The Calm Before the Storm

Today was the final day of Week 6, which I’ve spread over two weeks. It was 2/3 Metis Strength followed by two 400m sprints and two 200m sprints. And do you know what, I quite enjoyed it.

Coach seems to have been giving me lots of leg workouts over the past couple of weeks. So actually, it was pleasing that I didn’t find the Burpee Squat Jumps, Froggers and High Jumps particularly taxing. I feel a lot stronger and seem to have more stamina.

And I enjoyed the runs too. I did them in the gym on the treadmill. I should have really gone outside as it was such a beautiful day, but I couldn’t think of the right space to do the sprints (everywhere is pretty hilly around Bristol and there isn’t a running track nearby).

When I started I kind of thought maybe this would be a fad, that I’d stop after a while, but I’ve found myself getting quite addicted. Of course, shelling out money for the coach means you’re kind of invested, but there’s something about seeing what Coach has in store each week that I look forward to finding out. I like it that it’s not all planned out at the beginning.

I stopped Dry January the day before yesterday. We had a three-hour board meeting at work and so I kind of needed a drink after that. I did feel really disappointed in myself afterwards though. I’ve really enjoyed not drinking, feeling more alert, getting more done, feeling more healthy. I don’t want to slip back into bad habits.

I’m off to Vancouver on Monday for a week with work. So as I sat on one of the mats at the gym stretching after today’s workout and completed the week on the app, I was THRILLED to see that next week is Hell Days. This is going to HURT:

Day 1


Hades
2x Persephone

Day 2

Prometheus
Hermes

Day 3

Thanatos
3x Athena

3xAthena looks horrible.

But the hotel I’m staying in has a gym, so I reckon I can really focus and do one workout in the morning and one in the evening. Ouchy.

 

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The Calm Before the Storm

Beginning to notice a difference…

Week 6 has taken me two weeks. I think I was over-ambitious trying to fit in five workouts during a very busy period at work, and in the middle of winter when one has to muster superhuman strength just to get out of bed in the morning, let alone put a pair of trainers on.

Anyway, I’m nearly through it. Just 2/3 Metis and a load of sprinting to do and then I’m ready for week 7.

But before the ins and outs of week 6, here’s my Day 58 progress photo.

Day 58

I’m pretty pleased with this to be honest. I’ve lost some weight, I have more definition in my chest and abs and around my shoulders. Still a way to go, but this was a boost.

Week 6, Day 2 was Kentauros. It was tough, and I had to slightly modify it as I was in the gym and there were people using the area I usually work out in. So instead of Burpee Frogs, I did Burpee jumps. I quite enjoyed this workout. I was absolutely shattered afterwards, but it really got the blood pumping.

Day 3 was Hermes. Hermes is boring. But it gave me an opportunity to really work on my push-up technique. I just find it quite repetitive.

And then today was 3/4 Hermes Strength. Now, a while back I unlocked the OH Push-Up skill. I think I managed to do a couple, but with poor technique (by allowing my waist/legs to leave the floor after my chest). When I actually tried to do one properly, there was absolutely NO WAY I could do one. So I did normal push-ups and locked the skill afterwards. Might get to it later.

As a side note, there was a woman doing a workout in the gym today with just bodyweight and a step and she was so agile and flexible it was mesmerising to watch (and I’m a homosexual, so I wasn’t leaching!). It was inspiring to see someone do burpees and other freeletics stuff with such guile and ease while I sweated away in the corner.

I’m still doing Dry January. I think this has a lot to do with my disappearing belly to be honest. I’m also still watching the amount of carbs I’m eating and am eating lots of vegetables and protein.

Interestingly on BBC2’s Trust Me I’m a Doctor, they exposed the protein shake market as a bit of a scam. In a test with two group taking an exercise routine for 8 weeks, there was no discernible difference between the group who drank protein shakes to the group who didn’t. As long as you’re eating plenty of protein in your diet, there’s no need to supplement. Your body will just piss it out. There was a similar debunking of the antioxidant smoothie craze. Might as well drink orange juice apparently.

Beginning to notice a difference…

Getting lost less than a mile away from your house… Week 6: Day 1

Today was my first Atlas. 

Hadn’t done a run before using the app. In fact, um, I’ve never actually been for a run. I’ve run on a treadmill, but for some reason running in the REAL WORLD was much harder.

Also – and correct me if I’ve missed something – but you can’t track distance on the app when you’re in a workout. So I set off not really knowing where I was going and how far I was running. If I hadn’t got a bit lost, I would have come in at almost exactly at 2km. As I did a bit of a detour, it was actually 2.8km. Wonder how my time would have been without that extra 800m…

But since my workout, I found mapometer.com where you can plot runs and work out distance. Quite useful.

Anyway, 2km run was okay, and it cleared my head after work. The rest was surprisingly straightforward. Even the burpees were okay.

