End of Week 5

  
Realised I haven’t updated this much for a while. Not that anyone has noticed. I’m basically just talking to myself.

However, just watched a YouTube video with Joe Wicks (aka The Body Coach) where he talked about tweeting and instagramming about three recipes/workouts a day when he had zero followers, so YOU NEVER KNOW, maybe I’ll become a social media sensation and get a four-book deal. Or, more likely, I’ll just keep chuntering away here on my own.

I think my problem is that I’ve never been known as a sporty person. The idea of me doing anything sporty, let alone blogging about it, will be quite strange to my friends. And some of them have signed up to Freeletics. None of them have actually done a workout yet though, which suggests they’re not likely to be looking at the app much…

I’m also finding it difficult to do work-outs outside/in public. I don’t work out in a group; there doesn’t seem to be one in Bristol, and at the moment, as I end up being a panty, sweaty mess about half way through a workout, I don’t really like doing it on the basketball court next to my house as it’s overlooked by houses. Maybe I need to get over it. I think I might have to next week.

Anyway… Where have I got to over the last 19 days?

Well, I dipped out of the coach momentarily to do a 1.5k run on the treadmill at the gym. Was pretty easy. Had been hoping to do my normal workout, but should have realised that going to the gym after work during the first week back after the Christmas holidays was a bad idea. I’ve never seen the place so packed. And my usual workout area (where they do the classes) was full of people lunging, led by a woman wearing a Beyonce mic and shouting.

Then I was back under Coach’s orders and did Ares. I did this in my flat, so I couldn’t do the 2x 40m runs. I substituted them for High Knees. I can also still only do jumping pull-ups. They’re just too difficult. As a side note, I’m noticing that coach is scheduling more leg work-outs than arms, so I’m not feeling like I’m gaining strength in my arms. Might have to supplement Coach’s workouts with extra pull-up training.

Next up was 2/5 Aphrodite. Was pretty hard. Burpees are horrible. Very hard. And that was only 2/5!

Then it was Venus Standard. Looking back at that work out, I’m pretty impressed that I managed 150 push-ups. Although I think some of them were knee press-ups… So no star for me that time.

The rest of last week was pretty fucking hard. Aphrodite (ouch), Prometheus (oof) and finally, today, Helios (jeez).

Now, what was strange was at the start of the week, I was down to Helios standard (675 points – looked horrific – total of 300 burpees). Then, after Aphrodite it changed to the Endurance version, which is slightly easier (400 points, burpees changed to sprawlers etc). I think this might have been because my coach feedback after Aphrodite was ‘EXHAUSTING’, but be interested to hear if anyone else has noticed Coach changing their schedule during the week (hellooooooo? Anyone out there?)

So even the Endurance version of Helios was absolutely knackering. Getting through 150 sprawlers was difficult enough, and then to have to do them again right at the end of the workout was pretty hard. The final sprawlers took ages. I could only really do 3 or 4 at a time before stopping. Anyway, I got through it and felt pretty goddamn good afterwards.

Next week looks even harder. Here it is:

Atlas (Standard)

Kentauros (Standard)

Hermes (Standard)

3/4 Hermes (Strength)

2/3 Metis (Strength)
400m Sprint
400m Sprint
200m Sprint
200m Sprint

As a final note, I’m a cynical Englishman who can’t really abide motivational quotes etc etc, but I did find next week’s message from Coach a boost, even though it is a bit of a cliche.

By now, you made it through your first five weeks of Freeletics. You constantly get fitter and your body is about to change visibly. You are not a beginner anymore. We will no longer beg you not to give up. You know that backing down is not an option. It’s up to you to change your mindset. From now on, it’s about bursting limits. Every single time. It’s about being hungry. And putting in the work. About leaving excuses behind and unleashing your potential.

Dare to step it up. Athletes in their first weeks look up to you. Make sure to be a good role model. Especially if you train in groups. Maintain good form, be motivating and help others to improve their performance.

And as a final, final note… A word about Dry January.

