Week 1 of the Freeletics coach done, and I’m still alive. Although I have shown no discernable improvement and STILL don’t have the physique of Bruce Lee, I have to look on the bright side. Everything appears to be in general working order and I’m beginning to look less like a fish thrashing about on a rive bank during burpees. So, on to week 2. Week 1 had left me feeling that I hadn’t started properly, so I was expecting (hoping?) that things would be stepped up from this point. Well they certainly were, and there were several moments when I silently cursed myself for getting precisely what I’d wished for. Here’s how the week looked from the Coach.
Workout 1: Hades
Workout 2: Hades
Workout 3: Aphrodite
Workout 4: Hera
Rrrrriiiiight. Hades. I’d deliberately not looked at what Hades consisted of, despite having seen it mentioned many times on various forums and blogs. I mean, for Christ’s sake. Hades? Greek god of the underworld. Hell. A real pain in the arse. Anyway, here it is: 25 burpees, 15 pull ups, 15 push ups, 25 burpees and 2x40m run. And you do that lot three times. On the face of it, I didn’t think it looked too scary. I was getting used to doing 150 burpees at a time with Aphrodite, and the I figured that while the pull ups and push up would be hard, they were probably the easier bit of the workout. HAHAHA! What a bloody idiot I am, they were horrendous. Well, here’s how I got on.
Workout 1: Hades – 34:18 (no star). Jesus Christ on a Boris bike. Started off reasonably well with the burpees, but the pull ups (completed from the branches of an apple tree in my garden) were pitiful. I had to adopt an underhand grip and was practically jumping halfway up right from the off. Still, I decided to complete the reps in that way instead of just doing 1 or 2 correct versions, although that’s something I’m looking to change. The push ups were a little better, I did the first set correctly but then had to switch to the modified version about halfway through the second set. As for the run, let’s just say that by the final round, I looked like a very drunk man attempting to evade to police officer at 2am in a regional city centre. Dignity levels pretty much at zero by the end of this workout.
Workout 2: Hades – 31:58 (no star). See above, only slightly less crap.
Workout 3: Aphrodite – 32:56 (star, PB). NOW WE’RE TALKING. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of pointing out that when i first did Aphrodite, it took me over 50 minutes. I feel like I’m making real progress with it, although it certainly isn’t getting any easier. Next target is to try and get under 30 minutes.
Workout 3.5: I decided to slip an extra one in just to keep things ticking over, so did Metis and also push up Max. I feel like there’s a bit more to come with Metis, which I did in 7:36 (star, PB). With the push up Max I was determined to stick to the proper version of the exercise, even if it meant fewer reps. I managed 20 (star, PB) and there was more than one occasion when I thought I wasn’t going to get back up. I’m quite conscious of the fact that 20 push ups is pretty awful, but hey.
Workout 4: Hera – 22.00 (star, PB). This was HILARIOUS. Not for me. For the people that saw me doing it. Hera is basically a series of high jumps and 400m runs, so obviously it requires somewhere that you can run that distance. I opted for a track at the top of the hill by my house. It’s great in that it’s pretty flat, and I don’t have to get in the car to get there. It’s less great in that it is on the Heart of England Way, meaning that on a nice day (as it was) it’s incredibly popular with walkers. Apparently it turns out that seeing somebody doing exercise is one of three things: baffling, hilarious or just really, really stupid. People either looked at me as if I was mental, burst out laughing or actually appeared to be quite cross. (No idea why, I made sure not to spray them with sweat.) Fortunately, given my penchant for running barefoot and generally bizarre appearance, I’m quite used to people pointing at me when I’m out and about. Looks like the sight of someone jumping up and down on the spot has approximately the same effect.
So that was week 2. I enjoyed it, even when I didn’t. Something weird happens to me with these workouts: when I’m doing something tough (like Hades), my mind will be screaming at me to stop. But a couple of minutes after I’ve finished, I’ll be thinking about what’s coming next and looking forward to it. I’ve haven’t yet felt like I really don’t want to complete a workout, but I’m sure that will come as the weeks get tougher.
Am I noticing any changes? Yes I am, which considering I’m only two weeks in is quite satisfying. The only issue I have is that they’re not really the changes I’m most bothered about. My arms, shoulders and chest are all looking a little bigger, as are my thighs. (I’ve checked the photographic evidence, but the best way to judge is by what my wife says.) What’s not looking any different is my waist. I’ve no doubt my abdominal muscles are feeling the benefit, but it’s kind of hard to tell since they’re still hidden behind a layer of fat. But patience, patience. My weight has stayed more or less the same so far.
On to week 3. I will leave you with another workout tune that helped me during week 2. Considering the fact that I am Depeche Mode obsessed (note blog name), I don’t post enough about them. Here’s a corker that perked me up during Aphrodite, and always brings back fond memories of Alan Wilder performing it as Recoil with Douglas McCarthy on vocals a few years back.