How to balance all 3 Freeletics Coaches?

Welcome again!

I have now completed my reviews with all three coaches in my previous posts, which are up on my blog. Now the next question is how to balance all three coaches in my training regime? You have access to all three coaches and not sure on how to start? Maybe you would like to focus on 2 and have 1 on rotation. Anyways whatever you want to do, i’m here to give you a rundown on what to expect, consider and keep in mind. The freeletics website is a good start but if you wanted to read personal experience, then keep reading below.

Having access to all three coaches with one subscription was the best thing that freeletics introduced. Before that, I was focusing solely on freeletics gym and having bodyweight / running on rotation. The way my training is structured right now is 3 (4 if i’m lucky) gym days with 2-3 bodyweight sessions and 1-2 runs weekly/fortnighly. This of course can change depending on each week and whether I want to finish a particular  coach week.

My current goal is bulding muscle, becoming stronger and the same time maintaining conditioning.  I’ve set gym coach goals to build muscle and tone body for balanced training. Bodyweight coach is set to strength version and Running right now is fat loss (previousy improve fitness). I find this training system works for me and if I feel that I haven’t worked out hard enough, then I’ll add in a coached day.

With the new bodyweight coach, it’s much easier to combine with another coached day from either running or gym, if it works for you. The weekends are good for this so I have more recovery time in between coached workouts. Examples can include morning then lunch or evening, whatever works for you. I know this may not work for everyone, so choose what works for you. However, keep in mind rest days too and I take at least a day or two. If i’m not feeling up for a scheduled workout, i’ll stick to an easy workout whether a single exercise or a short workout.

The main thing to think about is your fitness goals overall and level at the point in time:

  • Want muscle and be strong? Make gym your focus with ‘Build muscle’ and / or ‘Tone your body’ goals selected, alternate between bodyweight strength workouts and adding in a run once a week/fortnight.
  • Be in better condition? Make bodyweight your focus (Cardio strength), add in gym conditioning workouts and running intervals.
  • Weight loss goal? You’re better suited to make running your focus, then adding bodyweight cardio/cardio strength and gym conditioning with ‘cardio training goal’.
  • Training for an event? Make distance running along with bodyweight workouts a priority and adapt gym goal to ‘Become an athlete’ to see what coach gives you which could include rowing.
  • Overall fitness?  The choice is yours but recommended is bodyweight focused and adding in gym (ideally 2 sessions if you’re experienced with focus ‘increase fitness’) and running (if endurance is your goal).

The above are all suggestions and my experiences in coaches with those options. As I said, the freeletics website will give you a better guidance on the suggested coaches.

Another thing to consider when combining coach days is to make sure that the next workout isn’t as hard as the first. For example, doing 6k run or heavy lower body set then ensure your next workout is upper body and/ or abs focused. Same when vice versa. In my experience, full body workouts from both gym and bodyweight coaches are best left on their own as I find then very taxing on the body.

Next thing to consider is the amount of training days you can commit to. Expect your body to become challenged through a variety of workouts which can sometimes leave you exhausted, especially in two a day workouts. Please don’t workout and go all out 7 days a week if you can’t commit to it (exception is hell week and hell days). If you find yourself with all three coaches with hell weeks, my advice and highly recommend it is to tacke each coach one at a time. Who cares if you’re up to week 30 in bodyweight and only in week 7  in running coach?  You are in charge of your training. You choose what works for you.

Since all these workouts are of high intensity, make sure to include downtime as well from meditation, mobility, yoga, massages, hot baths to even walking around the block with your pokemon go :). Your body will thank you for it, feel rejuvanted and you can train well in your next workout. Maybe you want to work on that particular skill and not want to train hard on that day? Ok to do that.

You’ll want to keep a close eye on your nutrition intake as different workouts require differnet sorts of ‘fuel’. Going for a run? Eat a banana or simple digestible carbs with a black coffee before going on that run. Heavy gym day? I’d go for carbs and protein to keep your enrgy required for strength. Tuna and rice or a sandwich does the trick for me. Bodyweight workout?  Do whatever works for you, even a black coffee for me does the trick, then an energy drink with a few jellybeans can do. Oh and water intake is a must!

