Kronos, Hell Days, Pull-ups and thoughts on frequency of training

stopwatch
Always trying to beat that PB!

The clocks go back in the UK next week, which means it’ll be darker earlier. Winter is coming. Time to really get stuck into training, so I can be ready for spring when it finally arrives!

Coach has given me Hell Days this week. I selected three work-out days, and this is what he gave me:

Day 1: Kronos, Uranos

Day 2: Kronos, Nemesis

Day 3: Kentauros, 3x Metis

He (and yes, I’ve decided my coach is a man) has selected a smorgasbord of my worst workouts. You can read about the last time I did Kronos here.

I still feel like I need a kick up the bum with Freeletics at the moment, I’m seeing results, but not the ‘insane’ results the app promises when you first sat up (this is mostly about diet though rather than workouts). So actually I was kind of grateful for Hell Days. Means I really have to push myself again.

I started the week yesterday and fully intended to do Kronos and Uranos. Ha. I’d forgotten the pain the Kronos puts you through. I have knocked a full 13 minutes off my first time trying it though, which is progress.

Before I was half way through I knew that there was no way I would be able to Uranos after this. Mainly because the 300 squats mean that I can hardly move my legs, let alone jump while doing burpees.

Today I ache all over and can hardly walk. It’s a good kind of ache, and I felt AMAZING after I had finished the workout. But I know I will struggle this week to do both workouts on the same day. Might have to split them across every day this week instead.

Which brings me on to a thought I had yesterday about frequency of training. I currently select three days each week. I think this leads me to eating badly and drinking alcohol, as there are more days in the week when I’m not working out than when I am.

So I’m going to up it to five days from now and on and see how that goes. Might also see how that changes what Coach assigns me.

Pull-ups

A quick note on what my regular readers will know is my nemesis – the pull-up. I re-watched the video for the jumping pull-up and realised that my 0:15 PB wasn’t quite true. I haven’t really been doing them properly. Seems that the trick is to fully extend and then let yourself fall. I hadn’t really been doing that, and so I don’t think I’ve been building up enough strength.

 

Advertisements
Kronos, Hell Days, Pull-ups and thoughts on frequency of training

First week back after re-doing the fitness test


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

Poseidon

3/4 Venus

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. 

Have a great week athletes!

Image from freeletics.com

First week back after re-doing the fitness test

Kronos: OUCH

15684e3b79b2e21a16997f3b62d9578eI 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:

100 Pushups
200 Situps
300 Squats
200 Straight Leg Lever
100 Pullups

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.

GO FREELETICS.

 

Kronos: OUCH

I reached week 10 of Freeletics, and I feel great

 

I’ve been really getting into my groove again with Freeletics in the past few days. I’m going on holiday tomorrow and I’m almost disappointed I won’t be in routine. Might have to do a couple of work-outs over the weekend.

But anyway, I’ve done three days back-to-back and I feel absolutely fucking great.

First up was Venus. Venus is a pretty simple workout – just pushups, squats and sit-ups. I beat my PB, but my skinny arms were struggling with the pushups towards the end. I really need to work on my arms to master pushups and pull-ups. When I was in the gym at the weekend, this toned guy came in and did about 25 pushups really quickly. He made it look so easy – I make it look like a big old sweaty mess. However, I do always notice a difference in my physique when I do push-ups. Particularly my chest and shoulders.

The next day was Apollon. I did this in the wrong order because I was at the gym and couldn’t switch between burpees, squats and running easily. So I did all the burpees and squats first (skipping through the running on the app) and then did the full 2.4km on the treadmill at the end. Slightly cheating maybe,  but I actually really enjoyed the running. Had a massive endorphin rush at the end. And then I went and bought loads of healthy food. Was a good day.

Then finally I had to do 2xAthena, 100 Burpees, 50 Squats, 50 Squats and another 50 burpees in one day. Usually I cheat a bit and split these over a couple of days, but yesterday I got up early on a Monday morning, did the 2xAthena, which was quite nice (when I say ‘nice’ I mean it didn’t completely destroy me). Then when I got home from work I did the burpees and squats.

I really tried to pace myself with the burpees – not rushing at the beginning and trying to keep a steady pace and not collapsing for 30 seconds half way through. It feels much better to go slowly and not break.

And now I feel pumped. My legs are noticeably more muscular, my arms feel great and I’m feeling simultaneously energetic and tired (but in a good way).

And in stats, I’ve done

525 Squats
225 Burpees
200 Pushups
155 Situps
75 Climbers
2.4km run

I think I deserve a holiday!

