Sunday, April 27, 2014

Alex's New Friday High Rep Squat Routine


Song:  Shout

Group:  Tears For Fears


These are some older photos of Alex doing squats.

I merely wanted to show the form used.

I decided to take out one of the twice weekly Farmer's Walks
as Alex is showing the greatest progress on just a once a week session.

An even greater reason is that Alex wasn't fully recovering
from a twice a week Farmer's Walk.

He has gotten three colds since Autumn.

This is indicative of a body in a perpetual state of slight exhaustion...
of a slightly suppressed immune system due to being stressed beyond 
his body's capability to fully recover.

The Farmer's Walk, as I am having him do it...
is walking for 1/4 mile with 110 lbs in his hands...
with progressive weight increases as he adapts
(he will now just do the Farmer's Walk exercise once a week).

It really taxes the body as it heavily stresses strength endurance.



I had started Alex doing one set of high rep Squats with just a bare bar.

These pictures are from last year.


Alex will now do one set of 20 repetitions without racking the bar.

This will make for an intense session...
but nothing demanding extreme strength endurance.

This will stimulate strength stamina.

Another reason is that this will bring his shoulders back so he doesn't slouch.

The essence of this squat program is to go at a moderate pace with pauses 
at the top and bottom of the squat.

The pause at the bottom is about one second to ensure the lifter is lifting cleanly.
Without it, the mind/body tends to cheat by bouncing at the bottom...
which stresses the lower back and the knees especially heavily
as it tries to use the elasticity of the tendons instead of 
forcing the muscles to create most of the force.

The rest at the top can be at the lifters discretion.

Believe me...
once the lifter gets to the teens in the reps...
he will be pausing for longer intervals at the top to catch his breath.

If the lifter cannot complete the whole 20 reps without setting the bar on the rack...
it is too heavy.

Some of the great benefits of a 20 rep squat routine:

Builds power from the ground up.

Increases musculature throughout the body.

Improves posture and mental acuity.


Wait...
Mental Acuity?

This routine...
once an appreciable amount of weight is used...
will be one of the most intense sessions a lifter will ever experience.

It is the equivalent of running flat out up a very steep mountain...
until the muscles start to fail to contract...
and the lungs feel as if they are going to burst.

What this does is to signal to the body that new capillaries
need to be built, besides for the body to adapt with greater musculature
(strength and stamina in all the muscles of the body greatly increase).

Besides the largest muscles of the body building new capillaries...
new capillaries throughout the body are built...
including the brain.

A freer flow of oxygen to the brain allows for 
an easier and greater flow of thoughts...
which improves mental acuity.

The body is so highly stressed that a state of emergency is declared...
and emergency adaptation is stimulated.

There is no such thing as only a portion of the body being affected
when the largest muscles of the body are highly stressed.

It is a general hormonal response...
and a general flow of hormones affects every part of the body.
Two of the master hormones in the body which are greatly stimulated
to go into high production mode by this exercise:

Testosterone

Growth Hormone

(While the hormonal increases resulting from this intense exercise is fact...
the resulting mental effects is merely my posit.
It is not even a hypothesis, as I have nothing but
personal experience and common sense to support this line of thought).


Ok...
as I am relying upon mere anecdotal evidence...
this is what I had experienced a couple of decades ago:

More than 20 years ago I had first tried this well established 20 rep squat routine.
Although the routine had called for three sessions weekly...
as I was only getting 4-5 hours of sleep every work day...
my body could not adapt to such a frequent bout of weekly sessions.

I was also lifting with low reps and high sets on other lifts...
so I tried just once a week 20 rep squats.


Physically...
I noticed a great increase in overall body growth and strength.

Mentally...
I felt a great increase in thought processing...
not only in the rapidity of thought...
and of the greater parameters of creative thought...
but in the ability to focus.

Emotionally...
my spirits positively soared.

When the body must adapt to pain...
and the pain is removed...
the resulting residual effects of the pain adaptation
without the negative stimuli being present...
is the same feeling that a high mountain hiker experiences
after he reaches the summit, looks out upon his personal victory...
and then drops his heavy backpack.

It is the intense and elevating feel throughout the body and mind...
of pure elation.

This feeling will often last for many days...
sometimes the whole week...
if the session is intense enough.


I am introducing this to Alex slowly...
and I am also re-initiating this program for myself.

It is important to increase the weight slowly.
Add only 5% or so to the total...
and allow full adaptation to occur before adding more.

Each of the reps should have no more than 10 seconds
at the top before squatting again 
(again, without setting it upon the racks...but just standing upright with the weight...
supported by your body alone...as in the top most picture).

If it takes longer to recover enough to complete the next rep...
the body needs more time to adapt before adding more weight.


I am starting to lift once again...
after a few year hiatus.

I have suffered some lower back and knee injuries over the years...
several areas which needed to heal...
and which take a long time to do so
(I had actually damaged some of the ligaments and tendonal connections
by doing some stupid things which led to deep injuries).

Being in my mid fifties means 
still having the heart (emotional outlook) of a young man...
without having the great adaptational capabilities of one.

As I have said before...
in so many ways...
I am a bonehead.

Many of my lessons in life come in retrospect...
by having done it the wrong way...
suffering from it...
and then realizing the better way through experimentation.

This is why...
as I have matured...
 I so highly value thinking ahead...
instead of slogging away without forethought.

This is why I am teaching Alex to think ahead.

By teaching him to be a far better man than I have ever been...
I can lead him to a better way of life....
one where forethought through introspection 
negates the necessity of learning through painful retrospection.



Well...
after Friday's exercise session...
I took Alex out to eat at the Atlantis Casino for some high quality protein.

We had chosen to eat at the Sky Terrace Sushi restaurant.


We had a light rain on this night.
Luckily, I had managed to get a parking spot right near the walkway entrance.


Alex and I had started out with some rolls.
Alex got the "Caterpillar roll" - it is filled with crab and eel...
among other things.

I started out with my favorite...
the "Jason roll".

This has scallops which are cooked...
and the roll is filled with them...
all the way to the bottom.



We then had Unagi (fresh water eel).





We then had their fresh and delicious tuna.


Our sushi chef.


Alex then had another "Caterpillar"...


and I had some more "Jasons".


We finished off with some Green Tea ice cream.


As we were leaving the restaurant and walking down the sky way.


We are at the end of the walkway and just before the stairs leading down to the parking lot.

Alex and I had a nice relaxed evening.

We just took our time eating and talking...
with Alex playing his iPad between our discussions :)


It is actually Sunday morning (4:40 AM) as I write this article.

Alex will be competing for a spot on the State ARML team going to the 
Nationals late in May (a High School math competition)...
in about 8 hours.

It is the ARML local...
and the competition will go from approximately 1 PM until 5 PM or so.

My wife and I will be helping out at the competition...
so we will have to arrive an hour ahead of time.

I will write the next article about this event...later tonight.

As always...
Alex is looking forward to his competition...
and sleeping soundly...
and as always...
I am amped up the night before his competition...
fidgety and wide awake  :)












2 comments:

  1. You really feasted on some delicious-looking sushi! A nice reward for a very strong workout.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Eating out is one of our favorite treats. Alex loves the novelty of going to different places.

    ReplyDelete

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