The Coach incorporates resistance training equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, and weight plates into the intervals of the hybrid and bodyweight Training Journeys.
Adding resistance equipment into your workouts will provide a more strength-oriented type of High-Intensity Interval Training, which is great for burning fat and improving the overall quality of life.
Resistance equipment is a familiar sight -- think the dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, and weight plates that you have at home or see at any gym. Freeletics enables you to use them for even greater variety in your training, outdoors or indoors, day or night.
And if gaining strength and building muscle is your priority, using these tools to increase the resistance you progressively provide your muscles is an effective way to work toward your fitness goal.
Letting the Coach know you have resistance equipment available for your training is also a great way to work toward those more complicated bodyweight movements.
By enabling dumbbells, for example, the Coach has more possibilities to personalize your program and could assign Dumbbell Shoulder Presses to help you build strength on your way to mastering Strict Handstand Pushups.
Just navigate to the Coach tab, click on the settings icon, and tap on Equipment. Here you can let the Coach know all of the equipment that you have available.
Common questions about this feature:
Q: Does enabling a piece of equipment guarantee that I will be assigned exercises using resistance equipment every day?
A: Not all equipment you have selected will be used at every workout. The feel of the Training Journeys will still be that of bodyweight HIIT training, however, the addition of weighted exercises will provide more of a strength element.
The Coach will always assign a combination of bodyweight and weighted exercises specific to your fitness goal and you will not be assigned an interval with pure resistance equipment.
Also, keep in mind that the more equipment you have available, the larger the pool of exercises the Coach can assign to you.
Q: Can I exclude specific resistance exercises from being assigned?
A: Yes! If you have enabled a dumbbell, kettlebell, resistance band, or weight plate you can exclude specific exercises from being assigned via the Coach settings.
We’ve all been there, and now your Coach can work with you to improve your training experience and support you on your path to reaching your goals.
Exclude specific exercises from ever being assigned by the Coach. Simply select the exercises you shouldn’t or are unable to perform.
Some important things to note:
- You can select up to 10 exercises to exclude (including bodyweight exercises).
- For the optimum experience (and to reach your goals), you should exclude as few exercises as possible.
- Exclude only those exercises that your Coach has already assigned to you repeatedly.
Q: What if I don’t have a pair of dumbbells at a certain weight?
A: No problem! If the Coach gives you an exercise that requires two dumbbells, like Hammer Curls or Double Dumbbell Shoulder Presses, you can work one side at a time.
Just remember, you’ll have to perform the assigned repetitions for each side.
For example, if you get assigned 10 repetitions of Hammer Curls and you’re doing one side at a time, make sure to perform 10 with each arm for a total of 20 repetitions.
You can also replace two dumbbells with one for exercises like Dumbbell Lunges and Dumbbell Squats. Simply hold the weight in front of you with a goblet grip and perform the Lunges or Squats.
Q: How do I know which weight or resistance band to use for each exercise?
A: The Coach will assign the weighted exercises to you based on your strength level and fitness goals, however, you will need to decide which weight is best for you.
This process is often based on trial and error.
For example, let’s say the Coach assigns you the following interval:
4 Rounds of:
- 7 Pushups
- 10 Supermen
- 12 Dumbbell Goblet Squats
- 30-second Plank
- 30-second Rest
The Coach has assigned you 12 Dumbbell Goblet Squats to be performed for 4 rounds. If you aren’t familiar with this exercise and you aren’t sure what weight to choose, always start conservatively and select a lower weight.
Let’s say you’ve chosen to start with 10 kg and after the first round, you feel that this was way too light, maybe consider increasing by a few kg for the next round.
If you’re unsure if the weight was too light, then try another round with the same weight.
However, if you struggled to complete all of the repetitions, or you felt your technique wasn’t as good as it should be, you should definitely lower the weight for the next round.
The goal should be to have a weight where you feel as though you have a few reps “left in the tank” after the first set and are confident that you can complete all four of the assigned rounds at that same weight, without reaching failure.
If you struggle more than you anticipated in the middle of your workout, just change the weight for the next round and carry on.
Take it as an opportunity to discover your level in the present.
Learning to identify how it feels to be too close or too far away from your limits on that given day is a very valuable lesson too.
You’ll rarely be right on the first try, but with time you’ll become very good at picking up the right weight for yourself.
If you have a limited number of weights or bands available and you couldn’t perform all of the repetitions, perform as many repetitions with proper technique as you can and make sure to indicate that it was way too hard in the post-training feedback.
If the weight or bands were way too easy, then make sure to let the Coach know in the post-training feedback so that your future sessions will be appropriately adjusted.
Q: How should I give feedback on the intervals with resistance equipment?
A: The Coach will use the information given after the workout to either increase, decrease, or keep the repetitions the same the next time this exercise is assigned.
You will be asked to provide feedback on the intensity of the interval as well as if you were able to maintain the technique that is shown in the tutorial videos.
Keep in mind that it’s assumed that you’ve kept the same weight or used the same resistance band over all of the assigned rounds within the interval.
If you do change the weight or resistance band you’ve used, only think of the final round when providing feedback. We recommend making a note to remember what weight or band you used for each exercise.
Q: How and when do I decide to increase the weights or resistance bands?
A: The general rule of thumb is to progress when you have mastered all of your reps for each round with good technique and when you have a few reps “left in the tank” after the last round.
Some general guidelines
If you decide to increase the weight of an exercise, keep in mind that the Coach is progressing your reps at your previous weight. This means you will now be using a higher weight combined with a higher amount of reps.
Again, it’s important to make sure to give the Coach appropriate feedback after completing the interval in order to adjust the repetitions to your newly selected weight.
With weights, strive for your best form and aim to finish strong.
Once you get to the end of your interval with the heavier weight and more repetitions, it might be that you were able to perform all that was required, but the final reps of the last round were far more challenging than earlier, and your technique was questionable.
You could try a heavier weight next time, but the truth is that your sets will feel more challenging even earlier in the process. You risk damaging your technique even more, thus hindering your progress and exposing yourself to injuries. Always think quality before quantity.
Be as injury-proof as you can--don’t rush your gains!
Distributing your progress in weight over a longer period of time is the best way to prevent injuries related to loading and to develop excellent, durable movement qualities along the way.
There’s no obligation to increase the weight at every session, and everyone's progress rate is different as well. It’s tempting to keep pushing your physical limits, but remember that training at your best means making good decisions that will help you keep improving even after your current workout ends.
If you’re new to this, you’ll likely progress quickly in the beginning while your progression may slow as you become more experienced. This is normal.
Listen to what your body tells you, and pay attention to your technique.