crack pull-ups. Annoyingly they arrived yesterday when I was out, and tomorrow is Monday, so I hope I’m not going to carry on missing the delivery every day this week.

Last night I went to my friends house for a cheese and wine party. Four of us. Twelve cheeses. Bread. Meats. Lots of wine. Not good for that six-pack. So today I ate loads of vegetables and healthy carbs, went swimming and did about half an hour cycling around town. And I’m going to try and have a good week sticking to all my habits.

Now it’s September, I’m a bit annoyed with myself that I didn’t push myself harder to exercise outdoors more this summer. I only did it a handful of times, mainly because it’s so easy to do it in my living room and I still feel a little self-conscious doing it. But when I do, it feels so good.

Just in case you’re interested, here’s my final #CoachChallenge week:

Day 1
10 Straight Bar Dips
Conditioning (Legs, Core): 3 x rounds 30 Squats, 15 Arm & Leg Lifts (L&R), 15 Standups
Krios

Day 2
8 Crunches
Conditioning (Upper Body, Abs): 3x rounds 15 Pushups, 20 Bicycle Crunches, 15 Plank Switches, 10 Leg Raises
4/5 Hyperion

Day 3
10 Split Lunges
12 Pushups
4/5 Aphrodite
400m Sprint
400m Sprint

Day 4
6 Jumps
10 Strict Pullups
Conditioning (Legs, Abs): Split lunges, Calf Raises, Leg Raises, High Knees). 3 rounds x 20 each

I still don’t really have anywhere to do sprints. I need to find a big flat place. All the parks near me are on hills and all the quiet roads are hills too. Hmm.

I’ll let you know how I get on. Have a great week.

Entering the final week of #CoachChallenge

Why I’m ditching MyFitnessPal and other news…

I haven’t written for a while, so here’s a big old update.

New Coach review update

I wrote about the new coach a while back (here, here and here) when it first came out. I was into it. I found the workouts shorter and more intense and felt like they were working my muscle groups harder.

Since then I’ve read people on Reddit saying that the new coach isn’t anywhere near as difficult or challenging, and that they’re frequently ending work-outs not as exhausted or drenched in sweat as before.

Now I’m no fitness expert, but here’s my take on this. What I love is that you’re made to focus on technique first – although I’m not sure what the point of doing 1 pike is, as I was asked to do the other week – and then you do conditioning, and then one or part of the existing Freeletics Gods work-outs. I find the workouts more varied, and I am increasingly as exhausted and satisfied after each session as before. This might be that I’m being really careful with my feedback to Coach, and therefore my work-outs are being tweaked accordingly.

It seems like Freeletics have realised that just working people until they drop doesn’t necessarily get the best long-term results; that exhaustion doesn’t always mean a work-out has been effective. They’re helping us get better at technique.

I also find that the benefit of not being made to do full Freeletics Gods work-outs means I’m not as daunted (or bored) by my coach weeks.

Warm-ups and cool-downs

I also really love the new warm-ups and cool-downs. My biggest complaint about the app as it was was that it was really difficult to time your stretching at the end, but now it times each stretch, and I feel like the stretches are working my whole body.

#CoachChallenge update

I’m into week 4 of #CoachChallenge and I have to say the promise of money off Freeletics stuff is really keeping me going. I managed to keep to my schedule despite being away from home twice in environments where drinking and staying up late is part of the work. On my first trip there was also a gym in the apartment block which had a great pull-up bar and assistance bands, which were brilliant. Going to buy one.

Diet update

I’ve stopped using MyFitnessPal. I’ve been using it for ages and it was beginning irritate me. Also, it wasn’t particularly helping me lose weight or eat better, it was just telling me every day that even though I regularly came in under my calorie goal, my macros were always off (too many carbs and too much fat and not enough protein).

So instead I’m just being really mindful of what I’m eating and actually I think it’s making me eat better. For some reason, not counting everything means I try harder to eat well. I also think it’s helping me make better permanent changes to the way I eat.

I also think MyFitnessPal was damaging my relationship to what I eat. I love food. I love cooking. I don’t want to become a clean eating freak or one of those gym bunnies that only eat grilled chicken and protein shakes. I want to eat a balanced, healthy diet that makes me feel good, that is fresh and not processed and that tastes really good. I don’t want to reduce what I eat to numbers and pie charts. It’s not good for the soul.

