Squat Day is the Best Day

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Seriously though. I LOVE squats.

You might think I am a lunatic, but they are easily my favorite heavy lifting workout. I even love them when it’s drop-set day. I might feel like I am going to fall over after I finish all of my sets, but I get over that quickly and fall back in love with them the moment I catch my breath.

The more I squat, the more I love them. Most likely because I am seeing more of a lift and an unfamiliar toning in my butt, and also because it is my strongest lift. I feel much more confident squatting than I do doing ANY other workout.

I am getting really good at them too! I go much lower than I used to be able to. I find myself busting my butt to get it as low to the floor as possible, with a nice big squeeze when I reach the top.

I wish every day was squat day.

Sore: The Most Satisfying Feeling

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I LOVE being sore. Really, I do.

I went on a long run on Sunday afternoon (after going to the gym.. go me!) and my whole lower half is still feeling it. I have exercised twice since then which only added to my soreness. It’s been great.

Being sore after a good workout is such a rewarding feeling. Not only do you know that you had a great workout sesh, but it’s a sure sign that your muscles are rebuilding and preparing themselves for another ass whoopin’!

Today will be a break day for me, after having exercised the past three days in a row. I will be back at it tomorrow through (hopefully) Saturday. Work has been absolutely nutso the past couple of weeks, with many late nights making it difficult to get a really great workout in, or get to the gym at all. I am looking forward to my schedule being back to normal!

YOU CHOOSE

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I have not skipped a single workout since I made the change. That is 5 days of exercise every week for the past (almost) 11 weeks!

I will admit that there were a small handful of days where I didn’t feel like going to the gym. But once I got there I was happy I didn’t skip. Overall, to my surprise, making the commitment to fitness has not been all that hard. I daydream about it. I wake up and immediately look forward to my fix of endorphins after work. I feel like crap when it’s a “break” day. The days that I have to work late and make up for it on another day are miserable, but I always arrange my schedule so that I am still getting my 5-days in.

Today I almost had to not go to the gym. My (not-so) little brothers are going to the prom tonight (eeeek!), and I was worried that if I went to the gym I wouldn’t make it home in time to see them off! They couldn’t care less, but I’m the big sis! I have to take photos and embarrass them a little, obviously!

SO, a quick gym trip it shall be, but at least it’s something! If I skipped today I wouldn’t be able to say that I have completed 11 weeks of my 5-day gym streak. A little is better than nothing! I would rather feel sore tomorrow, than sorry. You’ve just got to make the time for it!

Squat Challenge – Accepted!

20130501-144200.jpgAfter a grueling leg workout yesterday, one of the fitness coaches at my gym asked me if I would be willing to give his squat challenge a try. I was surprised and excited to hear that he thought I was one of the only females at our facility that was physically capable of handling a decent amount of weight if I put my mind to it. Now, there aren’t exactly many females at my gym that lift weights at all, but I am still going to take it as a compliment and let it boost my ego a bit anyways.

As soon as I heard “challenge,” my ears perked up. Maybe I should have waited for him to explain what the challenge was before I enthusiastically agreed. But hey, it’s only going to help me!

He wants to do a pyramid workout, where the end result is to see what my one-repetition maximum squat weight is. If I understood correctly, we would start with a small amount of weight – maybe just the barbell, or the barbell plus 20lbs (10 on both sides) – and do my regular amount of reps (about 12). Every time we add weight, he would have me do one less rep, thus ending at 1 rep with my max weight. Based on what I have been doing, he believes that my minimum weight is probably 145lbs, which is already 20lbs more than what I have done so far.

Yesterday I squatted 6 sets of 12, beginning with 15lbs on both ends of the barbell and ending with 40lbs, making my highest weight 125lbs. I probably could have done more if my legs were not already exhausted from my single leg presses. He advised me to begin my workouts with the squats so that I can give it my all, so I will have to try that next time. The rest of my workout consisted of weighted step-ups with two 15lb dumbbells, and a quick 10 minute run on the treadmill.

The great thing about this challenge is that it will give me an idea of just how much I can lift, so that I am not taking a wild guess and starting with less weight than I could be. I am looking forward to it and nervous just the same! He tells me that he has been wanting to work with a dedicated woman to see just how far they can be pushed, but that most people that he has approached are afraid of extreme muscle gain. They don’t trust that the female body simply can’t gain the muscle mass that men do. So, here’s to hoping that the end result is a nice bikini-ready bottom!