Many of you might have seen the 30 Day Squat Challenge that was being pinned, posted, and retweeted all over the place last month. Although it was a fantastic challenge, I must say don’t take squats on as JUST a ‘once in a while challenge’, ADD it to your weekly regiment, permanently.
As a HUGE cardio fanatic, I am constantly looking for a great sweat, anyway I can get it. Unfortunately, I am not programmed when it comes to slower workouts or weights, basically any kind of resistance or muscle building/ strength training (it took me over a year to finally try yoga, which btw I now love). It’s not that I don’t believe they work, it’s just that I have trained myself to believe that fast pace cardio makes you sweat (a lot), and sweating equals burning calories, and burning calories equals losing weight. It’s not til recently, and a few lectures from a great mentor, Mr. Cowan, owner and trainer at C Double Fitness, Chicago, IL (www.cdoublefitness.com), that I realized that these exercises do indeed make you sweat, and it’s not about being skinny, it’s about being toned, ladies. Believe it or not this is something that I am just recently (2012) allowing myself to observe and look into more and more. Squats was one of the challenges I decided to experiment with, a slower resistance exercise that promised to give me results.
There were two things that really intrigued me about these mysterious squats. Number one was how sore I was when I started this challenge. I can spin, stair climb, and run for hours without a single sore muscle at the end of the day, but just 5 days into this challenge my legs were like jello and burning like crazy. Number two was how much I actually sweat! Holy cow, by the time I was on days 6-7 I was a sweaty mess by the time I was half way through the daily squat challenge. Sweating to me is the all time feel good answer to ‘Will this workout improve my body?’ At that sweaty moment the heavens opened up and ‘Hallelujah’ was being sung with a beam of sunlight shinning down on my burning bootie, I think I even saw Whoopi Goldberg clapping, joyfully praising the beads of sweat forming down the middle of my back.
LADIES….LET ME TELL YOU !!! I am proud to say that I now do squats with and without weights at least 4 times a week. I am seriously seeing some AWESOME results! I am doing approximately 150+ squats every time I include them in my workout regimen. I love to feel my workouts, I love to sweat, I love to know my body is being challenged, so SQUATS is a NEW LOVE of mine! Join me ladies, get these in, seriously!
Make sure you are squatting correctly, you don’t want to injure your knees, and you want to make sure your bootie is getting the most out of it. Make sure your knees do NOT bend over your toes, you want to make sure you are squatting down and back (ass to the grass!). I usually break the sets up between intervals, I don’t do all 100-200 in one single 20 min session, I make sure I am feeling a good burn between each set while doing some cardio, abs, or strength training. I didn’t start using weights til I got to Day 20, and even now, I only use weights for 1/2 the squats I decide to do.
Example of a GREAT 30 minute squat routine:
Set 1: 50 squats no weights (hold arms out and parallel to the ground for entire set)
3 minutes of fast full crunches on the floor
Set 2: 50 squats with 5 lb weights in each hand (biceps curl each time you squat down)
5 minutes of 1 min sprints and 1 min jog intervals
Set 3: 50 squats no weights (hold arms out and parallel to the ground for entire set)
3 minutes of oblique fast full crunches on the floor
Set 4: 50 squats with 5 lb weights in each hand (extend arms parallel with ground each time you squat down)
10 minutes of 1 min sprints and 30 sec jog intervals
THERE ARE NO EXCUSES! THIS WHOLE ROUTINE CAN BE DONE IN YOUR LIVING ROOM!!! The idea is to weaken your legs and bring them to the point of exhaustion. So by the third/fourth set you should be crying for help, and if you are not crying- push even harder by using a heavier weight or squat down LOWER. So far I am only using dumbbells (one in each hand), I am not squatting with a barbell across my shoulder blades yet (I can only imagine the results when I start to put the weight on my backside). I have also seen some incredible results by forcing myself to hold 3, 5, 8 pound weights with my arms during the sets, needless to say my arms have been feeling a pretty harsh burn also.
I am loving this new add on to my workouts, I encourage all my ladies to continue to add new things to their daily workouts, experiment and have fun with it. This isn’t about trying to become a fitness model, or being acknowledged in the Guinness Book of World Records, It’s about feeling your best, conquering your fears, and being the best mom, girlfriend, wife, daughter, employee, business owner, and friend you can possibly be. Don’t forget how feeling good about yourself and your accomplishments feeds into your daily life.
If you feel amazing, you will be amazing…If you feel awesome, you will be awesome – in all aspects of your life.
That is what LIFE is about My Fabulous Friends! I already got mine in this morning!
EVERY GIRL WANTS TO LOOK GREAT FROM BEHIND.
Now arms out and ass down…let’s get these in! Day 1— 50 squats!