Find my 15 weeks training program here: Freeletics
The 15th week of a Freeletics program is essential – it’s the Hellweek! That means 7 days of training, no rest-day and always giving everything. The mere amount of exercises might seem impossible at first – but you are a Free-Athlete and nothing is impossible! Just keep going, you will be surprised what potential you developed over the past weeks.
During this week you will put your body under huge stress, so the key elements of a healthy lifestyle (like mentioned many times before) are more important than ever! I can not stress it enough: Eat clean, sleep enough (7-8 hours) and trink a lot of water! During Hellweek the recovery phases will be extremely low so you need to provide your body with the best you can do in this short periods.
The most challenging part will be the mental negotiation to do a workout every day. After 3 or 4 days you will reach the edge of your physical capacity. Your workout times will become longer and that is normal. You might want to take a day of and if you must, you can. This was my second Hellweek and as I remember, during my first Hellweek I did a rest-day on day 6 – but did the 6th and the 7th workout on the last day. This time I went through with the whole thing and even did some extra exercises and broke a lot of PBs even on the second half of the week.
During this Hellweek I did:
- 595 Burpees
- 280 HS-Pushups
- 560 Pullups
- 705 Pushups
- 905 Situps
- 1550 Squats
- 275 Jumps
- 425 Straight Leg Levers
- and a little bit of running
To overcome this immense workload will make you strong – mentally and physically. But let’s not talk – let’s do it! Have fun with the Hellweek and don’t let it get you – you can do it!
Hey, I am back! Sorry for not posting for two weaks – but I had a lot of things to do. My project at work is at a critical state and everybody had to work a lot of extra hours. It is a software development project and we are slowly running out of developers – to complete my currently assigned tasks in time, I would have to clone myself three times 😛
But anyhow, now christmas holidays are about to start and it got a little more quiet and I finally found the time to write this post. During the past two weeks the freeletics workouts were a really good distraction from work. Nothing is better to clear your mind after a hard business week than a good and intense workout – besides alcohol, but you feel much better afterwards…So, today I want to talk about how freeletics – or sports in general – have an influence on my performance at my working place.
Training made me much more resistent to stress and increased my productivity. Before I worked out so much, being at the office for 8 or more hours exhausted me. It was hard to work extra hours and if I did one day, I left earlier on the next day because I had no more energy. And even on a normal working day, I felt that my productivity was at a really low level for the last 2 or 3 hours at work. On a stressful day, this point was reached even earlier. Most of the time, when I returned from work I was so tired, I didn’t want to go out anymore.
Now – here are the differences. I worked almost 10 hours every day for the past 2 weeks and this feeling of having my head full of things, that always gave me a headache during the day did not come. Many of my coworkers, who had to work extra hours too, were on a bad mood after short period of time or even got sick because of the stress. I didn’t. I can not really explain why – I had more to do then ever before, and even much more demanding things – but they never tied me down. I suppose it is because of the following things:
First, I feel better than ever before in my life. Eating healthy and habitually doing sports are the basis for this. If you are in a healthy and physically good state, progress will come and with progress comes self-esteem and confidence. And other people realize this and they will treat you in a much better way. You can work much more productive because your body is much more reliable and during stressful times it is easier for you to focus and keep your head clear. I realized this in many grueling meetings during the past days where complex things were discussed over hours. Most of the people got confused, lost their focus, got angry or backed down completely. And even though I was a rather small fish among these people, it was me who tied the important topic back on the agenda or showed solutions when it seemed like we ran into a dead end many times. Before I changed my lifestyle, I was rather the guy who was sitting in meetings and just trying to follow and it was always another person who brought up the solution.
Another key factor is the will to take challenges. If you are doing high intense sports, you will not be able to avoid challenging yourself. And if you do, you will see that almost every challenge can be achieved if you just try it. You may fail for the first time, but in the end you will succeed. You will learn that every challenge, however big it may look, can be beaten. You just have to keep going, focus on the next step but not loose the main target…And always care for yourself. As I said, a healthy body is the basis for all this. Eat clean, do sports, sleep sufficient, trink a lot (water or tee) and no or at least just a little alcohol.
