My final two days of Hell Week are done. Thank god. These were:
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.
Interval: 3 rounds of – 10x Incline Rows, Side Plank Twist, Plank Switches
I did jumping pullups in Poseidon rather than actual pullups. Still not quite there.
And five days later, my arms still hurt. Specifically my biceps. Ouch.
I worked out again the next day, including 3/5 Aphrodite. Took me 27 minutes. Absolutely exhausting.
I’m hoping that the achey arms will subside. A lot of blogs and articles say you should just work through it. But if they’re still achey in another week, I might get it checked out.
On another note, I’ve noticed the workouts getting a bit longer/harder. I wonder if that’s Coach listening to my feedback on workouts and upping the ante. I must have been saying “I can do more”. I’m quite enjoying being pushed a bit harder.
I 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:
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.
I’ve now done two more days of the new Coach. And I have to say I’m really enjoying it. The workouts are shorter and more intense, and I’m finding that they’re really working my muscles a lot harder (I’m have more of that satisfying soreness – is it satisfying?).
Yesterday I did:
The jumps, pan, no problem. I did Poseidon in 04:09, but no star because I still can’t do perfect form pullups.
And then today, the final day of my three-day Coach week, was
Interval: Core, Upper Body.
3 rounds of:
Commando Pullups Left x10
Side Plank Twists Left x15
Side Plank Twists Right x15
Commando Pullups Right x10
Plank Switches x10
Taking each in turn:
Commando Pullups I found these relatively straightforward although I’m not doing them correct form. I could just about do 3 the other day and it was the same this time. Then I started having to give myself a little jump start.
Side Plank Twists I liked these. I could feel that they will be good for core strength, but they were also nice stretches. They got more testing later on in the workout.
Plank Switches I also enjoyed these. They were fairly tough later on, but they were a nice change from pushups.
I’m really liking how the workouts are quite quick, but work your muscle groups really hard. I am finding it much easier to do before work. And not racing against the clock means that I’m much more likely to concentrate on whether I’m doing things right, rather than trying to beat a PB.
I’ve set the next Coach week to 2 workouts which I’ll do later this week, as I’ve now done four days in a row (including two swimming sessions and an hour’s bike ride).
While I’m here, a quick update on nutrition…
I’ve been making some really conscious changes to my diet. These include:
Cutting out bread as much as possible
Low carb lunches (usually a chicken salad or similar)
Porridge or overnight protein oats for breakfast
As much fruit and veg as possible, certainly more than five pieces a day
Shit-loads of water
Cutting down on beer and wine in favour of spirits, and cutting down my drinking alcohol at all to one or two nights a week.
Higher protein content in most meals (last night’s steak was delicious!)
I completed my first week of Freeletics after retaking the fitness test. For those of you arriving at this blog via this post, I’ve been doing Freeletics for about a year, but had some time off, due to a hectic work schedule and an injury.
So my first week back was
3/5 Aphrodite, 50 pushups, 50 squats
Poseidon wasn’t pretty straightforward. Did it in 04:40, but with no star because I still can’t do bloody pull-ups.
It’s a great workout if you want to feel (and see) and immediate difference in your shoulders, arms and chest. It’s quick and powerful, even with jumping pull-ups.
Next up was 3/4 Venus, which I also really enjoyed (mainly because there are no burpees!). But by god did my thighs hurt for the rest of the week after not having done squats for ages. Oof.
Finally it was 3/5 Aphrodite which I absolutely hated. So out of practice on the burpees! And then I had to do another 50 push-ups and 50 squats.
I did that workout after a particularly stressful day at work and it really helped reduce my anxiety. Excercise rules!
In other news, I’m trying to cut down on snacking and am still trying to drink less. One step at a time.
It’s pretty simple though right? Eat well, sleep well, excercise loads and drink lots of water.
My work-out in the park in Brazil seems like a very long time ago. Since then I’ve returned to the UK, fitted one more work out in before Christmas (more on that shortly) and had a little break for the festivities. Now it’s nearly New Year, and so I’m trying to get back into the swing of things before January so that 2016 doesn’t come as too much of a shock.
So Week 3 continued with Prometheus (Endurance). I only selected three workouts for Week 3 as I knew I’d be travelling and very busy until Christmas.
I did this workout at the gym. In the area they use for classes. I like it in there because I’m not visible to the rest of the gym, and people can’t see me flopping about and getting all red and sweaty.
As a side note, now I’ve signed up to Freeletics, it seems weird that people use machines rather than their own body to keep fit, but hey.
Prometheus was hard, but not crippling. I’d also had a fair bit to drink the night before.
And then it was Christmas. I decided not to work out back at my parents’ house. Mainly because they’d look at me like I was mad, but also because I needed a bit of a break from everything.
So yesterday once I was back in Bristol, I did my first workout in the park just up from my house. It’s kind of perfect for freeletics. Although at first I did feel a little self-conscious working out with the houses nearby looking over me. I quickly forgot about that once I was doing 2/3 Hades. Blimey, that was HARD. The sprawlers were really difficult. Didn’t help that I had only had a cup of tea before the workout, so by the end I could barely walk. Pretty much mainlined a bowl of porridge and a banana afterwards.
I think I’m going to find the pull-ups the most difficult. I can just about do one properly, but only just, so when I saw that Week 4, Day 1 was Poseidon, I could have cried. A total of 55 pull-ups. Ha! No chance.
I managed to do the push-ups correctly, although towards the end I reckon Coach would have had a word or two about my form, but there was no chance with the pull-ups. Did them as jumping pull-ups, and even that was hard.
Have a feeling that I’m not going to be able to lift anything up later.
Diet and weight
A quick word or two on this… I’ve been using MyFitnessPal to monitor what I’m eating. Here’s where I started:
11 st, 13 lbs (November 2015)
I had a Goal Weight of 10 st, 7 lbs (which I now think is far too low), and so MyFitnessPal was recommending I eat 2370 calories a day.
I regularly come in well below my goal, but I don’t seem to be losing weight. Now, there are probably two reasons for this:
Inaccurate recording of actual calories consumed
Weight gained through muscle growth
I suspect the first one is the most likely at the moment, as although I’ve certainly been gaining muscle and family have commented on my physique (they don’t see me very often), it’s not a vast change (yet!).
This morning I weighed in at 12 st, 1 lbs, so gaining weight! I don’t really mind this, but I do want to shift that beer belly.
So I’m going to do Dry January. I suspect that the belly is mainly from beer and wine, as my diet is pretty healthy. I partly want to do it because I’ve never given up drinking for a sustained period before, and also because work will be busy, so it will allow me to focus a bit on getting fit and getting loads done at work.
I also did a Big Shop yesterday – loads of fruit, veg, seeds and protein – and I’ve been planning my meals for the next week, which should help me save money and eat well.
Tomorrow’s workout is Hermes. I like the look of Hermes. Mainly because I want to get better at running…