A Change of Daily Routine

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Photo: David Mao, from Unsplash

Despite all my enthusiasm and renewed energy at the beginning of the year, I’m finding January really hard. I’m sleeping lots, feeling tired (work is also quite full on at the moment), and finding the motivation to exercise is really low.

I last did proper workouts nearly a week ago. I’ve still been cycling to work, and I did my first yoga class last week (more on that later), but Freeletics has been a really struggle.

Today I did 50 jumping pull-ups and 50 burpees, which is one part of a day that Coach has given me this week.

So here’s the thing. I think I need to make some routine changes. First, here are the problems…

  1. I never work out in the morning, but when I do, I feel amazing
  2. I’m always too hungry to work out after work

Here’s why I think these things are happening (bear with me on this)

I try and be in bed by 10:30pm, but then I often don’t go to sleep until about 11.30pm, which means that to get eight hours sleep I don’t wake up until 7.30am. I like to have a cup of tea in bed, check the news, plan the day. Which means I’m not usually in the shower until 8.30am, and then it’s a rush to get to have breakfast and get to work for 9.30am. And ideally I’d like to be there at 9am.

I tend to eat porridge/fruit or yoghurt/granola for breakfast and something light for lunch (salad, sandwich etc), so by the time it gets to 5.30pm, I’m starving and just want to finish work, go home and cook dinner.

So at either end of the day, I don’t have the energy / time / desire to exercise.

Now the solutions.

  1. Go to bed earlier. Lights out by 11pm.
  2. Get up at 7am
  3. Spend less time drinking tea and looking at the internet in the morning
  4. Work out in the morning
  5. Eat a big breakfast and a bigger lunch

Then I can relax in the evening, or do other fitness stuff, having completed my Freeletics workout.

Which brings me on to… Yoga!

I did my first class last week. I’m doing Iyengar, which involves a lot of held poses, rather than yoga with ‘flow’. I enjoyed the discipline of holding stretches and poses, and I felt great afterwards.

Also, I was really surprised with how much Freeletics had improved my ability to hold the poses and my general flexibility. I’ll definitely be going back.

Tell me – what’s your routine? When do you work out?

A Change of Daily Routine

10 Things I’ve Learned From a Year of Freeletics

It’s almost exactly a year to the day since I joined Freeletics. You can read my first post here.

I’m currently on Week 24, so give or take I’ve taken about twice the time I should have done to get this far. I stopped for a month, and some weeks I just can’t fit in the workouts (or can’t be bothered!).

But this week, something switched. I’ve hit PBs on every single workout so far. Today I had three sets of 50 burpees and I found them pretty straightforward – did them almost continuously without stopping and beat my PB on each set. And then I did 2x Morpheus, which was fun. Yes, FUN.

I’m noticing I’m much more flexible, have more energy, my body shape is changing significantly (particularly noticeable on my thighs, shoulders, biceps and chest), and I find myself looking forward to workouts. And as I get quicker and my form gets cleaner, I find that I want to work outside more. Freeletics clears my head.

At the beginning of this journey, I read the evangelical blogs and transformation videos with a degree of scepticism. I doubted that working out could feel so good. But now I get it. I totally get it.

So what have I learnt this year?

  1. Pull-ups are really hard

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    If you haven’t worked out regularly before doing Freeletics, and you’re slim, you’ll probably find doing correct-form pull-ups really hard. Impossible even. I’ve been trying all year and still can only do Jumping Pull-ups. But I’m doing at least 10 every day and recently I’ve noticed that I’m almost doing proper pull-ups now. Keep at it. As for the other skills you need to unlock on the Bodyweight app, sheesh. I’m nowhere near those yet.

  2. Burpees are hard, but effective and are over quite quickly

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    I found burpees really hard and very exhausting at the beginning
    , but I think they’re by far the most effective exercise, as they target lots of muscles at once. It’s really satisfying when you get faster, and they never last that long.

  3. Exercising outside is by far the best way to do Freeletics

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    It took me a while to pluck up the courage to work out in my local park despite it being less than a minute from my front door. I was worried about people giving me funny looks, or that my sweaty, red face would scare children. I was also anxious that people who also used the park to work out would be critical of my form (which was also a reason why it took me a while to work out at the gym). But actually, no one gives a shit. I certainly don’t look at other people when they’re working out. And the fresh air makes you feel really good. Can’t recommend it enough. Here are 7 tips from Freeletics about training outdoors in winter.

  4. You won’t see a big transformation if you don’t make a radical shift with your nutrition

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    I started Freeletics because I noticed I was getting a slight beer belly. And while it has certainly reduced it, I haven’t seen the huge transformation that the YouTube videos promise. And that’s because I really enjoy red wine and beer. My diet has changed. I eat more protein, less carbs, more vegetables. I drink less, I’ve cut out sugar in coffee and I eat almost zero junk food. But I haven’t radically shifted my diet. I haven’t bought the nutrition coach. I still drink alcohol. But I’m okay with that. I’m fitter, more healthy and my body has changed.  

  5. I find it really hard to get up first thing in the morning to exercise

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    I’ve tried everything: setting a timer on the TV to come on, going to bed earlier and so on, but I still find it really hard to get out of bed and exercise before work. But when I do, blimey it feels good. You feel like you’re ahead of everyone in the day, it gives you energy, a sense of achievement and forces you to have a good post-workout breakfast. Basically it sets you up for the day. But for some reason all of that still doesn’t make me jump out of bed.

  6. Don’t sit down on the sofa!

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    And if you didn’t work out before work, then avoid sitting down on the sofa when you get home at all costs. I make myself strip out of my work clothes and change into my workout gear straight away otherwise it’s so much harder to get going.

  7. You won’t stick with it if you don’t buy the coach

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    I tried doing Freeletics without Coach and I think unless you have superhuman discipline and motivation, it’s really hard to stick at it unless you stump up. Coach pushes you to do harder work-outs, it makes sure you work out your entire body, and it you get the satisfaction of ticking off days and weeks as you go (and no, I don’t get paid by Freeletics to say this!).

  8. Form trumps speed

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    The app foregrounds beating your PB with each work-out, but often taking your time and making sure that all your exercises are correct form is far more important. I seem to get better results doing that and in the long run it helps you get quicker too. 

  9. Stretching works

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    And finally, stretching works. It might be boring, but it really works. And it makes you feel much more flexible and strong. And reduces muscle pain when you push yourself. Why would you not?

  10. The community works

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    I don’t feel like I’ve properly tapped into the Freeletics community yet. I followed some people by reading the sub-Reddit, and by looking at other people’s followers. Hardly any of my Facebook friends are on Freeletics and those that are are all at Level 1. And there isn’t a Freeletics group in Bristol, so I don’t have a crew of people who I train with (although I am considering starting one). But when people who follow me give me a #clapclap or comment on and like this blog, it’s a real boost. Thanks guys!

 

 

 

10 Things I’ve Learned From a Year of Freeletics