Workout 22/04/2016 – leg day and a new exercise. Safety squats!

On a day that I’m still very stiff and very sore from my last arm/back/shoulder day (damn those pull-up negatives!), I hit leg day with limited enthusiasm. Luckily I really enjoyed the session, with thanks to a new barbell – the safety squat barbell. As I’ve said before, I have issues with back squats. I can’t get my weight in the right spot, I lean way too far forward, and my depth is shocking. Experimenting with front squats has helped – with those I can squat deeper and with better technique, but I have to drop the weight. Fine for technique, not so great for my legs.

The safety squat bar sits on your back, but has handles across your shoulders that you hold at the front of the body. I knew straight away we were going to be friends. With this bar I could squat deeper, with better technique, and still maintain a decent weight. In fact, I ended the session feeling that if I did a few more sessions at that weight, I’d probably be able to increase the weight pretty soon. I even feel like I might be able to squat unsupervised with this bar.

safety squat bar

I know it’s not the solution to just stop back squats all together, but it’s nice to know that I can improve my depth, technique and weight in my squat.

3 sets:

  • 10 x safety squats (30-35 kg, 40 – 45 kg x 2 sets) – we weren’t sure how much the bar weighed!
  • 20 x walking 2 pulses lunges (no weight, 10 kg each hand x 2 sets)

1 set:

  • 25 x leg extensions (25 kg)
  • 25 x hack squats (raised heel squats)

Workout 14/04/2016 (and a new PB!!)

Leg day, and a new personal best for me on the 45 degree free-weight leg press 🙂 Neither my trainer nor I could remember whether my former PB was 190 kg or 200 kg (although we both suspected it was 190 kg), so he loaded an extra 1.25 kg on just to make sure I definitely hit a new PB. In any case, I know that previously when I hit my former PB I’d only done 6 reps at that weight – this time I did 18 across two sets. So I definitely smashed it.

45 degree free weight leg press

  • 10 x 80 kg
  • 10 x 140 kg
  • 10 x 180 kg
  • 201.25 x 8
  • 201.25 x 10

2 sets:

  • 28 x walking lunges
  • Hurt terminal push (front and back handles) (55 kg, 80 kg)

Workout 23/03/2016

I missed blogging about Tuesday’s workout this week – it was a bunch of exercises that I wasn’t sure how to describe, using weights that I forgot to check. Oh well!!

On to yesterday’s leg day. This should have been a standard one – instead I found myself struggling with some sets, and my legs are really feeling it today. Unusual!! My PT did get me started doing lunges from a raised surface (negative lunges? Step-off lunges?), but since we hiked Bogong I’ve had a slight twitch on the sole of my foot that’s triggered by weight being placed on the ball of my foot. The lunges weren’t really suiting it, so we switched to Bulgarian Split Squats with a pretty low raised foot to ensure a deep squat.

3 sets:

  • 20 x horizontal leg press (80 kg)
  • 20 x raised heel squats
  • 20 x step-off lunges (1 set)
  • 10 x Bulgarian split squats each leg (2 sets)

2 sets:

  • 10 x hamstring curls (25 kg)

Workout 9/03/2016

Today was the last leg day before Bogong. Although I was tempted to make this even earlier in the week, I decided that Thursday, Friday and Saturday is enough time to recover fully. That, and I asked my PT not to absolutely kill my legs. The really nice thing is that while the workout didn’t kill my legs, if I’d done the same workout a few years ago it absolutely would have smashed me. And I wouldn’t have been able to do the weights I did today.

3 sets:

  • 24 x walking lunges (no weights, 2 sets x 10 kg each hand)
  • 1 min x jumping step ups (step up jumps?)

