Tag Archive: sissy squats


Legs & Core w/ sore back

My lower back has felt sore all Sunday night and all Monday at work.  Just worn down, tired, needing rest.  I had a dilemma, because Leslie and I had legs planned Monday night.  My take on it is that I can still work out, just that my core is extra weak and recovering today.  My core is lagging behind my legs.  Les agreed with me, and we decided to isolate the legs first, then do some core-specific work.  Much as I love squats, I would have to decline this time.

 

Legs & Core:

 

Leg Press:  450 x 15, 15, 15

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Sissy Squats:  12, 12, 12

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Quad Extensions:  100×15, 120×15, 130×15, 150×15

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Lying Hamstring Curls: 50 x 12, 12, 60 x 12

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TRX Hamstring Curls:  10, 10, 10

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Core circuit:  Sit-ups/Side Plank/TRX Mountain Climbers

12 sit-ups, 30 sec side plank (each side), 20 Climbers; x 3

creepy!

creepy!

mountain climbers with feet in the TRX cradles

mountain climbers with feet in the TRX cradles

 

notes:  you can see by some of those pics that Leslie was trying to get my whole body in the shot, but my butt is just too big!  haha

Only 8 plates on the leg press?  Pfft, pitiful.  I feel in my heart I am ready for 10 wheels.

Sissy squats look dumb in pictures.  but they work!

With the quad extensions, we were experimenting with the weight.  Again, I think I have not hit my current ceiling yet on that machine.  Every quad xt machine is different, this one is harder than my normal gym, but still, more room for work.  It is kind of dumb it has no handlebars by my sides to grip onto… I end up balling my hands into fists.

The lying ham curls felt good until I felt my left ham about to cramp on me.  I think bringing my ham right up to the calf causes weird twinges, not sure if I want to explore that.  (I should mention that twinge does not happen during full squats)

You know what’s weird?  I think I find side planks easier than normal planks!  Is that weird?  I think most of my belly fat is up front, my side fat seems to go away very quickly when I hit the gym.  My obliques respond better to regular training than my abs.  how sad 😦

 

It was not a perfect day.  I felt battered and worn out most of the day.  But you have to do what you can with what you have.  It was easy for me to get discouraged when my lower back is groaning at me.  Some days I just feel like my time is so limited, I can’t waste even my weak days on quitting.

 

How about you?  Any good workouts today?

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The plan for today was to do a leg workout in the morning, then a yin class in the evening.

No workouts with Leslie this week, so I thought it would be fun to try something new.  You have to vary it up every once in a while, keep your body guessing.  First you adapt to what you are doing, build the mind-muscle connection, then when you get comfortable, switch it up.

So this would be my week for trying out my backup workouts, and for legs I locked into a brand new one.  Sneak preview:  no lunges! HAHAHAAAAA

I got to the gym at 6 am-ish.  This was also novel for me, I hadn’t done a 6 am workout in a long time.  time to get busy.  Squats at 6 am, say whaaaaaatttt???

bodyweight sissy squats x12, x12, x12, x12 (90s rest b/w sets)

squats:  155 x12, x12, x12, x12, x12 (90s rest)

one-leg leg press machine:  195 x12, x12, x12, x12 (back and forth leg to leg, no rest)

leg extensions:  135 x12, x12, x12, x12, x12, x12, x12 (30 s rest!)

seated leg curls:  135 x12, 150 x12, 165 x12, 180 x12 (90s rest)

stiff-legged dead lifts:  95 x12, x12, x12  (90s rest)

seated leg curls:  90 x12, 105 x12, 120 x12, 135 x12, x12, x12, x12 (30 s rest)

bodyweight straight leg standing calf raise:  80, 80, 80, 80 (90s rest)

notes:  Your eyes don’t deceive you, that is a workout with some pretty beefy volume.  No time for chit-chat, just go after it.  The whole thing took about 80-90 min.  The sissy squats served as my warmup, and the calf raises served as my cooldown.  20 working sets for quads, 14 sets for hams, and 4 sets for calves.  Beefy.

