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100-days of squats: challenge and experiments


Kit_L

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Day 45

My shoulders are still really painful in flexion; all that front squatting has done something to them. Stretching long head of biceps helps a little, but even reaching my arm (one or both) up to the sky causes something to spasm, and it's amazingly painful, though brief. Hence SLSS, and today, Romanian DeadLifts (RDLs from now on). Once I pulled 5 x 140Kg on these; the same weight on normal DLs always used to tweak something in the lower back. Sumo DLs (SDLs) do not have that effect. I know I have pathology in the lumbar spine, so not worried about this; just something to work around.

SLSS x bodyweight x 5 + RDL empty bar x 5

SLSS x 6kg x 5 + RDL x 30 x 5

SLSS x 6kg x 5 + RDL x 40 x 5 + SLSS x 6kg x 5

RDL x 50 x 5 + SLSS x 6kg x 5

RDL x 60 x5 + SLSS x 6kg x 5

The SLSSs are becoming more 'controllable' (for want of a better word) in descent, and I can feel this is both the quads and the glutes. I emphasised the negatives today, and doing the RDLs activated the glutes, too. I look forward to the next session of real SLS; controlling the descent was always problematic on the L side (the longer, weaker, leg) and used to cause some pain in the L SIJ. I can really feel that area is working during the descents of the SLSSs, so am hopeful this will change.

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On 11/11/2018 at 6:21 AM, Emmet Louis said:

It's nothing I wouldn't do myself ?

And why we love you. :)

Day 46: Marine Rescue duty

(S x 30) x 2 Legs sore today. Augmented leg work done on dock with single-leg balancing on the heaving deck of a boat offshore in 1.5 meter seas, drifting (boat goes side-on to waves and rolls rapidly as the waves, random ones generated by local on-shore winds of 15–20Kn, pass under the hull, from one side of the boat to the other). Just standing on that deck without support defeats most people! it's called "getting sea legs". Probably will not be incorporated in most people's routines—but truly is a whole-body workout.

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21 hours ago, Nathan said:

sea squats (SLSSS: single-legged seiza sea squats? ?

How dumb am I? Of course. I will do these when out next. 

Today, Day 47, feeling sore and tired. Slept ~10 hours last night, and that's very unusual for me.

Done at the train station, and really blew up my legs!

S x bodyweight x 40

B x bodyweight x 40

Enough for today.

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Day 48, fighting off something

S x bodyweight x 50; felt like legs might explode. It's going to take a while to get back to 500...

Enough for today.

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Day 49, preparing for Cairns workshop, no DOMS from the 50 BW squats of the day before.

SLS, done with band assist (red band in ceiling, slightly in front of standing position). I was surprised by how much assist I needed.

2 sets of 5, emphasising the descent, then

SLSS x 8Kg x 5

RDL x 40 x 8, then

(SLSS x 16Kg x 5, with RDL x 60 x 5) x 3

So, getting stronger.

 

 

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Day 50

Something a bit different today; bhaitaks with kettlebells. One of my ambitions is to do a number of SLS on the balls of the feet (I have only seen this done once, with my own eyes, by Lorne Peart, an ex-intern of Ido's). So, as part of the preparation for this:

B x 10 x 8Kg

B x 10 x 16Kg

B x 10 x 28Kg (this is the only other KB I have here); this weight was harder on the arms than the legs!

S x 50, at the train station.

Off to Cairns today to present an Into the Stretch Workshop. Liv always books me to travel a day early, and it’s always a good idea, I feel.

Day 50 is the halfway mark in the challenge but, apart from my shoulders (mysterious thing, this) my body feels excellent, so I might have to continue after day 100. Daily squats in some form might be one of the elixirs of life!

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10 hours ago, Kit_L said:

One of my ambitions is to do a number of SLS on the balls of the feet (I have only seen this done once, with my own eyes, by Lorne Peart, an ex-intern of Ido's).

Depending on how many "a number" is, I'm happy to show you a second example next time we meet ;) 

10 hours ago, Kit_L said:

Off to Cairns today to present an Into the Stretch Workshop. Liv always books me to travel a day early, and it’s always a good idea, I feel.

Excellent! And definitely agree - I try to be at least one day early, if not a few days. Always great to settle in and get familiar with the area.

10 hours ago, Kit_L said:

Daily squats in some form might be one of the elixirs of life!

Make that daily movement and I don't think anyone could argue!

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14 hours ago, Nathan said:

Depending on how many "a number" is, I'm happy to show you a second example next time we meet ;) 

On 11/15/2018 at 9:00 AM, Kit_L said:

Awesome! Yes, please. I hope to be able to demo the same to you!

14 hours ago, jaja said:

So ankle flexibility is a key achievement to unlock, amirite? ?

Not necessarily; the bhaitaks require no ankle flexibility, and I am alternating these with heel-down squats. Each emphasises different muscle groups.

