I made it to the gym last night and had a great workout. It felt good to work hard, but I am already feeling sore from the work.
Now that my old gym has closed and I'm using a college gym, I really need to get to the gym in the mornings. After work, the gym is pretty crowded with the college students plus the post-work crowd. Last night's workout started with six sets of squats and the one squat rack was in use when I got there.
I wasn't in a hurry though, so I just watched the three kids doing squats. It turned out to be quite entertaining. One of the terms lifters use to describe a quality squat is "ass to grass". That is, you need to get low. I can't squat like the guy in the link, but I get my femur parallel to the floor. If I can't go that low, I know I'm trying to work with too much weight.
The three kids working in the squat rack last night were hilarious. They would just barely bend their knees and call it a rep. This was at low weights. And, they just kept adding weight. Eventually, I thought the one kid was going to kill himself. He loaded the bar to 275, started to descend, and it looked like he was going to collapse. But, he managed to hold it together and stand back up. But, there is no way he got his knees bent more than 30 degrees, if that. And, the last 10 degrees he got were by accident because the weight was forcing him down.
My workout used a technique called wave loading, where you try to trick your central nervous system into thinking that you're lifting less weight than you really are. You do this by varying weights throughout the set. After some warm-up reps (starting with just the bar and going to 135 pounds), I went to 165 pounds. Yes, I know I suck at squats, but I'm getting better. I did 6 reps at 165 and then had a 3 minute break. The next "set" is a single rep at a higher weight. I went to 205. That rep was pretty easy. Then, another 3 minute break. Next, I went to 185 and did 6 reps. I had never done that weight for reps before and it felt relatively easy. Then, after another 3 minute break, I did one rep at 225, which tied my highest squat ever. After that, another long break, a set of 10 at lower weights, another break, a set of 15 even lower, and I was done with squats. My quads were screaming by the end of these six sets.
After that, I did a superset of Bulgarian split squats and step-ups. I struggled on the former lift after the squat work, but I got through everything OK. Then, some Swiss ball crunches, some back extensions, and I was done.
It felt good to break a sweat again, but I am going to be sore for a couple days. If I get to ski this weekend (employee access is limited early in the season due to limited terrain and high demand), it's going to be tough on my quads.
Tonight, I'm planning to run for 45 minutes or so after work and before a meeting. I've packed all of my nighttime running safety gear, which is mandatory for road running after work this time of year.