In the grand scheme of things, a 160 pound squat isn’t all that exciting. I know plenty of women who can squat more than that. But I’ve got a few things going against me in the squat department. I’m 38 for one, and until 2.5 years ago had never lifted a weight. I was also obese, and completely sedentary. And I have arthritis in both my knees, and a damaged meniscus in one, which had led to reduced range of motion and stiffness that I’ve had to work with pretty carefully. And, I’m tall, with a long torso and long legs, both of which increase the distance my muscles and joints have to carry the weight through. So, with all that, increasing weight on my squat has been a long, slow, arduous task. About 3 months ago I worked up to 155, but in the interim I’ve not been able to get anywhere near that and have been bouncing around 135-140 for weeks and weeks and weeks. It’s been really frustrating. All of a sudden though, my squat is getting stronger again. What’s changed? I went back to a plant based diet 2 weeks ago after several months of experimenting with paleo. I don’t know WHY, but a pattern is emerging that I’m not willing to ignore. When I eat plants, I get stronger and leaner. When I add animal foods back into my diet, my strength gains stop and my body fat starts to creep up. This has happened a few times over the last few years as I’ve fiddled with my diet. Several people have suggested it’s blood type related (I’m AB+), but I’m not sure I buy into that theory. I’m not morally opposed to eating animal foods, and like fish very much, but there it is. Today I PR’ed my squat after 2 weeks without any animal foods. If my strength is increasing and my body fat is decreasing, isn’t that an indication that my body is being properly nourished? Those two indicators seem to be what crossfitters focus on to measure their health and fitness (perhaps in addition to blood lipid ratios, which in my case are inarguably stellar).
Anyway. Here’s today’s log.
20 minutes jumping rope
lots of pullups
Squat: 20 @ 45, 15@ 95, 10 @ 115, 5 @ 125, 5 @ 130, 4 @ 135, 3 @ 140, 3 @ 145, 2 @ 150, 1 @ 155, 1 @ 160, 3 x 10 @ 95
Bench: 5×5 @ 95 (I’m nursing a strained myscle in my back so have been going easy on the upper body stuff)
Deadlift: 20 @ 45, 15 @ 135, 3 x 10 @ 155
B: green smoothie (peach, spinach, cuke, avocado, raw protein, almond milk)
S: 2 apples
L: green smoothie (same as B but blueberry instead of peach)
S1: kale, cuke, bell pepper, olive, avocado salad w/ goddess dressing
S2: 6 fresh prunes, raw walnuts
S3: sprouted mung bean dosa with 1 veggie burger
D: tofu, heirloom tomato, fresh basil salad w/ evoo and salt and pepper, grapes for desert
And because I know you’re wondering: 87 grams of fiber (don’t worry, my system is used to it)