Freeletics and an empty stomach don’t work for me 😦 . Also give your stomach time to digest the food otherwise you’ll end up with a rather unpleasant gurgling sound when doing high knees, climbers and sit-ups.

So there’s my tips and if there are any freeathletes that are combining all three coaches, how are you finding it?

That is all folks and see you in the next post!

Review: Freeletics Running App

Hello again,

As part of the freeletics review series, today’s post will be on the running app. Yes, I run and before that I wasn’t running regularly. I needed an app that will challenge me, improve on cardio and being outdoors. That’s where Freeletics Running came into place.

Freeletics Running was released around the same time as the Gym application and like the Gym application, they had a select group of people to test run the application. You can find these videos (two people?) on youtube under freeletics running transformation.

What is it? Running to become your greatest self.  Freeletics running coach has two components: interval workouts and distances. The interval workouts are named after gods such as Osiris, Seth and distances from 100m to 21km.

When you start up the coach, you indicate how much experience running you have along with your fitness goals and the amount of days you can train each week. Before needing to pay for one subscription to access all three fitness applications, this application required a separate payment.

For me my goal was increasing fitness. The start for me was challenging as I never ran regualrly. It started out with partial interval runs (1/3 sphinx) like in the bodyweight app in the first 4-5 weeks (this was a year ago). After that, the coach really ramps up the distances, including full interval runs. My first full distance was 8k and that really challenged me mentally and physcially.

Hell days comes in in week 6-7  which is 2 runs each day depending on how any trainign days you selected. The minimun coach will give is 3 days. Hell days week took time to complete due to doing other coaches at the same time.  After finishing, coach started giving me 10KM and even 12Km and that really pushed me really hard. Week 11 was hell week and it took me a long time to finish. From that point on, I decided to change my focus to fat loss, hoping it would give me a balance of intervals and distances. Now I am up to Week 15 and did Osiris today and about to finish 10km.

Example of a coach week:

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One more coach day to complete: 10KM

With this coach, I allocate at least once (twice maximum) runs each week or fortnighly, hence I can only do 2 coach week days. Due to focusing on bodyweight and gym, running can only be done on the weekends and/or on my days off. Since running is strenous on your body,  you are advised to juggle the other coaches as appropriate :).

What I liked? I liked doing the intervals and not having to think about the distances to run. I am slowly improving with my running capacity and it’s helped with conditioning too. Runner’s high is the best feeling after accomplishing each run and I feel more focused. Option to change days after each week has been a bonus.

What can be improved? Here’s where the running coach could do with major changes.. This is where I suggest the rating option like in the gym and bodyweight application. There are moments where I’ve had to take a few weeks off (the most was a month) and that my times were a bit slower than doing that particular run prevously. I read from a freeletics user who runs regularly to not always chase pbs but to include easy paced runs and will give this advice a go. I think it will be a true measure of running capability and fitness level during that point in time, especially when I can’t committ to running regularly i.e 3-4 times a week.

New gods would be nice to motivate me to use running coach more :). Short interval runs would be great too. That’s why my coach progress has been slow.

Rating: 7.5/10, mostly due to the above suggested improvements.

This is a good start for beginner runners to the experienced too. Without the interval gods and coach, I would have looked elsewhere to include running into my routine.  The lack of coach feedback for each workout is why it loses the 2.5 stars. I am continuing this running application but still scaling back on the coached days until a feedback system is introduced.

Now that you only need to pay for one coach for all three, why not give all three coaches ago? Speaking of which, the next post will be on how I integrate all three coaches into my weekly training regime.

Get started today. No Excuses athlete!

Until next time!

x

Review: Freeletics Gym App

Dear fellow readers,

I’m back with another review of the freeletics series. Today’s post will be on the  Freeletics Gym app.  I don’t know how I’ll structure this so I’ll write this as i’ll go. This application was released March 2016 after the Running app, which will be reviewed in a separate post. Originally, freeletics started out with just the bodyweight coach. Last year Freeletics decided to launch new products to expand on the product range. Before offically releasing the apps, a select group of people were chosen to try out the apps for 15 weeks (correct me if wrong). There are youtube videos on the selected people to show you their transformations with using these apps.

