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.

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And the start of 2019 brings… HELL WEEK

glenn-carstens-peters-190592-unsplash

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.

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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.

Lying to yourself doesn’t work…

My final two days of Hell Week are done. Thank god. These were:

Perseus

2x Poseidon

I quite liked Perseus. A nice mix of exercises: Strict Pullups, Mountain Climbers, Sphinx Push-ups and High Knees. It was over quite quickly – in my case 10mins – and even though it wasn’t too taxing I was still exhausted at the end.

And then today I did 2x Poseidon. Now, the last time I did this was two years ago. Apparently I did it in 12 minutes and I gave myself a star. There’s just simply no way I should have given myself a star. I couldn’t do the pullups. And I still can’t. I can do a few, but nowhere near the 100 that 2x Poseidon wants you to do. So I did assisted pullups today and didn’t give myself a star. I also added 8 minutes to my time.

It’s always tempting to give yourself a star, or skip a set, or lots of other little cheats. But it’s not really worth it, because it gives you a false sense of achievement, and when you do actually achieve it, it doesn’t feel so good.

Anyway, I got through the workout. Afterwards I had zero power in my arms.

And now I can have a break for a couple of days. I’ve asked coach for two workouts this week – he’s given me Upper Body Conditioning with a 100m sprint and 2x Agon.

Another Hell Week done. Onwards!

Lying to yourself doesn’t work…

Hell Week progress

I’m almost at the end of Hell Week. Worked out every day apart from Thursday when I was dealing with a crisis at work and had to have a meeting over the time I would have worked out.

Here are some things I’ve noticed:

  1. I’ve slept more than I usually do; at least an hour more every night
  2. I’ve drunk more water than I usually do
  3. Getting training done in the morning is the right thing to do
  4. I’ve lost weight. About 2kg
  5. I haven’t really eaten enough. For two reasons: it’s been stressful at work and I lose my appetite when I’m stressed and because it’s still hot in the UK and I eat less in hot weather
  6. My thighs really hurt
  7. I still have a long way to go to properly master the pull-up
  8. Jeez those 100x plank leg lifts in Amazona are tough
  9. Achilles is really fucking tough. Almost gave up.
  10. 2 x Krios — I dunno why I have myself a star the first time I did this. I absolutely can’t do it with correct form. And I added time onto my PB

Just got Perseus and Poseidon to go and then I’m done.

Hell Week progress

Hell Week Strikes Again

As I clicked ‘Finish Week’ on the Freeletics app yesterday, I had a feeling that Coach had a Hell Week just around the corner. And then sure enough, there it was. 7 Gods workouts for next week. It looks like this:

I’m up for it. I’ve been getting up a bit late this week, so I’m hoping the discipline of Hell Week will make me get up and get training.

There are loads of pullups in these workouts. Hoping to really build some strength.

Also, yesterday I did Agon, which includes 8 sets of 10 Hanging Leg Raises. Blimey they’re tough.

Hell Week Strikes Again

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…

 

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