An aborted run…

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I’m away from home again. My hotel is right across from a big park. Perfect for trying Freeletics Running, I thought to myself.

So I set off yesterday for my first run. Now, I don’t really run. I get out of breath very quickly. It just doesn’t really suit me.

But actually, my first run seemed pretty easy. I did ‘Bastet’. It basically goes:

100m then 2 min rest
200m then 3 min rest
400m then 5 min rest
200m then 3 min rest
400m then 5 min rest
200m then 3 min rest
100m

It was quite straightforward. However, I got to the final 200m and my phone died. Sometimes I hate iPhones. I left the hotel with 50% battery. In my rest parts, when I was walking through the park I browsed the internet – nothing massive. By the time I was half way through I was at 33% and then it just shut off. Grr. So I didn’t actually finish the run.

I did notice that I didn’t get that horrible sick feeling I usually get when I run – I think it’s because I took it at a sensible pace and the rests were spaced about right. Also it was a great head-clearer, and the fresh air was good… maybe I’m being converted (pah, after 1 run!)

Going to give it another go tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I’ve been swimming in the pool every morning, which feels good.

 

 

 

An aborted run…

Sunday Night Training

Last night I did something I never usually do. I trained. Sunday nights are usually for movies, a roast, a bath, book and early bed.

But last night I had an early dinner and I’d had a fairly lazy day. I needed to exert some energy. So I pulled on my shorts and go to it. Incidentally the ‘small’ training shorts I bought when I started Freeletics are now considerably less baggy than they used to be. Seems all those squats do make a difference.

And I was glad I worked out. It took less than half an hour and then I slept like a baby.

I started with:

Endurance (full body)

5 sprawls, 20 high knees, 20 jumping jacks, 30 secs rest x 5 sets

Pretty straightforward. Felt like a warm up, and certainly raised my pulse.

Then

2/4 Venus

50 push-ups, 20 sit-ups, 50 squats x 2 sets

Thought this would be easy, but either I was out of practice or was tired. The push-ups were really hard. I wanted to do it under 10 minutes, but only managed 12:15.

Then I stretched and had a bath. And felt like I’d got a head start on the week. Will definitely be doing that again.

Here’s where I am versus week 1

Sunday Night Training

Strength vs Cardio

I’ve always been a skinny guy. I have a fast metabolism, and have always been fairly active. I cycle to work and always have lots of energy.
When I started Freeletics, it was because I was developing a beer belly. My waist hasn’t increased, but my belly has!

I also didn’t have much muscle definition, especially on my arms and chest. Over a year of Freeletics I’ve also learned that I didn’t have much definition on my legs either.

So for ages I’ve been selecting Strength Coach, in order to build muscle. But recently I switched to Strength & Cardio so that I could shift a bit more of that belly fat, and to mix things up a bit. And I’m quite enjoying it. I’m also going to start doing Freeletics Running this week (hopefully!), as I find running really hard and can’t really do any distance.

So I’ll keep you posted on that. 

What Coach do you use, and why?

Strength vs Cardio

Is May too late to think about your summer body?!

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It’s May, and summer is around the corner. Time to put some effort in for that summer body. Even though I kind of object to that term. But still. It’d be nice to look good on the beach.

I’ve had a bit of a break – no reason apart from laziness. Too many nights going for post-work drinks, which not only means I don’t exercise in the evening (and am more likely to eat pasta for dinner!), it means I’m also less likely to get up early with a clear head after a good night’s sleep and head to the park.

I know that alcohol is the single biggest reason I don’t exercise. If I drink (even one or two drinks), my sleep isn’t good quality, I wake up groggy and I end up drinking tea in bed and scrolling through the internet on my phone for too long.

My challenge is that I work with my friends, and my job involves a lot of socialising in the evening. Most nights of the week, someone is bound to suggest going to the pub after we finish at the office, or there’ll be some event or other. It’s also much more difficult when the sun’s out.

So I’ve been trying to be really strict with myself. I try to decline, or make plans after work that don’t involve drinking. And where possible, I exercise in the morning, so that at least I’ve got it out of the way first thing. That feels so good.

But Coach 2.0 is really helping. The workouts are shorter, but no less taxing. I’m much more likely to haul myself out of bed in the morning and do a Freeletics session if I know that the whole thing isn’t going to take longer than 30 minutes, including warm-up and stretching. I really like knowing what part of my body is being exercised each day. And it all feels more efficient and clean.

Overall I’ve noticed more people refer to me as being in really good physical shape. I know my body looks more in proportion, that I have more stamina and commitment in lots of different areas. Freeletics works.

I’m going to start taking progress photos more regularly. Every week. Here’s where I am versus week 1, which is now over a year ago.

Here’s to Summer 2017!

 

 

Is May too late to think about your summer body?!

Freeletics Bodyweight Coach 4.0: Review #3

Getting into the swing of the new coach now. Yesterday was:

Conditioning
Interval: Legs, Core

3x rounds of

Squat Jumps
Bicycle Crunches
Split Lunges
Single Leg Hip Raises Left
Single Leg Hip Raises Right

2/5 Morpheus

And today I ACHE. The whole session took about 20 minutes. I was sweating and tired by the end. And today my glutes and thighs ache.