Haven’t had a drink since New Year’s Eve. Feel pretty bloody good for it, and am getting loads done. I’m sleeping better, feel less anxious, and my diet is much, much healthier. I’m not 17 days in and it’s getting easier every day not to drink. Gonna try and push through until the end of the month. And hoping that it’s having an effect on that little beer belly. I’m not noticing much difference at the moment, and my weight has dropped a little, but not a lot. So let’s see. But I’m certainly finding that Freeletics is unleashing a stubbornness and determination I kind of knew I had, but not to this degree. I really want to make this work, and I’m surprising myself with my ability to do so.

BRING ON WEEK SIX.

End of Week 5

Freeletics and Christmas

My work-out in the park in Brazil seems like a very long time ago. Since then I’ve returned to the UK, fitted one more work out in before Christmas (more on that shortly) and had a little break for the festivities. Now it’s nearly New Year, and so I’m trying to get back into the swing of things before January so that 2016 doesn’t come as too much of a shock.

So Week 3 continued with Prometheus (Endurance). I only selected three workouts for Week 3 as I knew I’d be travelling and very busy until Christmas.

I did this workout at the gym. In the area they use for classes. I like it in there because I’m not visible to the rest of the gym, and people can’t see me flopping about and getting all red and sweaty.

As a side note, now I’ve signed up to Freeletics, it seems weird that people use machines rather than their own body to keep fit, but hey.

Prometheus was hard, but not crippling. I’d also had a fair bit to drink the night before.

And then it was Christmas. I decided not to work out back at my parents’ house. Mainly because they’d look at me like I was mad, but also because I needed a bit of a break from everything.

So yesterday once I was back in Bristol, I did my first workout in the park just up from my house. It’s kind of perfect for freeletics. Although at first I did feel a little self-conscious working out with the houses nearby looking over me. I quickly forgot about that once I was doing 2/3 Hades. Blimey, that was HARD. The sprawlers were really difficult. Didn’t help that I had only had a cup of tea before the workout, so by the end I could barely walk. Pretty much mainlined a bowl of porridge and a banana afterwards.

 

trees and sky
View from the mat
 
I think I’m going to find the pull-ups the most difficult. I can just about do one properly, but only just, so when I saw that Week 4, Day 1 was Poseidon, I could have cried. A total of 55 pull-ups. Ha! No chance.

I managed to do the push-ups correctly, although towards the end I reckon Coach would have had a word or two about my form, but there was no chance with the pull-ups. Did them as jumping pull-ups, and even that was hard.

Have a feeling that I’m not going to be able to lift anything up later.

Diet and weight

A quick word or two on this… I’ve been using MyFitnessPal to monitor what I’m eating. Here’s where I started:

11 st, 13 lbs (November 2015)

I had a Goal Weight of 10 st, 7 lbs (which I now think is far too low), and so MyFitnessPal was recommending I eat 2370 calories a day.

I regularly come in well below my goal, but I don’t seem to be losing weight. Now, there are probably two reasons for this:

  • Inaccurate recording of actual calories consumed
  • Weight gained through muscle growth

I suspect the first one is the most likely at the moment, as although I’ve certainly been gaining muscle and family have commented on my physique (they don’t see me very often), it’s not a vast change (yet!).

This morning I weighed in at 12 st, 1 lbs, so gaining weight! I don’t really mind this, but I do want to shift that beer belly.

So I’m going to do Dry January. I suspect that the belly is mainly from beer and wine, as my diet is pretty healthy. I partly want to do it because I’ve never given up drinking for a sustained period before, and also because work will be busy, so it will allow me to focus a bit on getting fit and getting loads done at work.

I also did a Big Shop yesterday – loads of fruit, veg, seeds and protein – and I’ve been planning my meals for the next week, which should help me save money and eat well.

Tomorrow’s workout is Hermes. I like the look of Hermes. Mainly because I want to get better at running…

Freeletics and Christmas

Week 2: Day 3

Met up with a friend of a friend in Sao Paulo today and she whisked us round the old  city in two hours. Consequently I my feet hurt, I was hot and sweaty and very tired but the time we got back to the hotel. After lying face down on the bed for about an hour, dozing, I went downstairs to the deserted gym (does no one in this hotel exercise?) and did my second 1/4 Venus of the week.

Beat my personal best by about 1 minute (RESULT), and even properly managed the push-up and sit-up technique.

