My love affair with exercise started at a young age. I have done all the things: gymnastic, karate, swimming, diving, track and field, tough mudders, distance running, traithloning, and traditional weight lifting. I was pretty devastated when I tore my ACL for the first time in 2013, at that point in life running was my activity of choice. Recovering from knee surgery is no walk in the park and I was lucky enough to do that dance twice (woof). Unfortunately I have something called “multi-directional instability of the ligaments”, basically my ligament are like over stretched rubber bands, I am Gumby. Due to this ailment, ACL reconstruction is not a viable fix for my knee. My knee will temporarily feel like it is getting better and then it will start to stretch out and eventually begin failing on me. Things like taking sharp turns and sports that involve any cutting movements are out of the question, unless I am wearing my sweet knee brace.
As any runner will tell you, running is addicting. It is a time to be alone, think some good thoughts, get your lungs burning, and feel a bit more connected with your surroundings. Losing running forced me to explore other ways to stay active and for that, I am thankful. I have been weight lifting consistently for 2 1/2 years. Over those years I have tried to mix back in endurance training but ultimately, my knee wound up exhausted and made my daily life pretty miserable. As a life long athlete I have learned a very important lesson:
If you don’t love what you are doing or what you are doing doesn’t feel good; don’t do it.
Which… brings me to the title of this post: LEG DAY IS THE BEST DAY (to me!). My current training routine is 2 lower body focused days, 2 upper body focused days, 0-2 total body days, and 0-1 running/swimming/cycling days. I find my body feels best when I exercise 5-6 days a week and no more than 3 days consecutively. This week that means leg day on Monday, aka the best way to start out the week. We hosted a big holiday party on Saturday, so I am packing some extra carbs in my system today, which meant today’s lift was pretty good. I kept weights lower because my knee is pretty tired from the weekend festivities; went for volume and this is what went down:
3×15 power squat @225
3×15 air squat
3×12 romanian dead lift @95
3×6 wide stance dead lift @145
3×12 wide stance leg press @135
3×12 narrow stance leg press @135
3×20 calf raise on leg press @135
3×12 kneeling hip thrust on smith machine @90
3×12 sissy squat
3×15 glut kick back
3×12 trx bulgarian split squat
3×12 glute ham raise
A trainer I used to work with (Your Trainer Paige) programmed glute hip thrusts on a smith machine for me a while back and I LOVE them. For in case you are wondering what they are:
The best thing to do after a good work out is to feed the ole bod! We have a ton of left overs from our party this weekend so I threw together some chili and roasted veggies. The spice blend for the chili is out of this world! I ended up using sweet potatoes instead of butternut squash and for the meat did 50/50 sweet italian pork sausage and ground turkey.
SO the moral of this post:
1) Leg day is the best
2) Chili is awesome, especially with pork
3) Find something you love and you will find yourself looking at exercise as the best part of your day rather than a chore
Q: What is your exercise of choice?