So, this was my triumphant return from injury. In my mind it was going to be like when Bob Champion came back from cancer to win the Grand National, but without a horse. (I mean me without a horse. He definitely had a horse. To the best of my knowledge, no jockey has ever won the National without a horse.) Needless to say, it didn’t exactly pan out like that. In fact, some of my performances during the week brought to mind the physical state of a horse in the immediate moments prior to being covered off by a tarpaulin and shot in the head by a vet. But I’m not quite ready for the knacker’s yard. Here’s my week 17 schedule, as attached to a brick via a piece of string and hurled directly into my face by the ever-lovely Freeletics Coach app.
Day one: Hades (standard)
Day two: 2x Metis (standard)
Day three: 6/10 Gaia (Strength), 100 burpees, 50 burpees, 25 burpees, 10 burpees, yeah yeah FUCKING ALRIGHT
Day four: 3x Metis (standard)
Keen readers of the blog (don’t laugh) might recall that the last time I tried to do Hades properly, I nearly ended up in a wheelchair. (That is in no way correct, but it’s what I’m telling everyone about so as to get a bit of sympathy.) I wasn’t going to piss about with those pull-ups this time. I did a handful of them properly, the rest were the usual mini-jump up to the bar. And I couldn’t really give a shit, because I proved that pride does actually LITERALLY come before a fall. Bollocks to pull-ups. For now.
Day two then. 2x Metis. I’d done this before, and I’ve a feeling it took me about 16 minutes. Naturally I couldn’t be arsed to check, so I just set that as an arbitrary time to beat and cracked on with it. It’s a little bit deceptive, this one. It’s a bit like the Freeletics equivalent of the 400m in athletics. You look at it and think ‘it’s only one lap of the track’, but by the end you want to kill absolutely everyone on earth. The key for me is just to keep ploughing through the burpees, no matter what. My climbers are pretty good now, and I’ve never really struggled with jumps. Knocked it off in 13:04 (PB*).
Gaia, then. Bloody, bloody, bloody Gaia. Strength version. Only six tenths of it. But Christ almighty, it is hard work. Again, I found that my form actually improved as the workout went on, which clearly means I need to concentrate harder at the beginning.
So then there was just the small matter of doing 185 burpees. I staggered them out over the course of the afternoon, and with the first hundred my only aim was to get under 10 minutes. In order to ensure this happened, I actually came up with what I am going to laughably refer to as some ‘tactics’. Quite simple really. Do the first 10 burpees. If you finish inside a minute, rest until the next minute starts. Repeat. I have no idea why I thought this would be good. It isn’t, so don’t bother wasting your time trying it. All that happens is you go slower. I realised this by about the eighth minute, at which point I decided to just do the last 20 as quickly as I could (which ended up being 1:42.) Finished with a time of 9:42 (PB*) so was still relatively pleased. But the story doesn’t end there.
I’m going to put my hand up here and admit to being quite competitive. So when, a day or so later, my wife came downstairs from having done a workout and told me she’d just done 100 burpees in 8:30, I will confess that my feelings were mixed. Obviously I congratulated her. Then I began to scream “WHY? WHY?” and beat my fists on the floor, pausing only to wipe away the snot and tears. My wife would be the first to tell you that she is not a sporty woman. She’s never really done anything like this before. She’s small. She can’t do proper push-ups. But she kicks my big fat arse on burpees. No doubt about it. Anyway, I’m over it now. Or at least I will be when I’ve done 100 burpees in under 8:30. If she subsequently goes under that time, I’m leaving her.
The other burpee routines passed without incident, and I must admit that I have grown to quite like the little buggers. I might, MIGHT take on the 500 burpee challenge, having got an email about it this week from Freeletics. I think it would be useful in terms of putting 150 into context. I remember my first Aphrodite, and 150 burpees felt like an impossible target back then.
I decided to squeeze in a run before my last workout day. In case it were not already abundantly clear, I have shit for brains. So instead of taking it easy for four miles or so, I decided to do 12K. Now, I’m not saying that 12K is a long way. It isn’t. This time last year I’d have knocked off 12K without any problem at all. But bloody hell, I was feeling it. It wasn’t the fitness – I felt good in that sense. It was my joints, all the old aches and pains that I’d forgotten about. My groin began to hurt with about 2K to go, and I was glad to finish. I subsequently wasn’t able to do my last workout the next day, so that had to wait until Monday. 3x Metis, and I bashed it out in 20:59 (PB*).
It feels really bloody good to be back. Seems like there are more people joining Freeletics now, which I guess might have something to do with the impending summer… After 17 weeks, I still look bugger all like any of the people in those ’15 week transformation’ videos, but I can promise you I am infinitely better company in a pub.
Some time ago, I bought the Nutrition Guide. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to give you my opinion on some of the recipes. I might actually do it properly, but I can’t really be arsed at the moment so this will have to do for now.
FISH WITH WINTER VEGETABLES
SUGGESTION: Add a large bowl of grated cheddar cheese to the mix. And chips. Better still, fuck it in the bin and have a pasty.
I’ve just realised that it might look like I’m saying my wife either looks like a horse or Bob Champion by using the picture at the top of this post. I can assure you that she looks like neither. She was once mistaken for Frankie Dettori, but I think that’s because of her irrepressible nature and strange accent.