After 2.5 years of doing Freeletics, I’ve finally mastered the pullup.

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This is not me. But you could imagine it’s me feeling on top of the world. Photo by photo-nic.co.uk nic on Unsplash

Today was a MAJOR MILESTONE day. After a few weeks off doing Coach’s workouts, today I got back on it.

And, I might add, that I almost went out for drinks after work. Had my friend not cancelled on me I’d have been in the pub. Instead, I came home, forbade myself to sit on the sofa and got straight into my training gear. As soon as I got going, I knew I’d made a good decision.

Here’s what Coach had in store:

4 x Archer Pullups

12 x Crunches

Interval (Upper Body, Abs)
4 rounds of…
4 x Strict Pullups
8 x Pikes
8 x Plank Switches
60 sec rest

2/4 Venus (Standard)

First up, Archer Pullups. My pullup bar is in a fairly narrow doorway and so I can’t really do Archer Pullups effectively. Also I find doing these in correct form very difficult, so I used my resistance band to help.

Crunches, no problem.

And then, interval. I decided to see if I could do strict pullups, not expecting to be able to. But I COULD. And fairly easily. I couldn’t believe it. The third and fourth sets were a bit more difficult, but I managed to do all 16 pullups with correct form and with no assistance. So after two and half years of doing Freeletics and struggling with pullups, I’ve finally mastered them.

I seriously think this is down to me doing 10 x Assisted Pullups pretty much every day for the past few months (even when I wasn’t doing coach workouts).

I’m so pleased. And it’s given me a real boost to rebuild my Freeletics habit.

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After 2.5 years of doing Freeletics, I’ve finally mastered the pullup.

Aphrodite strikes again…

I’ve cut myself some slack after that last post. I’m so busy with work that training is taking a back seat.

Last week I trained once. This was my work out:

10 x Side Lunges
8 x HH Standups
Interval (Legs, Lower Back), 3 sets of:
— 8 Cossack Squats
— 10 Single Leg Hip Raises Right and Left
— 10 Squat Jumps
— Rest (60 Secs)
2/3 Persephone

Wasn’t too bad. Although I’m out of practice on Burpees, so Persephone took a little longer than I wanted it too.

Also this week, I’ve been trying to do 10 Assisted Pull-ups a day to try and build strength in my arms and shoulders. Still hoping to be able to do Strict Pull-ups one day.

Today I went for a swim; a Sunday tradition these days. I’m not a particularly strong swimmer – always in the medium lane – but it’s a great head-clearer for me and it makes me feel good if I’ve been out drinking on Saturday night; it’s a kind of low intensity exercise that gets the blood flowing again.

My Coach week next week is Hell Days (if they’re still called that). I’ve chosen three work out days instead of the usual four, with the hope of being able to easily do that by Saturday. My week looks like this:

Venus (Standard)
Aphrodite (Endurance)
Aphrodite (Standard)

I quite like Venus (no burpees!), but always feel it in my legs after all those squats. And then there’s Aphrodite, which I really hate. And Coach has given it to me TWICE this week. How kind.

See you on the other side…

Aphrodite strikes again…

New Year Freeletics Goals, Yoga and an aborted attempt to do an HS Push-Up

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Blimey. Haven’t written this blog since November. Where does the time go?

Even though I usually train indoors rather than outdoors, I’ve been finding it really hard to find the motivation to get up and exercise. Something about the cold weather, the desire to hibernate. So I haven’t been training regularly. And then I was ill for a few days just before Christmas, and then there was Christmas. However hard I try, I’m just not one of those people posting pictures of their Christmas Day workouts on Instagram. I’m in soft clothes, drinking red wine and eating chocolate.

I did manage to not completely overdo it over Christmas though. My parents are getting old and their appetite is shrinking, so there just wasn’t the usual level of gluttony of years gone by. So as I enter January, I’m not feeling too unhealthy. Although I did rather overdo it on New Year’s Eve, so yesterday was a complete write-off.

Today’s Training

So this morning, my last day before I go back to work, I made myself get out of bed and train. As much because I find that working out helps curb that too-much-booze anxiety that often comes with a hangover.

Thankfully Coach wasn’t too hard on me for my first workout of 2018. It was:

20 Lunges
2 Split Lunges
Conditioning: Abs and Legs – 20 Squats, 20 Side Lunges, 10 Knee-wipes
1/4 Venus

There’s something hilarious about the algorithm – sorry, Coach – giving you 2 split lunges. It’s over in about 2 seconds. Surely there should be a way that Freeletics could put a lower limit on any one exercise.

Anyway, it felt good to get moving again and I was glad I dragged myself out of bed.

Trying to Unlock Advanced Skills

I also managed to squeeze in a workout on the day before New Year’s Eve – that in between bit between Christmas and New Year where no one really knows what to do with themselves.

After doing the workout – 6/10 Gaia and interval – I decided to try and unlock some of the advanced skills. It didn’t end well.

I did manage to do 5 OH Push-ups, and I’m going to start trying to do them alongside my Coach workouts, in the same way as I do assisted pull-ups. And then I tried to do a Pistol Squat, which was just impossible, and a HS Pushup, which was also laughably hard. I just couldn’t do it. And then when I came out of it, I didn’t let my legs fall as one would normally do when coming out of a handstand. Instead, I kind of slid down the wall, which kind of crunched up my head/neck. It was pretty painful. And a stupid way of trying to come out of the push-up. Felt like I could have done some serious damage if I’d carried on. Thankfully I figured out what I should have done and did that. Was in pain for about two days. Which was lovely. Suffice to say, I didn’t unlock those two. It did make me think that in those training videos, Freeletics should show how to get into and out of those more difficult skills. It would really help.

Yoga

As a result of the neck pain, I ended up doing a YouTube yoga workout to try and relieve it. And it kind of worked. I think I’m going to try and do more yoga in 2018 alongside Freeletics, to try and increase my flexibility and sort out some niggling muscle pain I get every now and then. This is the video I did, in case you want to do it to:

I might do his 30 Day Total Body Yoga Workout Challenge. Looks great and might get me into the habit of doing it regularly.

2018 Goals

So, what’s my plan for 2018? I’ve been doing Freeletics for over two years now. I certainly haven’t do the 15 week transformation that the YouTube videos show. I guess when I started I didn’t want a quick fix, I wanted a way to exercise regularly, and that’s what I use Freeletics for. But I would like to build my strength, particularly in my arms, and I’d like to lose a bit more belly fat – I suspect that will be more down to diet than to exercise, so I’m going to make a real effort to eat well and drink less (pretty standard New Year resolution stuff here). But I think I also want to increase my flexibility, and build consistency – fewer breaks, more regular workouts. I suspect that’s the key to really making progress.

And maybe by this time next year, I’ll be able to do a couple more of those advanced skills.

Happy New Year – let’s do this!

New Year Freeletics Goals, Yoga and an aborted attempt to do an HS Push-Up

#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?

#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