Once upon a time freeletics gym was a separate payment. Now you don’t need to worry about that now since you need to pay for only one coach 🙂

Anyways, what is the Freeletics Gym App? Basically the main motto is to to become your ‘strongest self’, through a mixture of rowing and weighted exercises targeting all the way from the upper body, abs to lower body.  Released in March 2016, the application contains 4 components. The first one is Strength in the form of couplets of opposing muscle groups for example biceps and triceps (Upper Body IV) to back squats and romanain deadlifts (Lower Body I). These exercises will increase your strength and build muscle.

The second one is Conditioning, designed to burn fat and strength endurance. These come in the super-hero named workouts ranging from upper body, abs, lower body to full body conditioning. Examples include Nott (Abs), Odin (Full Body), Hel (Lower Body), Borr (Upper Body). Be prepared to sweat and have your heart pumping. Oh and feel the burn in a lot of these workouts!

Third is Endurance to increase stamina and burn fat.  This is mainly rowing in ladder, intervals and pyramid. I like to include these time to time again but likewise, I can only head to the gym and do these. Your legs will be shaking, especially when you’ve done a heavy lower body workout.

The Final part is the Challenges to test your fitness. These are repetitions of one single exercises (50 or 100) with weight or no weight.  Think 50 back squats with 30kg.

There is also hell week every 15 weeks, which is 3 days only with 4 workouts each day, designed to test and challenge you. Similar concept to the other freeletics applications. In contrast, there are technique weeks as well. The workouts in these weeks are less intense up to two workouts a day.  It’s like a de-loading phase to focus on form and technique to enable you to beocme stronger and progress with each workout in future coach weeks :).

The Gym coach is suitable for every fitness level, from the absolute beginner to the experienced. If you’re a beginner, coach will allocate learning weeks to learn the movements with correct form.

The coach programs every 15 weeks depending on your training goals.As I’ve been regualrly lifting weights for years, I went straight into the exercises with lowered weights. The beginning was fairly easy with the allocated weights however coach will ramp up the weight and volume later into your training program. One time, I had coach give me 10kg for an abs conditioning workout and a fairly heavy weight for a conditioning workout (17.5kg for Vor) and I couldn’t keep to form. Just as long as you give feedback then coach will scale back. Also you have the option to activate dips and pullups and coach will include these in your program. Rowing can be activated  but if you don’t have rowers, coach will simply replace with conditioning workouts instead.

An example of a coach week:

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Not a success for the wieghted pull ups though 😉

If you have access to the gym then you’re all set. Home gym set up, all you need is barbell with adjustable plates, especially with the strength couplets, pullup and dip station and a rowing machine.  Would highly recommend a second barbell to make the tranisition between couplets easier for the home gym. Dumbells can work but those won’t count as ‘star’ workouts due to the movement standards not being achieved with a barbell.

The good things about the app is that I don’t have to think about a routine to do when I head to the gym and not worry about the amount of repetition, weights and sets per exercise. Even when I’ve had a long day, I can whip out my phone and press play on my coach week. The layout itself is simple and easy to use as well. It does give me variety into my training week along with bodyweight and running. I’ve done approximately 40 weeks, counting that I am in restart coach week 6 now, which leads to my next point.

Things that can be improved are not giving me the same couplets 2-3 weeks in a row. I find that the less coach days that I do, the more repetitive it gets, which is why I aim for 3-4 gym workouts a week. The 2 days a week is if I need to focus on other coach programs. Week 34-35 into coach and I found myself with repetitive workouts. Changing goals and with restarting coach weeks worked for me. This can be done though coach settings and honestly without this, I would be bored. I would like to see more variation with the current exercises such as overhead squats, side or reverse lunges and even a clean and press.

Lifting weights not only improves your muscle tone, but also keeps your bones strong for later on in life! You’ll also look good and feel stronger in everyday tasks ;). Ladies ,you will not become bulky since we don’t stimulate enough testoerone and have slower muscle twitch fibres than men do. Instead, you will become stronger and leaner, plus your muscles, espeically the butt, upper back to arms, even back will look good in those dresses.

