Kentauros, the workout that nearly broke me

kentauros

There’s something about having had to give up on the pull-ups the other day that made the thought of stopping Kentauros (Strength) half way through seem more acceptable. So far on my Freeletics Journey, I’ve not give up on any workout, so I’ve wanted to keep my winning streak intact. But the aborted pull-up sets have kind of broken that streak.

However, I didn’t stop the pull-ups because I was tired, more that I physically couldn’t do them. I’ve tried to think of a metaphor here, but I couldn’t. So you’ll just have to make do with the facts.

Speaking of facts. Apologies – today is a bit technical. Promise I’ll be a bit more interesting later this week.

Anyway, today, Coach gave me Kentauros (Strength), 50 burpees, 50 burpees, 50 pull-ups, 50 pull-ups. I couldn’t work out this morning before work, so was left to do the whole lot this evening. Let’s just say I didn’t make it past Kentauros.

First of all, I was doing it in my living room so I changed to 2×2. Let’s look at the difference between the normal and 2×2 versions:

Normal
2 x 20m Lunge Walk
10 High Jumps
2 x 20m Burpee Deepfrogs
10 High Jumps

2×2
40 x Split Lunges
10 High Jumps
40 Burpee Squat Jumps
10 High Jumps

All of that, six times.

When you look at the leaderboards for both of those, the results are interesting. People I follow on Freeletics largely came from the SubReddit. They’re people who are fairly advanced, and that keeps me going.

Top time in the normal version is 18:52 (congratulations Nils W), with a bottom score of 50:47 (Chris Letic).

Top time in the 2×2 version is Juan Luis (47:36), with a bottom score of 48:08 from Tore Rasmussen. This suggests to me that the 2×2 version is much harder. It certainly felt like it.

I had to stop a few times for about 3 minutes each time, and about half way through the third set of 40 Burpee Squat Jumps I had to revert to normal burpees. Later on I also stopped doing the Split Lunges and had to do normal ones.

It was very hard. The only things I could do quickly and with good form were the jumps. The whole thing took me 01:07:10. Ugh.

No way I was doing the extra 100 burpees and pull-ups after that. I almost gave up when I wasn’t even half way through. My thighs burned. My wrists hurt from lying on my mat, in position for burpees, for too long while I mustered the energy to jump.

So yeah, I didn’t really enjoy it today. I’m going to the burpees and pull-ups tomorrow.

I’m surprised that Coach gave me all of that on one day. Feels like an awful lot. And like an algorithm selected it rather than a real person. Especially as when I did the pull-ups last week I said it was ‘Maximum’… I guess this is the first time that I doubted Freeletics. But maybe that’s just because I found it hard, and I should just toughen up and get on with it.

Onwards…

 

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Kentauros, the workout that nearly broke me

Freeletics: 1 / Me: 0

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Nope. Can’t do that. Noooo way. [Photo: Emilien Etienne Photography on Flick]
Last week was the first time that Freeletics beat me. I’ve done 9 weeks without giving up once. Which I think is a huge achievement. But last week, Freeletics won.

Last week I have 3/5 Nemesis (Strength), 50 Burpees, 50 Burpees, 50 Pull-ups, 50 Pull-ups in one day. Now that’s hard. I made it through Nemesis. But my form was very poor. I’m just not flexible enough to do Jackknives with perfect form. It feels like I could get there, but at the moment, I’d hate anyone else to see me doing them as it doesn’t look very dignified. Froggers I’m down with.

And then the Burpees were fine, even though I was cursing Coach by the end of the second set of 50.

But Pull-ups. PULL-UPS. I just can’t do them. No way. I can do some jumping pull-ups, but I can’t do 100. And by about half way through the second set I wasn’t really doing them at all. I was just kind of limply hurling myself at the bar. So I stopped. I didn’t feel particularly cross with myself. I would have done if I’d given up during a workout because I was tired, but this was just because I physically couldn’t complete the set. Still. Frustrating.

I’m going to keep trying, but I have really slim fore-arms (always have), and I just don’t have the strength. Anyway. I can but try.

The first workout of Week 9 was Dione. It was hard, but I really enjoyed it. There’s something about the variety of the exercises that makes it fun, even though it’s pretty intense.

And then I had 2x Morpheus, which was a walk in the park, quite frankly.

Some recent observations/notes:

  • Beating other people’s PBs is a great motivator. I always try and beat someone else towards the bottom of the leaderboard if I can.
  • I prefer the non-pro warm-ups
  • I’m noticing that I can do WAY MORE push-ups than I used to be able to. It’s almost easy
  • I’ve been given Kentauros (Strength) (EEK) and the same 100 Pull-ups and 100 Burpees tomorrow. Last time I gave feedback to Coach I said the Pull-ups were Maximum, so I’m surprised I’ve been given them again. Maybe it’s to try and get me to crack it
  • I still have a slight belly. I’m pretty sure this is because my diet isn’t perfect and that I’m still drinking beer every now and then. I’m going to try and be better at nutrition this week.

