Aphrodite strikes again…

I’ve cut myself some slack after that last post. I’m so busy with work that training is taking a back seat.

Last week I trained once. This was my work out:

10 x Side Lunges
8 x HH Standups
Interval (Legs, Lower Back), 3 sets of:
— 8 Cossack Squats
— 10 Single Leg Hip Raises Right and Left
— 10 Squat Jumps
— Rest (60 Secs)
2/3 Persephone

Wasn’t too bad. Although I’m out of practice on Burpees, so Persephone took a little longer than I wanted it too.

Also this week, I’ve been trying to do 10 Assisted Pull-ups a day to try and build strength in my arms and shoulders. Still hoping to be able to do Strict Pull-ups one day.

Today I went for a swim; a Sunday tradition these days. I’m not a particularly strong swimmer – always in the medium lane – but it’s a great head-clearer for me and it makes me feel good if I’ve been out drinking on Saturday night; it’s a kind of low intensity exercise that gets the blood flowing again.

My Coach week next week is Hell Days (if they’re still called that). I’ve chosen three work out days instead of the usual four, with the hope of being able to easily do that by Saturday. My week looks like this:

Venus (Standard)
Aphrodite (Endurance)
Aphrodite (Standard)

I quite like Venus (no burpees!), but always feel it in my legs after all those squats. And then there’s Aphrodite, which I really hate. And Coach has given it to me TWICE this week. How kind.

See you on the other side…

Aphrodite strikes again…

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


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.


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!

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

Strength in Numbers?

Image: Freeletics

Today was my first workout in almost a week, after being away on holiday. And man, was that tough.

It was Kentauros (Standard). And I couldn’t get anywhere outside today so I did the 2×2 version. 2x 20m Lunge walks replaced by 40 Lunges; 2 x 20m Burpee Frog replaced with Burpees. Despite wanting to give up half way through, and sweating an AWFUL lot, I made it.

I also tried to take it slowly – seeing as I’d never done it before, it might make it easier to beat my PB next time – and to make sure that I did good form. I still find burpees really hard, but my form is getting much better and the movement much more fluid. I’m also finding I can do them more quickly. Kentauros makes you do 240 of the bloody things. I was cursing the app before I was even half way through.

I tend to check how quickly other people have done the workout before I start, and then decide what time I’m aiming for (usually I try to just not come bottom!). So if you’re on Freeletics, but haven’t followed many people, I’d recommend having a look at the Freeletics Reddit and following a few people who have posted on there. In particular, look for posts where people are searching for people to follow.

It really helps me to see other people’s struggles and successes and it’s always a boost when you get a #clapclap, even if it’s from someone you’ve never met. I’ve yet to workout in a group. I tend to get into a zone when I’m working out and can’t really see how I’d do it with others. Do people do the same workouts? Or do you just crack on with your own coach workout but with others doing the same nearby? Either way, I wouldn’t mind if the guys in the picture above came along and worked cheered me on..

Anyway, today I wanted to do Kentauros in under an hour, or more specifically under 58 minutes, which was the bottom score on the people I follow.. And I did. 53 minutes. BOOM.

I drank quite a lot on holiday. Not good for the belly. I’ve now adjusted MyFitnessPal’s Carbs/Protein/Fat percentage goals to 45/30/25% respectively. Seems like this is the thing to watch, rather than overall calories.


Seems that Freeletics are launching a new Freeletics Gym app this week. Have to say I find this a bit confusing. Isn’t the whole thing about freedom from having to have a gym membership/weights/machines etc. Hence the name?

Personally I like the way that Freeletics is helping me gain a body shape that is in proportion – in a way that I find people who use gyms don’t have (either arms that are too big, or chest, or legs. In fact, hardly ever legs – people tend to hate leg day, don’t they).


Strength in Numbers?

Kentauros, the workout that nearly broke me


There’s something about having had to give up on the pull-ups the other day that made the thought of stopping Kentauros (Strength) half way through seem more acceptable. So far on my Freeletics Journey, I’ve not give up on any workout, so I’ve wanted to keep my winning streak intact. But the aborted pull-up sets have kind of broken that streak.

However, I didn’t stop the pull-ups because I was tired, more that I physically couldn’t do them. I’ve tried to think of a metaphor here, but I couldn’t. So you’ll just have to make do with the facts.