In terms of my own changes, I’ve definetly added more muscle to my frame in terms of arms and back and crosstrains well with bodyweight and running. My core has become stronger as well. Even though I haven’t reached a star with Upper Body III (pullups and dips), I’ve attempted them to the best of my abiity and has helped me with upper body strength epsecially when doing a bent arm hang.

Overall I would recommend this coach and in conjuction to bodyweight and/or running, you will have an all rounded training regime to look forward to :). So, what are you waiting for?

Rating: 8.5-9/10

Stay tuned for running app review!

x Ciao

Review: Freeletics Bodyweight App 4.0

Hello everybody! Today’s post will be on the above topic: Freeletics 4.0.

A year ago, I did a review on the previous version of the Freeletics Bodyweight version. Flash forward one year later and it is completely different to previous versions.I’ll explain the differences below.

Back in the old freeletics days, it was all go hard training and reaching for personal bests. Although this type of training can make you fitter, it isn’t sustainable in the long term and can lead to overuse injuries. Not smart training right?

The next point of Freeeltics 4.0 is the focus on smart training.  This new version focuses on the importance of form and technique over speed in the form of ‘Interval workouts’. The interval workouts themselves are customised to you, according to your ability level and goals. It also understnds your strengths and weaknesses too. Since these interval workouts are adapted to your fitness levels, you can only access these workouts by being a coach user.

Thee interval workouts will challenge every muscle from top to bottom and will work on mobility, stamina, conditioning and endurance. Also what I like about these workouts is progression with the advanced moves. Out of the 6 skills, I’ve only unlocked 3 of them which are pullups, toes to bar and pistol squats. Although I can manage a few repetitions of those exercises, coach is smart enough to tailor progression exercises so I can become better at those skills and perform more repetitions. For example: inverted rows and assisted pullups (Pullups) to cossack squats, side lunges and hip raises each leg (Pistol squats) are examples of these progression exercises. These interval workouts also comes handy when you crosstrain with running and/or gym coaches at the same time.

The more you can unlock, the better variety coach will give each week.

In order to get full benefit and growth of a muscle, a person needs to perform an exercise in it’s full range of motion. That’s where mobility comes into action. Being flexible is beign able to stretch. Yet they are used interchangably but the line is: you can be flexible but may not have the strength, balance and co-ordination to perform a certain exercise.

There used to be full workouts of the Gods during each coach week but with this new version, you will see partial workouts often in your coach weeks. This is all due to the smart training concept that Freeletics training system is now focsing on and having a balanced approach to training.  Also, this allows you to go faster in a short amount of time.

Here is an example of a past training week that has an interval and a partial workout:

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With this  coach week, a band was needed for posiedon but was able to complete the intervals. Slow, baby steps.

**Next skill goal to unlock: One-handed pushups. Still on the knees at this stage.**

What about those double workouts during hell week?  I’m in my hell week of the current coach version and it’s only one workout each day. No more going all out at an intensive level now. Now that gives us motivation to compete each workout with good form and technique right?

In terms of exercises, only 1/3 of the mentioned exercises have been released in this version. This staggered approach will ensure that the program works and the freeletics can observe and learn and continously improve.

My thoughts: I really like this version and want to see more exercises incorporated as future versions are released. The benefit is that it includes progressive exercises to work on my weaker points (yes pull-ups, I’m pointing at you 🙂 ). There is a tendency to combine with other programs in one training day with the gym  / running coach day or do another bodyweight coach day so if you feel like an extra challenge then go for it but if your body says no then don’t.

Rating: 9.5/10. I want more excersises now but that must wait until next release 🙂

Anyways, that’s my review in a nutshell. Next on the list is reviewing the gym and running apps and then a potential ‘how I combine all three trainings’.

No excuses!

Bye for now 🙂

Review: Freeletics App

Today I am doing a completely different post from what I’ve done over the past few weeks. As the title reads, it’s a review of 2 fitness apps (under one company). Let’s get started.

As you’ve known, I have a passion for health / wellness / fitness related things. One of the fitness applications that I’ve taken up in the past 5 months is the above mentioned. I started freeletics coach in Septembver last year.

