Sunday, February 1, 2015

February: 30-Day Squat Challenge

I am issuing a challenge to my new readers to partake in 30-day squat challenge. These are to be weighted squats and preferably with barbells, but not limited to them.

The idea comes from a post over at the Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban in regards to 100-day squat challenge powerlifter Cory Gregory did. 100-days sounds a little insane to me, but 30-days seems more doable.

Squats are probably one of the most hated lifts by most trainees yet probably has some of the biggest overall benefits in life, lifting and making sweet; sweet babies. For me squatting heavy once a week leaves my legs sore for about four days afterwards.

However, no one ever got better at something by not doing it at all so squatting it is. There are multiple reasons we will be doing heavy squatting for our first challenge.

First because squatting strengths multiple muscle groups like the quads, hamstrings, glutes, upper back and probably more then I know. It has a lot of carryover into other lifts like the deadlift, bench press, overhead press and all of the Olympic lifts and it helps to improve mobility.

You can do any permutation of weighted squats that you want which for me is a must since I can't always go to the gym. So front squats, back squats, goblet, kettlebell squats, skaters, pistols, hack squats and etc. Basically nothing is off limits as long as it squatting with weights and it is hard.

It is up to you as well to figure out the rep ranges and etc. that you'll be doing. This is pretty open ended and not extremely strict besides the squat part. I don't know what Gregory's personal or gym life is like, but for me I don't always get the equipment I want so I just have to make due and improvise. Be creative and don't quit.

Typically, when I do heavy lifting sessions with a specific focus I like apply the following method. You do not have to do this it is just an example of how I sometimes train. I typically work up to a rep max of some sort. I don't pay attention to any sort of log and just go by how I feel. Once you work up to that rep max set a timer for 15 to 30-minutes and try to get as many sets in as possible. Usually, I don't pay attention to rest periods when I do this. I give myself time as I need it and generally find that the later into the session the weights start to feel much easier.

For me, and you can experiment, I don't like to do heavy singles since it tends to beat me up harder and despite having the strength to move something I don't necessarily have the connective tissue. If something is easy to move, but somewhere it hurts don't be stupid and change the exercise or drop the weight. No point in tearing anything here.

Anyways, experiment and have fun. I'll see you back here in 30-days for another challenge.

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