Hell Week Day 7 and then a two week break

I completely forgot to write about the final day of Hell Week.

Day 7 was a gentle end to the week. Nyx. Just sit-ups, leg raises and stand-ups. Did it in 08:10, which was 1:30 better than my PB.

And then I gave myself a break for a couple of weeks. I had a bit of a cold during Hell Week and then had a mad week at work. And then last week I was away from home and working crazy long hours so didn’t have time to exercise. I know, I know, #noexcuses, but it was either get less than five hours and exercise or sleep an extra hour, and I’m not really any good on less than seven and eight.

Felt nice to have a bit of a break. I left it so long that Freeletics sent me one of those ‘what’s happened?’ emails.

So yesterday I got back into it. Conditioning. Was tough.

3 sets of

10 Assisted Pullups
15 Press-ups
30 sec Superman hold
15 Hanging Leg Raises

I’m getting better at the Assisted Pull-ups, and Press-Ups and Superman hold are no bother, but I find the hanging leg-raises really hard. Partly because my pull-up bar is in a door frame, so it’s hard to really hang and be able to get a good swing. But mainly because I’m not strong enough! Will keep practicing.

Went for a swim today. Also felt a bit tough cos I didn’t go last week.

Going to get back into the swing properly tomorrow.

Might even try to tick off some of those advanced skills…

 

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Hell Week Day 7 and then a two week break

Hell Week Day 2: Artemis

Aaah, I’d forgotten about Artemis. Definitely one of my least favourite Freeletics workouts. Each exercise is done all at once. And there are lots of repetitions.

50 Burpees

50 Pullups

100 Sit-ups

150 Squats

50 Burpees

Horrible. I almost gave up twice. There’s something horrible about having to do so many reps back to back. Somehow splitting them up like most workouts do feels more manageable.

I didn’t do the pullups properly, obvs. I did jumping pullups. But everything else I did with correct form. No star, but I beat my PB.

I was pretty sweaty at the end. Also – and I think this happened on Hell Week once before – I have a cold. Came on yesterday. I had to summon up the energy to workout, but it made me feel better. Going to see how I feel tomorrow, but hoping I can push through. It’s GAIA tomorrow, which is a bit easier.

Onwards!

Hell Week Day 2: Artemis

Hell Week Day 1: Persephone

Morning.

First day of Hell Week today. Haven’t done one for a while. I always have that mixture of dread and excitement when I click that colour scheme changes from blue to red and I see that the following week’s training is Hell Week.

I was going to start yesterday (Sunday), but I went for a swim instead. 30, 32 or 34 lengths (lost count!) in half an hour. Not bad.

So when I woke up this morning (early because of the clock’s going back), I knew that if I didn’t start Hell Week today I wouldn’t do it at all. I always find that if you don’t start out well on a Monday morning, it’s really hard to get the momentum going for the rest of the week.

Day 1 was fairly straightforward – Persephone (Endurance).

30 HH Squats
30 Sprawls
30 HH Leg Raises

20 HH Squats
20 Sprawls
20 HH Leg Raises

10 HH Squats
10 Sprawls
10 HH Leg Raises

I find these days that squats are much easier. I can feel that my legs are much stronger. I used to think that because I cycle everywhere I didn’t need to work on my legs as much. But now I do, I can cycle faster and feel stronger.

I like Persephone. It’s quick, relatively easy, but you still feel like you’ve had a full body workout. I even beat my PB by about 3 minutes. Good start to the week.

It’s Artemis tomorrow, which I’m really not looking forward to.

Hell Week Day 1: Persephone

#CoachChallenge

ContentNEW_CoachChallengeI had a really good week last week. Exercised five days straight. Four days of Freeletics and one day swimming.  I ate well. Loads of vegetables. Lots of water. Felt amazing.

I was partly working so hard because I knew I was going to a festival at the weekend. And that it would very much be a weekend off.

And a weekend off it was. Loads of beer. Burgers. Pizza. Late nights. Sleeping in a tent. I suppose dancing is basically cardio, right?!

And as I did my last Freeletics session on Thursday, I checked next week’s coach and low and behold, it’s HELL WEEK. Seven days. Seven workouts. I do notice that Hell Weeks aren’t as intense as they used to be. Sometimes you had at least two workouts on quite a few of the days. This time it’s just one complete Bodyweight workout each day. Mine looks like this:

Nemesis
Venus
Aphrodite
Poseidon
Nyx
Aphrodite
Athena

I’ve done days one and two so far. Managed to just about push myself through Nemesis on Monday. It’s now Wednesday and I skipped working out yesterday because I slept terribly the night before and now I’m in my mid-30s I basically get three-day hangovers.

And then yesterday I got the email from Freeletics about #CoachChallenge. I’m really up for this. Completing 6 weeks of bodyweight coach for a fifty euro voucher. Just need to not break for five days on the trot.

I’m going away twice over the next 6 weeks, so I’ll have to be pretty strict about working out when I’m away. But why would I not do this. It’s basically free money for working out. And I’ll probably use the voucher to buy an adjustable pull-up bar.

Are you doing #CoachChallenge?

#CoachChallenge

I bit the bullet: Hell Week Day #1

After much deliberation yesterday, this morning I woke up early and decided to just get on with Hell Week. If I have to take a couple of days break while I’m travelling, then so be it.