Oh, and I promised you a progress photo, so here you go. (And yeah, I know the lighting is more favourable in the right hand photo, but still…)

March Progress

I reached week 10 of Freeletics, and I feel great

A few notes from the last two weeks, and some thoughts on nutrition

Clean-Eatingveggies-1200x661

It’s been a while since I wrote. I’ve still been on it, but I’ve been finding it much harder, and particularly hard to stick to good nutrition.

And also I’ve noticed a bit of a slow-down in my body transformation. I’m still feeling and looking pretty toned, but I think by week 10 of the programme I’d thought I’d see a more radical transformation. I guess not being super strict on number of work-outs per week, and by not sticking to a strict nutrition guide means that it makes a real transformation more tricky. I’m on holiday in the second half of next week, so I’m going to cut myself some slack, but then get back on it in a big way in the week after next.

But anyway, what have I been up to?

I won’t go into details of each work-out – here are some quick thoughts from the past two weeks:

  • Squats really burn if you don’t stretch out properly afterwards
  • I still find push-ups hard – can’t do them fast. Need to work on my arms. Hopefully that’ll make pull-ups easier too
  • I’m getting much better at burpees. Even enjoy them sometimes.
  • Warming up and stretching really do make you get better and make the work-outs easier
  • I am still regularly beating my PBs, which feels really good.

I’m still pretty evangelical about Freeletics. I think it really is the best fitness app. I love the competitive edge, I love the tailored training, I love feeling like I’m part of a community.

I see from an email yesterday that they’re planning new apps, alongside running. I reckon one of them will be nutrition, which should be cool. I’m gradually thinking that maybe I do want to download the nutrition guide.

I find it hard to cut out carbs, I still drink too much, and I’m probably not drinking enough water. I might start with a few recipes from Joe Wick’s Lean in 15 and see how I get on.

Tonight it’s steak, sweet potato chips and salad. Yum.

Oh, and I know I still haven’t done a progress photo. Will do next time after Apollon.

(pic from United Breast Cancer Foundation)

 

A few notes from the last two weeks, and some thoughts on nutrition

HELL WEEK #1

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…

DAY 1: HADES and 2x PERSEPHONE

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.

DAY 2: PROMETHEUS & HERMES

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

DAY 3: THANATOS & 3xATHENA

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.

HELL WEEK #1

Week 2: Day 4

Had to really gear up for this one. I’d been working the day before in São Paulo and went out for a late meal (spaghetti bolognaise and a couple of glasses of red wine), so wasn’t feeling massively up for it when I woke up about 7.30am. And it’s Sunday.

But I headed down to the hotel’s weird empty gym, which mercifully has great air con (it’s 30° outside) and buckled down.

Today was 4/5 Prometheus, and while it was hard, it wasn’t quite as hard as I thought it would be.

The climbers I actually quite enjoy and can usually do them really quickly. 

The knee push-ups are quite easy too, especially after doing the normal ones.

The crunches were hard but not too hard.

It was actually the HH squats that hurt (after doing them last week, my muscles were still sore), and the jumping jacks gave me a bit of a headache, but perhaps that was the red wine).

I was dead pleased I completed it, and before breakfast. I think I need to watch the impulse to stop towards the end, out of laziness rather than exhaustion. It’s tempting to stop because, well, I’ve basically done it so what difference will ten more jumping jacks make?

So that’s week 2 finished.

I can already see a slight improvement in my abs and arms and chest. And my legs feel really strong. 

I definitely need to improve my diet. It seems that 70% of success on Freeletics is about nutrition, and at the moment I’m drinking too much alcohol. I’m noticing the desire to eat less shit food/sugar. But then again, I’m on holiday and it’s Christmas next week, so maybe I should cut myself some slack…

In January I’m going to start a clean diet, based on recipes I’ve pinned on Pinterest. I’m not going to buy the nutrition guide because from what I’ve seen of it, the recipes are a bit depressing, and I really like cooking so I’m going to do my own low-carb, high-protein diet. And crucially, I’m going to do Dry January. But I’m not going to tell anyone, I’m just going to do it. Otherwise I’m bound to fail…

Next Week

I’m leaving São Paulo and heading to Rio tomorrow. Staying in an AirBnB, so no hotel gym. Not quite sure where I’m going to be able to workout, as Coach has scheduled both Ares and Hades which require 40m run space (or 2x 20m) and a pull-up bar. 

I’ve been told to be careful where I go in Rio, so need to ideally find a basketball court or similar near Santa Theresa, or a gym. 

OR… I postpone week three and do some of the other workouts that don’t need that equipment and which I can do in my room.

Guess I’ll see what happens when I get there…

Until then. Ciao!

Week 2: Day 4