Squats – My New Friend…and the Best Lift – PERIOD!

Back loaded with weight, shaking, dripping sweat and every muscle in my body and thought in my mind determined to not let this metal crush me to the ground. My new found love: Squats. Now I’m doing an intense bike ride on Saturday morning and hitting the gym with the family on Sunday; needless to say I have trouble walking and sitting entering the week, but I welcome it. Francis Underwood would have to agree “this is the kind of pain that makes you strong!”

I have seriously ignored weightlifting in the last couple of years. Spare time, I’d rather go for a run. Plus, I want to continue improving in Triathlon, so better to spend precious spare time on the Swim, Bike and Run…right? Sure, but weightlifting has benefits that pay serious dividends. I’ve noticed my bike has been improving as a result and I’m not as sore as I used to be after an intense ride.

Why squat?

  1. Engages every major muscle group in your body. 
  2. Powerful, sculpted legs, butt and back. Check…all good! Back muscles and entire core fully engaged.  
  3. Squats trigger the release of testosterone and human growth hormone.  Who needs Viagra?
  4. Building strength and muscle through weightlifting benefits performance in endurance events and helps injury prevention.  
  5. It’s fun to break up the monotony. 
I listen the Ben Greenfield Podcast and lately Ben and his sidekick Brock have been talking about putting on some muscle and are following a routine outlined in a book by Dan John called Mass Made Simple (link to Interview with Ben and the basic concepts of Mass Made Simple).
My goal now is to squat my weight 50 times without putting the bar down…did I really just say that?! Today my weight is 165, I’m sure it will be 170 or 175 as I continue this training. And today, in the picture you see in this post, I squatted 115 pounds 57 times in 3 sets. My goal is 50 squats every Sunday, with steadily increased weight. I’m seeing fast gains; I started about 6 weeks ago with 30 reps over multiple sets with 95 pounds.

My Sunday routine now is a 45 minute swim, huge squat routine discussed above and I also throw in additional sets of lunges, pull-ups, dips and whatever else looks fun (below is a picture of me performing a ‘light’ clean-and-jerk exercise). On Wednesday morning I’ll spend 20-30 minutes in my garage doing push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups, as a complement to the goal of putting on some muscle.

I’m feeling awesome, seeing new muscles pop and loving the way I feel!

P.S. If you don’t want to hit the gym to get this benefit, I recommend two 10 minute sessions a week: Do as many deep squat-to-jumps as you can in 10 minutes. Trust me; you’ll be dead and feeling great!