#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?

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The Sunday Reset

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Image from getthegloss.com

As I’ve got older, Sundays have stopped being about crippling hangovers, fry-ups and anxiety and have become more about exercise, reflection, planning and relaxation. Feels good.

Last night I came back from London late, didn’t go and meet friends (and felt no FOMO) and got an early night. Woke up this morning, feeling refreshed after 10.5 hours sleep (also the clocks went back here in the UK last night, so there was a bonus hour of sleep).

As I’ve mentioned before, I use coach.me to help me build habits. For each habit you’re trying to build (write a blog post, go running etc etc) you can set the number of times each week you want to try and carry out that particular activity. Sunday is the day that the whole lot reset, so I always feel like I’ve got a bit of a clean slate, regardless of what’s gone before during the week.

So my first activity of the new week was NEMESIS. I haven’t done Nemesis for ages. The first time I did it was way back in Week 2. The last time I wrote about was here (with the catchy title “JackKnives: like, wtf…”). Incidentally it’s nice to see how much my PB has improved on this one. In that earlier post I say I did it in less than 20 minutes and now I’m doing it in nearly half that time! Anyway, it’s a relatively simple Freeletics workout, with only two exercises. I like it because the number of reps for each exercise swap as you progress. So you start with 50 Jackknives and 10 Froggers, then 40/20, 30/30 etc.

Performing Jack-Knives really makes me notice how inflexible I am. I’m sure that not many people doing freeletics can perform them as accurately as the woman in the instruction video, but still, I can barely lift my shoulders off the floor, however hard I try. More evidence that I should be doing yoga to help with flexibility.

The Jack-Knives really work on your abs – you can feel them burning while you do the exercise, and particularly for me, the ab muscles higher up your torso.

Froggers meanwhile really get me out of breath. I’m also not able to get my feet right next to my hands as in the video, but as close as damn it (I gave myself a star for this workout, despite it not being completely accurately).

And then it’s over. I beat my PB by about 2 minutes, finishing in 16:51.

Then I did some bonus Jumping Pull-ups with correct form.

And then I made Joe Wick’s delicious Lean in 15 Protein Pancakes. Here they are (along with 9 other “banging breakfasts”

Last week I didn’t manage to do my three hell days in three days. I did work out 4 times during the week, so I’m carrying over my final day into next week. And I’m determined to get out running this week.

Have a good one everybody!

The Sunday Reset

JackKnives: like, wtf…

Saturday morning. Peeled myself out of bed and checked Coach. Nemesis (Strength). Oof.

Turns out it doesn’t take too long. I completed it in less than 30mins. And probably could have done it quicker.

And it’s also pretty simple. 5 sets of JackKnives and Froggers. JackKnives start at 50, then 40, 30, 20, 10, and the Froggers do that in reverse.

Unless you’re super flexible, you’ll probably look at the video of JackKnives, and think, YEAH RIGHT.

  
And you’d be right to think that. They’re fucking hard. I can get my legs up pretty easy, but getting my torso to do the same is impossible. And it makes your abs burn. Feels good in a weird way though.

So I kind of did them, in crap form, but I didn’t chicken out. And I did the Froggers with good form.

But God knows how to do JackKnives properly. Reckon that’ll need practice.

Meanwhile, I also did 10 pull-ups. I still find them really, really hard. Almost impossible. Have decided to do that every day to try and get better. My skinny arms just can’t pull my body weight. But I WILL get there!

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Oh, and I also downloaded the Freeletics Gym app. Have decided not to do that too. I want to see through the body weight app. And there’s something about lifting weights that doesn’t feel quite right for me… Looks cool though, and nice design. 

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Image: workoutlabs.com
 

JackKnives: like, wtf…

Freeletics: 1 / Me: 0

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Nope. Can’t do that. Noooo way. [Photo: Emilien Etienne Photography on Flick]
Last week was the first time that Freeletics beat me. I’ve done 9 weeks without giving up once. Which I think is a huge achievement. But last week, Freeletics won.

Last week I have 3/5 Nemesis (Strength), 50 Burpees, 50 Burpees, 50 Pull-ups, 50 Pull-ups in one day. Now that’s hard. I made it through Nemesis. But my form was very poor. I’m just not flexible enough to do Jackknives with perfect form. It feels like I could get there, but at the moment, I’d hate anyone else to see me doing them as it doesn’t look very dignified. Froggers I’m down with.

And then the Burpees were fine, even though I was cursing Coach by the end of the second set of 50.