Over the past couple of years I’ve read enough about food to know what’s good for you, what to eat in moderation and what to avoid. So I’m ditching the app and just trying to eat well. And it feels great.

Why I’m ditching MyFitnessPal and other news…

#CoachChallenge

ContentNEW_CoachChallengeI had a really good week last week. Exercised five days straight. Four days of Freeletics and one day swimming.  I ate well. Loads of vegetables. Lots of water. Felt amazing.

I was partly working so hard because I knew I was going to a festival at the weekend. And that it would very much be a weekend off.

And a weekend off it was. Loads of beer. Burgers. Pizza. Late nights. Sleeping in a tent. I suppose dancing is basically cardio, right?!

And as I did my last Freeletics session on Thursday, I checked next week’s coach and low and behold, it’s HELL WEEK. Seven days. Seven workouts. I do notice that Hell Weeks aren’t as intense as they used to be. Sometimes you had at least two workouts on quite a few of the days. This time it’s just one complete Bodyweight workout each day. Mine looks like this:

Nemesis
Venus
Aphrodite
Poseidon
Nyx
Aphrodite
Athena

I’ve done days one and two so far. Managed to just about push myself through Nemesis on Monday. It’s now Wednesday and I skipped working out yesterday because I slept terribly the night before and now I’m in my mid-30s I basically get three-day hangovers.

And then yesterday I got the email from Freeletics about #CoachChallenge. I’m really up for this. Completing 6 weeks of bodyweight coach for a fifty euro voucher. Just need to not break for five days on the trot.

I’m going away twice over the next 6 weeks, so I’ll have to be pretty strict about working out when I’m away. But why would I not do this. It’s basically free money for working out. And I’ll probably use the voucher to buy an adjustable pull-up bar.

Are you doing #CoachChallenge?

#CoachChallenge

Freeletics Nutrition Coach Review


I’ve been flirting for ages with the Freeletics nutrition coach. It’s been sitting there on my phone, and those weekly Freeletics emails keep prompting me to subscribe. But something has been holding me back. 
The recipes I could see for free didn’t grab me. They seemed a bit worthy. They didn’t use ingredients I usually cook with (even when I’m eating healthily). I kind of knew that if I tried the coach, I wouldn’t stick to it, because the recipes hadn’t grabbed me.

And I love my food. I want it to taste good. I want to be able to batch cook. These recipes didn’t seem to work like that.

But even though I’ve been working out regularly, I still have a bit of fat I’d like to lose. So today I finally succumbed to the marketing and bought a subscription.

And it’s fair to say I am pretty unimpressed. So unimpressed that I’ve requested a refund from Apple.

I don’t see it as sustainable. It’s so carb light that I know I wouldn’t stick to it. One dinner was 2 carrots, some orange, cashews, raisins, olives. One dinner was just hummus and green pepper. FOR DINNER. And when the recipes aren’t overly simple/minimal, they’re complex and overthought. 

It seems so geared towards losing weight that it’s not about shifting a dietary attitude, it can only be a short term thing. 

As I’ve written about before, my friends and boyfriend are doing Slimming World, and I’ve read Joe Wicks’ books. Both have a much more sensible approach to nutrition. Balance, not denying yourself too much but make sure you’re not overdoing the carbs, alcohol and sugar.  

So, I’m afraid it’s a no from me. I’ll be making some more simple adjustments to nutrition and be using Joe Wicks’ approach. Sorry guys.

Freeletics Nutrition Coach Review

Mind games over a pint of beer.

 

lance-anderson-245146

This is a quick post to say that I very nearly fell at the first hurdle today. It’s so easy to make all these promises about what you’re going to do in the week on a Sunday. And then on Monday, a colleague said casually, “My meeting has been cancelled, so if anyone fancies a pint in the sun after work, I’m game”. It was on the tip of my tongue to say yes. I’d submitted a big proposal, had a productive day and the sun was shining.

But then I played a mental game with myself. I fast-forwarded to later in the evening. I’d arrrive home a bit tipsy after drinking on an empty stomach (one pint would no doubt turn into 2 or 3). I’d eat a big bowl of pasta (because it’s quick and easy).

