Of Squats, Knees & Rest

For today’s last training session of 2015, I decided to wear my Wonder Woman tank top and a pair of my Wonder Woman socks, because why not!

My knee was quite sore yesterday, and the same old hip pain resurfaced with a vengeance as the day went on. I’m not sure if that was connected to the knee pain or not, but I was limping and whimpering quite a bit yesterday. The knee was feeling quite a bit better this morning, not perfect but still an improvement and that made me happy. I have not been frustrated or upset about this little tweak of the knee, but my good mood might have soured if Michael dropped today’s front squats from the agenda because of my knee!

Of course, he did ask how the knee was feeling in order to determine whether or not I would be doing front squats. At that point, I could honestly say that it was feeling pretty good and wasn’t bothering me to do body weight squats.

1a. front squats, with knee sleeves

45 x 8, 95 x 5 with a pause on the last rep, 115 x 5, 135 x 6

Then Michael wanted me to use his belt for the remaining sets. Today I was able to get his belt on and off without requiring any assistance or leveraging against the squat rack! I joked that I must have lost weight, because my struggle to gain and maintain is a running joke. Ironically, when I just now looked back in my training log to the last time I used Michael’s belt, I do indeed weigh an entire pound less today than I did on that day last week!

with belt: 145 x 6, 155 x 6, 155 x 6

The knee felt fine during all of the squats today. I did feel some soreness in the back of the knee after I was finished squatting, but I suppose that can be expected. It was a decent tweak of the knee, but it really could have been worse. The rest will do me good, right?

1b. chin-ups, underhand grip

with small green band x 6

Michael then threw something new at me, something that he has not personally tried himself. Do I look like a guinea pig? I guess so! The plan was to get to the top position without a band and do 5 micro reps at the top with only enough movement that I could recover for each rep, then lower myself with control to the bottom and do 5 micro reps from there. And suddenly I am regretting putting unassisted chin-ups on my list of goals!

5 upper, maybe 4 lower?

a set of 5 using the band

4 upper, maybe 3 lower?

3 upper, and 2 lower…my hands were exceptionally slippery today

a set of 5 with the band

Whatever you want to call this new version of working my chin-ups, it definitely shows that my weak spot is at the bottom and technique is so important. My technique is not so great, but it just needs practice.

2a. military press

45 x 8, 50 x 8, 55 x 6

These weren’t too bad. I managed to graze my chin at least a couple of times, so I guess I was doing a better job of keeping the bar close. My elbow position was probably the best for the final set…need to remember where to set my hands up on the bar. As much as the military press is not a favourite, I was smiling most stupidly before the last two sets. Michael asked what I was thinking. Honestly, I was thinking how puny and pathetic that bar looked with such tiny weights on it!

2b. bent-over barbell row

63 x 18, 83 x 14, 93 x 13

2c. windmills

6 kg kettle bell x 8 each side, 8 kg kettle bell x 2 before Michael said that looked way too easy!

10 kg kettle bell x 8 each x 2 sets

3. single arm kettle bell presses AMRAP

right arm: 12 kg x 4.5 + 10 kg x 5

left arm: 12 kg x 5 + 10 kg x 5

I started with the right arm, which turned out to be a wise decision as that arm was definitely the weaker of the two today. Really, we never know which one is going to be weaker. My shoulders seem to enjoy taking turns being a bother or weak. Last week, the left shoulder was sore. Today, the right shoulder simply struggled a bit more. I could have easily done more reps with the left arm!

And that is all she wrote for 2015…at least in terms of blogging about my training! Since I began training a little more than 2 years ago, I have never NOT trained for more than maybe 4 or 5 consecutive days. It is going to feel strange and most likely mildly uncomfortable to simply be productively resting, but it will be good. It will, right? Hmmm…maybe the lack of activity combined with holiday eating will finally result in positive movement on my scale! Oh dear.

There won’t even be a little run on Christmas day. <sniff> Going for a short run has been my Christmas day tradition for the past several years, but it isn’t going to happen this year.

Rest is good. Rest is good. Rest is good.




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