You can see the workouts I did in week 13 and 14 in the two pictures. Week 15 is going to be the last week of this coach ( the coach will continue but I will stop to write a post every week). It is going to be a hellweek, I know this because I am already in it and almost at the end, as I am writing this lines. But you will see it next week. Until then, keep going, take your vitamins and remember: even though life is hard some times – you can be harder!
PS: here are are some inspirational pictures of healthy food 😉
This week I decided to take 5 training days instead of my usual 4. It wasn’t really so, that I had more time this week…but I just wanted to try something new and to change my workout-ryhtm. It’s all about variation to keep things interesting. So, getting the 5 days done was hard, furthermore I had a really hard week at work and stayed in the office much longer than usual – but I made it and it feels like a huge progress now.
If you remember, I unlocked the “Handstand-Pushups” skill last week, and this weeks workout plan already included a lot of them. Doing 100 of them on the third day was almost impossible, I had to switch to pikes after 10 repetitions. But thats another great thing on Freeletics, it always gives you new challenges you can work on.
I also got the Freeletics nutrition guide this week. Lately I ran out of ideas for healthy and protein rich meals and ended up eating a lot of low fat quark, eggs and protein muesli. The nutrition guide provides you with recipes and general tips for a healthy nutrition. There are two kinds, one for loosing weight and one for building muscles. I chose the second one. It starts with an introduction that reminds you to eat more protein and less industrial sugar, fast-food and instant meals – but I already stopped doing this when I started with Freeletics. It also has 6 recipes, two for each meal of the day. I tried everything this week and I have to say, they are really good. The recipes are rather simple and usually I cook in a more advanced way. But I tried all of them without any modifications and the result was always good. Here are pictures of my breakfasts this week. The bircher muesli was really good to take to work and I could prepare it in the evening – very nice.
There also was huge a jubilee this week – I completed my 200th workout. And like my 100th it was Zeus…amazing coincidence or what? So I am looking forward to the next 200! Cheers everybody and never give up!
This time it’s two weeks in one post. The first day of week 10 was hard – a lot of Burpees. If you hate Burpees and sometimes ask yourself why you are doing this to you, check out this page and join the million-burpee-challenge. To see how many crazy people are doing this many Burpees every day might push you.
Apart from this my week had the usual Venus sessions. I think almost all of the past weeks had at least 2 Venus workouts..and I can see and feel the 200 Push-ups on my chest. I would say it is in a better shape than ever before. I also broke my PB again, slowly but constantly I continue to make progress.
Week 11 started with a lot of Burpees too, Burpee Frogs are even harder than normal Burpees I think. They are not done by counting the repetitions, but by doing them on a given distance. How many repetitions you do, depends on how far you jump – and jumping takes strength. So when your legs start to feel heavier and your jumps become shorter you need to do more repetitions to reach the required distance. It is cruel but effective…and looks kind of ridiculous 😉
My workout-plans became a little bit one-sided lately, a lot of Venus, Artemis and Poseidon. To unlock new workouts, you must acquire new skills on your freeletics profile. These are advanced exercises that are extra tricky and you might need a lot of strength or balance. Do not worry if you can not do them from the beginning – I think no average person can do this. In the image below you can see the available skills and wich I unlocked. You unlock a skill by doing one repetition according to the rules in the describing video.
This week I unlocked the Strict-Handstand-Pushups. This is a crazy exercise. You need to stay in balance while all of your blood rushes to your head – and then you do pushups. It took me a while to find the right balance, take care that your hands are not too close, as it is much harder then. Also try not to make a hollow back – tense your shoulders and your back.
I did around 5 repetitions to find the correct technique. During the first two I bent one of my legs – this stabilized my stand and helped me to find the right position for my hands. Go ahead and try it. Now I will see how this new skill influences my weekly workout plan.
I also tried to do a one-hand-pushup…but this was too hard. My upper body did not move an inch away from the floor…long way to go!
