Ouch

Last week, my workout included the following:

6 Squats, 10 Lunges,

Interval: 3 rounds of – 10x Incline Rows, Side Plank Twist, Plank Switches

Poseidon

I did jumping pullups in Poseidon rather than actual pullups. Still not quite there.

And five days later, my arms still hurt. Specifically my biceps. Ouch.

I worked out again the next day, including 3/5 Aphrodite. Took me 27 minutes. Absolutely exhausting.

I’m hoping that the achey arms will subside. A lot of blogs and articles say you should just work through it. But if they’re still achey in another week, I might get it checked out.

On another note, I’ve noticed the workouts getting a bit longer/harder. I wonder if that’s Coach listening to my feedback on workouts and upping the ante. I must have been saying “I can do more”. I’m quite enjoying being pushed a bit harder.

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Ouch

A week off, but a swim every day…

I’ve been away from home on a work trip this last week. I’d been pretty good on Freeletics since the new year, working out at least 4 times a week. I’d been feeling good.

It’s so true that exercising gives you energy rather than saps your energy. Working out in the morning have me fuel for the whole day.

Also, Coach had given me OH-Push-ups and I’ve been getting better at them. Also, I’ve been practicing my assisted pullups.

Anyway, I arrive in my AirBnB for the trip, and it says on the app that there’s a pool and a gym. Cool.

I was expecting the pool to be tiny and unloved. Instead it was at least 20m and perfectly clear.

I swam every morning, at least 30 lengths, sometimes 40. I could feel it was working on my shoulders and legs. In fact my whole body. I swam fast and without stopping.

So I didn’t do Freeletics at all. Oh well. How often do you have access to a completely empty private pool for a week. Got to make use of it. Back on it this week.

A week off, but a swim every day…

New Year Freeletics Goals, Yoga and an aborted attempt to do an HS Push-Up

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Blimey. Haven’t written this blog since November. Where does the time go?

Even though I usually train indoors rather than outdoors, I’ve been finding it really hard to find the motivation to get up and exercise. Something about the cold weather, the desire to hibernate. So I haven’t been training regularly. And then I was ill for a few days just before Christmas, and then there was Christmas. However hard I try, I’m just not one of those people posting pictures of their Christmas Day workouts on Instagram. I’m in soft clothes, drinking red wine and eating chocolate.

I did manage to not completely overdo it over Christmas though. My parents are getting old and their appetite is shrinking, so there just wasn’t the usual level of gluttony of years gone by. So as I enter January, I’m not feeling too unhealthy. Although I did rather overdo it on New Year’s Eve, so yesterday was a complete write-off.

Today’s Training

So this morning, my last day before I go back to work, I made myself get out of bed and train. As much because I find that working out helps curb that too-much-booze anxiety that often comes with a hangover.

Thankfully Coach wasn’t too hard on me for my first workout of 2018. It was:

20 Lunges
2 Split Lunges
Conditioning: Abs and Legs – 20 Squats, 20 Side Lunges, 10 Knee-wipes
1/4 Venus

There’s something hilarious about the algorithm – sorry, Coach – giving you 2 split lunges. It’s over in about 2 seconds. Surely there should be a way that Freeletics could put a lower limit on any one exercise.

Anyway, it felt good to get moving again and I was glad I dragged myself out of bed.

Trying to Unlock Advanced Skills

I also managed to squeeze in a workout on the day before New Year’s Eve – that in between bit between Christmas and New Year where no one really knows what to do with themselves.

After doing the workout – 6/10 Gaia and interval – I decided to try and unlock some of the advanced skills. It didn’t end well.

I did manage to do 5 OH Push-ups, and I’m going to start trying to do them alongside my Coach workouts, in the same way as I do assisted pull-ups. And then I tried to do a Pistol Squat, which was just impossible, and a HS Pushup, which was also laughably hard. I just couldn’t do it. And then when I came out of it, I didn’t let my legs fall as one would normally do when coming out of a handstand. Instead, I kind of slid down the wall, which kind of crunched up my head/neck. It was pretty painful. And a stupid way of trying to come out of the push-up. Felt like I could have done some serious damage if I’d carried on. Thankfully I figured out what I should have done and did that. Was in pain for about two days. Which was lovely. Suffice to say, I didn’t unlock those two. It did make me think that in those training videos, Freeletics should show how to get into and out of those more difficult skills. It would really help.

Yoga

As a result of the neck pain, I ended up doing a YouTube yoga workout to try and relieve it. And it kind of worked. I think I’m going to try and do more yoga in 2018 alongside Freeletics, to try and increase my flexibility and sort out some niggling muscle pain I get every now and then. This is the video I did, in case you want to do it to:

I might do his 30 Day Total Body Yoga Workout Challenge. Looks great and might get me into the habit of doing it regularly.

2018 Goals

So, what’s my plan for 2018? I’ve been doing Freeletics for over two years now. I certainly haven’t do the 15 week transformation that the YouTube videos show. I guess when I started I didn’t want a quick fix, I wanted a way to exercise regularly, and that’s what I use Freeletics for. But I would like to build my strength, particularly in my arms, and I’d like to lose a bit more belly fat – I suspect that will be more down to diet than to exercise, so I’m going to make a real effort to eat well and drink less (pretty standard New Year resolution stuff here). But I think I also want to increase my flexibility, and build consistency – fewer breaks, more regular workouts. I suspect that’s the key to really making progress.

And maybe by this time next year, I’ll be able to do a couple more of those advanced skills.

Happy New Year – let’s do this!

New Year Freeletics Goals, Yoga and an aborted attempt to do an HS Push-Up

Hell Week Day 7 and then a two week break

I completely forgot to write about the final day of Hell Week.

