#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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#CoachChallenge

Hell Week conundrum

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There I was, Monday morning, feelings smug that I’d got out of bed and done 2x Metis (strength), which incidentally, is pretty tough on the old thighs (and the downstairs neighbours – all those jumps).

I completed the ‘week’ that I’ve been doing for about the last three weeks (sorry Coach), and was looking forward to what was in store, when blam, HELL WEEK. Jeez.

So this is tricky. If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know that I’ve been struggling with motivation these last few weeks. And last time I did Hell Week, it was after a similar period of inaction (maybe Coach knows). I found it really gave me the boost I needed to get back into regular training.

But here’s the thing, this time, the timing isn’t great. I have a major deadline this week at work, and next week I’m away for the whole week in another country, so not even sure where/when I’ll be able to train.

So, do I just crack on with Hell Week on my usual schedule and take a few days out if needs be, with the knowledge that it will take longer than seven days, or do I postpone until I return from being away?

If I postpone, I’ll have to select my own workouts in the meantime. And I’m not sure I’ll get the most out of training. It might not do my motivation any good. I’ll feel like I’ve got some time off. If I just get on with it, I might feel frustrated that it’s not ‘pure’ Hell Week.

Here’s what Coach has in store:

Day 1: Uranos, Krios
Day 2: Venus, 200 burpees
Day 3: Hermes, 2x Morpheus
Day 4: Kronos, 2x Krios
Day 5: Venus, Artemis
Day 6: Kentauros (Strength), 200 burpees
Day 7: 2x Ares, 100 pullups

Ugh. The first three days aren’t too bad (apart from all those burpees). It gets tough mid-week, and I don’t know if I’ll have running space and pull-up bar when I’m away.

Hmmm… I’m of a mind to just get on with it and adapt as needs be. What do you think?

Hell Week conundrum

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

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

End of Week 5

  
Realised I haven’t updated this much for a while. Not that anyone has noticed. I’m basically just talking to myself.

However, just watched a YouTube video with Joe Wicks (aka The Body Coach) where he talked about tweeting and instagramming about three recipes/workouts a day when he had zero followers, so YOU NEVER KNOW, maybe I’ll become a social media sensation and get a four-book deal. Or, more likely, I’ll just keep chuntering away here on my own.

I think my problem is that I’ve never been known as a sporty person. The idea of me doing anything sporty, let alone blogging about it, will be quite strange to my friends. And some of them have signed up to Freeletics. None of them have actually done a workout yet though, which suggests they’re not likely to be looking at the app much…

I’m also finding it difficult to do work-outs outside/in public. I don’t work out in a group; there doesn’t seem to be one in Bristol, and at the moment, as I end up being a panty, sweaty mess about half way through a workout, I don’t really like doing it on the basketball court next to my house as it’s overlooked by houses. Maybe I need to get over it. I think I might have to next week.

Anyway… Where have I got to over the last 19 days?

Well, I dipped out of the coach momentarily to do a 1.5k run on the treadmill at the gym. Was pretty easy. Had been hoping to do my normal workout, but should have realised that going to the gym after work during the first week back after the Christmas holidays was a bad idea. I’ve never seen the place so packed. And my usual workout area (where they do the classes) was full of people lunging, led by a woman wearing a Beyonce mic and shouting.

Then I was back under Coach’s orders and did Ares. I did this in my flat, so I couldn’t do the 2x 40m runs. I substituted them for High Knees. I can also still only do jumping pull-ups. They’re just too difficult. As a side note, I’m noticing that coach is scheduling more leg work-outs than arms, so I’m not feeling like I’m gaining strength in my arms. Might have to supplement Coach’s workouts with extra pull-up training.

Next up was 2/5 Aphrodite. Was pretty hard. Burpees are horrible. Very hard. And that was only 2/5!

Then it was Venus Standard. Looking back at that work out, I’m pretty impressed that I managed 150 push-ups. Although I think some of them were knee press-ups… So no star for me that time.

The rest of last week was pretty fucking hard. Aphrodite (ouch), Prometheus (oof) and finally, today, Helios (jeez).

Now, what was strange was at the start of the week, I was down to Helios standard (675 points – looked horrific – total of 300 burpees). Then, after Aphrodite it changed to the Endurance version, which is slightly easier (400 points, burpees changed to sprawlers etc). I think this might have been because my coach feedback after Aphrodite was ‘EXHAUSTING’, but be interested to hear if anyone else has noticed Coach changing their schedule during the week (hellooooooo? Anyone out there?)

So even the Endurance version of Helios was absolutely knackering. Getting through 150 sprawlers was difficult enough, and then to have to do them again right at the end of the workout was pretty hard. The final sprawlers took ages. I could only really do 3 or 4 at a time before stopping. Anyway, I got through it and felt pretty goddamn good afterwards.

Next week looks even harder. Here it is:

Atlas (Standard)

Kentauros (Standard)

Hermes (Standard)

3/4 Hermes (Strength)

2/3 Metis (Strength)
400m Sprint
400m Sprint
200m Sprint
200m Sprint

As a final note, I’m a cynical Englishman who can’t really abide motivational quotes etc etc, but I did find next week’s message from Coach a boost, even though it is a bit of a cliche.

By now, you made it through your first five weeks of Freeletics. You constantly get fitter and your body is about to change visibly. You are not a beginner anymore. We will no longer beg you not to give up. You know that backing down is not an option. It’s up to you to change your mindset. From now on, it’s about bursting limits. Every single time. It’s about being hungry. And putting in the work. About leaving excuses behind and unleashing your potential.

Dare to step it up. Athletes in their first weeks look up to you. Make sure to be a good role model. Especially if you train in groups. Maintain good form, be motivating and help others to improve their performance.

And as a final, final note… A word about Dry January.

Haven’t had a drink since New Year’s Eve. Feel pretty bloody good for it, and am getting loads done. I’m sleeping better, feel less anxious, and my diet is much, much healthier. I’m not 17 days in and it’s getting easier every day not to drink. Gonna try and push through until the end of the month. And hoping that it’s having an effect on that little beer belly. I’m not noticing much difference at the moment, and my weight has dropped a little, but not a lot. So let’s see. But I’m certainly finding that Freeletics is unleashing a stubbornness and determination I kind of knew I had, but not to this degree. I really want to make this work, and I’m surprising myself with my ability to do so.

BRING ON WEEK SIX.

End of Week 5

Week 2: Day 3

Met up with a friend of a friend in Sao Paulo today and she whisked us round the old  city in two hours. Consequently I my feet hurt, I was hot and sweaty and very tired but the time we got back to the hotel. After lying face down on the bed for about an hour, dozing, I went downstairs to the deserted gym (does no one in this hotel exercise?) and did my second 1/4 Venus of the week.

Beat my personal best by about 1 minute (RESULT), and even properly managed the push-up and sit-up technique.

Have to say, that even though I’m a cyclist and have pretty strong legs, the squats are really making my thigh muscles hurt. So after the second round of squats this week, I’m expecting to be aching tomorrow.

I’m REALLY NOT looking forward to the final workout this week. 4/5 Prometheus Endurance. It looks horrible. And if doing 1/4 Venus makes me hot and sweaty, Prometheus is really going to get my glowing.

Week 2: Day 3

Week 2: Day 2

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.

Today was:

Week 2: Day 2: 1/4 Venus

50 push-ups

20 sit-ups

50 squats

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…

Week 2: Day 2