How I Learned That A Perfect Squat Means Squat
I had my first training lesson on Thursday. I was nervous and excited and not to sure of what to expect. The trainer asked me lifestyle questions that he added to a fitness equation program on the computer. I don't smoke,eat excessively, or drink. Technically it should have said I was younger in health than most people my age, but thanks to a family history of heart and blood related health diseases it said I was 28 years older than my actual age of 41. No matter, I felt healthy enough and after a bit more questions we proceeded to go see what I was capable of doing.
Apparently I'm capable of doing perfect squats. This according to my trainer and his colleague, who he called over to watch what I was doing. After this we did more exercise reps. Mind you, I have never done squats in my life, much less any form of exercise save for walking long distances.
Afterwards my legs were wobbly as Jello. But I still didn't think too much about it, I figured it was normal for legs to feel like they have worked out after working out. I didn't realize it was only the start of my legs feeling like something had attacked them.
That night I was fine. Nothing felt particularly wrong. The wobbling was replaced with a light ache which I figured made sense. Who doesn’t feel something after a real workout?
It was the next day that had me realizing something wasn't right. My upper legs were aching like someone had beaten me with a bat. I could walk but if I tied to go up or down a stair I felt worse. So began my journey into what pain really means when you want to gain a perfect body.
That day I had to work. You know something is wrong when your legs hurt sitting down. After a long hard day at work just sitting I decided to forget all about the gym and go home. Once home I took a hot shower and proceeded to look up squats and muscle breakage online, as well as blood clots and artery damage. After it was determined I wasn't going to die from the pain I gave myself a leg massage and took some pain reliever and went to bed early.
Saturday morning the pain was still terrible, but I had the day off and had promised the kids there would be shopping. So like a good mom I went out shopping with the kids and let them do all the lifting. Obviously their young arms and legs were working much better than mine as they were travelling all over the store, only to run back to me and ask why I was so slow. Was I getting old?
After explaining squats to them their eyes glazed over and they proceeded to tell me about their gym aches and pains. I determined then and there to not complain about my leg pain as they had enough pain between them to be birthing a horse. I paid for the groceries, got the goods and the children home, and then went to bed. I will tell you I have never had as much rest in those couple of days in my life.
The next day I was a bit better and I realized that by walking around the day before my legs weren't as achy. I was able to bend my legs more and not scream in pain. I was able to walk a straight course for some time but lifting my leg to go up a stair was was still providing lots of pain in my front upper legs. I attempted to squat but it turned out to be too soon as my legs still were not ready for more.
When Monday came I was able to move again. This after multiple nights of hot showers and leg rubs and walking a straight course for more than a few minutes. Apparently squats should only be minimal to start with unless you like torturing yourself and forcing yourself to be unable to do your fitness routine. Gym was out again for another night in a row but at least I didn't feel like I was dying anymore.
Going back to the gym on Tuesday I took it easy on the walking but at least I was walking again. I managed to get my gym time in every night until my next scheduled session on Thursday and proceeded to do more squats, this after having a deep discussion about muscle and muscle re-structure. That night I was in more pain but not as much as before. The lesson was clear; I may have perfect squats but that means squat if my body has not been practicing them for awhile. This lesson is even clearer almost 2 months later as I can brush off the pain of a hard workout with squats and weights in only a few hours.
The new goal? Get perfect squats with a perfect body. That one I'm still working on but I'm getting closer every day.
What warm-up exercises do you do before your workout?
Stretching And Groaning
After my deep discussion with my trainer I have learned I need to have a ten minute stretch or cardiovascular session right before my workout. This is so your body does not cramp upon doing an unexpected routine or weight-lift.
To get the ten minutes in, and not be over-tired once you do your thirty minute workout with weights or squats, you should try:
doing arm and leg stretches
All of these get the heart pumping a bit and prepare the body for more intense movement. It's ok to groan while you're doing this as the actual workout session may have you doing this in 10 minutes anyway. Be aware too, if you are not groaning, sweating and aching at the end of a workout you should probably do it again as you may not have done it right yet.
Tips I Learned Along The Way
- Eat a balanced diet
- Stretch before your workout
- Mix up your rep routine weekly
- Add more weight only when your ready
- Exercise everyday
- Perfect squats mean squat
To learn more about exercise you can read articles like mine, watch some workout videos, contact a really fit friend or go to a gym and ask to speak to a trainer.
I had never been to a gym before this year, unless you count school gym, which was more like a torture chamber filled with judgmental peers who would tell the whole school exactly how bad you were playing volleyball that day. If I had known how much fun I could have while getting my body in shape, despite being surrounded by people, I would have done it much sooner and saved myself years of living with an unhappy and unhealthy body.
Apparently there are some things you can only learn from experience. My suggestion? Start the experience today by joining a gym, stretching out a bit, and doing some squats. What do you have to lose besides your weight?