Squat Challenge: Week 1

This week marked my fourth week of working out five to six days a week. I started January 27th at Crunch gym in Northridge, but my first three weeks were spent mainly dealing with my anxiety, forcing myself into the habit of actually going to the gym at least thirty minutes and dealing with the pain. After my first session with my trainer, I couldn’t move for three whole days- and it was spent mostly going over my details, habits and goals! I was really embarrassed, but with the assistant manager actually recognizing me each visit to the gym and with my trainer now involved, I was more embarrassed to be part of the usual ‘new year, new me’ quitters. I don’t want to call them failures because for some, they really can’t make the change. Most just quit.

Finally at the point where I want to be working out, whether at home or at the gym, I started wanting certain exercises my trainer taught me to be more of a home workout to allow my introvert some comfort. I had to face my silly fear of heights on the step platform- yes! I can’t even do step ladders! As proud as I was to have done them, I decided to do those and my thigh-glutes exercises away from what my anxious mind felt as judgmental people.

Starting with a few accounts my trainer followed, I dove into the fitness passion on Instagram and found @squatguide, which mostly features workouts that target thighs and glutes (duh) but the exercises also dip into abs and general cardio. At least, that’s what I’ve decided after my first three challenges!

The weekly breakdown of the Squat Challenge has three challenges, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The first and second challenges went smoothly, but yesterday’s challenge I had to modify it heavily on two of the exercises.

Since the first challenge and even before in sessions with my trainer, I noticed it was very easy to over-extend my bent knee in a lunge, past my toes. I went as far as measuring the distance and positioning for my feet in a lunge in which I held good form, and used tape to mark my floors. I also measured where my foot should be for the Single Leg Split Squat. Made it so more of a proper execution. However, in Challenge F, we had Lunge Jumps and I wasn’t even able to complete one rep. Landing in a lunge, no matter how well I kept my feet in distance, hurt my right knee in particular. I don’t know much, but I think I simply have too much weight still to be performing that type of exercise. I decided to do standard lunges, which give me a satisfying burn on the muscles without hurting- though as I type this, my right knee is aching. If it doesn’t feel better by tomorrow night, might have to check with a doctor if I actually have poor health in my knees. Really hoping it’s nothing serious beyond sore from exercises.

The other problem I had with Challenge F were the Burpees, which kicked my ass. Again, it was mostly my knees that made it difficult, the slight jump kicking my legs back and pulling them back into a squat the issue. I had to slow those down dramatically.

Overall, I’m really happy with the Squat Challenge. Tuesday between my first and second challenge was brutal and wasn’t sure I’d be able to continue on Wednesday, but the pain eases away once you start and the sore glutes and thighs were more manageable after the second. No visible difference yet, of course, but it does feel dare I say firmer? Can’t wait. If I’m going to have a big ass, might as well have a pretty one!

I have the 16 Week Home Edition of #TheSquatChallenge.

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