What is freeletics? Freeletics is a high intensity body-weight only program where it can be done anywhere, from the comfort of your own home, gym to even outdoors.  The company started out in Munich Germany in 2013. The fitness application can be downloaded to your phone, laptop and even computer. When you start out i.e sign up, you’ll get access to the ‘basic version’ i.e half of the complete program. To access the full benefits i.e the coach, you will need to pay for it. You can subscribe in a 3, 6 and 12 month period. It’s like having your own mobile personal trainer. Think function training here.

Why did I start freeletics? Basically I wanted a program that focuses on calisthenics so I can improve on pull-ups, pistol squats etc and to try new exercises. I’m also a fan of the time of  the amount of time it takes to complete the workout. I already weight train 2-3 times (max 4) a week and it’s flexible enough to adjust according to my schedule. Furthermore, I enjoy the challenges that freeletics coach gives me every week (hell days and weeks included.) I’ll explain the later.

What’s the coach? If you decide to purchase the full coach program, you will be asked to fill in your statistics, goals and fitness scales. You will be then asked to complete exercises i.e 10 sit ups depending on the fitness scale and it’s timed. After that, then your coach will tailor your first week depending on the amount of days you have in a week.

Also, you will have 3 types of programs. Cardio, Cardio/Strength and Strength, depending on what you want to achieve. The Cardio program is for those who want to lose weight / tone. Exercises include the beginner versions of the exercises such as sprawls,knee pushups, HH (Hands) squats, lunges etc to improve cardiovascular endurance. The cardio / strength program is a mix of the regular option exercises such as burpees, squats, lunges, pushups. It also includes strength exercises too. It’s a good starting point for those who want to improve on current fitness level and can also be used to aid weight loss. The strength version is the program that is purely focused on building strength and muscle. This can include burpee squat jumps, high jumps etc. Short runs and sprints can be included as well.

There are 6 advanced moves that can be unlocked and coach won’t include them unless you unlock it. These moves are: pull-ups, pistol squats, toes to bar, one hand pushups, handstand pushups and muscle ups. The only ones I’ve unlocked are pull-ups, pistols and toes to bar. Next goal is one handed push-ups. To fully experience the coach and to add variety, I suggest unlocking at least one of the moves.

I started with the cardio / strength program until week 10 and from week 11 onwards, I focused on strength to focus on building strength and muscle. The cardio / strength was good but felt that I wanted to focus towards building muscle and strength, hence the switch.  Being already fit before commencing freeletics helped me progress to the strength. Whatever goal you have, feel free to change it up.

The first week isn’t meant to be easy, especially with Aphrodite (burpees, squats, sit-ups in 50, 40, 30, 20, 10). Oh yes, the workouts are named after gods. I suggest signing up to freeletics to know the name of gods. Some workouts have short runs to 2km run in one workout. I remember doing my first Aphrodite and was wiped out.

So what are hell days and hell week? These are the weeks that are designed to pus h your body to the limit and challenge yourself even more, mentally and physically. Hell days week is in week 7  (and every 7th week of a 15 week block). Hell days are two workouts depending on the amount of days you choose to workout. Hell week (every 15 weeks) however is 7 days straight training of two workouts each day. Hell days wasn’t too bad but was challenging. Having done my first ever hell week at the end of November, I sometimes combined two hell week days i.e 4 workouts in one day as I had day restraints. At the end I have never been totally wiped out during that week and accomplished.

Downsides:  The application has had it fair share of bugs and crashes. I experienced complete closure of the app whilst having Itunes on. When progressing to the new coach we, the time aligns with European time so you have to wait until after 5 days of coach week passed. The cost can be too much for some countries. Honestly, wait for the 30% off coach to purchase first timers. I also experienced sickness before Christmas and I believe it was due to the fact I took on a very heavy freeletics workload, combined with my weight training. Right now I’m down to 2 days a week due to a  new lifting program that takes o up 3-4 times a week. Plus I’m also doing running coach, which i’ll cover in a later post.

To see results, nutrition is the key to results and performance. I believe that with freeletics and my weight training , it’s reshaped my body to a new level. Also, rest and recovery is important. It’s definitely not easy but worth it.

Rating: 5/5. Once my subscription finishes in March, I will continue this freeletics journey.

So, there sums my review for freeletics and if you’re interested, then sign up and start! 🙂

x Lydia

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