I’m back. After my longest time away from Freeletics yet. A five week break, but it feels like longer.
My job involves a pretty massive project that happens every two years. It’s an eleven-day event that means I’m working 14 hour days for about two weeks, plus long days and nights in the lead-up. I wrote in my last post about how it’s hard to keep up momentum when life or work takes over, and after writing that I decided to cut myself some slack.
On the plus side of not working out, I massively increased my step count every day and I often eat less (adrenaline, time etc). On the downside, I tend to drink more at social events in the evening, and when I do eat, I tend to choose quick-fix food like pasta, pizza etc rather than wholesome meals. Mmmm, hot cheese and carbs.
But the event is over now, so I’ve been reclaiming my routine. Pretty much everything else went out of the window too – I stopped reading, keeping a journal, drinking enough water, swimming, getting my five a day etc etc. So this week has been about pushing myself back into these habits.
I was also daunted by where I stopped in my coach week. I left a workout hanging – Dione plus some other stuff (can’t remember what now), and every time I opened the app there it was looking scary and difficult.
So this morning, after a long night’s sleep (I still have quite the sleep debt to repay), I decided to redo the fitness assessment and start again. A five week break seemed like as good enough reason as anything, and I figured that doing something quick and undemanding like the test might help me break the psychological deadlock I’ve found myself in.
It’s pretty easy – a dynamic warm up which is pretty standard, then 10 pushups, 25 sit ups and 25 mountain climbers. Didn’t really break a sweat. But it felt good to be back on the mat, and now doing it again tomorrow doesn’t seem so scary.
On a related note, I’ve really noticed that I feel more stiff and more achey after a long time away from Freeletics. My back hurts again and I don’t feel as flexible. I can’t touch my toes, when before it was really easy. I’m going for a massage on Tuesday to try and ease up some of those muscles.
It feels like the perfect time to get back into Freeletics now that the sun’s out (kind of – it’s raining here today), and the weather is nicer.
I did my first Kronos almost a week ago and I still hurt. Jeez, that work-out is surely one of the toughest of the lot.
There’s something about having to do the full number of each exercise in one go rather than it being split into reps. It really pushes you.
Here’s the breakdown of what Kronos puts you through:
200 Straight Leg Lever
I completed it in 01:03:48. The sense of achievement when I finished was amazing.
The thing is, it’s not too unpleasant (there are no burpees for a start!) and once you get into the swing of each exercise it’s not too bad. I found the sit-ups the easiest, followed by Pushups, Squats, Straight Leg Lever and then the pull-ups the hardest.
I didn’t do the pull-ups with correct form. I still can’t (although the daily jumping pull-ups are making them feel a little more possible at some point in the future).
What’s great about Kronos is that it works out your arms, chest, legs and abs all at the same time. And damn, I could feel it for the next couple of days. Walking down stairs after 300 squats was pretty painful.
And then yesterday, after a few days off and a swim on Saturday (which was really tough as my legs and arms were so tired!) I did the horror that is 3x Metis (Strength). Ugh. Was hard and I was a bit hungover and tired, so didn’t come close to beating my PB.
About half way through, when I knew I wasn’t going to beat my PB, I almost gave up, but there’s something that switches in my brain when I’m over 50% done – it suddenly seems so much more manageable, and I think about how I’d feel if I stopped, so I manage to power through.
All of this, combined with a load of cycling around town meant that I slept very well last night!
Meanwhile, friends I haven’t seen for a while are regularly commenting on the change in my physique. And I’m feeling stronger than I ever have.
I’ve had a few days off. Mostly because I’m on holiday, and also because it’s fucking hot in Rio. Like 34° hot.
I joined the Freeletics Rio de Janeiro group and asked where I should work out. Some people suggested using the free gyms on the beach, but seeing the guys who were using them the other day made me think twice. Jeez – people really look after themselves here! Sculpted is the word…
I’m staying up the hill at Santa Teresa. And after a few days here, watching how much people exercise and work out, I thought I’d better get myself together. There seems to be a very body-conscious mentality here which is both a bit intimidating and also quite inspiring. People also don’t seem to give a shit about other people’s bodies. There’s no sneering or pointing!
Anyway, I found this little park. Perfect for Freeletics! And apart from the old ladies’ aerobics that was there at 8am when I turned up, it was pretty much deserted.
Time for my first Ares.
It was pretty straightforward. Although it was very hot outside, so I sweated a lot. Was nice to do some sprinting and I reckon I can do much faster next time.
I really need to work on pull-ups. I’m not doing them properly, so no star, but even so they’re really hard. Still 35 in total is pretty good! I even did a few extra sit-ups at the end.
There was a small baby running around towards the end, and she kept getting in my way, so some of the times were a little slower than I think I can do them. So I’m expecting to beat my PB next time.
Felt really energised afterwards, and ready for the next workout.
After really pushing myself on Week 2: Day 1’s workout, and then doing a gym session the day after, I had a couple of days off.
On the second day off my abs really hurt. Like, dead painful. And it took a while for that to stop.
I also had to get on a plane to Brazil (from the UK), and ended up drinking quite a lot of the free wine and eating all the food, so this morning, after receiving a 7am wake up call I hadn’t requested, I headed to the hotel gym in São Paulo (thankfully air conditioned) and did Day 2’s work out.
I was alone, so was able to not feel self conscious about my huffing and puffing. And could also do it in front of a mirror so I could check my technique.
Week 2: Day 2: 1/4 Venus
Push ups were hell. I have quite skinny arms so have always struggled with them. But I did it!
After doing 150 of the fuckers on Saturday, 20 sit-ups was a breeze, and I also found the squats fairly straight forward.
It’s the same again tomorrow, and then there’s a horror show coming for the final day of this week…
I’m already noticing a difference in my body shape. However subtle. And I also feel more energised and don’t want to eat and drink as much crap as I used to.
Cutting down on the booze is hard though, and I know that’s where the belly comes from…