3 Things I Learned During Squatober

As the calendar changes from October to November that means Squatober goes with it. What is Squatober you ask?? Well a month consisting of the “king of all exercises”….that’s what it is.

So basically Squatober is excellence.

Before I go any further let me preface that I am by no means a world class squatter. First of all, I am 6’7”…I have long legs. Typically that is not a good formula for squatting heavy. O and I can admit that I have chicken legs but I’d like to think not as bad as this guy

But Seriously, What Is Squatober??

Squatober is squatting….everyday. Well everyday but Sunday because you know, it’s a day of rest.

But seriously, Squatober is squatting everyday but Sunday. The particular programming was coming from an instagram account run by strength coach Aaron Ausmus, @penandpaperstrengthapp

Check out a couple of the workouts.

Squatting everyday is a challenge and anytime you are challenged, there are lessons to be learned. Here are some of the lessons I have learned over the past month.

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

After about a week to 10 days, my legs were shot. I was never debilitatingly sore because the programming was very intelligent but there was definitely a dull ache that flowed through my lower body. My legs were shot and mentally it was beginning to be cumbersome.

Think about it…waking up every morning knowing you have to load a heavy bar on your back, sit down, and stand back up with it. That can be a bit of a bear on your mental status.

But a cool thing happened. At about the 2 week mark, things began to become a lot easier. Now the lifts didn’t necessarily become easier but my body began to feel better. My body had begun to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

My mentality also began to change. I began to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Instead of dreading the workouts I woke up amped up to try to move heavy weights faster. I was atttacking the workouts versus grinding through them.

Life can be the same way but if you get comfortable with being uncomfortable your mentality changes and you begin to attack the “hard things in life”.

Want to get better? Do it everyday

Strength is a skill. Squatting is a skill. And just like any other skill in life, squatting and strength take practice.

As I admitted earlier, I am by no means a natural at squatting. I am not going to set any world records. Since I am by no means good at squatting…it has taken me practice to get where I am.

I began to notice as the month moved along, depth became much easier to find. The “groove” became easier to find. Set-up for the sets and reps became almost second nature.

After one month, I feel I have become a much more proficient squatter and I owe it all to the “practice” I got this month.

Put this into real world application, want to get better at something?? You have to make it your mission each day to practice, whether that is interactions with people or having a better jump shot. To develop skills, reps are needed.

You Can Handle More Than You Think

Going into this I had no clue how my body would react. I worried that I would be a zombie of soreness. I had never handled this heavy of weight day in and day out on one specific lift.

The body is surprisingly resilient and with proper programming, I handled tons of weight (over 100,000 pounds to be exact) without being a complete puddle on the ground. In fact, coming out of this month my legs are the biggest and strongest they have ever been.

That is the beauty of the human body. You provide a stressor and it will adapt to handle it.

We’ve all heard the saying, “The mind will break before the body will.” This couldn’t have been a truer statement this month. My mind early on wanted to quit way before my body did. Squatober is as much about training the mind as it is about training the body.

Conclusion

Squatober consisted of 167 sets and 641 reps of squats, a 30 pound PR, and bigger and stronger legs for me. It also lead to a new mindset and was as much about training the mind as it was the body. Looking back on this month, it was a struggle at times but I come out of it with much more than I put in.