Birthday Back Squats

For the past several years I’ve been doing challenges for my birthday when it comes up. Normally I’d do the burpee pull ups times my age since while the typical birthday burpees fro Crossfit suck I wanted to challenge myself. This year I decided to mix it up and do something completely different.

I kind of have been having the goal of age times body weight for my birthday squats for a while. I thought it was more likely than anything that I would chicken out on it before ding it but I can proudly say that I didn’t

It took me two attempts to actually do them though. Yesterday around rep 15 or so in my knee was having a slight pull in it and it occurred for two reps in a row. I aborted at that time since I figured I was doing something wrong. They felt good but I would but still guess my knee wasn’t quite lining up or something. I felt I could have finished it but I probably shouldn’t risk injury. I fucked up knee wouldn’t be much fun. I did the 15ish reps at 186 which was my body weight that morning with ease.

I decided to give it another shot today and dammit my weight was up a pound so I had to round up to 187 pounds. It’s nice to have the fractional plates! Not so nice that I gained a pound over night, too much crappy food and booze yesterday. I only had five hours of sleep on top of that but I felt surprisingly good this morning.

The back squats themselves actually felt great today. They probably felt even better than yesterday’s attempt. They were constant and solid reps with only one slightly sloppy one. Molly said she didn’t even notice it. I was bouncing out of the hole and got ever so slightly forward on that one rep in the middle.

From the start I thought of each rep as I would for a heavy single. With that many reps I knew from experience that they would destroy my body just from doing my twenty rep squats. 46 is over twice as many reps so I didn’t know how shaky I would get.

Let me just put it this way. I have never felt my legs get so shaky while lifting. Towards the end I didn’t even know if could settle the shakiness enough to get another rep. I manged to do that though.

Mentally it was the hardest workout I think I’ve done. My brain knew my body was more than capable of finishing it out but my legs were screaming at me to stop and take a break. The burn was real.

I did complete my 46 reps and as bad as I wanted to I never racked the bar until my back squats were done. It wasn’t easy but it’s done. It took me about five minutes and thirty seconds give or take a few according to my watch. My heart rate peaked at 176 but there was no rest in it at all. I thought my heart and lungs were going to simultaneously explode toward the end. Even when I was trying to control my breath and set up I was still supporting the 187 pounds and keeping my legs and core engaged.

After that last rep I reracked my bar as fast as I could and proceeded to automatically collapse to the floor. It seemed like forever that I laid there but in reality it was only a minute or two. When I first went to stand up my legs noped the shit out of that right away.

My knees didn’t twinge one bit today so I was a little more aggressive wit the speed today. Even better than my knees not bothering me is I didn’t feel even the slightest give in my back and Molly who was watching said it didn’t give in any way. I told her to call me out of she saw things go south.

I wanted to do this challenge last year but I wasn’t really in a good place with endurance squatting to do it them so I think I smartly passed on it. I’m certainly happy I did it this year. I thought to me it was a very rewarding challenge and I would have been okay with it even if I failed. I pushed me way out of my comfort zone. Maybe if I continue to do well with my strength over the next year I can go for 225 next July.

I highly recommend this birthday challenge if you’re a decent squatter. Definitely don’t do it if you’re newer to weighted squats or have knee issues or something like that. I thought it was a brutal but rewarding challenge. You can always lower the weight too like I did. The original version I saw was to squat 315 x your age but I’m absolutely in no place to do that.