Then I fast-forwarded to tomorrow morning, when I’d wake up a bit groggy and not want to exercise. So I’d miss another day. And then I fast-forwarded to the end of the week. I wouldn’t have been able to tick off my ‘no alcohol’ and ‘Freeletics’ goals on Coach.me.

Did I want to set that train in motion, or did I want to come home, exercise and then cook a healthy dinner? Early night, up early tomorrow morning for another Freeletics session?

I knew that the high of a cold beer in the sun wasn’t worth as much as the feeling of accomplishment if I stuck to my plan.

So I stuck to the plan. And now I’m sat at home, having had a delicious low-fat, high protein stir-fry after Freeletics, feeling pretty. damn. smug.

I have one thing to say about my work out today. Can anyone actually do Jackknives like the guy in the photo/video? I mean really? I can barely lift my shoulders off the floor. When does that get easier? I feel so ungraceful when I do them.

And that, my friends, is Monday. Over and out.

Mind games over a pint of beer.

And suddenly that milestone is right in front of you…

 

peter-hershey-282615Oh blimey, how has it been over a month since I posted. Sheesh.

So. What’s been happening? Well, last time I posted I was in the middle of a great week. I ran twice, swam every day and did my first Freeletics Gym session. More on that shortly. Since then, I’ve been a bit slack. I slipped out of the routine. And even worse, I could feel the belly that I’ve been working so hard to get rid of coming back again. I needed to take action.

Added to this, I realised that my mental milestone/goal is right in front of me. It’s my birthday this week, and it’s also Pride. On the same day. It wasn’t an official goal or anything, but I was kind of working towards being in peak shape for this day. And I’m not quite where I want to be. Maybe I was about a month ago when I was away. But since then, things have slipped.

Last week started off badly. I was at a wine tasting on Monday evening (no excuse, I know, I could have exercised in the morning). And on Tuesday we had some big work news first thing, and then I got drunk in the evening as a result of said work news. I’d almost written another week off, but on Wednesday I got back on track. I worked out every day for the rest of the week.

So, yeah. That Freeletics Gym session. I was in a hotel gym alone. I thought, why the hell not? So I did the first workout that Coach has set for me. It was: Upper Body I and Upper Body II.

10 Bench Press and 10 Bent Rows and then 10 Push Press and 10 Upright Rows. 3 sets of each. I had a max weight of 20kg, but to be honest I got quite confused about how to work out the weight. Don’t ask me why. I found it quite easy. It was pretty basic. I did enjoy the stretches at the end though.

BUT, I’m not about to join a gym again. I can’t stand working out around people, especially not in the weights area. It’s too posey. So I’m not likely to do any more Freeletics Gym workouts soon. I get enough exercise through bodyweight and running.

I won’t go through last week’s exercises in detail. That would be boring, but I am finding the new Coach great. I enjoy the shorter workouts and I feel easily as tired and satisfied as I did when they were longer.

Also I notice that they’ve introduced a whole bunch of new exercises. Which is great. Because sometimes it gets a little boring doing the same thing over and over again.

Yesterday I did my second Freeletics Running session. It was Maat. 200m then 30 seconds for 10 reps. I ran around the park near my boyfriend’s house. And made the mistake of running up a very steep hill halfway through the session. Nearly vomitted when I got to the top and it kind of knackered me out for the rest of the run. But I enjoyed it. 2k in 10 minutes. I can get on board with that.

I’m trying to up my frequency of working out again, so for a bit I’m going to try 5 Freeletics and 1 running per week. Could do a Bodyweight and a run on the same day to get 2 rest days, or could just have one rest day.

I’m also trying to get back on track with the nutrition. Cutting out beer pretty much completely and trying to reduce my reliance on carbs. Yeah yeah, I can hear you saying, you’ve said all this before. But if I write it down it gives me extra motivation.

It’s Sunday night right now. We’re going out for drinks on Friday night and Saturday is Pride. So I need to get all my exercise and good eating in before then. I’ve ordered a new vest to wear on Saturday, so it’s a bit of added motivation to work hard this week.

Have a great week. And sorry I’ve been a bit quiet. Would love to hear from you guys how your Freeletics journey is going. Tell me what you find challenging or difficult or share any tips you have in the comments below.

Have a great week!

And suddenly that milestone is right in front of you…