4 things I’ve noticed about Freeletics recently and some BIG NEWS

Gosh, how is my last post January? I promise I have been doing Freeletics, just not writing about it very regularly. I did have bit of a break as I was dealing with a recurring shoulder pain and had a few weeks of sports massages to sort it out.

But I’m back on it now and as the weather is improving, I’ve been training outside a few times. It’s been nice.

I’m really enjoying how the updated bodyweight app has options for only having 15 minutes, no space to run, no equipment etc so that you can tweak your coach week during the week rather than just at the beginning. Much better and really useful for me if I don’t leave enough time in the morning but still want to work out.

But the BIG NEWS is that I finally caved in to Freeletics’ constant promotion of the nutrition app on their emails and took advantage of a 50% off offer.

I think I’ve been feeling like I can only make real progress if I actually change the way I eat rather than just rely on exercise. And so far I’m impressed. I think I’ll write a proper review post in the coming week, but I’ve enjoyed some of the recipes, especially those using ingredients i don’t usually cook with, and as I’m a sucker for habit trackers/streaks, I enjoy trying to get my star/perfect day.

I’ve also largely replaced beer with wine / G&T when I’m drinking, and thanks to the app, massively reduced my bread and pasta consumption. I think those three things are definitely what stops me from being leaner.

Some things I’ve noticed:

  1. I find pullups easier these days – those assisted pullups I’ve been doing have paid off, so if you’re struggling with pullups, don’t lose faith, keep going
  2. Clapping pushups – never once managed to actually clap my hands. Feel like I need more power in my arms to be able to really push high enough
  3. Do burpees ever get any easier? I know they’re good for me, but my god I hate doing them
  4. When I don’t train I am much stiffer and less flexible. I find that when I’ve had a break I find touching my toes difficult, but when I’m training regularly it’s much easier.

Next time, I’ll write a full review of the Freeletics Nutrition app.

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4 things I’ve noticed about Freeletics recently and some BIG NEWS

And the start of 2019 brings… HELL WEEK

After slacking off at the end of 2018, I was determined to get back into Freeletics again…

My hell week looked like this:

Hermes
2x Agon
Charon
Perseus
Ares
2x Morpheus
Hestia

I have to say, I quite enjoyed the fact that each day was just one relatively short workout and that I could get it done quickly. It was a stretch doing it every day with a combination of jet-lag, a lingering cold and two mild hangovers (oops), but I did each one in the morning and genuinely they all made me feel better. I even got a couple of PBs. It was also a week mercifully free of burpees (some sprawls in Hestia which were hard enough after four weeks away). I also got a swim in too.

So I feel back in the game again. I’ve had today and yesterday as rest days, but will be back on it tomorrow.

And so now I’m doing the 12-week challenge as part of the new Freeletics coach. I’m doing the Weights-Free Gain programme. I love how I have a focus. I don’t think I realised it, but the previous coach was a little aimless. I wasn’t really focussing on any milestones and hell week often came as a surprise. Now I know what I’m aiming for and can see what my progress is. I’m really going to try and follow it closely and not have breaks. It feels like exactly the right time of year to do this programme – by the time I finish it’ll be the end of April and we’ll be heading into warmer weather.

For those of you who read the last post about habit tracking and goals: I’ve now set my 2019 goals and have been using the ‘Done’ app since 1 January. It’s got a lovely interface – the colours on the progress bars genuinely make you want to complete your habit/task so you can tap that bar.

And the start of 2019 brings… HELL WEEK

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This is probably going to be my last entry of 2018.

I’ve been really slack on Freeletics these past few weeks. This time I really don’t have any excuses. I’ve been lazy or hungover for most of December and also unwilling to get cold, blah blah… Been feeling guilty. I did do one Coach work out last week that was kind of okay, but I think I’ve been kind of waiting for the end of the year to restart everything.

And so yesterday I redid the assessment to end the current coach week I was stuck in. And low and behold, it presented Hell Week as my next Coach week.

The thing is, it’s Boxing Day today and I’m on holiday until the 3 January when I fly to New York for a 10 days for work (which will mean working into the evening/social events etc). All of which isn’t very inclusive to doing Hell Week properly. I won’t have a pullup bar etc. So I’ve decided to do some low intensity workouts over the next week to get myself back into it before tackling Hell Week on my return from NYC. Today I did Rhea, which was quick and easy.

*

And as the year draws to a close, I’m reflecting on how well I’ve been at sticking to my habits/goals.

Here are my goals for the year, and how I did:

Take four weeks’ holiday – FAIL (although I did take three, which is better than usual)
Visit a continent I’ve never been to before – FAIL
Pay off my credit card debt – FAIL
Read 26 books – I read five 😦
Have four days per week when I don’t drink – I managed at least two days every week
Do Freeletics at least three times per week – on average I managed 2 times per week
Inbox zero every week day – there were 21 working days when I didn’t do this, which I think it pretty good!
Swim once per week – I did this 39 times
Eat 5 fruit and veg per day – 188 times over the year
Drink 3 litres of water – usually managed this

There were also a few other work-related ones which won’t mean anything to you.

So, a mixed bag.

Over the next couple of days I’m going to set my goals for the coming year and I’ll let you know what they are.

For any productivity nerds out there, I’ve just switched from the Momentum app to ‘Done’, which is a lot more pleasing and flexible. Looking forward to using it in 2019 to track my habits.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Krios

In my last post I talked about ‘getting back to it’. That was almost a month ago. And to be honest not much has happened since then. Eek. I’ve been feeling tired and wintry and unmotivated. I haven’t even been swimming. I have been away for two weekends, but you know, #noexcuses…

I work from home on Friday so I made myself exercise first thing. It wasn’t too hard, but the workout included 2x Krios. I’ve said this before, but the first time I did this I gave myself a star and did it in about 11 minutes. It seems that there’s no option on the Freeletics app now to beat your previous time rather than your PB, but maybe I’m wrong. Anyway, it took much longer than 11 minutes and I was still doing assisted pullups.