First up was Uranos and Krios.

I have a confession about Uranos. I don’t do the running bit. I cycle to work and back every day so get plenty of cardio and I really, really hate running. I did the running in Uranos once, so I know my time. I just set the workout going and do the warm up during the time when I would be running. Naughty, I know. And I also know that cycling and running use very different muscles.

I was hungry and hadn’t eaten anything yet, so Uranos was a bit difficult and I didn’t beat my PB. Was knackered at the end, but decided to push on with Krios as I knew it wouldn’t take very long.

And now I feel fantastic. I’ve done two workouts before 9am and it’s given me an energy boost and put me in a great mood. Must. Remember. This. Feeling.

I bit the bullet: Hell Week Day #1

Hell Week conundrum

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There I was, Monday morning, feelings smug that I’d got out of bed and done 2x Metis (strength), which incidentally, is pretty tough on the old thighs (and the downstairs neighbours – all those jumps).

I completed the ‘week’ that I’ve been doing for about the last three weeks (sorry Coach), and was looking forward to what was in store, when blam, HELL WEEK. Jeez.

So this is tricky. If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know that I’ve been struggling with motivation these last few weeks. And last time I did Hell Week, it was after a similar period of inaction (maybe Coach knows). I found it really gave me the boost I needed to get back into regular training.

But here’s the thing, this time, the timing isn’t great. I have a major deadline this week at work, and next week I’m away for the whole week in another country, so not even sure where/when I’ll be able to train.

So, do I just crack on with Hell Week on my usual schedule and take a few days out if needs be, with the knowledge that it will take longer than seven days, or do I postpone until I return from being away?

If I postpone, I’ll have to select my own workouts in the meantime. And I’m not sure I’ll get the most out of training. It might not do my motivation any good. I’ll feel like I’ve got some time off. If I just get on with it, I might feel frustrated that it’s not ‘pure’ Hell Week.

Here’s what Coach has in store:

Day 1: Uranos, Krios
Day 2: Venus, 200 burpees
Day 3: Hermes, 2x Morpheus
Day 4: Kronos, 2x Krios
Day 5: Venus, Artemis
Day 6: Kentauros (Strength), 200 burpees
Day 7: 2x Ares, 100 pullups

Ugh. The first three days aren’t too bad (apart from all those burpees). It gets tough mid-week, and I don’t know if I’ll have running space and pull-up bar when I’m away.

Hmmm… I’m of a mind to just get on with it and adapt as needs be. What do you think?

Hell Week conundrum

I completed Freeletics Hell Week and this is what happened…

That was tough. I’d had a month away from Freeletics and when I picked up where I left off, I realised I had one week left of the initial 15-week programme. So I didn’t feel like I was entering Hell Week at peak form. My diet hadn’t been great, I’d been drinking quite a bit and I hadn’t exercised for ages.

But I made a promise to myself to complete the week in the correct time (i.e. not leaving any gaps between days) and I bloody well did it!

Here are my observations on the rest of Hell Week:

  • I read somewhere that your mind underestimates what your body can do. This is totally true. So many times throughout the week my mind was telling me that I couldn’t do any more, but if I just pushed my body one step further, pressed go on the next set, forced myself to do just 10 more burpees, it was amazing how much I could achieve. I really didn’t think I’d be able to do all the exercises back-to-back, but now it’s done it doesn’t feel so daunting. And now I look at next week and think ‘what a breeze’
  • Sleep really helps. You can do so much more when you’ve had a good night’s sleep
  • I don’t think I’ve ever drunk as much water as I have this week, and yet I seemed to always be thirsty. Maybe like 3 or 4 litres a day.
  • My appetite was also huge. I tried to make sure I ate well this week.
  • There were a lot of pull-ups in my workouts this week. I still can’t do the correct form, so replaced them all with Jumping Pull-ups. I’m getting stronger though
  • It’s a clever trick of Freeletics to give you Hell Week at the end of Week 15. I saw my body transform more quickly that it has been, and I reckon if I’d stuck to good nutrition and done the programme in 15 weeks rather than 25 I think I’d have been submitting my transformation photos to Freeletics. But I still feel like I’ve got some more work to do.
  • I like Krios. It’s a nice workout
  • I hate 3x Metis Strength. Hate it.
  • I really like working out in the open air rather than inside. Especially in summer.

I also downloaded the Freeletics Nutrition app this week and signed up for the Coach. But then I have to say that on looking at the recipes, I got an immediate refund. I just didn’t like the look of the programme, and have seen better and more tasty lean recipes elsewhere. Food is just too important to me. So I’m going to continue eating lean and healthy, but I don’t really want to have that level of control over what I eat. It’s enough to have a work-out routine. Sorry Freeletics. Not for me.

So there we go. 15 weeks down and where am I?

  • I am much stronger, fitter and in much better shape than when I started
  • My stamina and endurance has increased hugely
  • Freeletics has had a positive effect on my mental health, reducing anxiety and giving me a cheap, enjoyable way of escaping work
  • I have more self-esteem and more pride
  • I have a better diet, drink less and look after my health in ways I never used to before.

Here’s to the next 15 weeks! Who knows where I’ll be then!

I completed Freeletics Hell Week and this is what happened…