Day 7 was a gentle end to the week. Nyx. Just sit-ups, leg raises and stand-ups. Did it in 08:10, which was 1:30 better than my PB.

And then I gave myself a break for a couple of weeks. I had a bit of a cold during Hell Week and then had a mad week at work. And then last week I was away from home and working crazy long hours so didn’t have time to exercise. I know, I know, #noexcuses, but it was either get less than five hours and exercise or sleep an extra hour, and I’m not really any good on less than seven and eight.

Felt nice to have a bit of a break. I left it so long that Freeletics sent me one of those ‘what’s happened?’ emails.

So yesterday I got back into it. Conditioning. Was tough.

3 sets of

10 Assisted Pullups
15 Press-ups
30 sec Superman hold
15 Hanging Leg Raises

I’m getting better at the Assisted Pull-ups, and Press-Ups and Superman hold are no bother, but I find the hanging leg-raises really hard. Partly because my pull-up bar is in a door frame, so it’s hard to really hang and be able to get a good swing. But mainly because I’m not strong enough! Will keep practicing.

Went for a swim today. Also felt a bit tough cos I didn’t go last week.

Going to get back into the swing properly tomorrow.

Might even try to tick off some of those advanced skills…

 

Hell Week Day 7 and then a two week break

Hell Week Days 5 & 6: Nearly there

Day 5 was a slightly easier day. Hyperion (Endurance).

5 sets of:

5 Pikes
25 HH Squats
5 Pikes
25 High Knees
60 sec rest

Completed that in 11:04. Wasn’t too hard. And I also realised half way through that I was doing normal squats, not HH squats.

So, not much to say about Hyperion really. Apart from that because it was Day 5, my thighs were beginning to hurt.

Day 6 was a real achievement though. Not only was I a little bit hungover (oops), I was dreading it because the app told me that the last time I did Dione it took me 55:05. That was a year ago.

Reading back in this blog though, I see that I quite enjoyed doing that workout. It exercises pretty much your whole body.

3 sets of:

75 Jumping Jacks
25 Burpees
50 Leg Raises
75 Jumping Jacks
50 Situps
25 Burpees

It also feels like a good cardio workout, what with all those jumping jacks.

As soon as I started I realised I was definitely going to beat my PB. I always have half an eye on those little blue bars during the workout – the ones that tell you whether you’re ahead or behind of your PB. And I get competitive with myself.

I was faster on every single thing. Some significantly. It was a real boost to know how far I’ve come in a year. Sometimes I don’t think I’m making progress at all, that I’m just flatlining, but then there are days like today when I can see how much fitter I am.

Even leg-raises, which I hate, weren’t so bad. Although I often think they’re doing damage to the small of my back.

I completed the workout a full TWELVE MINUTES better than my PB. TWELVE MINUTES. I was absolutely dripping with sweat and felt quite light headed, but my god it felt good.

I have one day left to do in Hell Week. I’m not doing it today because I went swimming instead. I’ll do it tomorrow morning. It’s a quick one – Nyx – which shouldn’t take more than ten minutes.

And then Hell Week is done.

I can’t quite believe I’ve been doing Freeletics for nearly two years. And it still hasn’t lost its appeal. Bring on the next two years.

 

Hell Week Days 5 & 6: Nearly there

Hell Week Day 4: Kentauros

Kentaurous, my old friend. How I have missed you.

Today it was a beautiful autumnal morning. Cold, crisp and sunny. I could see my breath. I headed out to the basketball court next to my house and trained there. There’s usually no one else there, so I can sweat and pant without fear of embarrassment.

I have a funny relationship with Kentauros. Today it was Endurance, so slightly easier. I kind of hate doing it, and I always think it’s going to take ages. But today I did it in 18mins, and I wasn’t cutting corners.

If you don’t know it, Kentauros is one of the tougher of the Freeletics workouts. It’s particularly hard on the thighs.

Six sets of:

2x20m HH Lunge Walks
10 High Knees
2x20m Sprawl Frogs
10 High Knees

But I did it. And it felt so good to finish. I genuinely think that my stamina and ability to finish things in all aspects of my life has improved because of Freeletics. Once you’ve pressed go on the app, you know that the feeling of giving up will be much worse than the temporary pain of pushing through. And you know that your workout is only going to be about half an hour, so you might as well finish.

And so when I’m at work, or at home, I find it much easier to start a task and not stop until its done. I’m much less likely to part-finish something, or get bored and go and do something else. I set myself a goal and I work until its done. Whether that’s clearing my inbox, writing a paper, cleaning etc etc.

Anyway, training outside today was lovely. I’m hoping I can fit another outdoor session in this week. Tomorrow is a lot easier: Hyperion. But then… Saturday’s workout is Dione. A year ago it took me 55 mins. So I’m hoping I can beat that, but I’m not looking forward to it.

 

 

Hell Week Day 4: Kentauros

Hell Week Day 3: Gaia

I’m writing this a bit late. Gaia (Endurance) was yesterday, but I didn’t have time to write.

Even deciding to do today’s workout felt like an achievement. As I mentioned in my last post, I had/have a cold. So I was feeling a little under the weather. But I someone managed to pull on my workout gear and roll out the mat.

I thought today would be relatively easy. But it wasn’t.

10 sets of:

40 Jumping Jacks
30 High Knees
20 Mountain Climbers
10 HH Stand-ups

When you don’t have much energy, this is a pretty full on workout. It’s pretty much all cardio, apart from the stand-ups, so it gets your heart beating and I was pretty out of breath. Also there are no breaks. And 10 sets is a lot. So by the time I was done, I was exhausted.

I’m only training in the morning now before breakfast, so I was also feeling fairly weak at the end as I hadn’t eaten.

But I did it. And I think it actually helped get rid of the cold as I was feeling much better by the afternoon.

Hell Week Day 3: Gaia