Hell Week Day 2: Artemis

Aaah, I’d forgotten about Artemis. Definitely one of my least favourite Freeletics workouts. Each exercise is done all at once. And there are lots of repetitions.

50 Burpees

50 Pullups

100 Sit-ups

150 Squats

50 Burpees

Horrible. I almost gave up twice. There’s something horrible about having to do so many reps back to back. Somehow splitting them up like most workouts do feels more manageable.

I didn’t do the pullups properly, obvs. I did jumping pullups. But everything else I did with correct form. No star, but I beat my PB.

I was pretty sweaty at the end. Also – and I think this happened on Hell Week once before – I have a cold. Came on yesterday. I had to summon up the energy to workout, but it made me feel better. Going to see how I feel tomorrow, but hoping I can push through. It’s GAIA tomorrow, which is a bit easier.

Onwards!

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Hell Week Day 2: Artemis

Hell Week Day 1: Persephone

Morning.

First day of Hell Week today. Haven’t done one for a while. I always have that mixture of dread and excitement when I click that colour scheme changes from blue to red and I see that the following week’s training is Hell Week.

I was going to start yesterday (Sunday), but I went for a swim instead. 30, 32 or 34 lengths (lost count!) in half an hour. Not bad.

So when I woke up this morning (early because of the clock’s going back), I knew that if I didn’t start Hell Week today I wouldn’t do it at all. I always find that if you don’t start out well on a Monday morning, it’s really hard to get the momentum going for the rest of the week.

Day 1 was fairly straightforward – Persephone (Endurance).

30 HH Squats
30 Sprawls
30 HH Leg Raises

20 HH Squats
20 Sprawls
20 HH Leg Raises

10 HH Squats
10 Sprawls
10 HH Leg Raises

I find these days that squats are much easier. I can feel that my legs are much stronger. I used to think that because I cycle everywhere I didn’t need to work on my legs as much. But now I do, I can cycle faster and feel stronger.

I like Persephone. It’s quick, relatively easy, but you still feel like you’ve had a full body workout. I even beat my PB by about 3 minutes. Good start to the week.

It’s Artemis tomorrow, which I’m really not looking forward to.

Hell Week Day 1: Persephone

The Pull-Up: Mastered. Kind of.

Finally, a breakthrough.

After a few weeks using a resistance band to do assisted pull-ups as part of my Coach weeks, but also as extra practice, I surprised myself yesterday.

Coach gave me 4 strict pull-ups as part of my conditioning workout. I rolled my eyes and thought ‘yeah, right’. Usually I’d not even attempt to do the pull-up properly. But yesterday, for some reason, I went to the bar without the band.

And I could do it! I did three pull-ups with correct form! Arms extended, feet off floor and then chin over bar. Couldn’t do the forth properly, but fuck it, I’d actually done three properly!

So how did that happen?

I’ve been doing Freeletics for nearly two years. Far longer than the 15 week transformation videos posted on YouTube. If you read back in this blog, you’ll see that I’m far from the disciplined trainer. I might be fairly good at training regularly, but I’m slack on diet and I drink alcohol.

And I’ve always struggled with the pull-up. I was a skinny kid. I didn’t have the muscles in my arm to pull up my bodyweight. So for nearly two years I did jumping pull-ups. And then when I was staying at a hotel, I used a resistance band for the first time. And suddenly being able to do a proper pull-up felt a lot closer. And so I bought one from the Freeletics Store and have been using it nearly every day since.

I think the good thing about using a band rather than the jumping pull-up, is that the band actually makes you use the muscles needed in the pull-up, whereas the jumping one doesn’t really. I’m no expert here, though, so please do correct me if this isn’t true.

Either way, by doing the assisted pull-up regularly I must have been training my arms in the right way. The challenge now is to build up beyond three (!). My plan is to keep doing assisted pull-ups until I can do more than ten without a break.

I had to do a further 30 assisted pull-ups as part of the day’s training, and they also felt easier, although I can’t do 10 back-to-back yet.

Today, I also did 28 lengths at the pool. Every time I go I’m adding two lengths. The window to swim on a Sunday is only 45 minutes after classes and before the pool closes, so there’s no hanging around. When I first started going I could only manage 20, and I had to take breaks every few lengths. Now I can do 28 without a break, with time to spare. I’m aiming to get to 40.

So all in all, I’m feeling good. And all this after a week off last week. I was tired, work was busy and I kind of got off on the wrong foot on Sunday. So I didn’t train at all last week. Managed a swim on Sunday and that was it. I was waking up late, not eating much fruit and veg, not drinking enough water.

But this weekend I’ve had lots of sleep, got all the food in for the week and cleaned my flat, so I’m ready for the week ahead.

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Um, this is not me. Photo by @japhethmast on Unsplash.com
The Pull-Up: Mastered. Kind of.

Sundays in your thirties…

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Photo by Artem Verbo on Unsplash (this is not me in the photo btw)

Sunday again. Yesterday I was out of town for work all day and only arrived back late. My boyfriend was out drinking and wanted me to join him, but I was exhausted and headed to bed.

I was thankful of that this morning. I’m in my late 30s now, and the feeling of waking up fresh on a Sunday is beginning to seriously outweigh the fun of getting drunk. This morning, I woke up at 8am, read for an hour and then did Freeletics.

16 Sprawls
2 Pikes

Conditioning: Upper Body, Abs
3 rounds of…
10 Assisted Pull-ups
15 Pushups
30sec Superman Hold
15 Hanging Leg Raises

4/10 Gaia

Firstly, I do find it amusing when Coach assigns you to do 2 or 1 of something, so those Pikes were over quickly…

I enjoyed the conditioning. For some reason it feels like Coach has been focussing more on my lower body recently, so it was nice to do a proper upper body workout.

My new Freeletics resistance band means I can now do Assisted Pull-ups at home. If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know how hard I find pull-ups, but the band is actually making it feel possible that I might be able to master them one day. I can still only do 5 or 6 Assisted Pull-ups without needing a break though.

Also, hanging leg raises are tough.

To have finished my workout by 10am felt amazing. A far cry from the dry-mouthed, fuzzy-head Sundays of years gone by.

I also did about half an hour of cycling to and from my boyfriend’s house, and went for a swim. Go me.

The pool was really quiet. When it’s not so busy I find it much easier to get into a flow. And I’m noticing how much my endurance has increased. When I first took up swimming again a few years ago I could barely do two lengths without needing a break. Today I did a full 24 lengths with no break.

There is only lane swimming at my local pool for 45 minutes on a Sunday, so I can’t hang around. And recently I decided to add another 2 lengths every time I go, so I’ll need to start working much harder.

I felt like I deserved that roast dinner and a film tonight.

Sundays in your thirties…