Squat Shut-Down

Normally I am happy for Mondays knowing that there will be squats, but today my anticipation was muddied by some trepidation. The trepidation had two heads. First, I was well aware of what last Monday’s squat training looked like. Surely I can’t be the only squat-lover who feels a touch of fear with the knowledge that there may be a 20 rep set and pause squats ahead! But that type of trepidation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The other head of this beast comes from the knowledge that I’ve still got some issue with my left glute/ham that I tweaked last Friday. That area generally feels much better than it did Friday night, but there is still discomfort when I get into certain positions, such as a Cossack squat or sumo deadlift. While I was confident that squatting probably wouldn’t hurt the glute/ham, I also knew that my coach would be watching me like a hawk and could shut down the squats if he didn’t like what he saw. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know if I was more nervous about the possibility of 20 reps or having the squats shut down, but I walked into the gym determined to keep my head in a good place.

1a. squats, high bar, flat shoes

45 lbs x 8, 95 x 7

As expected, Michael watched me closely, making sure I wasn’t shifting to compensate and was staying balanced. As I expected, the left glute/ham area felt no worse; however, to me, it did feel like I was using my right leg more than the left, so Michael shut it down. <grumble>

Instead…front rack barbell reverse lunges

75 lbs x 8 each, 85 x 8 each, 95 x 8 each

1b. military press

35 lbs x 10, 47 x 8, 52 x 8, 57 x 6 + 1 push press, 62 x 5 + 2 push press (or maybe it was only 1 push press rep! I couldn’t quite get the last rep, even with the push, but I can’t remember how many I actually did.)

2a. good mornings

45 lbs x 20 x 2 sets

2b. weighted back extensions

with 25 lb plate x 16

with 20k kettlebell x 12

Skepticism bubbled to the surface when Michael began to verbally toss out some numbers for what weight he’d get me to do for these. Sometimes my memory can be hazy, and I don’t recall doing weighted back extensions before. The first set wasn’t too bad, and even the second set was better than I expected. As Michael teasingly pointed out as I tried to figure out how to pick up the kettlebell for the second set, I am capable of picking up 300 pounds, so 20 kilograms shouldn’t be a problem!

3. renegade rows

15 lb dumbbells x 8 each

20 lb x 6 each

20 lb x 2 + 1, 15 lbs x 2

The left shoulder wasn’t feeling so great doing these. It felt awkward just holding in the position and with picking up the dumbbell.



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