Back Squat Withdrawal

Today is the first day of my new six week training program without back squats. That’s 42 days without back squats. The final day of this program is February 26. I have the beginning of each week marked in my training log, but I am not counting down the days until I can do back squats again at all! Nope, not me! I love front squats. I really, truly do. The other day Michael sent me a lengthy list of reasons why one should do front squats. I had to laugh, but they were all very good reasons that cannot be disputed.

1a. front squats, with sleeves but no belt

45 x 8, 75 x 6, 105 x 6, 125 x 6, 145 x 6, 155 x 6, 155 x 8

These felt pretty good. The bar didn’t feel heavy until I unracked it with 145 pounds, then it felt heavy and actually surprised me a little; however, it was much easier today than it was on Friday with a slow eccentric.

1b. incline bench press, competition grip

43 x 8, 63 x 8, 63 x 8, 65 x 8, 65 x 8, 65 x 8

The second set at 63 pounds was easier than the first at that weight. On the final set, Michael had me bring the bar down higher on my chest to keep my elbows in the right position under the bar. That seemed to help, I think, and the bar felt lighter for the first few reps.

2a. wide grip lat pulldowns

70 lbs x 15?, 80 x 12, 80 x 9, 70 x 15

I sort of lost track of my reps on the first set, but I think I did at least 15, maybe a rep or two more. The drop down set at the end was easier than any of the other sets. In fact, I had to check the weight, because I didn’t know what Michael had dropped it to and expected it to be lower than it was.

2b. stiff-leg deadlifts

115 x 10

with straps: 135 x 10

145 x 10

In a weird twist, this set felt the easiest of the bunch. What makes that weird is that right before I set myself up, I began to feel not so good at all. I wasn’t dizzy and I’m not sure that I was really nauseous, but my belly felt incredibly hollow to the point that I felt weak  and shaky. Despite how I was suddenly feeling, those reps were the best and felt the strongest. I felt like crap immediately after though.

155 x 10

Still feeling crappy but this set felt easy enough.

3a. flyes

10 lb dumbbells x 15

3b. incline dumbbell curls

15 lbs x 8

3c. Bulgarians while holding a 12 kg kettle bell goblet-style

x 9 each leg

Bulgarians are something that tends to get better the more frequently I do them, and it has been a while since I’ve done them. So, mix rust together with feeling shaky/weak/not right and these were not an example of my best work. Having the right leg forward was trickier, I think. I have discovered that I cannot remember which leg I had forward first! Whichever leg it was that was forward first, that was a crappy set. I lost balance on the seventh rep, although Michael insists that I just gave up and went with the way my body was leaning rather than hold my ground. Okay, so he didn’t quite word it that way, but that’s essentially what he was saying. 😉 He’s probably right. Can I blame it on feeling like crap?

Then I grabbed the dumbbells for the next round of flyes and paused on the bench waiting for the arms to feel less shaky. Of course, Michael asked how I was doing. If I am completely honest, I am not always completely honest when it comes to that question! If I am truly, seriously hurting or ill, then I would say so, but I don’t like to complain about every little minor ache or turn of the stomach. I was honest today and Michael said we were done. I was a little frustrated about that, but it was probably the right call. Even when I got to my car, I had to just sit there for about 5 minutes before heading for home. I inhaled a huge plateful of food in about 10 minutes and felt immensely better! How bizarre! Today was a normal, typical day for me, and I ate very much like I do every Monday. I guess I’m going to need to make sure that I have plenty to eat before training…or maybe it really is a case of back squat withdrawal?



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