Week 4! My goodness me. How time literally flies, like an aeroplane or a bluebottle. Obviously I am writing this many years in the future, but will be doing my usual trick of fiddling the date information so that it looks like I’m a proper writer capable of writing things to a schedule. I don’t know what my problem is, to be honest. Why bother writing a blog if you can’t ever be bothered to write anything? Specifically, a blog that almost nobody reads. It’s madness. So, week 4 then. Are you ready? Lovely. Just pop your clothes on the back of the chair and we’ll get started.
Here’s the schedule then.
Workout 1: Apollon
Workout 2: Artemis
Workout 3: Ares & Poseidon
Workout 4: Aphrodite
I had a problem. The problem being that on the Friday of week 4, I was going away on a stag weekend. (Normally the kind of thing I looked forward to, stag weekends are now approached with a sense of grim trepidation and weary acceptance. Am I too old to be staying up until 5am? I don’t know. Who makes the rules for such things? It makes no difference, because I did.) This meant that I had to get all four workouts done prior to my leaving, since I had no intention of providing the stag party with the hilarious sight of me grunting and swearing even more than I do normally.
So, Apollon then. This was the first time I’d done it. I’m not going to insult your intelligence by informing you of the shocking fact that it was quite hard, except that I just have you massive thicky poo-pants. It consists of three rounds of the following:
- 25 burpees
- 400m run
- 50 deep squats
- 400m run
Fucking fucking fuck. I had a little dilemma about where to actually do it, because I was undoubtedly going to look like a massive penis. I eventually elected to use the field at the back of the house. Cons: uneven ground, long grass, no proper path. Pros: no people to watch me looking like a penis. It may have been my imagination, but the burpees seemed harder outside. The deep squats started off fine then quickly got hard – but I didn’t have to stop at any point, and I find that I can keep churning then out. But the 400m runs… Oh, the runs.
The 400m was my specialist event in athletics, and I was good enough to run for Warwickshire for a few years. It’s a horrible event, and I regularly hated the fact that I could do it pretty well. There’s no real let up during a 400m race, you can’t pace yourself in the same way as mid and long distance running because the margin of error if you fuck it up is tiny. So you just have to go for it. All these memories came flooding as I completed my second 400m run of the workout. I’ve no idea of the time I was running, but I suspect it would’ve been an awful lot slower than I was capable of in my teens. And yet, the familiar side effects were all apparent: the burning legs, the uncontrollable facial contortions, the realisation that I would actually prefer to be dead than doing this.
But, annoyingly, I didn’t give up. I’m now in my sixth week of Freeletics, and there have only been two occasions where I’ve been tempted to stop. (The very first workout and a very recent one.) So I carried on, ground it out and did, but very slowly. 29:19 and I didn’t give myself a star because I later found out that I was only running about 380m each time. Pathetic.
Artemis is a little bit of everything, strength and cardio. It looks like this:
- 50 burpees
- 50 pullups
- 100 pushups
- 150 squats
- 50 burpees
Jesus. At least you only have to do it once. As ever, my burpees were fine. My pullups and pushups were not. I managed I think about 35 pushups with the proper form before I had to revert to the modified version. I think I’d actually be better off not worrying about the time and just doing them all properly even if I was there for about three hours, but there we are. Pullups are still farcical. I had a mate over at the weekend. He’s one of the weediest and most comically unfit people I know, and even he could do a couple of pullups from an arms-locked position. The absolute twat. Anyway, I’m getting better and not having to actually leap up at the bar every time now. Artemis was also pretty slow, but whatever; I finished in 33:06 and needless to say there was no star.
Okay, so it was Wednesday and still on schedule. Ares and Poseidon were done in 10:48 and 8:44 respectively. And after the previous two days, I was glad of the shorter workouts.
I was actually meant to be something else for workout 4, but for reasons that escape me now, I elected not to do what I’d been given. I genuinely can’t remember why, but I do remember thinking that Aphrodite wasn’t some kind of limp wristed substitute.
I think because it was the first full workout I did, I kind of regard Aphrodite as being the benchmark in terms of how I’m doing. I’ve been steadily chipping off time and really wanted to get under half an hour. And I did: 29:03 with a star. That felt fucking marvellous, it really did. I think I’ve only mentioned twelve or thirteen times in this blog, but when I first did it about eight weeks previously, it had taken me almost an hour. So you know, GO ME.
And that was it. On Friday morning I packed my bag, loaded up the car with quite a lot of lager, meat and charcoal, and headed for Wales. It was a good weekend, and one that was in NO WAY compatible with a fitness regime. But I will talk about it a little more next time.
Song for this week is more from my favourite German, Dominik Eulberg. Considering Freeletics orginated in Germany, I think I should probably make all my weekly songs of German origin. Anyway, jam this in your ears, it’s his remix of Ocarina by Essáy, and if you’re really short of time then hop to about 6min20 and have a spare pair of pants handy. Ta-ra.