5 sets of squats.  the weight isn’t high, but I wanted to practice my form, go at least as deep as parallel, get used to the feeling of dropping to that depth.  by the end I was dripping sweat.  Some stiffness in the right knee during leg press, it went away quickly.

Yes, your eyes read that right, I did 7 sets of extensions and leg curls with only 30 s rest in between sets!   Basically, I was trying out the FST-7 system.  I haven’t watched the dvd, but my rough understanding is you do a compound exercise, then an isolation, then a compound, then an isolation for 7 sets with 30s rest.  I didn’t do it in quite that order, mine was more like iso, compound, iso, iso.  But the sissy squats warmed me up, the squats were the taxing work, and the leg presses were me reducing the rest time to ramp up into the extensions for the climax.  And let me tell you, the weight was low on the extensions, but they burned!!  I was really feeling it by the end.

I didn’t know what shape the hamstrings would be in by this point, but they felt pretty solid, so I was playing with the weight a lot on the leg curls, finding something that was challenging but I could go the distance with.  I will say this, 90 is WAY too light, I think the pad was dropping just from the weight of my legs, ROFL.  Do my legs weigh 90 pounds?  Holy crap!  Next time I do this workout, I will be able to zero in on the perfect resistance.

SLDL’s remain really awkward for me, so I picked a light weight and worked on form.  They still felt awkward, but I took my time and hopefully built some of that mind-muscle connection.

Calf raises I like high rep bodyweight sets since my calves are big and stubborn, and respond better to massive pump sets.  If I load the weight on the calf machines, I either feel nothing or get a massive cramp, so w/e.

In the evening I headed out to hot yoga for a stretching session.  I walked into the hot room feeling like I was on autopilot, just drift in and set up my spot.  We did some straight wide leg forward folds, cobblers pose, half happy baby (AKA the most miserable pose on Earth, haha).  My mood became grumpy during half happy baby, I am just learning to really hate that pose!  While I dealt with all the negative stuff it dragged up, I noticed I started to fidget more and more during poses.  My mind became busy, I couldn’t hold my focus or maintain my steady breath.  Honestly, most of my yin class was spent just sorting through all the grump.

It was a 60 min class, so luckily the suffering came to an end quite quickly, ha.  But all that pain and discomfort and challenge is exactly what I need.

You have to throw yourself into discomfort and strain if you hope to get healthy.  It seems like it shouldn’t be that way, we fool ourselves into thinking that we get healthy by avoiding pressure, but it is the opposite – health flows from adversity.

On a basic level, you have my resistance training.  I push the muscles as much as I can both heavy and for a long time, to push them to suffer microtrauma, the muscles rebuild themselves bigger and stronger, tada! improvement.

Next you have yin.  You stress out the connective tissues, gently push it to a soft edge, cause microtrauma, little tears, then the tissues rebuild you more flexible than you were before.

But take it even further.  I read an article today on the medical benefits of infecting someone with an intestinal parasite.  No, seriously.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/11/whipworm-immune-regulation/

How’s this for a tagline:  “Scientists run tests on a lab full of monkeys with chronic diarrhea”   hee hee hee!

Sorry, back to my point.  Scientists are wondering if maybe our sterile healthy environment has made us more susceptible to certain conditions.  Humans as a species grew up on Planet Earth alongside a raft of weird microbes and parasites.  And they made us tougher.  That’s why companies are starting to advertise “probiotic” foods, because we are suspiciously lacking these days in sufficient friendly stomach microbes, that help us digest.

So the thought is that the intestinal parasites gave our immune systems something to do.  But in the western world we have largely eradicated such parasites, and we have also seen the growth of conditions where our immune system is attacking itself, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, inflamed bowels, ulcerative collitis, and other autoimmune-related conditions.

Testing is going on, but it looks like they might be on to something.  Some sort of controlled infestation has certainly cured the monkeys of their chronic diarrhea, they started putting on weight, etc etc.

