Let’s follow each other! Our accounts: Davey B and Howie Fox
Between the two of us, we’ve heard a lot of people talking about Freeletics recently. It’s gaining massively in popularity right now – hugely so in fact, with there now being over 4,000,000 ‘Free Athletes’ around the world. So what is it exactly, and is it worth your precious time and hard earned cash?
In their own words, Freeletics is ‘The Shape of your life. Period. Your individual training plan. High intensity workouts. Perfectly adapted to you’. (Check them out here)
It’s aimed equally at both women and men and essentially the Freeletics website/app offers free exercise and workout ideas, routines, support and explanations.
You can also pay a monthly or yearly fee for a ‘Training Coach’, which offers ‘The most individualized and dynamic fitness program on the planet’.
Why would you choose Freeletics?
The concept behind Freeletics is one of freedom – ‘You exercise with your bodyweight only. Anywhere, anytime: at home, outside, in gyms, in hotel rooms’.
All well and good…anything else?
Howie and I are in the middle of a competition right now – we’re training for a ‘Tough Mudder’ run – a gruelling 19 kilometre race filled with horrible obstacles. Electric shocks, icy water, jumps, climbs, crawls…you get the idea. Your whole body takes a beating and an all-round mix of functional strength and cardio based stamina is well needed. It won’t be fun. We have busy lives (like you too, no doubt) and only eight weeks to prepare.
Freeletics actually struck a chord with me because ‘workouts are tough and highly effective. They take between 15-45 min’. They also include a mix of running, strength training and overall cardio fitness.
I did my first workout with Freeletics and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, and also by how unfit I was. They got the mix just right – I was gasping for air and pearling beads of sweat when I finished just over ten minutes later, but somehow I wanted more.
And did I get it?
After you complete your first workout Freeletics opens right up. There are a load of exercises and workouts available, and help on how to do each one. The layout is clean and crisp, with high quality and easy to follow videos. You can choose from a list of preset workout routines with cool names from Greek mythology, running from Aphrodite to Helios to Zeus. Each routine is split into a set of exercises, which can be further tailored to your personal requirements – you can choose from a focus on strength, cardio or a mix of both. It’s worth noting that half of the routines are blocked out in the free version.
I admit it, I was quite impressed. The whole design and style just kinda grabbed me. I decided to sign up for the coach.
After signing up, I was instructed to perform a short fitness test. This was for the coach to see my current fitness levels and ability, then combine it with age/gender/goals etc. More on that later.
I was asked to do as many press ups, burpees and sit ups as I could within a short allotted time, taking as long a break as I needed between exercises. Videos were provided so that I got my technique right and knew exactly what was expected of me.
For the purpose of this review, here are my fitness test results. Chuckle away if you like, I don’t mind. I’ll be getting better every day (I hope!).
Press ups in 100 seconds: 41. I wasn’t too disappointed by this result, press ups are tough, especially with a full range of motion, but by persevering they really build strength.
Burpees in 300 seconds: 57. My God! Do you have any idea how bloody exhausting a simple burpee is if you haven’t done one for ages, or indeed never seen the need to do one? Incredibly, that’s how. You’ll suddenly realise you actually have muscles that you didn’t know existed.
Sit ups in 300 seconds: 86. Seemed pretty good to me, but I had nothing to compare it against. And that’s the thing.
It doesn’t matter how you do in the test, that’s the whole point. If you can’t manage a single press up, who cares? If you can bang out 1000 sit ups, who cares? You start where you start; it’s all up from there.
So how is it individualized?
With the personalised coach, you do the above fitness test and enter your gender, height, weight and choose what you want to aim for: strength, cardio or both. I selected both, as I figured toning up through strength can never be a bad thing, nor can being in a better condition. I’ll certainly need some cardio if I’m to make 19(!) kilometres. You’re also asked how many days a week you’d like to train from 1 to 5. Feeling pumped and excited, I optimistically selected 4.
With all of those variables thrown together, the coach then did its job and made my personal training plan. And it did it well. My next week’s plan looked scary and challenging – but not enough so to put me off. In fact, it somehow motivated me deep down. I was gonna win.
Freeletics also includes a burgeoning community of ‘Free Athletes’. You can add and track friends and followers, compare times and results, give applause and support that’ll help to spur others (and yourself) on, and of course, leave comments. We’re on there as Davey B and Howie Fox – come and say hello (or shout ‘faster!’), that’s up to you…
From what I’ve seen of Freeletics so far, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s professional, helpful, and serious about its goals. And yours. We’re really excited about it and have even set ourselves up as affiliates to the program – and we’re going to be reporting on our training over the next few weeks – how we get on, our pains, our gains. Click here to head to their website.
One last thing – I’m thinking of asking Santa for a Fitbit Charge HR for Christmas 😉 Does anyone out there have one? What do you think of it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Thanks guys!