Speaking of facts. Apologies – today is a bit technical. Promise I’ll be a bit more interesting later this week.

Anyway, today, Coach gave me Kentauros (Strength), 50 burpees, 50 burpees, 50 pull-ups, 50 pull-ups. I couldn’t work out this morning before work, so was left to do the whole lot this evening. Let’s just say I didn’t make it past Kentauros.

First of all, I was doing it in my living room so I changed to 2×2. Let’s look at the difference between the normal and 2×2 versions:

2 x 20m Lunge Walk
10 High Jumps
2 x 20m Burpee Deepfrogs
10 High Jumps

40 x Split Lunges
10 High Jumps
40 Burpee Squat Jumps
10 High Jumps

All of that, six times.

When you look at the leaderboards for both of those, the results are interesting. People I follow on Freeletics largely came from the SubReddit. They’re people who are fairly advanced, and that keeps me going.

Top time in the normal version is 18:52 (congratulations Nils W), with a bottom score of 50:47 (Chris Letic).

Top time in the 2×2 version is Juan Luis (47:36), with a bottom score of 48:08 from Tore Rasmussen. This suggests to me that the 2×2 version is much harder. It certainly felt like it.

I had to stop a few times for about 3 minutes each time, and about half way through the third set of 40 Burpee Squat Jumps I had to revert to normal burpees. Later on I also stopped doing the Split Lunges and had to do normal ones.

It was very hard. The only things I could do quickly and with good form were the jumps. The whole thing took me 01:07:10. Ugh.

No way I was doing the extra 100 burpees and pull-ups after that. I almost gave up when I wasn’t even half way through. My thighs burned. My wrists hurt from lying on my mat, in position for burpees, for too long while I mustered the energy to jump.

So yeah, I didn’t really enjoy it today. I’m going to the burpees and pull-ups tomorrow.

I’m surprised that Coach gave me all of that on one day. Feels like an awful lot. And like an algorithm selected it rather than a real person. Especially as when I did the pull-ups last week I said it was ‘Maximum’… I guess this is the first time that I doubted Freeletics. But maybe that’s just because I found it hard, and I should just toughen up and get on with it.



Kentauros, the workout that nearly broke me


I was a bit worried about being able to complete Hell Week. Not only because the workout regime look HORRIFIC, but because I was travelling again and wasn’t sure where I’d be able to exercise. Turns out, apart from the first day, when I needed a pull-up bar, the whole weekend was sans-equipment, so I was able to do everything from the comfort of my hotel room. Only thing was that I didn’t have a mat, so came very close to carpet burn.

So here goes…


Hades was pretty tough. I hadn’t worked out for a few days, and the burpees nearly killed me. I did slightly duck out of the pull-ups as I didn’t have access to a bar, so I did pull-downs on the machine in the hotel gym. Still, was pretty tough. I also did the running on the spot rather than over a distance. But this workout still wiped me out and I had another one to do that day.

Although when I came to do Persephone towards the end of the day I was more than ready for more. Lunges are pretty straightforward, but then with more bloody burpees and straight leg levers (which are surprisingly difficult), this was pretty difficult. Also I had to do the whole thing twice.

My progress photo after this was very encouraging, albeit it was under generous hotel bathroom lighting. But I can definitely see my body changing now, and it feels great.


Really enjoyed Day 2. I was well up for it and smashed two PBs. Felt amazing afterwards.


Day 3 on the other hand was a bit of a killer. Got through it though if only to be able to say I’d completed a hell week, and to see what next week had in store. Also, did quite a good time on Thanatos and then realised I was basically doing squats rather than stand-ups as I hadn’t watched the video. So I’m going to remove the star from that one (I’ve got it again next week so will give it a proper go).

3xAthena – wow. That was hard. 225 of each exercise was a killer. Especially the burpees. I am finding myself getting quicker at everything though and that it’s easier to do each exercise properly.

And that was it. Not as taxing as I had feared. And the endorphin rush yesterday was huge.

Next week there’s a day where I’ve got to do 100 pull-ups. There’s no way on god’s earth I can do that.

Also, the warm-ups and stretching have changed to Warm Up Pro and Stretching Pro. Oooooh, exciting!

Oh, and finally, my diet has been shite this week. Not much alcohol (dry January has really had an affect on my overall drinking), but rubbish food as I’ve been away from home. Need to get back on that next week.