I’ve been reading this site off and on for several months – I’ve even found myself posting now and then, which I hadn’t anticipated doing until I’d properly introduced myself and outlined my goals and training. This isn’t the post where I do that – not properly, anyway.
I do want to say this much, though: Last week I squatted 185 pounds (just over my bodyweight) for six disciplined, below-parallel-for-real reps.
I am in the process of coming back from several injuries (notably a torn-up knee, bad back, and badly impinged shoulder), exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle for the last half-decade-plus (I am 31. I was active – running, mountain-biking, climbing, swimming, playing pick-up ball – 'til I turned 25), work/school stress (many, many multiple all-nighters) and some difficult personal/family events.
I don’t mean to dwell on that here or to say I’ve got it harder than everyone else. I know I don’t. I merely want to note that six months ago I was suffering from frequent, wrenching back-spasms and couldn’t walk down a flight of stairs without wincing at the pain in my right knee.
Four months ago I was squatting 85 pounds, knees wandering wildly, to 30 degrees above parallel on my heaviest sets. Two months ago, 135 with okay form to almost-parallel. Now I break parallel on each rep and my form is “good” according to at least one ranked powerlifter. (I have asked people who know what they’re doing to check my form whenever I’ve had the opportunity. I know that my form isn’t perfect, but I also know I’m not clueless now, either.)
I’m still sporadic in my training, still not eating the greatest, and still in horrible cardiovascular shape, but the hardest thing now for me is working training back into my life – the training itself is a relief.
I still feel a mess – I still don’t feel my body is one whole, functioning piece – and while I’ve had luck with my knee and back, I’ve had little with my shoulder… but I’ll get into that later. For now it is good to feel that I’ve made some progress, and that I’m not a hopeless case as far as making more.
Incidentally, deadlifts make my back feel good.