There are definitely times when we go against our better judgement and do a workout we know we shouldn’t – when we push ourselves harder than we know we should.
Like when we haven’t worked out for weeks….We all know we should go a bit lighter to ease back in.
Or when our nutrition hasn’t been on point and we know we won’t be able to push as hard but we still do.
And then we suffer the consequences.
And I’m not talking about a little bit of soreness the day after…I’m talking about debilitating soreness for the entire week after.
If you do that, you are a butthead.
And I…I am a butthead!
I am a butthead because I decide to do a heavy leg day on Monday and go heavier than I’d ever gone before.
Because even though I knew I hadn’t done a heavy leg day in about 3 1/2 weeks, even though my nutrition was just getting back on track after a week of vacation, even though my sleep was just getting back on track and my stress level was elevated after about two weeks away from work, I felt good when I started my workout so why not take advantage and push it right!?!
My body wasn’t ready to handle the stress of such an intense workout and now I’m still not able to walk like a human without super intense focus and pain.
And this isn’t something I’m proud of. I’m actually angry at myself because I ignored all the sides and pushed my body beyond what it was ready to do and now my workouts have been thrown off for the entire week.
By being cocky and stupid, I’ve hindered my own results. For what? For a little bit more weight!?!
This is one of those few times where I will say, “Do as I say, not as I did!”
Don’t be stupid.
If you are coming back from time off, remember your body will not be ready to handle the load EVEN if it feels like you could push harder during your workout. BUT remember you are building so that you can get back on track. You don’t want to make yourself so sore that you can’t get back into your workout routine!
Same goes for diet. Whenever you have changed your diet, remember your body may not have the energy to push as hard as you would like. And it may not recover as quickly especially if your nutrition hasn’t been on point.
BE PATIENT! Ease yourself back into things and you will find you actually get results faster!
Anyway, that is my little rant about my own stupidity and why you shouldn’t do the same.
Don’t let cockiness get in the way. BE SMART and EASE YOURSELF BACK INTO YOUR ROUTINE!
And in case you want a quad killing workout (but one that shouldn’t incapacitate you the entire week), try the one that murdered me on Monday…Just use an appropriate weight or even start with bodyweight!
Roll out and dynamically stretch
Calves, hamstrings, quads, hips, glutes, low back, core and thoracic spine
1 minute on, 1 minute off for 5 rounds
I like to pyramid down. I start with the heaviest weight I can handle and must complete at least 20 reps. If I don’t, I drop to the next weight. I stay at that weight for as many rounds as possible as long as I complete 20 reps in the minute. I drop down as needed, completing all 5 rounds. If this is your first time, START LIGHT and focus on completing more reps instead of doing more weight. I also like to use kettlebells for the front squats although you will find you are limited by how much your upper body and core can handle (which isn’t a bad thing!!!)
10 reps each side Single Leg Squats (Can squat to bench if a beginner. Can use TRX or XT to advance)
10 reps each side Walking Lunges with weight (keep your chest up tall and do not swing the weights. Step from one lunge into the next lunge, driving off your front heel)
20 reps Jump Squats
Stretch and roll out quads, calves, hips, hamstrings and any other tight spots.
There are lots of workout formats that work.
There are a ton of variables out there to play with to make a great workout.
And since I’ve been overwhelming you all with talking about the variables recently, I just wanted to show you how I manipulated some of them into a great squat workout the other day.
WARM UP (15 minutes-ish):
Foam Rolling (Picked out places that will be used and could be tight. Quickly moved on if an assessment showed no trigger points. Spent time on areas with trigger points.)
Calves (couple of trigger points)
Hamstrings (focused on the area right under my butt since tight from other workout)
Quads (tight around knees)
Hips (TFL and glutes a bit tight)
Back (not too bad a bit tight in middle back..loosened up traps for holding KB a bit)
Adductors (good..quick sweep over cause no trigger points found but felt a bit tight)
IT Bands (good…quick sweep..no trigger points found)
Dynamic Squat Stretch
5 rounds of the following 1 minute on, 1 minute off:
Heavy KB Goblet Squat
(Use the heaviest KB possible, but make sure to get no fewer than 20 reps in the minute. Hold weight up at your chest and squat down to at least parallel. Do not lean forward or let the chest fall to the ground. Keep the core tight and drive up off the heels.)
Rest 2-3 minutes.
5 rounds of 8-12 reps with about 1 minute of rest between:
Weighted Jump Squats
(Can hold dumbbells by side or place a bulgarian bag around your shoulders like I did. Choose the heaviest weight you can while still being super explosive and getting high off the ground. Do not make it so heavy that you are quick and explosive with the move. Beginners may not want to make the move as explosive. They can regress to a squat or a squat then come up to their toes. They could then progress to a jump where they only slightly leave the ground. If your landings aren’t soft you need to regress! Super important to have good landing mechanics if you are adding weight!!!!)
5 rounds, 50 ft sprints about 45 seconds to 1 minute rest between:
(Lighter weight so that you can sprint the entire distance, but challenges you. You don’t want it to be a jog!!)
Walked to let my heart rate come down and everything relax.
Stretched out a few areas that felt tight and rolled them out (calves, quads, hips were main focus)
Above is just one way to manipulate the variables.
While I worked quickly when I worked, the workout itself wasn’t a quick circuit. I completed all rounds of one exercise before moving on. I took my time and rested and recovered in between sets.
It wasn’t a race to the finish with me trying to get everything done as quickly as possible.
It was about quality reps and getting myself to create the same quality output each and every round. I wasn’t afraid, especially with the jump squats or sprints to take more time if I needed even though I was trying to go as quickly as I felt recovered. (With the KB squats I did force myself to go on the 1 minute intervals.)
If you notice, I also only included 3 exercises. Not every workout has to have 10 or 20 different moves.
And if you also notice, I chose all movements in the same place of motion – the sagittal.
While I’ve mentioned before that you don’t only want to work in one plane of motion, there are times when you can choose to manipulate your workouts so that you really are only working in one plane of motion. The point is that you are aware of what you are doing.
And not all exercise have to be done for reps.
My squats were based on time. I had to move as quickly as possible the entire minute to perform as many squats as possible. I used my goal of around 20 reps (25 was fine but meant I should try to go up in weight) as a guide to choose a challenging weight while still keeping myself moving quickly the entire time.
I also didn’t mix up rep tempo very much. I did quick squats and then some explosive moves. So the explosive moves were quicker, but there wasn’t a huge tempo change. Didn’t want to…Didn’t need to. Not every variable needs to be used or manipulated into something crazy every workout.
The point is you can play around with workout variables and combine them in a lot of different ways. This is just one example (and one that shows an example of my warm ups too…).
Hopefully this highlights some of the ways the workout variables I’ve talked about in the past can be used and makes considering them seem a bit less daunting.
It’s even a great workout if you need one for this beautiful Friday!