A Dainty Diary of Lifting

February 25th: Squats


If you are one of the 7 people who read my blog, you may have noticed that I am trying to post some thoughts on my training more frequently. I feel like I am having a bit of a mental crisis. My wilks score is up to about 375. If I were to go compete tomorrow, that’d rank me #11 out of all the women in the country. And based on the meets I’ve done, my gym numbers tend to line up pretty nicely with what I can put up on the platform. Did I mention that a year ago I was still enthusiastically doing zumba classes because I just wanted to be skinny?

I’m at a point where I feel like I’m on the verge of something: I’m not quite world class, but I’m getting there. In theory you don’t get to be an elite lifter just by running Starting Strength for 14 months straight… except that appears to be exactly what I’m doing.

I am not special. I just show up, try to work as hard as I can, follow a program as long as possible and see where it will take me. Until I deadlifted 360lbs. And now I’m suddenly struck by the realization that even though I feel like a total gym n00b, even though I still have the mindset of being a New Year’s Resolutioner, my strength doesn’t necessarily reflect that attitude. The fact of the matter is that you can not just walk into any commercial gym and hope to find a chick squatting twice her body weight, so maybe I am a little above average. But even trying to articulate this fact (nevermind actually accepting it) leaves me feeling extremely conceited – which is exactly the problem.

All of this to say that I’m trying to be more self-aware when I’m training, and for me that generally involves writing stuff down to sort it all out.

Hopefully my reflections can be more meaningful than simply whining about how I ate 8.2 lbs of Wunderbar ice cream this weekend and it was delicious but then my belt did not fit at all today and I was suffering from a major carb hangover.

And even though I took a reset on my squat and ate ground beef for breakfast and dinner, my squats still felt heavy.

And I watched RUM 6 this weekend and I was totally pumped to sign up for a meet and smash my lifts and be strong as fuark, but then I got to the gym tonight and felt generally uninterested in lifting.

And everything hurts and I feel tired and old, which is probably what I get for maxing out on squat and deadlift last week.

And I had to wear a t-shirt to the gym tonight because I’m getting really bad acne where the bar rests on my shoulders and it looks like I need to lay off the ‘roids, bro.

Actually, that’s pretty much the entirety of my thoughts on training today. But just because I haven’t whined enough: I dropped 10 lbs off my squat to try and work on some of the technique issues that were raised from my max testing videos. I tried to fix the tightness in my back and elbows and need to work on eliminating the hunchback. Here is one of those sets:

Unfortunately I still look like Quasimodo.

I feel like there were a couple of sets where I had that Eureka! moment and got it, but consistency was a huge problem… and even on this set, I felt like I was doing a better job of getting my hips under the bar but it turns out I have absolutely no body awareness… and maybe if I had some I wouldn’t have squatted high on my max testing in the first place.


6 thoughts on “February 25th: Squats

  1. At my gym we call this “Emo Bullshit”. It’s part of being a competitive dedicated lifter who does the same shit day in day out. Stick with it, sometimes…. shit feels heavy. No biggie, it happens to everyone.

    P.S. Those squats look so retardedly easy, it makes me hate you. I am currently trapped at a 245# squat and am dying for 250 haha.

  2. “Emo Bullshit” must be a transnational term among powerlifters. I know someone who calls it the exact same thing.

    I feel like the problem with nice round numbers like 250 or 300 is largely a mental thing. You’ve got it. Just get down and then stand the fuck up! (Please report back with results. I am sending good vibes your way.)

  3. I don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t compete in powerlifting (if you aren’t already at some level). You are obviously very strong and since you’ve evolved so rapidly (and lost weight at the same time?) you probably have a lot of potential to become even stronger. You don’t need to wait until you’re sure can win. I believe that it would be a great motivation to have competition as a goal. But in the end, of course, it’s all about what you want to do.

    Concerning the problems you’re experiencing with your technique. Do you have some kind of coach or have you been to a powerlifting club? Or are you trying to teach yourself? I feel that my technique have improved a lot since I started training at a powerlifting club instead of a commercial gym. It might be worth considering.

    Good luck either way. Your blog is very inspiring.

    BTW I’ve noticed that “Emo bullshit” is a huge part of my training at the moment. (I blame it on my calorie restriction.) 😀

    • I’ve actually competed twice already! I will compete again sometime this year, although I have not yet made an official decision.

      And I’ve seen a coach before for all of my lifts. I didn’t even consider competing until I saw a coach, actually. Not seeing one right now mostly for financial reasons, unfortunately – but I agree that they are worthwhile! A few good coaches have made me aware of what I need to fix, but of course all those problems become evident at my maxes…. 😦

      Thanks for your kind words and good luck with your own emo bullshit – it happens to us all! 😉

    • “Emo bullshit” and calorie restriction often go together 😉

  4. My envy of your fast progression is only hampered by my admiration for your humility. Just get to work, don’t sweat the small stuff, and accept your emo bullshit and move on. Well done.

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