Why I’m ditching MyFitnessPal and other news…

I haven’t written for a while, so here’s a big old update.

New Coach review update

I wrote about the new coach a while back (here, here and here) when it first came out. I was into it. I found the workouts shorter and more intense and felt like they were working my muscle groups harder.

Since then I’ve read people on Reddit saying that the new coach isn’t anywhere near as difficult or challenging, and that they’re frequently ending work-outs not as exhausted or drenched in sweat as before.

Now I’m no fitness expert, but here’s my take on this. What I love is that you’re made to focus on technique first – although I’m not sure what the point of doing 1 pike is, as I was asked to do the other week – and then you do conditioning, and then one or part of the existing Freeletics Gods work-outs. I find the workouts more varied, and I am increasingly as exhausted and satisfied after each session as before. This might be that I’m being really careful with my feedback to Coach, and therefore my work-outs are being tweaked accordingly.

It seems like Freeletics have realised that just working people until they drop doesn’t necessarily get the best long-term results; that exhaustion doesn’t always mean a work-out has been effective. They’re helping us get better at technique.

I also find that the benefit of not being made to do full Freeletics Gods work-outs means I’m not as daunted (or bored) by my coach weeks.

Warm-ups and cool-downs

I also really love the new warm-ups and cool-downs. My biggest complaint about the app as it was was that it was really difficult to time your stretching at the end, but now it times each stretch, and I feel like the stretches are working my whole body.

#CoachChallenge update

I’m into week 4 of #CoachChallenge and I have to say the promise of money off Freeletics stuff is really keeping me going. I managed to keep to my schedule despite being away from home twice in environments where drinking and staying up late is part of the work. On my first trip there was also a gym in the apartment block which had a great pull-up bar and assistance bands, which were brilliant. Going to buy one.

Diet update

I’ve stopped using MyFitnessPal. I’ve been using it for ages and it was beginning irritate me. Also, it wasn’t particularly helping me lose weight or eat better, it was just telling me every day that even though I regularly came in under my calorie goal, my macros were always off (too many carbs and too much fat and not enough protein).

So instead I’m just being really mindful of what I’m eating and actually I think it’s making me eat better. For some reason, not counting everything means I try harder to eat well. I also think it’s helping me make better permanent changes to the way I eat.

I also think MyFitnessPal was damaging my relationship to what I eat. I love food. I love cooking. I don’t want to become a clean eating freak or one of those gym bunnies that only eat grilled chicken and protein shakes. I want to eat a balanced, healthy diet that makes me feel good, that is fresh and not processed and that tastes really good. I don’t want to reduce what I eat to numbers and pie charts. It’s not good for the soul.

Over the past couple of years I’ve read enough about food to know what’s good for you, what to eat in moderation and what to avoid. So I’m ditching the app and just trying to eat well. And it feels great.

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Why I’m ditching MyFitnessPal and other news…

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

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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

Quick note about pain

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You might remember that back when I started Freeletics, I was experiencing a fair amount of lower back pain. I thought it was a combination of long-haul flights, sitting down for my job, and possibly performing the exercises wrong.

Over the past couple of weeks, that lower back pain has almost disappeared. I feel stronger and have more stamina. I think this is probably due to strengthening my core, and my body getting used to the workouts. It feels great!

I’ve also worked in a bit of yoga into my stretches at the end of each workout, which is really helping with my flexibility.

I think this reduction in pain is absolutely connected with making sure I’m hydrated and that I warm up before and stretch properly afterwards.

Having said all that, I’m about to get on a long-haul flight, so it’s entirely possible I’ll be eating my words.

Quick note about pain