Today I did a long workout and I was hoping it would be mentally therapeutic, since I am worried sick about my mom, who is going in for surgery this afternoon. I’ve decided to take it easy on Damn Foot until next week, so I spent 45 incredibly boring minutes on the elliptical machine with my Kindle, doing intervals. It did take my mind off my worries, at least temporarily.
Yesterday I read an article (warning: trans-phobic language) from Fit and Feminist‘s Facebook page about a woman who discovered she loved the free weight room. I enjoyed the article a lot! She said, however, that she was benching 115lb and doing squats at 165lb– which made me think about my own weights for those exercises. I’m benching 105lb regularly, but my squats, well, I haven’t even come close to breaking 100lb out of the Smith machine (I was doing 115 in it, where I could cheat a little and push up from the balls of my feet and not worry about falling over. I’m chalking it some of the difficulty up to ankle inflexibility, but I just have a hard time keeping my back straight and getting far enough down, and tend to lose my balance.) Today I tried 75lb and it wasn’t so bad– I did 3 sets of 10 and figured it was a good place to start from. (Of course, I’ll have to back off again next week.)
I spent some time stretching afterwards, and discovered that my IT bands are super tight. That’s a stretch I usually skip– no more of that! I feel like my body is like a really complicated rubber band car, where energy goes in through my muscles and it eventually comes out into motion. And shortened rubber bands pull all kinds of stuff out of alignment and cause extra wear and tear.
My numbers on the weights are lower than that woman’s, too. I can bench about 65-75 lbs and I can squat about 90 lbs. I would like to break into triple-digits with all of those but it’s hard for me to focus on building strength when I’m also trying to do endurance sports at the same time.
Also, I really recommend foam rolling for the IT band. Mine acts up sometimes and so I use a foam roller and a massage stick to work it out. It hurts like a bitch but it makes a huge difference, imho.
Yeah, I didn’t mean to get all compare-y. It just struck me: “Hey, I can bench nearly as much as her, but I can’t squat even close to as much as she does!” You’re right, though– it’s really run and do that kind of lifting. :-/
Thanks for the tip on the foam roller! I need to start using the ones at my gym again.
It’s funny how our bodies are all different. My bench is woeful and is really really hard for me to increase, it hasn’t changed a huge amount since I started lifting whereas I can Squat 60kgs (132 lbs) and deadlift 80kgs (176)
I am jealous of your squats! :) How’s about you keep plugging away at bench and I’ll keep working on squats and we’ll see where we are in a while…