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!

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

Cancelling my gym membership and other January activities

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So. 2017. Here we are.

Have to admit, I did stop training over Christmas. And only started again the other day.

My final pre-Christmas workout was Uranos, where I beat my PB, and then on Christmas Eve (when I was sick of my family already and itching to do something physical) I knocked out a quick Athena.

I’d kind of forgotten that I can break with Coach every now and then and do those super-quick, no equipment workouts wherever and whenever. It felt quite nice to do a quick 7 minute workout, just to get the blood flowing.

And then post Christmas I was straight back to it with KENTAUROS. Jeez. I did it on a beautiful, sunny, freezing cold day in the park. Even though it was cold I was sweating buckets by the end. Blimey that workout tires me out. And my legs were aching for days.

On Monday evening, just before going to back to work after the break, I did Artemis. I quite like this workout – 50 burpees, 50 pull-ups, 100 pushups, 150 squats, 50 burpees. I beat my PB, but no star (still not mastered the pull-up).

The other thing I did this week was cancel my gym membership. Probably the opposite of what everyone else is doing at this time of year. £17 per month, and I wasn’t really using it. I’ve decided that wherever possible I will exercise at home or outdoors. And that there shouldn’t really be any excuses about that. I don’t need the gym.

So I’d better crack on with tackling that 2017 bucket list

 

Cancelling my gym membership and other January activities

Hermes: a quick workout for a chilly Monday

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Image: Freeletics.com

I had to do the old trick of changing into my workout gear as soon as I got home from work before I accidentally sat on the sofa. The temperature has dropped and it’s dark early. Hard to muster the motivation.

I swapped my days around because my biceps are hurting a little from doing correct-form jumping pull-ups. I was scheduled to do Artemis, but it has 50 pull-ups and I really don’t want to do some serious damage, so I decided to do Day 2 – Hermes.

Aaaaah, Hermes. How lovely it is to see it as the only thing you have to do for the day. It takes me about 12 minutes, and 8 of those are resting! The rest is pushups and sprints. It gets the heart pumping and you don’t have to think too much.

10 pushups; 30 sec rest; 2x20m run; 10 pushups; 30 sec rest, 2×20 run; 60 second rest. Repeat four times.

I worked out in my local park. First time I’ve worked out there after dark – it’s pretty much pitch black – but I quite like that, as you can just crack on without worrying about people watching.

And finally, my foam roller arrived. Already feeling the benefit of it – it’s been great using it while watching TV.

 

Hermes: a quick workout for a chilly Monday

Freeletics in winter is really hard

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RAIN. Photo: dichohecho on Flickr

The combination of a massively hectic period at work, when all I want to do at the end of the day is eat comfort food and lie on the sofa, and the kind of desperately miserable winter weather is making exercise very difficult.

Freeletics send those emails that start ‘Athlete’, which feels very generous when really I’ve been eating pasta and watching TV.

But it’s Sunday and I’ve been on at my sisters – sitting down – and then sitting down on a long train journey, and even though it was 8pm when I got home, I rolled out the mat in the living room and did Day 2 of Week 8.

But first, let’s back track a bit…

At the start of week 8, I’ve been moved onto Dynamic Warm-up Pro and Static Stretching Pro. To be honest, I don’t really like them. I don’t find either of them much more difficult in strength terms, but I do find them more complicated to perform, and not as intuitive. But I am getting better at the one where you have to put your legs over your head.

I’ve also done Thanatos in the past week. Beat my PB which was pretty cool. And then today I had 2x Metis. I think I’m getting better at burpees, but I can’t really do more than about 10 in a row without a pause. I do like doing jumps though, and I’m pretty good at climbers.

Tomorrow its 3/5 Nemesis, 50 Pullups, 50 Pullups, 50 Burpees, 50 Burpees. OUCH. I won’t be able to do the pull-ups correctly, so I know I won’t have a star. That’s not me being defeatist, it’s just fact.

I am seeing a real difference in my physique though. And I’ve planned a very lean diet this week, so I’ll post a progress photo tomorrow.

In other news, my boyfriend has lost a stone. He’s not doing freeletics, but he’s been struggling with his weight, and this has given him a real boost. Kind of spurred me on to get back on it after being a bit slack over the past week or so.

Over and out.

Freeletics in winter is really hard

Beginning to notice a difference…

Week 6 has taken me two weeks. I think I was over-ambitious trying to fit in five workouts during a very busy period at work, and in the middle of winter when one has to muster superhuman strength just to get out of bed in the morning, let alone put a pair of trainers on.

Anyway, I’m nearly through it. Just 2/3 Metis and a load of sprinting to do and then I’m ready for week 7.

But before the ins and outs of week 6, here’s my Day 58 progress photo.

Day 58

I’m pretty pleased with this to be honest. I’ve lost some weight, I have more definition in my chest and abs and around my shoulders. Still a way to go, but this was a boost.

Week 6, Day 2 was Kentauros. It was tough, and I had to slightly modify it as I was in the gym and there were people using the area I usually work out in. So instead of Burpee Frogs, I did Burpee jumps. I quite enjoyed this workout. I was absolutely shattered afterwards, but it really got the blood pumping.

Day 3 was Hermes. Hermes is boring. But it gave me an opportunity to really work on my push-up technique. I just find it quite repetitive.

And then today was 3/4 Hermes Strength. Now, a while back I unlocked the OH Push-Up skill. I think I managed to do a couple, but with poor technique (by allowing my waist/legs to leave the floor after my chest). When I actually tried to do one properly, there was absolutely NO WAY I could do one. So I did normal push-ups and locked the skill afterwards. Might get to it later.

As a side note, there was a woman doing a workout in the gym today with just bodyweight and a step and she was so agile and flexible it was mesmerising to watch (and I’m a homosexual, so I wasn’t leaching!). It was inspiring to see someone do burpees and other freeletics stuff with such guile and ease while I sweated away in the corner.

I’m still doing Dry January. I think this has a lot to do with my disappearing belly to be honest. I’m also still watching the amount of carbs I’m eating and am eating lots of vegetables and protein.

Interestingly on BBC2’s Trust Me I’m a Doctor, they exposed the protein shake market as a bit of a scam. In a test with two group taking an exercise routine for 8 weeks, there was no discernible difference between the group who drank protein shakes to the group who didn’t. As long as you’re eating plenty of protein in your diet, there’s no need to supplement. Your body will just piss it out. There was a similar debunking of the antioxidant smoothie craze. Might as well drink orange juice apparently.

Beginning to notice a difference…