Wednesday, August 22, 2012

1000 Squats in 10 Days Challenge

1000 squats in 10 days! This was another challenge presented to me by the same friend who had created the last event on Facebook and one I had no trouble getting on board for. I knew I could easily tackle 100 regular squats a day. In a previous workout routine, I was doing as many as 55 in five minutes (rotation of 5 pushups, 10 crunches, 15 squats for 5 minutes - did 11 rotations consistently for 4 days).

The challenge I presented to myself was to do a different squat variation each day, and possibly add a 5lb weight to each arm if I ended up repeating any variations.

On the second day, I realized a little research was in order for stretching. In addition to the shadows below, I also stretched by leaning to the left or right - trying to get close to a 90 degree bend. I noticed it stretched my inner thighs and I could do that while getting ready in the morning. 

By the third day, I realized I didn't really know very many squat variations. I turned to youtube and found Tom Greenwald to be the most helpful. Some of these variations looked more like lunges to me than squats, but the outcome seemed to be the same so I was up for it!

The sixth day was a Saturday. I was in the kitchen all afternoon cooking up lunches for the next few weeks and decided to try the Hindu style squats. They left me in complete muscle exhaustion after completing the last 20 of the 100 set within 45 minutes. Saturday evening I was having some difficulty going down stairs but otherwise was fine. Sunday morning, I was having difficulty walking. I pulled my ankle up to my butt during service to try and stretch it out but nothing seemed to make any difference. I didn't do any squats on Sunday. Monday I had jury duty selection, but besides that the pain in my quads had intensified. I was walking funny by this point. The pain was definitely lessened by more movement so I took the stairs for anything less than 4 flights. There's a LOT of sitting in jury duty selection though, so there was a lot of pain. When I got home I literally passed out. I slept from 7pm until 7am .When I woke, the pain was noticeably lessened in my thighs. I think my body and muscles just needed some rest!

Here's the detail day-by-day:

Day 1:
Completed regular style in the span of 4 sets throughout the day. No soreness, no fatigue. I really wasn't excited about doing them yet and obviously wasn't pushing myself.

Day 2:
Completed pulse (or "bouncing") style in the span of 2 sets within 3 hours. I was definitely pushing myself on this day. The last 10 of each set was burning in the quadriceps and when I stood up straight my hamstrings joined in on the warmth. My legs were also shaking - which is a good sign of muscle exhaustion!
Soreness was mostly in my inner thighs.

Day 3:
Completed wide-stance style. The first set I did 50 in about 4 minutes while I was in the bathroom. I should have gone pee first because I was a little unsteady sitting down after all of those. That was definitely me pushing through to the end. About 3 hours later, I went to do the last 50 over a scheduled five-minute break.  I had to stop after only 10. I walked it off and shook my legs, then tried again. I got another 20 out before I had to walk and shake again. Finally pushed out those last 20 just barely within the 5-minute mark of my break.
The wide-stance style was noticeably more difficult. I was apparently using a set of muscles that I don't use often and found out the next day exactly which muscles those were from the soreness!
Soreness on Day 3 was only in the front, back & sides of my thighs.

Day 4:
Completed "hold" style. Held the first squat position for 52 seconds. Tried again about 10 minutes later and held for 48 seconds. Both holds I had to grab the wall in front of me and sort of walk myself back to standing position because I felt "stuck".

Day 5:
Completed narrow-stance style. This style was the easiest by far of all the styles I had tried. I was able to do 50 at a time and finished within an hour.

Day 6:
Completed hindu stule. Very exhausting but so much fun! I did the first 50 at once, getting lost in the playfulness of the movements. I had to shake my legs to get the muscles to relax, did some cooking, and about 30 minutes later was really craving to finish the last 50. I did 30 more before my muscles felt shaky. Punched at my thighs for a few minutes to loosen them up and finished the last 20. Hindu style is unlike anything I've ever done. Complete muscle exhaustion that I didn't recover from for 2 days after.

Day 7:
None. Extreme soreness in quadriceps. Took some ibuprofen and did some stretching.

Day 8:
None. Soreness intensified in quadriceps. Difficult to walk. Went to bed and slept for 12 hours. I think my body and muscles needed to rest!

Day 9:
Woke up feeling much better and quadriceps were noticeably less sore. Completed 200 regular style in intervals of 30 every hour from 9am to 5pm. Decided I would finish the 1000 in easier styles as opposed to risking injury. Soreness would creep back in after sitting for about 15 minutes. Took a 3 mile walk that evening and it helped warm the muscles so I could do some deeper stretching.

Day 10:
Completed 200 in various styles on the top of every hour from 9-12. Switching it up within each set made it easier to do more at a time. I did 50 in each set (20 regular, 20 narrow, 10 wide). Still had some noticeable soreness but was able to walk without discomfort and kept stretching throughout the day.

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