This is how my relationship with squats has been since my early twenties. I remember doing squats galore when I was in high school as part of my football training but over time my weight became to much and my knees starting troubling me. Bending down was painful and I eventually just stopped putting my body in positions which put pressure on my knees. I mean honestly 2 years ago I could barely walk up a flight of stairs, I would have to do it one step at a time to minimize the pain. About a year ago I started to run up stairs with ease but I still couldn't do the squats. I would visualize myself doing them, then I would get under the bar, stand up and get my stance right, then I would start to go down and I would always stop bending my knees about half way down and start bending my back because I thought my knees would buckle underneath me, I was scared to push myself.
Just 3 weeks ago I tried doing squats again and I even videotaped myself. As you can see from the video below I am doing most of the bending in my back and not in my legs!! I just couldn't bend my knees, my brain wouldn't tell my body to do it.
Since I couldn't do real squats I tried doing bench squats like in the video below. I could do these but I knew they didn't equal a real squat. Even while doing the bench squats I was always still hesitant because of my knees. My movements weren't controlled, I was literally sitting/falling down into the bench because I was scared to put pressure on my knees.
I always could see myself doing squats in my head but I could never execute. It was very frustrating, the image of me doing them was crystal clear in my head but my body wouldn't listen. The new weight lifting routine I started 3 weeks ago called for squats and I just couldn't do them. BUT a few things have changed in the last few weeks.
A friend of mine who is helping with my lifting routines told me 3 weeks ago, "the only way to build those knees up is to move them". That has been in my head for the last 3 weeks and it made perfect sense but I still held back some. Then yesterday I had a very supportive friend who gave me some inspiration just before I headed to the gym to workout. I got to the gym and I felt really good, I felt confident. I did my warm up on the treadmill and headed to the weight room. I stood in front of the squat rack and was getting ready to set up the bench so I could do my bench squats ( my way of cheating) when I just started to visualize myself in my head doing a real squat. I had done this many times before but this time was different, I was ready. I basically told myself screw it! Your going for it! If your knees give out then they give out! So I went for it!!! and.................... watch the video below :)
I did it! It was F*#%ing amazing! I went down as far as I physically could, my knees didn't give out and they actually felt very strong! It was like they had been waiting for me to test them a little bit. Looking at the video I can see some areas I need to work on form wise but its a start! The mental wall came tumbling down, I swear I almost let out a scream of joy as I did that first rep! I did 5 sets of 5 reps and afterwards I felt great, my knees literally felt great. I cant explain the feeling, I just cant. Its like my knees have changed after that first rep, maybe they did, maybe its all in my head, I don't know. I do know that whatever was holding me back is gone. I do know that my ass will be in the gym tomorrow doing some more squats! A lot of people hate doing squats, I hated not being able to do them...
Thank you Janessa, Antonio, and Dana, you have all made a difference in me getting through this wall.