Squatting 3 times a week and a return to early morning training

I’ve now completed my third week of a new strength program. This program involves full-body training 3 times a week with squatting each session (!) and deadlifting once a week.

Until I read Practical Programming I didn’t know that bodybuilders were generally the only weight-lifters to squat once per week, or to “train legs” to use their lingo, but apparently many other weight-lifting disciplines are built upon more frequent squatting, especially power-lifting and olympic-lifting.

I hadn’t done back-squats in a while, focusing on the front-squat instead, and as such my body wasn’t used them. The evidence of this is that I ripped a patch of skin off my upper-back on the first session:

squatting - upper back skin tearing

My body has now adapted and I’m the proud owner of a tough patch of skin in that area :)

Something I am also experimenting this time around is doing no additional cardiovascular work, relying entirely on the squat to push my heart and lungs to their limits. Surprisingly I’m not feeling unfit and I’m reassured that I’m getting the most “bang for my buck” when it comes to my time spent in the gym. Cardio-bunnies I miss you already!

The final change to my routine is training before work as my new office is closer to the gym than house. This has been invaluable as it now frees my weekends and evening for things like BarCamp, OpenCoffee and BLUG meetings. Win-win!