3 sets:

  • 8 x hamstring curls (25 kg, 27 kg x 2 sets)
  • 20 x raised heel squats (not coming to a full upright at the top of each rep – keeping the legs slightly bent)

Workout 8/03/2016

This workout was actually a fitness test. I’m doing a 12 week challenge at the moment, which I’ll go into more details on next week post-Bogong, but for now here’s the results (I’ll re-do this again in four weeks or so)

The idea was to see how many reps of each I could do in the allotted 1 minute. I chose to focus on good form and not sacrifice technique for more reps, and I was pretty please with my results:

  • 1 minute of burpees: 15 reps
  • 1 minute of push-ups: 20 reps
  • 1 minute of sit-ups: 22 (this was listed as crunches. I think they’re too subjective, so did sit ups instead)
  • 1 minute of alternate lunges: 32 (I’m not really sure how I’d beat this, I was going at a decent pace. I think I’d be best to add weight and work to match this result)
  • Plank for time: 1 minute 11 seconds
  • Jump squats: 53 (low squats with good form)

Workout 26/02/2016

Leg day today. J asked me how it was afterwards, and I reflected that given the low energy I’ve been feeling all week I was pretty happy that I dragged myself out of bed, showed up, and completed the right number of reps and sets (in the past, energy like this has resulted in less sets). So with that in mind I was happy – and I worked through some technique issues too. Having said that, today’s workout involved at 45cm box jump which I seemed to be only just clearing. In the past I’ve easily clear a metre, so I’ve definitely lost some punch there! Something to work on, I suppose.

5 sets:

  • 10 x box jumps (45 cm)
  • 20 x walking lunges

1 set:

  • 15 x horizontal leg press (90kg)

2 sets:

  • 10 x horizontal leg press (90kg) – reduced reps to work on where I’m driving through in my foot. I’ve been finding I drive through the ball of my foot on this machine, so we were working on driving through the heel instead. It’s a bad habit, so the heel work made it a lot harder – thus the reduced reps.

Workout 18/02/2016

Leg day!! My PT said it would be a hard one – when he says that he’s normally right, and it also normally means he’s got a fairly high-cardio circuit planned for me. That was all true today. He’s been saying recently that I’m working harder, and I do feel like that’s true. I’m completing sets I’ve struggled with before – don’t get me wrong, I’m still struggling, but I’m pushing through just that tiny bit more. It’s nice. So here’s today’s workout:

4 sets:

  • 20 x raised-heel squats
  • 20 x negatives lunges (from an approx. 5-8cm platform)
  • 20 x jump squats
  • 20 x bulgarian split squats (with back leg on the tallest of the plyometric boxes – 60 cm)
  • 1 minute fast walking on treadmill – treadmill at greatest incline (15), and at various speeds (5, 5.5, 6, 6.2)

Workout 4/02/2016

Today was leg day with my PT – and it felt like the total opposite to my last workout. I had energy, drive, and pushed through the tough bits. I got a PB on the trap bar, pushed through walking lunges (which I often can’t) and did a new exercise on the leg curl. Positive stuff.

3 sets:

  • 6 x trap bar deadlifts (75 kg, 85 kg, 85 kg)
  • 24 x walking lunges

3 sets:

  • 10 x 1 and a Quarter leg curls (17 kg, 20 kg, 15 kg – I went down a weight at the end because I completed the last set by myself, and needed to get through to the end of the 10 reps)

Workout 27/01/2016

Leg day with PT. Got to the gym this morning and got a minor visual migraine – given that there’s no pain associated with it there was no reason not to work out, but what I discovered was the for some reason the visual migraine seemed to trigger lots of dizzy spells. So it was an interesting workout- but it’s a workout that I finished, so that’s positive!

3 sets:

  • 10 x free weight leg press (100 kg, 120 kg, 140 kg)
  • 20 x jump box squats

3 sets:

  • 12 x raised-heel back squats (20 kg – barbell only, no additional weights)
  • 20 x side lunges

Workout 11/01/2016

I went into the gym with the intention of doing deadlifts today – but all of the deadlifting stations were being used. The workout I ended up with wasn’t the best – I mucked around for too long trying to figure out what to do, so I didn’t get in as many sets as I’d have liked. Ultimate lesson – always have two workouts ready to go before hitting the gym floor!

  • 5 mins rowing machine (at a pace that I could breathe through my nose)
  • 3 sets:
    – 10 situps
    – 10 pushups
    – 10 jump lunges each leg
    – 10 prisoner squats each leg