And @Nathan: for older men, I think lower body strength is critical. I have seen many older men walking on the beach with good calf muscles, and even decent upper bodies, but to see good glutes, hammies and quads in the over 60s is rare. I will update this once I have done today's squats.

OK: Day 51

B x 30 x 2

S x 30 

And that was quite enough. It's already 31° here, and humid, but apparently this is cool for here!

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12 hours ago, Kit_L said:

And @Nathan: for older men, I think lower body strength is critical. I have seen many older men walking on the beach with good calf muscles, and even decent upper bodies, but to see good glutes, hammies and quads in the over 60s is rare.

Very true! Muscle mass is incredibly important for older people, and the majority of that mass is in the lower body. I've seen many related studies in the past: just one example. The secret to health and happiness: meditation, squats, coffee, and companionship? ;) 

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Day 52, Day one of the Cairns Into the Stretch Workshop (so plenty of leg work in this for me!)

B x 40 x bodyweight

S x 30 x bodyweight

@Nathan there's more to this, I think. In the martial arts world when I lived in Japan all those years ago, it was commonly said by the Japanese that our centres of gravity were too high. Now, proportional differences aside, they were also talking about where the energetic centres of our bodies were (ours are in our heads, mostly), too. Bit this also points to where one's strength is. As I proved to myself in that year I put on (some new, most what I used to have) 30-odd Kg, by doing ONLY squats, that weight went on over the whole body, including back, shoulders and arms. So, working the lower half of the body has more effects than just the legs and hips. The bhaitaks have a nice balance component too, and I think the weighed ones show promise.

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@Kit_L It makes sense. The body seeks balance. As long as we don't push to the extremes, it tends to do a really good job of keeping it. That reminds me of the research where they have done things like exercise one arm to reduce atrophy of the opposite arm while in a cast.

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Day 53, purely maintenance, as this is Day 2 of the Cairns workshop

S x 30 x bodyweight

B x 30 x bodyweight

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Day 54,

Slackest one yet; brutal travel schedule back from Cairns.

S x 30 x bodyweight

And that's all she wrote.

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Day 55,

SLSS x 10 x bodyweight, alternating legs. Wow: so much harder than fives. I am concentrating on descents, and perfect form (no wobbling, and zero bounce/momentum to complete the reps).

SLSS x 10 x bodyweight; counting each rep (so ending set on "20") much easier way of counting. Legs and glutes are pumped already.

SLSS x 10 x bodyweight; doable but hard. Enough for today. Pulse 110.

SLSS x 3 x 16Kg: that absolutely is the end today!

 

 

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Day 56,

Yesterday's workout must have been harder than I thought: legs very tired today, and still feeling a bit pumped.

SLSS x 7 x 12Kg

SLSS x 5 x 12Kg

SLSS x bodyweight x 15; massive effort to do last two.

 

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Day 58, genuine gale force winds (40kn, so ~75kph) from the W, worked out on the back deck

RDL x 60 x 5

SLSS x 10 x 8Kg

RDL x 70 x 3

SLSS x 5 x bodyweight

Not feeling well today (a gut thing, I suspect) so stopping here.

 

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Day 59 (forgot to post, definitely did not forget to train!)

Something new to report: I tried to lower myself into a ball-of-foot SLS, and found that my body simply did not know how to do this. Exciting, but humbling, too. I found that when my heel is not on the support surface (a trestle, in my case, to remover the need to lift the non-working leg) I could not feel how to access my strength. So, today's workout:

Ball of foot weighted squats (so, weighted baithaks).

B x 10 x 16Kg KB

then, back to the squat rack

B x 10 x 30Kg 

B x 10 x 40Kg

B x 10 x 35Kg

Balance is definitely being worked, as is the whole foot, as @Nathan noted in his workout log today. The movement pattern (for me) is just so new I can't really comment with any further insights, yet. 

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Day 60,

Definitely feeling legs and glutes today. The interesting thing for me was that even though I'm doing baithaks, the glutes are definitely working hard, if the sensation in the glutes today is anything to go by.

I started today's workout by doing 20 ball of foot squats with the empty bar. The first thing I noticed is that I need to put my awareness into my feet, and come up on the balls of my feet deliberately, rather than just letting all the hinging occur naturally, as in bodyweight baithaks. If I do this, balance improves immensely; And it might be that this deliberate shifting of attention will help the proprioceptors remap all the muscles in the legs and hips so I can use my full strength on the balls of my feet. We'll see.

Then I moved over to kettle bells and did the following numbers:

B x 16 kg x 30

B by 28 kg x 15

B x 16 kg by 25

Legs are definitely blown up today! And I'm going to re-echo @Nathan's comment about the sensations in the feet: even though I've been a barefoot walker and jogger for years now, this work is definitely adding strength to my feet and to my lower leg muscles.

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