I completed week 9 of the strength coach. The first day was monday and it was quite tough. Some Burpees, Pushups and Kentauros. Tuesday, wednesday, thursday and friday I had no time to do the other workouts, so I did the second day on Saturday, the third day on sunday morning and the fourth day on sunday evening. Two times venus on one day is hard – this monday I had shaky hands all day and at lunch I almost dropped my fork in my potato-salad…but now it’s better. No pain no gain…
I checked my profile and I do Freeletics now for over 6 months, thats a half year with at least 4 times sports per week. I never did sports in that intensity for this long before. But the diversity of the generated workout plan and the fast visible progress make it that easy. It is like an addiction – but with only positive effects.
In the last post I talked about the new warmup pro that I unlocked in week 8. I found this video that explains the whole warmup routine. I think that explains it much better than I could with words… Enjoy!
Freeletics is a form of high intensity training (HIT). HIT is not new, there are different forms of HIT techniques and workouts since the 1970’s. High intensity workouts are basically all based on the following principle.
There are 4 levels of intensity:
- Level one is when you work with a submaximal number of repetitions. Lets say you could do 10 repetitions but only do 8.
- Second level is, when you go to your maximum – you do the 10 repetitions.
- Third level means you go over the point of muscle fatigue – you do the 10 repetitions and try to do one more, it might not be a complete exercise and there will be the point when the movement has to be interrupted.
- Level 4 is where high intensity training begins. You go until you reach your maximum and then use the following HIT techniques to do even more.
To bring your muscles behind the point of failure, there are several techniques that can be used for different kind of exercises and depending on your personal favor. At the beginning it might be hard enough to finish a freeletics workout in acceptable time but later, when you get stronger an more experienced you can use HIT techniques to make even faster progresses.
This technique is particularly suitable for bodyweight training like Freeletics. If you reach the point of muscle failure, take a short break (5 to 10 seconds) and then try to do some more repetitions. You can repeat this multiple times. As some of the Freeletics workouts contain exercises with a lot of repetitions (like 100 pushups in Artemis) that you can not do in one go at first, you might even do this without knowing that it is a HIT technique.
This is also good for Freeletics and even included in the regular workout routines. When you reach the point of muscle failure, and you can not do an extra repetition, do a slightly modified, easier version. In Freeletics for almost every exercise there is a easier version that you can do, when the actual exercise is to hard. You won’t get a star for your workout, but you will get better at it.
An other possibility is to do the additional repetitions with swing (for example when doing pull-ups) but be careful as the risk of injury is increased. Also the strain on the muscles is lower that when doing easier versions of the exercise. This should only be used by experienced athletes.
This is a technique that you only should use if you are on an advanced fitness level. You combine two exercises that target the same muscles and do them right one after another without a break. The first exercise (basis) will put the weight on your smaller muscles while the second exercise will stress the bigger muscle. You will find these pattern in some Freeletics workouts and in the coach, but you can also use it to combine your own exercises and workouts if you don’t work with the coach.
Most of these techniques are already implemented in the Freeletics workouts and you might be doing them already without knowing it. But I think it is interesting to understand why the workouts are built the way they are and that it is normal and desired that you don’t do the 100 pushups in one rush. This is not a sign of weakness – this is HIT training.
I hope you found this helpful 🙂
Week number two is over…and I have to say – don’t mess with the new coach! On the feedback of the first week I responded that the training program was “way to easy”…so the coach generated a much tougher workout for this week. You can see the result in the image below.
At first I thought, yeah this is much better. But after the first day, my whole body hurt. I also had to work a lot and was really tired in the evenings. And I made the mistake to do the workouts on the first training day outside in the rain with inappropriate clothing. I felt like getting sick afterwards. I knew that I had to take a break – so I paused for three days and started from the beginning.
With the old coach you had 20 weeks to complete your 15 weeks workout. What I understood from the FAQ of the new coach, this is now longer the case. After 15 weeks your subscription will continue, but you have to pay again…no matter how many weeks you completed.