Have to say, that even though I’m a cyclist and have pretty strong legs, the squats are really making my thigh muscles hurt. So after the second round of squats this week, I’m expecting to be aching tomorrow.

I’m REALLY NOT looking forward to the final workout this week. 4/5 Prometheus Endurance. It looks horrible. And if doing 1/4 Venus makes me hot and sweaty, Prometheus is really going to get my glowing.

Week 2: Day 3

Week 1: Day 3 – a slightly awkward gym induction

Got up bright and early this morning for an induction at a new gym (PureGym) at 8am.

Chap at the gym didn’t realise he has an induction with me and it was only cos I recognised him from the website that I spotted him and said hello.

Also, I didn’t have a padlock, so couldn’t get changed. We needed up doing this kind of half-hearted canter round the equipment. He couldn’t be bothered, I was wearing work clothes. It took about ten minutes.

I felt weird about it too, because the primary reason I joined is so that I can do Freeletics stuff indoors during the winter when I can’t be outside (and so that those windows don’t rattle and the landlord get cross etc). So partly I was looking at all these bits of equipment and thinking ‘I’m probably not going to be using any of these’. Especially the weights, which I hands-down will never touch. 

So it was weird. I left and went to the hotel gym I use through MoveGB (where I don’t need a padlock) and there I did a bit of running on a treadmill and the second of this week’s Freeletics, which was the same as yesterday’s, in other words, a piece of piss.

I wonder what next week will hold. I have three days to wait to find out.

Week 1: Day 3 – a slightly awkward gym induction

The Back Story

I was one of those kids at school that loathed P.E. I couldn’t really see the point of sport, wasn’t competitive, wasn’t a LAD. I was in Senior Choir and the school orchestra. Football – nah. Rugby – the girls actually used to come and watch me play because it was so funny. A scrawny little gay-boy shivering on the sidelines, desperate not to get hit in the face with a rugby ball.

I did like athletics though. I loved 100 metres sprint. I did relay for the county. And then as soon as I left school, I stopped.

I’m an active person, I cycle everywhere, but until recently I didn’t do any proper exercise. It was only when work began to get more serious and I needed an escape, and when I hit the big three-oh and all the pints of lager began to give me a little beer belly that I started to want to do something about it.

I started swimming, which I loved. Built up my lengths, started to go more regularly. It was a great mind-clearer. Then I started to go to a pool next to a gym. I thought maybe I should do some cardio or weights too. But I HATE GYMS. Preening, sweaty and soul-less. So. What to do?

Freeletics came up on one of those frankly terrifying Facebook algorithms.  I liked the branding. The guys in the videos were hot. Especially Joshua XII. I mean, jeez. So I downloaded the app and signed up. The app was pleasing too. Slightly bombastic. A bit cool. Easy to use. I liked it.

So I started doing some of the free workouts. They were hard. I didn’t really have anywhere to do them apart from in the living room of my first floor flat. When I did high jumps the windows rattled and I was worried that my landlord downstairs might wonder what the cocking hell I was up to.

I gave up pretty quickly because I didn’t really want to do it. I was swimming. I wasn’t that unfit. The beer belly wasn’t really showing yet.

But then over the next couple of months I both began to enjoy working out and began noticing some changes in my chest, arms and back, but I still didn’t come back to Freeletics.

Until this week. I re-downloaded the app – out of curiosity more than anything – joined a different gym that was cheaper (with the intention of doing some of the workouts there) and took the plunge. Signed up for coaching.

This blog is about my progress. I’m writing it because I’m hoping that someone will read it and that it will spur me on to keep going. I’m hoping it doesn’t peter out after about two weeks.

So far, I’ve done the fitness test, which was pretty straightforward and my first day’s workout, which was:

Day 1

10 x burpees
10 x burpees
10 x burpees

So far, so good. I was out of breath, for sure, but could probably have done more. I’m still doing them in my living room (sorry landlord!), but I’ve got a yoga-mat arriving tomorrow and I’m headed to the basketball court at the back of my house for my next work out (1/5 Morpheus).

Oh, and here’s my Day 0 photo…

Day 0

The Back Story