Monday Morning Squat Session

Squat Day - June 6th 2016The Barbell Back Squat is an exercise I learned to love while doing Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength Program. I’ve never been particularly good at the squat, my best weight being something like 240 pounds for 5 reps, but it has been my favorite of the major compound lifts.

When my delicate routine got turned on its head, several months back, my diet and exercise regimen crumbled. When I came back to the gym last week my form and strength were a fraction of what they had been.

In an effort to maximize my time in the gym, I’ve decided to focus on the main compound lifts and add in volume after my working sets were complete. It has made for some hellish muscle soreness over the past week but I feel good in general.

The workout today focused on the Squat and I’d like to take you through my morning. I’m far from an expert – I’m just a guy trying to get stronger and lose body fat in the process. So please, don’t take this exercise routine for anything more than it is – something I did on a Monday morning to get in a solid squat session.

Before I get to outlining the workout, I’d like to point out that this morning was not typical. My wife and I had a rough evening last night (we wound up in the hospital to get the baby checked out – everything is fine). As a result, my wife didn’t go to work and I had the opportunity to hit the gym early this morning.

I walked through the door of Anytime Fitness a little after 5:00am. My first stop was the elliptical. I set it to take me through a Performance Interval routine for 30 minutes with a resistance of 12. Once the interval workout was complete, I went through a 5 minute cool down cycle.

June 6th 2016 - Elliptical

With a solid sweat going, I setup in the squat rack and began warming up. I worked my way up to a working weight of 140 pounds (5 pounds heavier than last week) and followed it up with a drop set.

    10 Reps at 45 Pounds (Empty Bar)
    10 Reps at 75 Pounds
    10 Reps at 95 Pounds
    10 Reps at 115 Pounds
    10 Reps at 140 Pounds
    10 Reps at 140 Pounds
    10 Reps at 140 Pounds
    10 Reps at 140 Pounds
    10 Reps at 140 Pounds
    10 Reps at 135 Pounds
    10 Reps at 125 Pounds
    10 Reps at 115 Pounds
    10 Reps at 105 Pounds
    10 Reps at 95 Pounds
    10 Reps at 85 Pounds
    10 Reps at 75 Pounds
    10 Reps at 65 Pounds
    10 Reps at 55 Pounds
    10 Reps at 45 Pounds (Empty Bar)

By the time I started the drop set I was fatigued. When I hit 105 pounds my legs were a rubbery mess and my form was atrocious. I don’t know what was worse, the burn in my legs or having to mentally force myself to try and keep the weight mid-foot and not roll forward onto my toes (which happened a lot – especially toward the end).

I was very tempted to do my club’s Workout of the Week but I was running short on time and I didn’t know if I could manage the Wall Balls and Step Ups after my squat session. Before leaving, I hopped onto the Power Mill (Stair Stepper) and programmed it for a distance climb of 50 Floors.

June 6th 2016 - Power Mill

I finished in about 18 minutes – followed by a 5 minute cool down period. My whole lower body was tired but otherwise I felt great. I know I should probably work in some isolation exercises (Leg Extensions, Leg Curls, Leg Press, Calf Raises, and such) but for right now I’m content with what I’m doing.

I’ll probably re-visit the Workout of the Week when my legs are fresh and try for a better time. I think my previous time of 11:58 was respectable but I know I can do better.

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