Freeletics and Christmas

My work-out in the park in Brazil seems like a very long time ago. Since then I’ve returned to the UK, fitted one more work out in before Christmas (more on that shortly) and had a little break for the festivities. Now it’s nearly New Year, and so I’m trying to get back into the swing of things before January so that 2016 doesn’t come as too much of a shock.

So Week 3 continued with Prometheus (Endurance). I only selected three workouts for Week 3 as I knew I’d be travelling and very busy until Christmas.

I did this workout at the gym. In the area they use for classes. I like it in there because I’m not visible to the rest of the gym, and people can’t see me flopping about and getting all red and sweaty.

As a side note, now I’ve signed up to Freeletics, it seems weird that people use machines rather than their own body to keep fit, but hey.

Prometheus was hard, but not crippling. I’d also had a fair bit to drink the night before.

And then it was Christmas. I decided not to work out back at my parents’ house. Mainly because they’d look at me like I was mad, but also because I needed a bit of a break from everything.

So yesterday once I was back in Bristol, I did my first workout in the park just up from my house. It’s kind of perfect for freeletics. Although at first I did feel a little self-conscious working out with the houses nearby looking over me. I quickly forgot about that once I was doing 2/3 Hades. Blimey, that was HARD. The sprawlers were really difficult. Didn’t help that I had only had a cup of tea before the workout, so by the end I could barely walk. Pretty much mainlined a bowl of porridge and a banana afterwards.

 

trees and sky
View from the mat
 
I think I’m going to find the pull-ups the most difficult. I can just about do one properly, but only just, so when I saw that Week 4, Day 1 was Poseidon, I could have cried. A total of 55 pull-ups. Ha! No chance.

I managed to do the push-ups correctly, although towards the end I reckon Coach would have had a word or two about my form, but there was no chance with the pull-ups. Did them as jumping pull-ups, and even that was hard.

Have a feeling that I’m not going to be able to lift anything up later.

Diet and weight

A quick word or two on this… I’ve been using MyFitnessPal to monitor what I’m eating. Here’s where I started:

11 st, 13 lbs (November 2015)

I had a Goal Weight of 10 st, 7 lbs (which I now think is far too low), and so MyFitnessPal was recommending I eat 2370 calories a day.

I regularly come in well below my goal, but I don’t seem to be losing weight. Now, there are probably two reasons for this:

  • Inaccurate recording of actual calories consumed
  • Weight gained through muscle growth

I suspect the first one is the most likely at the moment, as although I’ve certainly been gaining muscle and family have commented on my physique (they don’t see me very often), it’s not a vast change (yet!).

This morning I weighed in at 12 st, 1 lbs, so gaining weight! I don’t really mind this, but I do want to shift that beer belly.

So I’m going to do Dry January. I suspect that the belly is mainly from beer and wine, as my diet is pretty healthy. I partly want to do it because I’ve never given up drinking for a sustained period before, and also because work will be busy, so it will allow me to focus a bit on getting fit and getting loads done at work.

I also did a Big Shop yesterday – loads of fruit, veg, seeds and protein – and I’ve been planning my meals for the next week, which should help me save money and eat well.

Tomorrow’s workout is Hermes. I like the look of Hermes. Mainly because I want to get better at running…

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Freeletics and Christmas

Week 3: Day 1

I’ve had a few days off. Mostly because I’m on holiday, and also because it’s fucking hot in Rio. Like 34° hot.

I joined the Freeletics Rio de Janeiro group and asked where I should work out. Some people suggested using the free gyms on the beach, but seeing the guys who were using them the other day made me think twice. Jeez – people really look after themselves here! Sculpted is the word…

I’m staying up the hill at Santa Teresa. And after a few days here, watching how much people exercise and work out, I thought I’d better get myself together. There seems to be a very body-conscious mentality here which is both a bit intimidating and also quite inspiring. People also don’t seem to give a shit about other people’s bodies. There’s no sneering or pointing!

