Freeletics, the early workouts WAIT WHAT?

In Arbitrary Guff, Bollocks, Freeletics by All This Running Around5 Comments

In my last post, I mentioned that I might put something up here after I’d done my next workout. But I didn’t, because I thought I was going to die. It turns out that I didn’t die. I wanted to die, but I didn’t.

Alright, I’m exaggerating. It was tough, but I got through it. My second workout was a cardio session called Metis. I looked up the word ‘Metis’, and the internet told me that it is an adjective denoting or relating to people of mixed race in Canada. This was confusing. Do people of mixed race in Canada spend all their time doing burpees and high jumps? Perhaps they do. But it turns out that, in this instance, ‘Metis’ refers to a character from Greek mythology, one that presumably followed a strict exercise regime and NEVER EVER QUIT EVER. Anyway, the Metis routine consists of the following: 

First round: 10 burpees, 10 climbers, 10 high jumps

Second round: 25 burpees, 25 climbers, 25 high jumps

Third round: 10 burpees, 10 climbers, 10 high jumps

Sounds pretty easy, isn’t pretty easy. Like a lot of the Freeletics workouts (in my admittedly very limited experience), it’s incredibly deceptive. It didn’t take long to complete (around 10 minutes and that’s allowing for my lack of fitness and general crapness), but it was very hard. But it’s high intensity training YOU DUR BRAIN SHAUN.

At this point, I felt reasonably happy with how it was going, which was a bit bloody stupid considering I’d only done a total of about twenty minutes of exercise across two workouts. The last of my three scheduled sessions for the week was the Aphrodite workout. I’d done a little but of reading about this, and the general consensus appeared to be that Aphrodite, whilst being considered a ‘proper’ workout, was definitely on the lighter side in terms of effort and pain. Which really goes to show you that should never read anything that anyone writes about anything ever, because they’re arseholes. Here’s the routine:

First round: 50 burpees, 50 squats, 50 situps

Second round: 40 burpees, 40 squats, 40 situps

Third round: 30 burpees, 30 squats, 30 situps

Fourth round: 20 burpees, 20 squats, 20 situps

Fifth round: 10 burpees, 10 squats, 10 situps

Keen practitioners of mental arithmetic will deduce that that’s 150 of each exercise. 450 repetitions in total. Shit. I mentioned earlier about reading up on the Aphrodite workout. One thing I read (on some forum somewhere) was by a lady in her 20s. She was attempting to give someone else encouragement by pointing out that the first time she completed the routine, it took her 35 minutes. 35 minutes being, apparently, a bit rubbish. Well, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell that lady that she can fuck right off. If I ever get this down to 35 minutes, I’ll be a happy man.

Before I actually got my email from Freeletics with my aims for the week, my plan had been to dive straight in Aphrodite. I’m rather glad that that didn’t happen, because it might have broken me right at the beginning. Having done two hard, but short workouts prior to this one, I was a bit apprehensive about how long it would take. So I made a conscious decision not to give a shit about time, and just to make sure I finished the workout. Set a bench mark; doesn’t matter if the bench mark is a load of old shit, I’ve got to start somewhere.

The great thing about Aphrodite is that the reps start high and taper off. So after the first round, you’re already a third of the way through the workout. The slightly less than great thing is that I was completely fucked after the first round, and had to immediately embark on the second round with a paltry 10 reps less on each exercise. It was bloody hard work.

I don’t think I have explained this before, but a lot of the Freeletics exercises have modified, slightly easier versions. So that if it’s too hard for you (or becomes to hard during the exercise), you can still get through your reps, although you won’t have had to work as hard. If you complete a workout with the hardest version of every exercise (and every rep), you get to put a star next to that workout. Woopy-fucking-do. Anyway, this was the first time I wasn’t able to have that star. The burpees and the squats were fine. Well, they weren’t. They were bloody awful. But I was really struggling with the situps. I did the first 50 in the correct way, but after that I just couldn’t get myself up without my feet lifting into the air. In the end I hooked them under the sofa and completed the reps – not how they tell you to modify the exercise but whatever, it worked for me.

Well, I got through it. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t fast. After the second round, I was this close (I am holding my thumb and forefinger quite close together) to giving up. I felt like I just didn’t have anything left to give. I was sweating, gasping and making weird grunting noises. I even hit the ‘X’ icon on the iPad. A little pop-up appeared that said something like: “Are you sure? Quitting is not an option!”. So I carried on, and I’m glad that I did. I think.

So that was it, my first week of Freeletics done. I was aching more or less everywhere, but particularly in my legs and still resolutely invisible abs. But I felt good, there was no denying it. On Monday morning, I got another email with my four workouts for this week. I’ve currently done three of the four, and even added on 300 jumping jacks and 60 high jumps onto the end of today’s session. The last one is Aphrodite again, so naturally I’ll be keen to improve on my time.

Have I noticed any difference? Not really. I certainly don’t think my body shape can have changed in a little over a week. I’m getting better at the exercises, but my fitness doesn’t appear to have improved much, if my running times are anything to go by. Oh yeah, running. Forgot about that. The plan at the moment is to run on my of days, which will probably mean that I’m doing Freeletics for four days a week and running for three. There might be the odd occasion when I’ll do both, but for now I’m happy with the balance.

After Sunday, I think I might go all in and buy the Coach part of the app. That’s when the journey will really begin, but at least I’ve showed myself that I’m just about physically able to do the workouts I’ve been given so far. Although I think the vertical push-up may be some way off.

EDIT! I just remembered that (hang on let me turn the italics off) one of the things I wanted to do with this was post a song that I’ve been listening to while I work out. I don’t like listening to music while I’m running, but for some reason it seems essential if I’m jumping up and down at home. So, I’m going to stick something up that has helped me get through. Freeletics is of German origin, so it seemed only fitting that I choose a German GENIUS for the first one. The track is called Fill Me Up and is by Henry Saiz – but the crucial aspect is that it is remixed by the greatest living German person: Dominik Eulberg. I love him, and so should you. See you next week.