March Challenge: Squats
My squat challenge ended on March 31st, thank the glorious powers that be! That challenge was horribly tedious, mind-numbingly boring, and a little painful.
Of course, I completed the challenge completely differently exactly as dictated by the exasperating lovely spreadsheet. I skied 5 days in March, so I counted those as squat days. I used rest days when I forgot felt the need, not when marked. And I maybe, kinda, perhaps, completely skipped the last 4 days of squats.
I could tolerate the challenge until I was performing more than 150 squats a day. All of a sudden it took forever and felt much more painful and repetitive. I suffered though until day 25, when I thought the squats totaled 200. Before that, the amount of squats normally increased by 5 or 10 each day. Until day 25. All of a sudden it jumped 40! I will admit, I quit from complete boredom mental shortcomings. The monotony irked me, and I didn’t push through. But civilization as we know it has successfully continued, and I just don’t care think I will survive this “failure.”
Even though I wussed out at the end of the challenge, I can still tell you a few things about squats.
I didn’t realize how much technique squats required. First and most important, send that butt back! The first movement of a squat should send the butt back, not down. So far back that you want to fall over at the bottom. Don’t actually fall. Not very often, at least. As part of this, the knees should always stay behind your toes to avoid knee strain.
For the love of God, hold your abs! After 167 squats with loose abs, your back will burn like one thousand suns ache. Don’t ask how I know. My lower back hates me enough. I don’t need some silly monthly challenge to throw it out. Plus, holding your abs will give you a little core workout too.
Go quick, but not too quick. When you’re performing 193 bodyweight squats, you don’t want to take 5 seconds on every squat. Just imagining that makes me want to bang my skull into a wall. However, if you go too fast, your form will suffer, you won’t get low enough, and the world will implode you’ll miss the point of the challenge.
Did my butt grow or love handles shrink? No. My husband actually laughed at me on day 22 when I told him that goal. He obviously doesn’t read my blog. Now I can tell you his dirty secrets and he’ll never know. He eats queso dip cold. Who does that?! Gross.
My lack of butt enlargement was disappointing, but not unexpected. I know body weight and lots of reps doesn’t grow muscle mass quickly. A girl can fantasize dream.
The twerpy hubby did point out the worthwhile points of the dreadful challenge. It doesn’t require a gym or equipment. You can squat at 10 at night in your living room, not that I ever did that. The challenge kept me moving on days when I didn’t make time for an entire workout. And my love handles didn’t grow. Smartypants Husband actually suggested that I continue squatting after March ended. Maybe throw in some push-ups too. Adorable, isn’t he?
For April I am joining the #yogatothecore challenge on Instagram. It is hosted by 3 ridiculously amazing yogis who each post their variation of a yoga position every day. Each day works different parts of the core. 6 days in, I love the daily diversity of postures, as well as the ability to choose my variation. If you use Instagram, feel free to join the challenge or follow me. Because experiencing me on just one form of social media cannot fulfill you completely.
Have you ever set a goal for yourself, only to discover the goal felt wrong for you? Have you purposely quit an activity before completion? Has anyone else tried this squat challenge? What did you think? Does your core need as much work as mine, and you want to join the #yogatothecore challenge too?