Squatters Challenge: Day 1

Just thought I’d record my impressions of my first prescribed workout of what I have come to call the Squatters Challenge.

Overhead Squats: Holy crap on a stick! These babies have most of my back, shoulder blades and everything working. I can still feel muscles back there I didn’t know I had, like (brace for Anatomy 101 Google style) upper- and mid-trapezius, that neck tendon in there (levator scapulae), and deltoids, too. And my upper thighs (quadriceps) are on fire like they are after about 9 laps at Barber! Good grief. Dude Who Runs Downhill wasn’t lying about the effectiveness of this exercise.

Snatch Lifts: These really didn’t do anything for me, other than make me sweat and bring my heart rate up, but maybe that’s the point. What made me feel silly was the “snatching” of just a bar without added weights. This thing weighs only (*goes to bathroom to step on the scale with it*) sixteen pounds. Sorry, they were all out of Olympic bars (those 7-foot 45-pound jobs) unless I wanted a stack of weights to go with them. 😦 Makes me think if I wasn’t supposed to make up the difference with plates on the ends… Hmmmm, Dude Who Runs Downhill never specified. I’m sure a nice, slightly bent out of true, one-incher is just what was ordered, not to mention in my price range. 😉

High Pulls: Same as the snatch lifts, I felt a little “underpowered” if you will. Gets the heart pumping, but I did feel the la petite burn in the shoulders (anterior deltoids) and the back of the upper arms (triceps), extending slightly into the forearms.

Good Morning Exercise: Just like Michelle said in the video. Lower back, glutes and ham strings. Bum and thighs all the way around. I actually liked this exercise the best; but it seems that out of these four, the overhead squats are probably the most beneficial to me.

And what in the world is happening with my ankle?!? I haven’t run in two days and at some point today, while parked on the couch no less, I notice that my right ankle is hurting. I haven’t done anything to it. Oh well, it’s not my shift foot, so I’ll wrap that puppy up in an ace bandage tomorrow and put about three miles on it. I’m not starting my scheduled marathon training skipping out or doing less. End of story.

How does my friend Margie put it? “Racers play hurt.” Or maybe it’s just us, being old and frail and slow, with no choice but to play hurt or otherwise we don’t get to play at all. A midlife crisis is such a terrible thing to waste. =D We make up for our lack of youthful springiness with a sick sense of humor, massive horsepower, and in my friend’s case, brutal amounts of low-end torque.


If You Gonna Be A Squatter…

The story starts something like this: Miss Busa is caught complaining on Facebook that her ass is pretty big. Her sister in speed, Margie “Crashy” Lee, wastes no time pointing out that this is a serious overstatement and just a matter of simple German Girl’s Butt. She further suggests doing a few squats and shutting up, because her “big old black butt” could take both of the German girls’ butts any time and concurrently. Miss Busa’s understanding of Badonkadonk needs revision, obviously. The beautiful JLo is also being dragged into this classy conversation with posterior motives.

Miss Busa (thinks she) has a big butt. Well, how big is it? Her ass is so big, that if she ran up a flight of stairs using the hand rail to slingshot herself around each landing onto the next flight, the ass could be seen taking the outside line to go for the pass.

A KTM-riding rubber-burning maniac from Cali chimes in by posting squatter’s advice on Miss Busa’s wall, for the world (of 70+ friends) to see. A few YouTube links are posted in the form of people being tortured on camera in various undisclosed locations. This is definitely borderline snuff. Aversion quickly turns into sincere interest as the wall tagger, let’s call him Dude Who Runs Downhill, explains this will make the Busa wicked fast. You don’t say?!? Really.

Dude Who Runs Downhill, who is a California State Champion weightlifter and canyon-carving throttle jockey, quickly lays out…

The Challenge

1. Overhead Squats

2. Snatch Lifts

3. High Pulls

4. Good Morning Exercise

I am to do 5 sets of 5 reps each, with a maximum break of 30 seconds in between sets; and a maximum break of 3 minutes in between exercises. I am to do these bare with the bar only. No wait, I am to do these with the bare bar only, no weights. I am to torture myself accordingly on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I get to take Thursday off and lay around under my bike, or ride around on the one that works. I am to report back for more on Friday and Saturday. Sunday is a rest day. I am to do this for two weeks and then add 5 pounds of weight to the bar (I really wonder if Dude Who Runs Downhill meant on EACH side. I think he meant 5 pounds total. Yeah!).

I have now added strength training to my running. This better pay off in a nice lap time reduction… or I’m going to go to Cali and chase the Dude Who Runs Downhill all the way up the hill to Alice’s Restaurant and make him buy me a vegetarian dinner and a cold brew.

Let the games begin! I have until Monday to procure a bar off of Craigslist, the classifieds or steal one from a gym, or I’m going to have to use a forkleg or a broom stick with bricks tied to either end.

16 days to race day.