Tuesday, February 23, 2016
"The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver."
SO... since we talked last, BlogLand, it's been all about the Squats.
I've been doing this 12 week "Hatch" Squat program, with CFW Owner Robyn (accountability buddies are great!!). You're doing both front and back squats, 2x a week for twelve weeks. That program was a little intimidating to jump into - simply because I've never done a squat program like this and didn't really know what to expect. However, squatting was always something I didn't mind so much, so I figured, why not?
First word of advice, though.... do NOT look ahead. At some point you must just put your trust in the program (#HatchSaysICan) and just do the work. On Day 1, if you look ahead to week 10, you're going to give yourself a tiny panic attack. Yes, you will lift that much. Yes, it will all work out. Just follow the program, one day at a time.
Robyn and I have been cranking away at it for 11 weeks now - that's probably the longest I've ever stuck with any routine in my life! (Routines are not typically my jam...). I started with a back squat one rep max of 248#... and recently (before even the end of the program), I crushed 263# in our gym comp - and I'm pretty sure that's not my max. #Gainz !
Front Squats were "fine" coming into this... my biggest win here is just proficiency. You do something for many reps, and log that kind of time, you just are bound to get more comfortable at it. Where front squats used to be an exercise that I thought about, they've become almost as second nature as back squats, for me. Another win!
Outside of the expected squat lift gains - because of the glute/ham/quad development, a lot of things have become easier. Core stabilization, for many exercises (I'm looking at you, wall balls!) is easier. AND - my legs are way more toned and defined (YAY! A quad bump!), and my booty is rounder! (LOL) Who wouldn't want to squat more, with a list of benefits like that?!
That said, not every day is sunshine and roses. Sometimes you are literally just showing up and getting through. Sunday was definitely one of those days for me. For whatever reason, I was tired, and all the weights just felt heavy - even though it was a "light" day in Squatland. Must've been something going around in the air that day, as everyone in the gym seemed to be in agreement... everything was just feeling heavy.
Nonetheless, I loaded up the bar and put my #TrustInHatch and followed my prescribed rep set. Not shockingly, I was more than capable of doing it, even though it was a tired sort of day. (Not every day will be a PR!).
Today - Day 1 of my LAST week of Hatch (one more day to go!) - was a lot better. I got enough sleep last night, ate better yesterday, and there was some good music on at the gym (amazing, I know, things go better when you're taking care of yourself...). Even though it was a really light sort of "tapering" set of squats, I felt stable, strong and was focused on good form. It is always nice when the pieces just sort of come together.
One more day of Hatch to go, then we're taking a little break for a few weeks to focus on the CrossFit Open (my body can only go through one kind of hell at a time...). Then, I think we'll get back on another 12 week Squat cycle. What's not to love?
Seriously, though - even if you're not training for "strength" the carryover benefits of squats are amazing. My knees feel way better (even though they're carrying WAY too much weight) and more stable doing other exercises, my core is better - which means I'm helping protect my lower back from injury and I've actually gained a lot of mobility in my squats, which had been inhibited by my hops, ankles, etc.
So... Squat Rant over.... I did my Squats this week!.... but in the great words of the internet,
Do you even Squat, bro?