Anyway, I found this little park. Perfect for Freeletics!  And apart from the old ladies’ aerobics that was there at 8am when I turned up, it was pretty much deserted.

 Time for my first Ares.

It was pretty straightforward. Although it was very hot outside, so I sweated a lot. Was nice to do some sprinting and I reckon I can do much faster next time. 

I really need to work on pull-ups. I’m not doing them properly, so no star, but even so they’re really hard. Still 35 in total is pretty good! I even did a few extra sit-ups at the end. 

There was a small baby running around towards the end, and she kept getting in my way, so some of the times were a little slower than I think I can do them. So I’m expecting to beat my PB next time.

Felt really energised afterwards, and ready for the next workout.

Now, I’m off to look at men on Ipanema beach.

Week 3: Day 1

Week 2: Day 4

Had to really gear up for this one. I’d been working the day before in São Paulo and went out for a late meal (spaghetti bolognaise and a couple of glasses of red wine), so wasn’t feeling massively up for it when I woke up about 7.30am. And it’s Sunday.

But I headed down to the hotel’s weird empty gym, which mercifully has great air con (it’s 30° outside) and buckled down.

Today was 4/5 Prometheus, and while it was hard, it wasn’t quite as hard as I thought it would be.

The climbers I actually quite enjoy and can usually do them really quickly. 

The knee push-ups are quite easy too, especially after doing the normal ones.

The crunches were hard but not too hard.

It was actually the HH squats that hurt (after doing them last week, my muscles were still sore), and the jumping jacks gave me a bit of a headache, but perhaps that was the red wine).

I was dead pleased I completed it, and before breakfast. I think I need to watch the impulse to stop towards the end, out of laziness rather than exhaustion. It’s tempting to stop because, well, I’ve basically done it so what difference will ten more jumping jacks make?

So that’s week 2 finished.

I can already see a slight improvement in my abs and arms and chest. And my legs feel really strong. 

I definitely need to improve my diet. It seems that 70% of success on Freeletics is about nutrition, and at the moment I’m drinking too much alcohol. I’m noticing the desire to eat less shit food/sugar. But then again, I’m on holiday and it’s Christmas next week, so maybe I should cut myself some slack…

In January I’m going to start a clean diet, based on recipes I’ve pinned on Pinterest. I’m not going to buy the nutrition guide because from what I’ve seen of it, the recipes are a bit depressing, and I really like cooking so I’m going to do my own low-carb, high-protein diet. And crucially, I’m going to do Dry January. But I’m not going to tell anyone, I’m just going to do it. Otherwise I’m bound to fail…

Next Week

I’m leaving São Paulo and heading to Rio tomorrow. Staying in an AirBnB, so no hotel gym. Not quite sure where I’m going to be able to workout, as Coach has scheduled both Ares and Hades which require 40m run space (or 2x 20m) and a pull-up bar. 

I’ve been told to be careful where I go in Rio, so need to ideally find a basketball court or similar near Santa Theresa, or a gym. 

OR… I postpone week three and do some of the other workouts that don’t need that equipment and which I can do in my room.

Guess I’ll see what happens when I get there…

Until then. Ciao!

Week 2: Day 4

Week 2: Day 3

Met up with a friend of a friend in Sao Paulo today and she whisked us round the old  city in two hours. Consequently I my feet hurt, I was hot and sweaty and very tired but the time we got back to the hotel. After lying face down on the bed for about an hour, dozing, I went downstairs to the deserted gym (does no one in this hotel exercise?) and did my second 1/4 Venus of the week.

Beat my personal best by about 1 minute (RESULT), and even properly managed the push-up and sit-up technique.

Have to say, that even though I’m a cyclist and have pretty strong legs, the squats are really making my thigh muscles hurt. So after the second round of squats this week, I’m expecting to be aching tomorrow.

I’m REALLY NOT looking forward to the final workout this week. 4/5 Prometheus Endurance. It looks horrible. And if doing 1/4 Venus makes me hot and sweaty, Prometheus is really going to get my glowing.

