New Year Freeletics Goals, Yoga and an aborted attempt to do an HS Push-Up

nordwood-themes-467442.jpg

Blimey. Haven’t written this blog since November. Where does the time go?

Even though I usually train indoors rather than outdoors, I’ve been finding it really hard to find the motivation to get up and exercise. Something about the cold weather, the desire to hibernate. So I haven’t been training regularly. And then I was ill for a few days just before Christmas, and then there was Christmas. However hard I try, I’m just not one of those people posting pictures of their Christmas Day workouts on Instagram. I’m in soft clothes, drinking red wine and eating chocolate.

I did manage to not completely overdo it over Christmas though. My parents are getting old and their appetite is shrinking, so there just wasn’t the usual level of gluttony of years gone by. So as I enter January, I’m not feeling too unhealthy. Although I did rather overdo it on New Year’s Eve, so yesterday was a complete write-off.

Today’s Training

So this morning, my last day before I go back to work, I made myself get out of bed and train. As much because I find that working out helps curb that too-much-booze anxiety that often comes with a hangover.

Thankfully Coach wasn’t too hard on me for my first workout of 2018. It was:

20 Lunges
2 Split Lunges
Conditioning: Abs and Legs – 20 Squats, 20 Side Lunges, 10 Knee-wipes
1/4 Venus

There’s something hilarious about the algorithm – sorry, Coach – giving you 2 split lunges. It’s over in about 2 seconds. Surely there should be a way that Freeletics could put a lower limit on any one exercise.

Anyway, it felt good to get moving again and I was glad I dragged myself out of bed.

Trying to Unlock Advanced Skills

I also managed to squeeze in a workout on the day before New Year’s Eve – that in between bit between Christmas and New Year where no one really knows what to do with themselves.

After doing the workout – 6/10 Gaia and interval – I decided to try and unlock some of the advanced skills. It didn’t end well.

I did manage to do 5 OH Push-ups, and I’m going to start trying to do them alongside my Coach workouts, in the same way as I do assisted pull-ups. And then I tried to do a Pistol Squat, which was just impossible, and a HS Pushup, which was also laughably hard. I just couldn’t do it. And then when I came out of it, I didn’t let my legs fall as one would normally do when coming out of a handstand. Instead, I kind of slid down the wall, which kind of crunched up my head/neck. It was pretty painful. And a stupid way of trying to come out of the push-up. Felt like I could have done some serious damage if I’d carried on. Thankfully I figured out what I should have done and did that. Was in pain for about two days. Which was lovely. Suffice to say, I didn’t unlock those two. It did make me think that in those training videos, Freeletics should show how to get into and out of those more difficult skills. It would really help.

Yoga

As a result of the neck pain, I ended up doing a YouTube yoga workout to try and relieve it. And it kind of worked. I think I’m going to try and do more yoga in 2018 alongside Freeletics, to try and increase my flexibility and sort out some niggling muscle pain I get every now and then. This is the video I did, in case you want to do it to:

I might do his 30 Day Total Body Yoga Workout Challenge. Looks great and might get me into the habit of doing it regularly.

2018 Goals

So, what’s my plan for 2018? I’ve been doing Freeletics for over two years now. I certainly haven’t do the 15 week transformation that the YouTube videos show. I guess when I started I didn’t want a quick fix, I wanted a way to exercise regularly, and that’s what I use Freeletics for. But I would like to build my strength, particularly in my arms, and I’d like to lose a bit more belly fat – I suspect that will be more down to diet than to exercise, so I’m going to make a real effort to eat well and drink less (pretty standard New Year resolution stuff here). But I think I also want to increase my flexibility, and build consistency – fewer breaks, more regular workouts. I suspect that’s the key to really making progress.

And maybe by this time next year, I’ll be able to do a couple more of those advanced skills.

Happy New Year – let’s do this!

Advertisements
New Year Freeletics Goals, Yoga and an aborted attempt to do an HS Push-Up

Entering the final week of #CoachChallenge

Tomorrow I start the final week of #CoachChallenge.

I have to say, I’ve found the promise of a voucher and the Week 3 40% discount has encouraged me to not break my routine. So often with Freeletics, I’ve had breaks or a week where I haven’t exercised once. Hence why, even though I’ve been doing Freeletics for nearly 2 years, I’m still only on Week 47. But now I’m in more of a regular routine, exercising in the mornings rather than evenings, I find it much easier to stick to the plan.