So I worked out twice last week. Going to aim for four times this week so that I’ll have done six workouts over two weeks. Also going to make sure I swim too.

And then it’s almost Christmas. Which will be tough. And then a new start for 2019.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Krios

Getting back to it

A quick post today as I haven’t posted for a while. Last week I didn’t train at all. No real excuses – I had the time, I just didn’t prioritise it. And I didn’t swim either.

So today I cleaned the flat, went and bought lots of fruit and veg, did all my washing and planned when I’d train and when I’d swim this week and I’m going to try and stick to it. So here I am trying to be accountable by posting it here.

Interesting email today from Freeletics too. They’re about to launch a completely rebuilt app based around five key values. Look forward to seeing how it works.

Getting back to it

Keeping motivated in Autumn

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*Insert inspirational quote about roads and autumn here* Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

It’s been a while. I haven’t been slacking, I promise. Just busy.

Although I have taken a couple of weeks off my Coach programme to swim more regularly and to do the pull-up e-book that Freeletics published recently.

Now summer is over, it’s tempting to slack off training a bit though. You know, our bodies are covered up by more clothes, it’s colder, you want to eat more, it’s harder to train outside. But I’m trying to stay motivated and to remember that exercising helps my mental health during the winter.

I did do one of my Coach training sessions last week. This was:

10 Strict Pullups
10 Hanging Knee Raises
Interval: 3 rounds of 10 x squat jumps, 10x elevated split squats (both sides), 5x stands, 30secs rest
2/5 Achilles
50 High Knees (replaced a 100m sprint cos it was raining)

I quite enjoyed all of that. Varied. Seemed to work out most of my body. Was pleasantly exhausted at the end. Although the pullups and burpees in Achilles were punishing. I’m still not quite there with pullups, so did them as Assisted pullups.

Then I’ve been doing the programme of pullups that the Freeletics e-book suggests. It builds up intensity and frequency and there are lots of shoulder pullups and passive hangs, plus pullups. I can feel it getting easier and I’m on week 2. Week 3 next week, which I’m going to combine with my normal coach workouts and a swim at the weekend.

I’ve also been increasing the length of my swims by 50m each time. I’m now up to 46 lengths of a 25m pool. Considering when I started a few years ago 20 lengths was my absolute max, I’m pretty pleased with that. Have been trying to work on my technique too.

I’ve written about this before, but the weekly email from Freeletics today reminded me that my focus, determination and ability to work through something until it’s finished has massively improved since I started doing Freeletics. I really do believe that physical exercise has a big impact on your ability to concentrate. I find myself really pushing through difficult tasks at work, at home. I’m much more likely to just do something than to put it off. And I think the way that Freeletics is designed has helped me with that. The thought of not finishing a workout on the app and not being able to earn points or tick off the day means I always push through. Having a community of other people following me keeps me accountable somehow too.

I also use a habit-building app called Momentum where I can track my streaks with certain activities. That old Jerry Seinfeld thing about not breaking the chain inspires me to keep going and pull on that workout gear. I also track other stuff like eating well, reading, getting to bed on time, waking up early etc. Wanting to get a perfect streak compels me to train every week.

So people, what keeps you going? How do you motivate yourself?

Keeping motivated in Autumn

First go at the HS Pushup

Well, I kind of kept up the good work. I trained four times this week, which has been unheard of recently. And I did three days with no alcohol whatsoever and two with only a glass or two of wine. And when I did drink, I didn’t drink beer (liquid bread as someone called it recently). However, on Wednesday I had a work party where there was loads of free wine. One of those events where someone is always filling up your glass so you’re never quite sure how much you’ve had to drink. I pretty much had the recommended units of alcohol in one evening. Oops.

Training this week went like this:

Sunday

I blogged about this at the time. I did Ares in the park with an inquisitive child looking on. Did it in 10:23 and replaced actual pullups with jumping pullups.

Monday

Drill
8x Hanging Knee Raises
1x HS Pushups

Interval – 4 rounds of:
8x Incline Rows
8x Negative Pushups
8x Squat Jumps
60s Rest

1/4 Venus

50 High Knees

Most of that was absolutely fine.  But the HS Pushup? There was just absolutely no way that I could do that. I got up against the wall okay, but actually being able to lift my head off the floor was impossible. My arms just aren’t strong enough. Definitely one to work on.

Wednesday

Drill
15x Burpee Squat Jumps
10x Strict Pullups

Interval – 4 rounds of:
5s Pullup Hold
10x Situps
5x Plank Switches
60s Rest

1/2 Amazona

I took my time on the pullups and made sure I did them properly.

Amazona is one of the new workouts. I quite enjoyed it. Definitely works out your legs (it’s all lunges and squat jumps and plank leg lifts). It was over quite quickly (05:32) and I definitely felt like I’d had to work hard enough

Friday

2x Hebe

Half way through this I had a short break and came out of the app momentarily to look at Twitter (!). My phone took this moment to update the Freeletics app, so I lost the workout and had to start again. So I had a 7minute break in the middle of 2x Hebe. To be honest this was very welcome. It’s a tough workout I think, even though Freeletics marks it as easy and quick. This worked out my legs more than Amazona. Squat jumps, Squats, Sprawls and pushups. I was very sweaty at the end.

Next week brings my first Adonis and my first Kerberos. Bring it on.

 

First go at the HS Pushup