Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8

Good morning y'all! I have to ask, is there better night's sleep than the one you get after setting a squat PR?

Hurray! (I track my workouts electronically with Fitocracy) Seeing that little green star when I was done felt so good.
What's the deal with that 5th set? Well dear friends, that's when I fell on my butt in front of a large group of people. Sounds embarrassing, but I promise it isn't. I no longer feel embarrassed when I go down to the floor and am accompanied by a 145lb crash. That's precisely why I squat in one of these babies:

Ours is red, but that's besides the point. The point is, I have all those amazing safety rails in place for no reason other than to fall safely. Falling while holding something that weighs more than you is terrifying the first few times, but you learn to trust your equipment. After speaking with Dr. Boyfriend, yes I would have ideally had a spotter...but I absolutely detest spotters. Especially random people in the gym who will grab onto the bar and half-lift it for me while screaming "ALL YOU, ALL YOU".

So I squat in a cage. I feel that my rigid iron "spotter" does a way better job of keeping me safe than another person would. Sure, people approach me in the gym offering to spot me (which I still think is a little bizarre), but a simple "no thank you" is all I ever need.

Apparently, this is a Japanese proverb. I had totally chalked it up to Muhammed Ali. Epic fail on my part.
Like I said before, I was embarrassed the first one or two times that I fell. When I say embarrassed, I felt so down on myself and felt like the people around me in the weight room thought so little of me that I had to leave that area of the gym immediately. Now I know better.

I fail lifts on a regular basis. I've learned that failure means a multitude of different things; I'm not ready for that weight, I didn't sleep enough last night, I didn't eat enough today (this one affects me most), I haven't eaten enough this week, my mind is otherwise occupied...  Point being, I've failed enough times now (and seen enough people fail their lifts) that I now accept it as a regular part of my training.

How you react to failure says a lot about you as a person. Do you want to be the person who sits there, staring at the bar, beats themselves up and then gives up? Or do you want to be the person who sits there for a second, stands up, resets the bar, and then goes on to smash their PR? I'd rather be the latter, I was the latter last night. Let me be the first to tell you, it feels good.

Moral of the story: be safe and don't give up!

PS - if you were curious what the rest of my workout looked like...
Barbell Squat
Warmup - 8 reps at 65lb
Working - 1 set of 6 reps at 135lb, 3 sets of 6 at 145lb

Seated Leg Curl
4 sets of 8 reps at 152lb

Seated Leg Extension
4 sets of 8 reps at 91lb

Single Leg Romanian Deadlift (with dumbbells)
4 sets of 6 reps with 30lb DBs

Stairmaster Intervals (10 min)
Alternate 40 seconds of a very fast climb with 40 seconds of a very slow climb.

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