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)

Progress and goals

Today marks Day 3 of Week 8 of the Challenge. Week 8- where have those last two months gone?! In some ways it feels like I’ve been doing this forever, and in other ways it feels like it’s been a very very short time.

As of Monday (two days ago) I have lost 5.5 kg since the challenge started, which I’m pretty chuffed about!! I do look back and realise that I’d lost four of those kilos in the first four weeks, but then again, I did get sick in there which really threw me off. I’ve had a last 7 days in terms of weigh loss and exercise- my food’s been a little bit out, with some fish and chips and cake making its way in, but exercise seems to have well and truly made up for that.

Over the weekend I did a 16km walk- not the longest I’ve ever done, but certainly getting up there. I was hurting by about the 7 km mark, and it definitely got worse as the k’s went on, but my recovery was a lot better than I’d anticipated. Sunday I was stiff but not ridiculously sore, and by Monday I was fine. I’d worried that the sore muscles would carry over for longer and I’d be left with a sub-par performance during PT sessions later in the week, but it just didn’t happen.

Today I joined a fitness group at work for the first time. I’ve been hearing about it and receiving the calendar invites for a while, but I just hadn’t got around to going. It’s free and run by a colleague who figures that if she’s going to be working out in her lunch time she may as well be running a bit of a group session for her co-workers. I was definitely apprehensive about it heading in- exercising in front of people I know is always a stress point for me, as is putting myself into new situations where I will need to push myself physically without really knowing what I’ll have to do and if I’ll be up for it.

I was up for it. We did running warm-ups, and I was fine (albeit my usual slow plodding self). We did pyramids, doing one burpie then running, then two burpires then running etc, and I was fine. We did the same with push-ups and, for the first time in my life, I felt like I was doing correct pushups, all the way to the ground, and I didn’t feel like the weakest person in the group (I was on knees, but that’s ok. I know I’m working up to full ones, and they’ll come soon). We did a range of body-weight exercises tabata-style, doing 45 second exercises then breaking for 15 seconds. I could do all of the exercises, I knew how to modify them so I could do them safely for my shoulders, and I didn’t slack off and stop before the end of the reps.

I have come a loooooooong way in the last 12 months with my fitness. That I could do today’s class and feel good (maybe even great?) about it is proof of that. Now that I’m eating right and putting in the extra hours exercising each week, I’m starting to see results in my body rather than just feel them. While I still feel that I’m not losing much weight off my hips, I know my arms are slimming and so is my face. I can see that . And I do that know despite not being able to see it on my hips it is slowly happening, because my clothes are fitting better.

In today’s workout my colleague talked about setting fitness goals. I have a couple. I’m a little hesitant to put timelines on them, but I have a rough idea in my head. Here’s the three that are currently at the top of my mind:

  • I’ve lost 5.5kg. I want to lose 7 (ish) more to hit the weight that my PT and I discussed as being a good healthy weight for me
  • I want to do full push-ups with legs completely extended (no knees)
  • I want to dead-lift 60 kg (currently sitting somewhere around 45 I think?)