Monday Squat-Day! (and some ex-runner confessions)

Confession: I woke up this morning, it was absolutely gorgeous outside, and I decided to go for a run. The campus track is about a mile and a half from my apartment, so my plan was to jog there then run a mile or two on the track itself. Well, the gym is on the way to the track, it’s about a mile from me, and by the time I reached it…well let’s just say I wasn’t running anymore.

Yup, I said it. I can’t run a mile without stopping. I ran cross-country and track for years in high school–a mile was nothing! After high school, I rebelled from all those 7am sub-freezing track practices and refused to ever run in cold or inclement weather again, but once spring came I got my endurance back within a couple weeks. Last year at spring break in Charleston I ran 5-6 miles on the beach and through the town every morning, and that was late March. I just assumed the same thing would happen this year, but it hasn’t.

What I don’t understand is that my speed is still fine–I can still knock out 10.0-11.0mph intervals on the treadmill (ie a 5:45-6 minute mile pace), it’s just my endurance is shot. Maybe it will come back and I just need to put in more effort…it’s just discouraging to do something you’re bad at, ya know?

ANYWAY, back on topic…I approached the gym, I was already walking, it was getting hot, my water bottle was half gone, and the gym looked so cool and inviting…so I decided to skip the run and do a leg workout instead. And I’m glad I did because I got a great one!!

Leg Workout

  • Squats: 115 lbs, 125, 135, 140, 145, 150, 155, 160 (8×5 all)
  • Seated Leg Press: 150 lbs, 170, 190, 210, 230 (8×5 all)
  • Straight-leg Deadlifts: 90 lbs: 8×3, 100 lbs: 8×2
  • Hack Squats: 90 lbs added: 8×5

Let’s talk about those squats!! First off, I started off light at 115lbs which was a great decision because I was able to go practically ass-to-grass (well if there was grass) and lock in my muscle memory for the correct form. Lately I’ve been repping 135 (not quite my body weight) and I ended to stop after the fifth set at 145 but I just felt SO good and on point that I wanted to keep going…and I got to 160lbs! Woo hoo! Granted my form started to suffer after maybe 150-155 lbs, and the last two reps of 165 were totally quarter squats, but I’m still happy with my progress. Last year I typically used my first leg day per week to work on getting my max squat weight up through an incremental progression like this, and the second session I would just do a standard 8×5 at the highest weight I could execute with correct form.

This reminded of how last year, I used to get SO excited about Mondays because those were my squat days and squats were my favorite exercise. Every Sunday night, I would look forward to waking up in the morning and making progress on my squats. By the end of last spring semester, I maxed out at 185lbs and could rep 165 easily. However, my gym in France didn’t have a real squat rack, just a Smith machine which I hated using, so I lost a lot of strength on squats and that put a big dent in my enthusiasm…it was hard to get excited when I felt like I was starting at square one. However, today made me realize that I’m still stronger than I thought, and I think I’ll get back to my old level by the end of the semester. So I am officially re-starting the tradition of Mondays as squat days!!! The fact that I’m so happy about this makes me feel more like myself again!

Aside from that…it is GORGEOUS today, 85 degrees and beautiful. I’m done class and sitting outside the campus library to do homework–I MUST catch up on differential equations today. Unfortunately I have all my textbooks online/on my lap and my computer is about to die so I’ll have to go inside and find a plug soon, unless I can find an outlet somewhere outdoors. Online textbooks are super-convenient for many reasons but this is the disadvantage.

Also I’m eating the grilled chicken salad that I bought last night but didn’t end up eating then (it was like 1am). Using lime juice as a dressing was SUCH a good decision; it gives a lot of flavor without any added calories or sugars. So I owe the pizza place guys for that one!

Also I’m wearing one of my favorite dresses today!

Image

Dress: Forever 21, belt: Express, cardigan: The Limited, sandals: Coach

It used to be my little sister’s and I would borrow it all the time…last weekend at Easter she gave it to me because it’s a little too short for her. It’s short on me too but not quite as–I’m 5’8 and she’s 5’11. And if you look closely you can see my toenails are still multicolored; I forgot to take off my nail polish after Dayglow. Oops.

Well I think that’s all and Happy Monday everyone!

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2 Responses

  1. I really don’t like Smith Squat machine…just doesn’t feel natural to the way your body moves.

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