Continuing my latest workout tale, another part of my new workout was to return to the squat. I had been working the lower body with Turkish get-ups for a few months, a very productive and fun exercise that truly works almost the entire body, and I was using it as my sole lower body exercise for awhile. So when I decided to change up my workout, I thought that I would be in good shape for squats.
On the first day of the new routine, I did a long set of front squats with a kettlebell. It wasn’t a very heavy weight, and I did a lot of reps.
The next day, ouch!!?!!! My butt, hamstrings, and part of my adductor muscles (on the inner thigh) were all pretty well fried. I was reminded of this each time I would get up from my chair. Fortunately, the soreness only lasted for about three days. I’m a little more sensible than I was when I first started training – my favorite early workout mistake was doing stiff-leg deadlifts as part of a new exercise routine. They’d seem easy, so I’d do a lot. And I paid for it by having sore hamstrings for a whole week. That can definitely put a crimp on your lifestyle!
Now that I’ve adjusted to it, this new workout has been great – new exercises, some soreness, good gains. I just set my personal record of 7 one-leg-squats per leg this week! This won’t impress any Olympians out there, but is a good accomplishment for a regular guy. My butt is a little sore, but not too bad. I also set my record for multiple sets of pull-ups. This has been a great workout cycle – I’ve been slowly moving up for several weeks now.
Part of tweaking this routine has been finding that my current training cycle needed to be more than a week long; in the past I had always had a routine that would last a week and repeat with slightly higher weights and/or reps. One of the hard-won benefits of having trained for a long time is that you don’t need to train as often, which is a nice luxury. What you do, generally speaking, is to train intensely, but less frequently. When I was really strict about a 1-week cycle, I found that I was eventually stagnating a few weeks into it. When I lengthened the cycle a bit to allow more recovery time, gains began again!
But the inexperienced trainee can train more frequently, and why not… when you’re newer to training, the gains come fast and furious if you keep at it. I remember when I was first seriously working out, and I quickly doubled the poundage I started with. That’s very motivating!