Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Wall Came Down!

Breaking down physical walls is easy, you can bulldoze it, jack hammer it, or even blow it up! Mental walls aren't that easy. Have you ever seen yourself doing something in your head?  You visualize it, you know exactly how its supposed to look but when you attempt to do it something holds you back.

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.


14 comments:

Janessa said...

Awesome Job Alan! Super Proud of You!!! Glad you made that breakthrough, now time to make even more!!!

Antonio Wright said...

Damn your squat looks better than mine! I would suggest that you squeeze your glutes at the top of the movement.

A Girl Who Loves Cupcakes said...

That is SO awesome!!!!! Congrats Alan!!! That is a killer squat, I can't even get that low, but now I'm certainly going to try!

David H. said...

Awesome breakthrough! Keep going!

Dana said...

It's ahh-mazing what you accomplished! I definitely saw the kick *ss fighter in you during the victory video. Keep pushing through, Alan.

Amy said...

WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!! So awesome! I love how the videos are helping. You have such an amazing support system and YOU are working SO hard! Fanfreakintastic.

Roo said...

HOLLA!!!!! Way to go!!!! :)

Molly said...

GO ALAN!!! That's freaking amazing. So proud of you :)

Cathy Cox said...

Awesome Alan! That's huge, the mental component is so important..you nailed it. Deadlifting next?!?! ;)

Joe said...

great progress, keep it up!

Paula said...

GOOOO ALLLAAANNN!

You did a great job! Now you know you can do anything you set your mind to. I should take the same advise ;)

Sacha said...

That's so AWESOME!! YOU DID IT!!! Well done. Keep up your great progress.

Tishia said...

Awesome! It's such an awesome feeling when we accomplish what we wanted to :-)

fitmacdaddy said...

Hey Alan: First time visitor here. I found your blog from JackSht's fireman post. I really wanted to make it to Fitbloggin this year but it was just not to be. Congrats on tearing down that wall with the squat. I was going to suggest that maybe you should just do bodyweight squats...until I saw your last video of you squatting with more weight than you were cheating with. GREAT JOB. Here's to more breakthroughs in the future! Mac