Week 2: Day 3

Week 2: Day 2

After really pushing myself on Week 2: Day 1’s workout, and then doing a gym session the day after, I had a couple of days off. 

On the second day off my abs really hurt. Like, dead painful. And it took a while for that to stop.

I also had to get on a plane to Brazil (from the UK), and ended up drinking quite a lot of the free wine and eating all the food, so this morning, after receiving a 7am wake up call I hadn’t requested, I headed to the hotel gym in São Paulo (thankfully air conditioned) and did Day 2’s work out.

I was alone, so was able to not feel self conscious about my huffing and puffing. And could also do it in front of a mirror so I could check my technique.

Today was:

Week 2: Day 2: 1/4 Venus

50 push-ups

20 sit-ups

50 squats

Push ups were hell. I have quite skinny arms so have always struggled with them. But I did it!

After doing 150 of the fuckers on Saturday, 20 sit-ups was a breeze, and I also found the squats fairly straight forward.

It’s the same again tomorrow, and then there’s a horror show coming for the final day of this week…

I’m already noticing a difference in my body shape. However subtle. And I also feel more energised and don’t want to eat and drink as much crap as I used to.

Cutting down on the booze is hard though, and I know that’s where the belly comes from…

Week 2: Day 2

Week 2: Day 1. Nemesis

Okay, that’s more like it. Day 1 of Week 2 was a full Nemesis. 150 sit ups and 150 climbers. And it was hard. Turns out I haven’t done a sit up in ages and I’m seriously out of practice. But I BLOODY WELL DID IT. And not only that but I did it with a slight hangover. So that’s an extra achievement.

I’m not sure my sit-up technique was brilliant, but I’m going to work on that.

It feels like actually the biggest challenge will be eating well and not drinking too much. Especially as it’s December and I’m about to go on holiday and then it’s Christmas. I can feel that I have abs there, under the little beer belly, and no amount of sit-ups will get rid of the belly. It’s putting down the beer and the wine that will shift that.

Anyway, I feel very good having done my first full workout. And I’m not too knackered either.

I even tried to unlock some of the ‘advanced skills’ afterwards. Just about managed a pull-up, and an OH push-up. Not a hope in hell of doing the strict HS push-up in my tiny flat without doing serious damage to myself and quite possibly a lot of my furniture. And then when I tried to do a pistol, I just kind of wobbled over. Glad I wasn’t in a public place.

What’s brilliant about Freeletics for me is the competitive element. Even though I’m doing it on my own at the moment, I can totally imagine getting a group together. And that it feels like a journey. I think about it an awful lot, probably more than I should. 

I’m off to Brazil on Monday. Gonna see how completing the week in a very hot place feels… Hmm.

Week 2: Day 1. Nemesis

Week 1: Day 3 – a slightly awkward gym induction

Got up bright and early this morning for an induction at a new gym (PureGym) at 8am.

Chap at the gym didn’t realise he has an induction with me and it was only cos I recognised him from the website that I spotted him and said hello.

Also, I didn’t have a padlock, so couldn’t get changed. We needed up doing this kind of half-hearted canter round the equipment. He couldn’t be bothered, I was wearing work clothes. It took about ten minutes.

I felt weird about it too, because the primary reason I joined is so that I can do Freeletics stuff indoors during the winter when I can’t be outside (and so that those windows don’t rattle and the landlord get cross etc). So partly I was looking at all these bits of equipment and thinking ‘I’m probably not going to be using any of these’. Especially the weights, which I hands-down will never touch. 

So it was weird. I left and went to the hotel gym I use through MoveGB (where I don’t need a padlock) and there I did a bit of running on a treadmill and the second of this week’s Freeletics, which was the same as yesterday’s, in other words, a piece of piss.

I wonder what next week will hold. I have three days to wait to find out.

Week 1: Day 3 – a slightly awkward gym induction