I used the Week 3 40% discount to buy a new pull-up bar, which I can adjust to do the exercises that require a lower bar (incline rows, negative bar dips etc), and an a resistance band which I’m going to use to try and finally crack pull-ups. Annoyingly they arrived yesterday when I was out, and tomorrow is Monday, so I hope I’m not going to carry on missing the delivery every day this week.

Last night I went to my friends house for a cheese and wine party. Four of us. Twelve cheeses. Bread. Meats. Lots of wine. Not good for that six-pack. So today I ate loads of vegetables and healthy carbs, went swimming and did about half an hour cycling around town. And I’m going to try and have a good week sticking to all my habits.

Now it’s September, I’m a bit annoyed with myself that I didn’t push myself harder to exercise outdoors more this summer. I only did it a handful of times, mainly because it’s so easy to do it in my living room and I still feel a little self-conscious doing it. But when I do, it feels so good.

Just in case you’re interested, here’s my final #CoachChallenge week:

Day 1
10 Straight Bar Dips
Conditioning (Legs, Core): 3 x rounds 30 Squats, 15 Arm & Leg Lifts (L&R), 15 Standups
Krios

Day 2
8 Crunches
Conditioning (Upper Body, Abs): 3x rounds 15 Pushups, 20 Bicycle Crunches, 15 Plank Switches, 10 Leg Raises
4/5 Hyperion

Day 3
10 Split Lunges
12 Pushups
4/5 Aphrodite
400m Sprint
400m Sprint

Day 4
6 Jumps
10 Strict Pullups
Conditioning (Legs, Abs): Split lunges, Calf Raises, Leg Raises, High Knees). 3 rounds x 20 each

I still don’t really have anywhere to do sprints. I need to find a big flat place. All the parks near me are on hills and all the quiet roads are hills too. Hmm.

I’ll let you know how I get on. Have a great week.

Entering the final week of #CoachChallenge

Why I’m ditching MyFitnessPal and other news…

I haven’t written for a while, so here’s a big old update.

New Coach review update

I wrote about the new coach a while back (here, here and here) when it first came out. I was into it. I found the workouts shorter and more intense and felt like they were working my muscle groups harder.

Since then I’ve read people on Reddit saying that the new coach isn’t anywhere near as difficult or challenging, and that they’re frequently ending work-outs not as exhausted or drenched in sweat as before.

Now I’m no fitness expert, but here’s my take on this. What I love is that you’re made to focus on technique first – although I’m not sure what the point of doing 1 pike is, as I was asked to do the other week – and then you do conditioning, and then one or part of the existing Freeletics Gods work-outs. I find the workouts more varied, and I am increasingly as exhausted and satisfied after each session as before. This might be that I’m being really careful with my feedback to Coach, and therefore my work-outs are being tweaked accordingly.

It seems like Freeletics have realised that just working people until they drop doesn’t necessarily get the best long-term results; that exhaustion doesn’t always mean a work-out has been effective. They’re helping us get better at technique.

I also find that the benefit of not being made to do full Freeletics Gods work-outs means I’m not as daunted (or bored) by my coach weeks.

Warm-ups and cool-downs

I also really love the new warm-ups and cool-downs. My biggest complaint about the app as it was was that it was really difficult to time your stretching at the end, but now it times each stretch, and I feel like the stretches are working my whole body.

#CoachChallenge update

I’m into week 4 of #CoachChallenge and I have to say the promise of money off Freeletics stuff is really keeping me going. I managed to keep to my schedule despite being away from home twice in environments where drinking and staying up late is part of the work. On my first trip there was also a gym in the apartment block which had a great pull-up bar and assistance bands, which were brilliant. Going to buy one.

Diet update

I’ve stopped using MyFitnessPal. I’ve been using it for ages and it was beginning irritate me. Also, it wasn’t particularly helping me lose weight or eat better, it was just telling me every day that even though I regularly came in under my calorie goal, my macros were always off (too many carbs and too much fat and not enough protein).

So instead I’m just being really mindful of what I’m eating and actually I think it’s making me eat better. For some reason, not counting everything means I try harder to eat well. I also think it’s helping me make better permanent changes to the way I eat.

I also think MyFitnessPal was damaging my relationship to what I eat. I love food. I love cooking. I don’t want to become a clean eating freak or one of those gym bunnies that only eat grilled chicken and protein shakes. I want to eat a balanced, healthy diet that makes me feel good, that is fresh and not processed and that tastes really good. I don’t want to reduce what I eat to numbers and pie charts. It’s not good for the soul.

Over the past couple of years I’ve read enough about food to know what’s good for you, what to eat in moderation and what to avoid. So I’m ditching the app and just trying to eat well. And it feels great.

Why I’m ditching MyFitnessPal and other news…

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