Exercise Log 10.28.13 (Leg Day + Cardio)

I’m going to write out these exercise logs to just get in the habit of laying down my thoughts, but don’t be surprised if in a week or two I spare you guys a little bit by just making them simple notations of the exercise done without commentary. So long as it’s fun for me to tell it like a story, I’ll type it up that way, I guess is what I’m getting at.

So today was leg day, had the day off so was especially lazy getting to the gym. When I finally got there though it was time to go to work. Hit the warmups (for legs I always warm up quads and hamstrings on the appropriate weight machines). It was Monday and despite not being so busy for a Monday, it definitely was a little active. So I did the more personal workouts first… grabbed a pair of 40lb dumbbells and did 3 rounds of marching lunges across the floor (an exercise I affectionately call the “dread march”). That is getting easier I suspect because of the squat work. Then I did the vertical leg press, I did 4 sets on there with the last two sets at 540 pounds of plates (6 45-lb on each side) on the smaller sled, doing a higher volume of reps than before at that weight level. Of course, I did calf raises inbetween sets.

Finally got myself some time in the power rack, we only have one at my gym which sucks, and I properly hogged it for a while working on front squats. I did alternating between the strap grip and the clean grip and my focus today was just keeping good form again, and did enough reps I sort of lost track… 5-6 sets easily for each front and back squats. I struggled with front squatting 135lbs and after a few failures I finally did one good squat with it. Then I dropped the weight down after squatting heavy and put in some volume at a lighter weight, still reinforcing the pattern.

Then I did back squats (I took a break from the squat rack to let someone else hop in, but nobody was showing interest in it so I hopped back in it) and found it harder with the back squats to get deep than the front squats. Not sure why, almost like I’m better at the front squatting than the back squatting right now. I was able to squat a little bit heavier but not with the best form (barely parallel on the depth), got up to 155lbs. I’m revising my squat goals to 200lbs front squat and 250lbs back squat.

One back squat tip that helped a lot today to learn the motion better was to use a low bar position. A low bar position is where you rack the bar against your shoulderblades, more or less, in the grooves of the rear delts and the upper shoulder blade area. While standing upright it’s not completely settled in, but as you do the back squat your back tilts at an angle which makes it nestle in more naturally for the harder part of the squat. The lower position requires more back movement, for me that means flexibly I have a little harder time with the squat I think than the front squatting position. I was able to eek out more this way though. Then of course, I finished by going a lighter weight and focusing on good form extra-deep squats until I was expended.

Inbetween sets on the squats, I also did some squat stretches to loosen up my hips which I felt was a nice activity to fit inbetween sets. Here is a quick video showing off some of the stretches I did.

Scott Herman shows off some squat stretches and form tips

Squatpocalypse over, I made sure to go work on calves. I did the standing calf press machine this time and focused on heavy lifting, inbetween sets I kept going with calf raises with body weight as my “rest” time, a tip I got from Ben Pakulski’s fitness channel… it was like a drop set every set and created a nice burn. My calves are naturally strong so they don’t get a good burn very often. I also did hip extensions on the hip press machine, again pressing the whole machine’s plate set in short reps of two reps each leg, 15 sets, fast paced. Final set was just to failure (like 5 reps) just to polish off the glutes.

Cardio was very light tonight a simple 1.5 mile set at a “brisk walk” pace on the treadmill. Didn’t burn a ton of calories, but definitely got my blood flowing and helped set my day’s metabolism. Didn’t forget to do proper stretching post-workout too! A complete day at the gym.

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