I’ll report back on those pull-ups tomorrow…

 

 

 

Freeletics: 1 / Me: 0

Freeletics in winter is really hard

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RAIN. Photo: dichohecho on Flickr

The combination of a massively hectic period at work, when all I want to do at the end of the day is eat comfort food and lie on the sofa, and the kind of desperately miserable winter weather is making exercise very difficult.

Freeletics send those emails that start ‘Athlete’, which feels very generous when really I’ve been eating pasta and watching TV.

But it’s Sunday and I’ve been on at my sisters – sitting down – and then sitting down on a long train journey, and even though it was 8pm when I got home, I rolled out the mat in the living room and did Day 2 of Week 8.

But first, let’s back track a bit…

At the start of week 8, I’ve been moved onto Dynamic Warm-up Pro and Static Stretching Pro. To be honest, I don’t really like them. I don’t find either of them much more difficult in strength terms, but I do find them more complicated to perform, and not as intuitive. But I am getting better at the one where you have to put your legs over your head.

I’ve also done Thanatos in the past week. Beat my PB which was pretty cool. And then today I had 2x Metis. I think I’m getting better at burpees, but I can’t really do more than about 10 in a row without a pause. I do like doing jumps though, and I’m pretty good at climbers.

Tomorrow its 3/5 Nemesis, 50 Pullups, 50 Pullups, 50 Burpees, 50 Burpees. OUCH. I won’t be able to do the pull-ups correctly, so I know I won’t have a star. That’s not me being defeatist, it’s just fact.

I am seeing a real difference in my physique though. And I’ve planned a very lean diet this week, so I’ll post a progress photo tomorrow.

In other news, my boyfriend has lost a stone. He’s not doing freeletics, but he’s been struggling with his weight, and this has given him a real boost. Kind of spurred me on to get back on it after being a bit slack over the past week or so.

Over and out.

Freeletics in winter is really hard

HELL WEEK #1

I was a bit worried about being able to complete Hell Week. Not only because the workout regime look HORRIFIC, but because I was travelling again and wasn’t sure where I’d be able to exercise. Turns out, apart from the first day, when I needed a pull-up bar, the whole weekend was sans-equipment, so I was able to do everything from the comfort of my hotel room. Only thing was that I didn’t have a mat, so came very close to carpet burn.

So here goes…

DAY 1: HADES and 2x PERSEPHONE

Hades was pretty tough. I hadn’t worked out for a few days, and the burpees nearly killed me. I did slightly duck out of the pull-ups as I didn’t have access to a bar, so I did pull-downs on the machine in the hotel gym. Still, was pretty tough. I also did the running on the spot rather than over a distance. But this workout still wiped me out and I had another one to do that day.

Although when I came to do Persephone towards the end of the day I was more than ready for more. Lunges are pretty straightforward, but then with more bloody burpees and straight leg levers (which are surprisingly difficult), this was pretty difficult. Also I had to do the whole thing twice.

My progress photo after this was very encouraging, albeit it was under generous hotel bathroom lighting. But I can definitely see my body changing now, and it feels great.

DAY 2: PROMETHEUS & HERMES

Really enjoyed Day 2. I was well up for it and smashed two PBs. Felt amazing afterwards.

DAY 3: THANATOS & 3xATHENA

Day 3 on the other hand was a bit of a killer. Got through it though if only to be able to say I’d completed a hell week, and to see what next week had in store. Also, did quite a good time on Thanatos and then realised I was basically doing squats rather than stand-ups as I hadn’t watched the video. So I’m going to remove the star from that one (I’ve got it again next week so will give it a proper go).

3xAthena – wow. That was hard. 225 of each exercise was a killer. Especially the burpees. I am finding myself getting quicker at everything though and that it’s easier to do each exercise properly.

And that was it. Not as taxing as I had feared. And the endorphin rush yesterday was huge.

Next week there’s a day where I’ve got to do 100 pull-ups. There’s no way on god’s earth I can do that.

Also, the warm-ups and stretching have changed to Warm Up Pro and Stretching Pro. Oooooh, exciting!

Oh, and finally, my diet has been shite this week. Not much alcohol (dry January has really had an affect on my overall drinking), but rubbish food as I’ve been away from home. Need to get back on that next week.

HELL WEEK #1

Quick note about pain

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You might remember that back when I started Freeletics, I was experiencing a fair amount of lower back pain. I thought it was a combination of long-haul flights, sitting down for my job, and possibly performing the exercises wrong.

Over the past couple of weeks, that lower back pain has almost disappeared. I feel stronger and have more stamina. I think this is probably due to strengthening my core, and my body getting used to the workouts. It feels great!

I’ve also worked in a bit of yoga into my stretches at the end of each workout, which is really helping with my flexibility.

I think this reduction in pain is absolutely connected with making sure I’m hydrated and that I warm up before and stretch properly afterwards.

Having said all that, I’m about to get on a long-haul flight, so it’s entirely possible I’ll be eating my words.

Quick note about pain