I’ve got the day off today. As it’s Friday it was tempting to lounge around, drink coffee, maybe go to the pub late afternoon. BUT NOT ME. Now I can do pullups I feel INVINCIBLE. I’m like a new man. There’s no stopping me.
After my pullup breakthrough on Wednesday I also worked out yesterday.
5 Strict Pullups
6 Straight Bar Dips
I’m pleased to say that it wasn’t a fluke. I did the 5 strict pullups pretty easily. Well, not easily, but easily enough.
The straight bar dips though. Erm, I simply couldn’t do them. I rigged up my Freeletics bar in a door way and between worrying that it would collapse and worrying that I’d bang my head on the door frame, once I actually got onto the bar I couldn’t really do the dip – just didn’t have a strength. So maybe these need a bit of work…
And then 2/3 Dione, which was absolutely disgusting. I don’t know why I once wrote on this blog that it was FUN. It’s really not. It doesn’t help that it was pretty humid here yesterday. I don’t think I’ve sweated so much. I hate burpees. Absolutely hate them. I didn’t beat my PB and I was delighted when it was over.
Yesterday I worked out early evening, so I wasn’t sure whether I’d do my third and final workout of the week this morning or later in the day. But when I woke up this morning I actually wanted to, so I did. Today was:
Interval – Legs, Lower Back 4 sets of:
8 x Cossack Squats
10 x Single Leg Hip Raises Right
10 x Single Leg Hip Raises Left
10 xSquat Jumps
60 secs rest
2/5 Aphrodite (Endurance)
Sheesh. This felt like quite a lot. The whole thing took me nearly an hour. I wasn’t particularly in a rush though and was trying to concentrate on form.
But I got through it, and then after a bowl of porridge and dried fruit and a coffee, I went for a swim and did 30 lengths.
I think that’s quite enough exercise for one day. I’m now having a little afternoon lie down…
I’m back. After my longest time away from Freeletics yet. A five week break, but it feels like longer.
My job involves a pretty massive project that happens every two years. It’s an eleven-day event that means I’m working 14 hour days for about two weeks, plus long days and nights in the lead-up. I wrote in my last post about how it’s hard to keep up momentum when life or work takes over, and after writing that I decided to cut myself some slack.
On the plus side of not working out, I massively increased my step count every day and I often eat less (adrenaline, time etc). On the downside, I tend to drink more at social events in the evening, and when I do eat, I tend to choose quick-fix food like pasta, pizza etc rather than wholesome meals. Mmmm, hot cheese and carbs.
But the event is over now, so I’ve been reclaiming my routine. Pretty much everything else went out of the window too – I stopped reading, keeping a journal, drinking enough water, swimming, getting my five a day etc etc. So this week has been about pushing myself back into these habits.
I was also daunted by where I stopped in my coach week. I left a workout hanging – Dione plus some other stuff (can’t remember what now), and every time I opened the app there it was looking scary and difficult.
So this morning, after a long night’s sleep (I still have quite the sleep debt to repay), I decided to redo the fitness assessment and start again. A five week break seemed like as good enough reason as anything, and I figured that doing something quick and undemanding like the test might help me break the psychological deadlock I’ve found myself in.
It’s pretty easy – a dynamic warm up which is pretty standard, then 10 pushups, 25 sit ups and 25 mountain climbers. Didn’t really break a sweat. But it felt good to be back on the mat, and now doing it again tomorrow doesn’t seem so scary.
On a related note, I’ve really noticed that I feel more stiff and more achey after a long time away from Freeletics. My back hurts again and I don’t feel as flexible. I can’t touch my toes, when before it was really easy. I’m going for a massage on Tuesday to try and ease up some of those muscles.
It feels like the perfect time to get back into Freeletics now that the sun’s out (kind of – it’s raining here today), and the weather is nicer.
It also feels like a good cardio workout, what with all those jumping jacks.
As soon as I started I realised I was definitely going to beat my PB. I always have half an eye on those little blue bars during the workout – the ones that tell you whether you’re ahead or behind of your PB. And I get competitive with myself.
I was faster on every single thing. Some significantly. It was a real boost to know how far I’ve come in a year. Sometimes I don’t think I’m making progress at all, that I’m just flatlining, but then there are days like today when I can see how much fitter I am.
Even leg-raises, which I hate, weren’t so bad. Although I often think they’re doing damage to the small of my back.
I completed the workout a full TWELVE MINUTES better than my PB. TWELVE MINUTES. I was absolutely dripping with sweat and felt quite light headed, but my god it felt good.
I have one day left to do in Hell Week. I’m not doing it today because I went swimming instead. I’ll do it tomorrow morning. It’s a quick one – Nyx – which shouldn’t take more than ten minutes.
And then Hell Week is done.
I can’t quite believe I’ve been doing Freeletics for nearly two years. And it still hasn’t lost its appeal. Bring on the next two years.
Today it was a beautiful autumnal morning. Cold, crisp and sunny. I could see my breath. I headed out to the basketball court next to my house and trained there. There’s usually no one else there, so I can sweat and pant without fear of embarrassment.
I have a funny relationship with Kentauros. Today it was Endurance, so slightly easier. I kind of hate doing it, and I always think it’s going to take ages. But today I did it in 18mins, and I wasn’t cutting corners.
If you don’t know it, Kentauros is one of the tougher of the Freeletics workouts. It’s particularly hard on the thighs.
Six sets of:
2x20m HH Lunge Walks
10 High Knees
2x20m Sprawl Frogs
10 High Knees
But I did it. And it felt so good to finish. I genuinely think that my stamina and ability to finish things in all aspects of my life has improved because of Freeletics. Once you’ve pressed go on the app, you know that the feeling of giving up will be much worse than the temporary pain of pushing through. And you know that your workout is only going to be about half an hour, so you might as well finish.
And so when I’m at work, or at home, I find it much easier to start a task and not stop until its done. I’m much less likely to part-finish something, or get bored and go and do something else. I set myself a goal and I work until its done. Whether that’s clearing my inbox, writing a paper, cleaning etc etc.
Anyway, training outside today was lovely. I’m hoping I can fit another outdoor session in this week. Tomorrow is a lot easier: Hyperion. But then… Saturday’s workout is Dione. A year ago it took me 55 mins. So I’m hoping I can beat that, but I’m not looking forward to it.
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.