I’m still feeling a bit of lower back pain. I’m doing more stretches, including some yoga, but it’s still there. I even went to an osteopath. She seemed to think it was “a bit tight”. It’s not debilitating, and is probably because I haven’t used my core like this for ages. But it’s niggling.

Day 2 is Kentaurous. <crying emoji>.

Getting lost less than a mile away from your house… Week 6: Day 1

End of Week 5

  
Realised I haven’t updated this much for a while. Not that anyone has noticed. I’m basically just talking to myself.

However, just watched a YouTube video with Joe Wicks (aka The Body Coach) where he talked about tweeting and instagramming about three recipes/workouts a day when he had zero followers, so YOU NEVER KNOW, maybe I’ll become a social media sensation and get a four-book deal. Or, more likely, I’ll just keep chuntering away here on my own.

I think my problem is that I’ve never been known as a sporty person. The idea of me doing anything sporty, let alone blogging about it, will be quite strange to my friends. And some of them have signed up to Freeletics. None of them have actually done a workout yet though, which suggests they’re not likely to be looking at the app much…

I’m also finding it difficult to do work-outs outside/in public. I don’t work out in a group; there doesn’t seem to be one in Bristol, and at the moment, as I end up being a panty, sweaty mess about half way through a workout, I don’t really like doing it on the basketball court next to my house as it’s overlooked by houses. Maybe I need to get over it. I think I might have to next week.

Anyway… Where have I got to over the last 19 days?

Well, I dipped out of the coach momentarily to do a 1.5k run on the treadmill at the gym. Was pretty easy. Had been hoping to do my normal workout, but should have realised that going to the gym after work during the first week back after the Christmas holidays was a bad idea. I’ve never seen the place so packed. And my usual workout area (where they do the classes) was full of people lunging, led by a woman wearing a Beyonce mic and shouting.

Then I was back under Coach’s orders and did Ares. I did this in my flat, so I couldn’t do the 2x 40m runs. I substituted them for High Knees. I can also still only do jumping pull-ups. They’re just too difficult. As a side note, I’m noticing that coach is scheduling more leg work-outs than arms, so I’m not feeling like I’m gaining strength in my arms. Might have to supplement Coach’s workouts with extra pull-up training.

Next up was 2/5 Aphrodite. Was pretty hard. Burpees are horrible. Very hard. And that was only 2/5!

Then it was Venus Standard. Looking back at that work out, I’m pretty impressed that I managed 150 push-ups. Although I think some of them were knee press-ups… So no star for me that time.

The rest of last week was pretty fucking hard. Aphrodite (ouch), Prometheus (oof) and finally, today, Helios (jeez).

Now, what was strange was at the start of the week, I was down to Helios standard (675 points – looked horrific – total of 300 burpees). Then, after Aphrodite it changed to the Endurance version, which is slightly easier (400 points, burpees changed to sprawlers etc). I think this might have been because my coach feedback after Aphrodite was ‘EXHAUSTING’, but be interested to hear if anyone else has noticed Coach changing their schedule during the week (hellooooooo? Anyone out there?)

So even the Endurance version of Helios was absolutely knackering. Getting through 150 sprawlers was difficult enough, and then to have to do them again right at the end of the workout was pretty hard. The final sprawlers took ages. I could only really do 3 or 4 at a time before stopping. Anyway, I got through it and felt pretty goddamn good afterwards.

Next week looks even harder. Here it is:

Atlas (Standard)

Kentauros (Standard)

Hermes (Standard)

3/4 Hermes (Strength)

2/3 Metis (Strength)
400m Sprint
400m Sprint
200m Sprint
200m Sprint

As a final note, I’m a cynical Englishman who can’t really abide motivational quotes etc etc, but I did find next week’s message from Coach a boost, even though it is a bit of a cliche.

By now, you made it through your first five weeks of Freeletics. You constantly get fitter and your body is about to change visibly. You are not a beginner anymore. We will no longer beg you not to give up. You know that backing down is not an option. It’s up to you to change your mindset. From now on, it’s about bursting limits. Every single time. It’s about being hungry. And putting in the work. About leaving excuses behind and unleashing your potential.

Dare to step it up. Athletes in their first weeks look up to you. Make sure to be a good role model. Especially if you train in groups. Maintain good form, be motivating and help others to improve their performance.

And as a final, final note… A word about Dry January.

Haven’t had a drink since New Year’s Eve. Feel pretty bloody good for it, and am getting loads done. I’m sleeping better, feel less anxious, and my diet is much, much healthier. I’m not 17 days in and it’s getting easier every day not to drink. Gonna try and push through until the end of the month. And hoping that it’s having an effect on that little beer belly. I’m not noticing much difference at the moment, and my weight has dropped a little, but not a lot. So let’s see. But I’m certainly finding that Freeletics is unleashing a stubbornness and determination I kind of knew I had, but not to this degree. I really want to make this work, and I’m surprising myself with my ability to do so.

BRING ON WEEK SIX.

End of Week 5