It’s quite difficult to do a whole set of new exercises when you can’t stop and re-watch the videos to make sure you’re doing it right, so I didn’t give myself a star, but things can only get easier.

Freeletics Bodyweight Coach 4.0: Review #3

Freeletics Bodyweight 4.0 Review #2

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I’ve now done two more days of the new Coach. And I have to say I’m really enjoying it. The workouts are shorter and more intense, and I’m finding that they’re really working my muscles a lot harder (I’m have more of that satisfying soreness – is it satisfying?).

Yesterday I did:

10 Jumps
Poseidon

The jumps, pan, no problem. I did Poseidon in 04:09, but no star because I still can’t do perfect form pullups.

And then today, the final day of my three-day Coach week, was

Conditioning
Interval: Core, Upper Body.
3 rounds of:
Commando Pullups Left x10
Side Plank Twists Left x15
Side Plank Twists Right x15
Commando Pullups Right x10
Plank Switches x10

Taking each in turn:

Commando Pullups
I found these relatively straightforward although I’m not doing them correct form. I could just about do 3 the other day and it was the same this time. Then I started having to give myself a little jump start.

Side Plank Twists
I liked these. I could feel that they will be good for core strength, but they were also nice stretches. They got more testing later on in the workout.

Plank Switches
I also enjoyed these. They were fairly tough later on, but they were a nice change from pushups.

I’m really liking how the workouts are quite quick, but work your muscle groups really hard. I am finding it much easier to do before work. And not racing against the clock means that I’m much more likely to concentrate on whether I’m doing things right, rather than trying to beat a PB.

I’ve set the next Coach week to 2 workouts which I’ll do later this week, as I’ve now done four days in a row (including two swimming sessions and an hour’s bike ride).

While I’m here, a quick update on nutrition…

I’ve been making some really conscious changes to my diet. These include:

  • Cutting out bread as much as possible
  • Low carb lunches (usually a chicken salad or similar)
  • Porridge or overnight protein oats for breakfast
  • As much fruit and veg as possible, certainly more than five pieces a day
  • Shit-loads of water
  • Cutting down on beer and wine in favour of spirits, and cutting down my drinking alcohol at all to one or two nights a week.
  • Higher protein content in most meals (last night’s steak was delicious!)
Freeletics Bodyweight 4.0 Review #2

Freeletics Bodyweight Coach 4.0: Week 1 review

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Today was – finally – my first day of the new Coach.

Here’s what was in store:

10 Pushups

Strength, Interval: Upper Body: 
4 Rounds of:
Commando Pullups Left x3
Commando Pullups Right x3
Straight Bar Dips x8
Clapping Pushups x8
Strict Pullups x4
Rest 60

It feels like this first week is about Coach figuring out what I can and can’t do. Almost like redoing the fitness test again.

But the first thing I notice is that whereas before, all you needed to do Freeletics Bodyweight was a pull-up bar, now it’s a bit more complicated. I don’t have an adjustable bar at home. I have a fixed pull-up bar. So Straight Bar Dips are impossible. I really want to carry on doing Freeletics at home, rather than at a gym or elsewhere, so I might have to invest in one of their portable bars. This is a bit annoying as they’re not cheap. But hey. Today I improvised by doing the Straight Bar Dips on a work surface – far from perfect form though.

So, taking each exercise one-by-one:

Push-ups

10 push-ups are no problem. Did them in 00:14, correct form. I was reminded, after not having done Freeletics for a week or so, how easy I now find push-ups. I have a much stronger upper body and find doing 10 no problem at all. Now onto the interval training.

Commando Pull-ups Left / Right

These were easier than I thought they would be, at least in the first couple of rounds. I was surprised by my strength. They got much harder in the latter half of the workout though and by the end I wasn’t really doing them correct form.

Straight Bar Dips

So yeah, I was doing these on a table basically. I started doing them between two chairs, but the chairs really hurt my hands, and actually once I used the table, I could do much better form. These were quite hard. Although I kind of think I might be able to get good at them relatively quickly.

Clapping Pushups

Ha. So I could just about do these on the first round, but the 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounds I couldn’t really do them, so just ended up doing normal pushups. Blimey these are hard!

Strict Pullups

Those of you who have read this blog before will know my struggle with the pull-up. But I have to say that not doing them against the clock and concentrating on form not speed meant that I pretty much did them perfectly on the first round. The later rounds were more tricky and I had to give myself a bit of a jump-start, but I felt like I was making progress.

Overall, I was easily as knackered and sweaty as I usually am at the end of a Freeletics workout. I’ve read elsewhere, mainly on Reddit, that some people find the new coach too easy, but I certainly found it as challenging, if not more so, than the old coach. It was hard to get my head out of wanting to do everything really quickly, as speed has been such a part of the mentality of Freeletics for so long, but once I got my head around concentrating on technique, I found it really enjoyable, and quite difficult.

Next up this week, I have:

Day 2
10 Jumps
Poseidon

Day 3
Conditioning: Interval: Core, Upper Body

Freeletics Bodyweight Coach 4.0: Week 1 review