You know that old adage about avoiding germs all the time makes you weak?  That might be true.  Just like weight training and yin, our immune systems need the occasional workout.  I wouldn’t suggest swallowing some whipworm eggs 😛  But these patterns just keep popping up in Nature, iron sharpens iron, strength through adversity.  You must go out and test yourself, push yourself, try new things, if you expect to get better, to improve.

Food for thought!  Day 16 down!

Day 8 Legs & Hot Yoga!

Woops, haven’t posted Monday yet!

Whenever Legs come up, it is a tiring workout.  Now that I am on the 30 day hot yoga challenge, it gets even more scary.  Make it so I can’t walk, THEN go do lunges and squats in yoga.  Brilliant, Jeremy!

Monday Legs:

BW Sissy Squats:  10, 10, 10

you sissy!

squats:  135 x10, 155 x10, 10, 10

CX strap-assisted one leg lunges:  12, 12, 12

Walking Lunges w 20lb DB:  20 (both sides)

stiff-legged deadlifts:  75 x12, 12, 12

girl scopin the wet t-shirt contest

vertical leg press:  360 x12, 12, 12

legs feel less tired when I hang them in the air

single leg elevated calf raises:  15, 15, 15

 

notes:  I had never done sissy squats before, and so I requested them.  My instincts proved correct!  They look awkward as hell, but didn’t feel too awkward when I did them, and I felt it right away in my thighs!  Dodge stuff like the Matrix!  There are times in yoga when everyone else is doing sleeping hero on their knees, stretching out their quads, and I just flex and raise and lower myself using my quads.  So I know I like the feeling.  Doing these right at the start of the leg workout pre-exhausts you pretty good, my quads are feeling extra tired and sore the next day (right now as I post this), and I know the big difference is doing these in my workout!  So try the sissy squats, you will feel it right away.

The sissy squats and then the regular squats tired out my lower back, so I stretched out with some forward folds:

And then I did some garland pose, just a deep deep squat, and keep your knees wide.

While we were doing the one leg lunges, I was sweating a lot.  Leslie came in and used a wet Swiffer mop on the floor in between sets.  Naturally this means I slipped on the next set and almost went into the splits, haha.  While we waited for the floor to dry, I did some walking lunges instead.  Sorry, no pics of me almost doing the splits hanging from a nylon strap, lol!  If Leslie had stopped to take a pic instead of rushing to my aid, I think I would have been upset 🙂

Following that slight pull in my inner thigh, we went on to do hamstring work!  Stiff-legged deadlifts, still working on my form and my comfort levels with this exercise.  On another note, check out why wearing a thin cotton T is not a good idea.  Wet t-shirt contest left me with a mostly nude back!  See the female client in the back checking out the topless guy wearing a shirt while doing exercises?  hahaha

 

After wrapping up, I had to head home to rest up before hot yoga.  My legs felt wobbly as hell!  Came home, ate some food, too excited to rest.  What was so cool about this yoga class?  My trainer Leslie was going to join me for this class!  Isn’t that awesome?  I love getting to do yoga with a friend any time, but with my PT going, she gets to see how much I am getting thrashed by this 30 day challenge 🙂

On the other hand, Leslie also teaches yoga, so I had to come hard this class, no wimping out!  Gotta put my best foot forward.

We showed up for a 90 min Moksha sequence, which meant a robust standing series, haha.  My legs quivered with fear.  Group photo before class!  Me Leslie and Katie, the teacher for this yoga class.

Katie, me, Leslie

The class was awesome!  It is so much fun having a friend next to you, doing the poses.  As a guy, I have problems getting guy friends to go with me, so I am usually solo.  I didn’t wimp out during the standing series, even though my thighs were on fire.  I didn’t keep up during abs, but w/e 😛

Came home, ate some chicken, relaxed, sleep.  I would say it was darn near a perfect day, all work, all fun, no regrets, no junk food.  Don’t you love one of those days when your head hits the pillow knowing you did everything you wanted to do?

See you next time!  Day 8 over with!