Anyhow, it is important to take your time to regenerate. I always tell myself, that freeletics is still cheaper than a gym – so what. And I also think that it makes no sense to stop after the 15 weeks, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is about integrating sports and good nutrition in your everyday life and not about doing short periods of diet or sports.
So after my three days break I returned and this time I managed to complete the week in time (6 days). The focus of this week was clearly on legs. I had to do a lot of jumping-jacks, froggers, different versions of squats and climbers. For details check the workouts of my plan on the left side.
When I completed my last 15 weeks coach (cardio & strength) I was able to complete each workout with a star in the end. In the first week of the new coach, this was no problem too. But now I had to go back the the easier version of some exercises (pistols, froggers and Hand-Stand Pushups) as it was simply to hard. But I think this is good – there has to be potential to improve. At the beginning of the 15 weeks it is normal that you can not complete all workouts of even not one workout with a star – don’t worry this will happen soon enough. Set your goals and keep trying.
What helps me a lot is to make a strategy for every exercise. That means that you do the given repetitions in variable blocks. Like
for example if you have to do 100 Burpees – in the beginning when you start you try to make them in a whole, but after 30 or 40 you have no power left. And then all the following will be much harder. For me it worked better to do like 6 x 15 and 1 x 10. Later you can increase the repetitions to do 5 x 20, then 4 x 25 and so on. At the moment I would do 2 x 35 and 1 x 30. When I started with this strategies my PBs got much better and I started to make quick efforts in increasing the repetitions. It gives you a even better control over your workouts and your progress.
So, thats it. Week 2 done! It was hard, but thats how it is supposed to be. It reminded me of my first weeks of freeletics, when I was not sure if I could complete the 15 weeks, but I did and now I know that I can complete this 15 weeks to and the next, and then the next…and so on. I rewarded myself with a big T-Bone Steak this evening – I needed protein and so I think I will sleep very well this night. Let’s see what next week brings.
Have fun, keep going and never quit 🙂
With the update there came a lot more information about warmup before and stretching after the workout. Normally I just did around 75 Jumping Jacks and some High Knees (running on the spot) as it was written in my former coach. But now there is a set of 7 exercises that you can do to warm up and prepare your body for the workout. It is a combination of cardio-focused exercises (cardiovascular) like the before mentioned Jumping Jacks and High Knees and exercises that should activate your nervous system and the interaction of your essential body parts (neuromuscular). Some of them are available for free in the Freeletics Knowledge Center. I integrated the new warmup routine in my workouts and it feels great. Some of the neuromuscular exercises remind me of yoga positions – even they seem to be very simple, I can feel that they improve the coordination of the muscles. The warmup routine takes me about 7 Minutes to do. Be careful to not give all your power on the warmup, as a general rule of thumb you should give around 50% of your capacity.
Stretching is a controversial issue. Some say it is as important as the warming up and that it helps to improve the flexibility of your muscles and to regenerate after an intense workout. It results in improved muscle control, flexibility and range of motion. Some say that is has no value and may even cause harm and weakens the muscle. Here is an interesting article about it.
I did not do stretching so far, but I tried it this week. The update introduced 6 stretching exercises, some I already knew as they are basic stretching positions, some of them where new to me. You have to hold each position for about 45 seconds. The whole routine takes me about 7 Minutes. Maybe one week is a little bit to short to evaluate the effects of stretching compared to not stretching…but in compare to the new warmup routine I did not feel any differences. Anyhow the above linked article has some good arguments against stretching, I think I will do it sometimes after the workout. The Freeletics philosophy contains warmup and Stretching as key elements for sustainable success with high insensitive workouts and for what I experienced so far, they know what they are talking about. Due to the warmup and stretching the time I need to execute a workout is slightly increased. In total it takes about 14 minutes longer. I will see if I keep this up, as one of the things I like most about Freeletics are the short workout times and the great effectiveness of those. They allow me to maintain an athletic body without interfering with my work schedule and free time to much.
Let me know how you do it! Do you do warmup and stretching?
Greetings and keep going!