After hell week, I was looking forward to seeing if things were going to ease off a little. Well, yes and no. Week 8 of my Freeletics coach gave me five workout days, but only one of them had a double session. Here, as usual, is how it looked.
Workout 1: Apollon
Workout 2: Dione
Workout 3: Poseidon and Metis
Workout 4: Hades
Workout 5: Apollon AGAIN BLOODY HELL WHAT IS IT WITH BLOODY APOLLON
The week started well with a new PB (starred) for Apollon – 31:49. I carried on the good work with another PB (starred) for Dione – 38:01. That’s almost ten minutes quicker than my previous best! Poseidon and Metis passed without incident (or PBs), and I chipped a bit off my Hades time with a 25:12 PB. But it was the final Apollon session of the week that proved to be the high point. Having set a starred PB earlier in the week, I absolutely smashed it with a time of 27:45. I was nearly sick at the end, but it was a great feeling. Sort of.
During that final Apollon workout, I began to feel some discomfort in my chest. Not enough to make me want to stop, but it was there. It felt like muscle pain in my pectoral, which I put down to the previous Poseidon workout where I had forced myself to do every push up with proper form. Anyway, I didn’t think much more about it.
Fast forward to Monday of this week, and my first workout of Week 9. My chest seemed to have got a little worse, which was confusing. My workout was to consist of three split lunge max sessions and two sit up max. I tried a few exploratory sit ups and thought there was a good chance that I’d do more harm than good if I tried to complete the workout. But I was in the mood for doing something, so I put my Merrells on and jogged a few metres up the garden to see how the chest felt. It wasn’t bad at all, so I decided to go for a run. Not far, about four miles.
The run itself went brilliantly from a fitness perspective. The last couple of miles were knocked off at 7min/mile pace and I felt strong. But (not for the first time) the second I stopped, the pain hit. I sat (collapsed) on the front step of my house and silently cursed myself. (Again, not for the the first time.) The pain got worse and worse, although I hadn’t actually lost any range of movement.
If it wasn’t already obvious, I had strained my left pectoral muscle, probably during Poseidon. Running made it worse, but despite the pain I still only think it’s a relatively minor strain. But I’m now having to take a break from Freeletics, because frankly I don’t think I’d be able to do any of the upper body workouts and even the cardio ones could make it worse.
THIS IS VERY FRUSTRATING.
Hopefully I’ll only have to sit out a few days, but we’ll see. Cock it.
Anyway, let’s be positive for a moment. After eight weeks of Freeletics, am I seeing any benefits?
I’m not going to break all the figures down yet – I’m saving that for the end of the 15 weeks. But in terms of purely visible progress, here’s what’s happened.
- Increased size of arms (especially triceps), chest, shoulders, back and legs
- Noticeably improved cardio
- Lost a little weight, it has been very gradual but consistent
If that seems a bit vague, well, sorry. It is. But the central most important fact is that I can actually see the improvement I have made. That’s a really great motivator to carry on. There have been times (usually during Apollon) when I’ve wanted to quit, but for what? So I can waste all the time and effort I’ve already expended to get to this point? No fucking way. Freeletics hurts at times, but the rewards so massively outweigh the hard times that I’d be crazy to stop. At this point, I think Freeletics will become a part of my regular fitness routine for a very long time.
Have I seen the greatest possible benefits? No. There have been times when I could have pushed harder, but didn’t. That’s okay, I’m not beating myself up over it. The important thing for me is that I’ve never skipped a workout and I’ve never stopped during one. I’m not trying to get ripped, I just want to be fitter and stronger. It’s nice to see that the hard work is paying off in terms of muscle definition and so on, but it’s not my main motivation.
Right, I’m going to leave it there for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue with week 9 very soon. If not, and given that I’ve only got 17 weeks to complete the course, I’ll have to improvise. This stupid pectoral better heal quickly. I’ve got work to do.