This last week was a bust for the most part, I will be honest about that. I had a bunch of allergy attacks that cause sneezing fits every morning. Early Fall can be like that for me. The other issue is insomnia which keeps me up till 11pm as I don’t get to sleep well if I go to bed earlier than that time. If I could get up at 7am and workout it would be perfect, 5am is not enough rest but it is when my wife can go and I can go with her. I may just have to kick her out of bed and go later when she gets back. Given my sleep pattern 7am is more my speed. I however did get in Leg Day this week and it was a good workout and that is simply because of one exercise – The Squat.
Before I get to the squat and all its glory, I want to address an issue I think that plagues the discussion of the benefits of exercise from firstly a Christian and secondly from a male-female dynamic point of view.
Christians in my opinion are the biggest promoters of poor body image and one of the reasons this is so is our inability to talk about the human body, particularly that of the opposite sex, without some self righteous ninny labeling that person as some sort of perverted individual. Truth is the best judge of whether or not were making progress should be how the opposite sex reacts to how our body looks.
As much as women may say, ‘just because I am standing almost naked on the beach does not mean I am asking for you to have sex with me’, I think men might also say, ‘just because I say you have a nice ass, doesn’t mean I want to sleep with you either.” Sorry ladies, sometimes a compliment is just that a compliment. I know their are exceptions to this idea but I think that to say all men are dogs would be going a little too far. Of course I know most women like to be admired but they also want to be respected. I make every effort to admire a woman’s looks while at the same time respecting the fact that there is more to her being a person than how she looks. Honestly though, if I fail to notice a pretty and fit looking woman walking by, I have thoughts I might need to head down to the funeral home and make arrangements soon.
I think this is ultimately why you see so many ministers and Christians fail morally because it is taboo to talk about sex, the human body or nudity without someone telling you to shut up. Because we are then ignorant as a creed about these matters it makes the temptations associated with them much stronger and harder to deal with as a rule. In the fitness realm you have to talk about the human body a lot and that I why most Christians seem to have a problem with being involved with it. This is particularly true when going to the gym and it is male-female mixed company. Seeing that well developed and fit young woman do full squats in front of you might be too much to handle for some.
Speaking of Squats, lets get back to that. I would like to talk about squats because in my mind squats are simply a staple exercise that is absolutely necessary to fitness. A lot of people can lose weight but then wonder why they still don’t look good in the mirror. There is an old fitness saying,” Losing weight will make you look good in clothes, exercise and fitness will make you look good naked. There are plenty of illustrations of this as the picture above illustrates along with many others. Squats for women round out the backside and make the legs look both leaner and fuller in the right way. If you could only do one exercise for these areas, it should be the squat.
For me the real challenge came when I went from box squats to full squats. Box squats do not go all the way down but only to a sitting position. This is a beneficial power move but does not develop the whole leg and to do that you need to go all the way down to the floor if possible. My legs lock out below fully seated so that’s where I go now. It was a real ego buster when I first started this because I went from box squatting around 350 lbs. to full squatting at about 150lbs. The neglected muscles simply were not strong enough to get up from the floor in the all the way down position and I had to develop them. Now I hit about 250lbs but it took a while to get there but for my legs and backside there has been no better exercise. The squat by the way has more variations than I can mention but you can find them all over the web.
Two most common mistakes: a) poor form – easily corrected by looking up and straight ahead. b) not using enough resistance – I know a lot can be done with no weight on squats. A good one is the 30 day squat challenge, but to continue to make progress sooner or later you have up the resistance with either dumbbells or a barbell. both actually help with form as well.
Now for those of you out there that think lifting does some wrong things to the body I offer you this article I read this week by a woman about weight training – Debunking Stereotypes. Also for more information on squats, this video is a good one.
Blessings and keep working.