But Pull-ups. PULL-UPS. I just can’t do them. No way. I can do some jumping pull-ups, but I can’t do 100. And by about half way through the second set I wasn’t really doing them at all. I was just kind of limply hurling myself at the bar. So I stopped. I didn’t feel particularly cross with myself. I would have done if I’d given up during a workout because I was tired, but this was just because I physically couldn’t complete the set. Still. Frustrating.

I’m going to keep trying, but I have really slim fore-arms (always have), and I just don’t have the strength. Anyway. I can but try.

The first workout of Week 9 was Dione. It was hard, but I really enjoyed it. There’s something about the variety of the exercises that makes it fun, even though it’s pretty intense.

And then I had 2x Morpheus, which was a walk in the park, quite frankly.

Some recent observations/notes:

  • Beating other people’s PBs is a great motivator. I always try and beat someone else towards the bottom of the leaderboard if I can.
  • I prefer the non-pro warm-ups
  • I’m noticing that I can do WAY MORE push-ups than I used to be able to. It’s almost easy
  • I’ve been given Kentauros (Strength) (EEK) and the same 100 Pull-ups and 100 Burpees tomorrow. Last time I gave feedback to Coach I said the Pull-ups were Maximum, so I’m surprised I’ve been given them again. Maybe it’s to try and get me to crack it
  • I still have a slight belly. I’m pretty sure this is because my diet isn’t perfect and that I’m still drinking beer every now and then. I’m going to try and be better at nutrition this week.

I’ll report back on those pull-ups tomorrow…

 

 

 

Freeletics: 1 / Me: 0

Freeletics in winter is really hard

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RAIN. Photo: dichohecho on Flickr

The combination of a massively hectic period at work, when all I want to do at the end of the day is eat comfort food and lie on the sofa, and the kind of desperately miserable winter weather is making exercise very difficult.

Freeletics send those emails that start ‘Athlete’, which feels very generous when really I’ve been eating pasta and watching TV.

But it’s Sunday and I’ve been on at my sisters – sitting down – and then sitting down on a long train journey, and even though it was 8pm when I got home, I rolled out the mat in the living room and did Day 2 of Week 8.

But first, let’s back track a bit…

At the start of week 8, I’ve been moved onto Dynamic Warm-up Pro and Static Stretching Pro. To be honest, I don’t really like them. I don’t find either of them much more difficult in strength terms, but I do find them more complicated to perform, and not as intuitive. But I am getting better at the one where you have to put your legs over your head.

I’ve also done Thanatos in the past week. Beat my PB which was pretty cool. And then today I had 2x Metis. I think I’m getting better at burpees, but I can’t really do more than about 10 in a row without a pause. I do like doing jumps though, and I’m pretty good at climbers.

Tomorrow its 3/5 Nemesis, 50 Pullups, 50 Pullups, 50 Burpees, 50 Burpees. OUCH. I won’t be able to do the pull-ups correctly, so I know I won’t have a star. That’s not me being defeatist, it’s just fact.

I am seeing a real difference in my physique though. And I’ve planned a very lean diet this week, so I’ll post a progress photo tomorrow.

In other news, my boyfriend has lost a stone. He’s not doing freeletics, but he’s been struggling with his weight, and this has given him a real boost. Kind of spurred me on to get back on it after being a bit slack over the past week or so.

Over and out.

Freeletics in winter is really hard

Week 2: Day 1. Nemesis

Okay, that’s more like it. Day 1 of Week 2 was a full Nemesis. 150 sit ups and 150 climbers. And it was hard. Turns out I haven’t done a sit up in ages and I’m seriously out of practice. But I BLOODY WELL DID IT. And not only that but I did it with a slight hangover. So that’s an extra achievement.

I’m not sure my sit-up technique was brilliant, but I’m going to work on that.

It feels like actually the biggest challenge will be eating well and not drinking too much. Especially as it’s December and I’m about to go on holiday and then it’s Christmas. I can feel that I have abs there, under the little beer belly, and no amount of sit-ups will get rid of the belly. It’s putting down the beer and the wine that will shift that.

Anyway, I feel very good having done my first full workout. And I’m not too knackered either.

I even tried to unlock some of the ‘advanced skills’ afterwards. Just about managed a pull-up, and an OH push-up. Not a hope in hell of doing the strict HS push-up in my tiny flat without doing serious damage to myself and quite possibly a lot of my furniture. And then when I tried to do a pistol, I just kind of wobbled over. Glad I wasn’t in a public place.

What’s brilliant about Freeletics for me is the competitive element. Even though I’m doing it on my own at the moment, I can totally imagine getting a group together. And that it feels like a journey. I think about it an awful lot, probably more than I should. 

I’m off to Brazil on Monday. Gonna see how completing the week in a very hot place feels… Hmm.

Week 2: Day 1. Nemesis