Welp, now I know what it feels like to stand in the stocks.

At my training session on Tuesday, my amazing trainer at Mustache Fitness and Barbell had a nice, relaxing leg day planned for me. . . . J/K. I don’t think I’ll ever see the words “relaxing” and “leg day” anywhere near each other for as long as I live. To be honest, I was really nervous going into it because last leg day was HARD. Friggin’ goblet squats, jump squats, and lunges with weights—yeah, I was toast after that one. So when he said we were going to do something “a little different,” I couldn’t decide if I was more excited or terrified.

The goal was to find my one-rep max for squats. (And for those who haven’t yet read it, check out Jono’s post on his one-rep max for bench press! We’re one-rep maxin’ all over the place!) The first image that came to my mind was me pinned to the floor by the bar with I don’t know how much weight on either end.

Yup, this is what I imagine. But much more panicky and with more gore.

Yup, this is what I imagine. But much more panicky and with more gore.

Thankfully, like Jono, we started out with some warmups. I truly didn’t really pay attention to how much weight Carley was putting on the bar. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t feel like doing math at 7 o’clock in the morning or if I didn’t want to psych myself out, thinking, “There is no WAY I can get my ass down in a squat and then get back UP with that much weight on my shoulders!” I can’t remember if I started with just the bar (45 lbs.) or if there was already weight on it (likely 10 lbs. on each side for 65 total). But it quickly increased as I did fewer and fewer reps. When I saw him add a 25-pound weight to each side, I thought, “Whoa. Dems serious weights.” Finally, I maxed out at 105 lbs. I got nice and low in the squat, which felt right, like I was doing the move properly. When I went to stand back up, there was definitely a point where I thought I would be stuck and Carley would have to somehow take the bar from me, but that thought quickly vanished when he said, “Engage your core,” and I was like, “Oh! Yeah! That is a thing I am supposed to do!” Pushing out through my core made it much easier to stand back up and finish the squat. So, boom! I did it! And I am really excited to improve and beastmode that number up a few notches.

But I still had about thirty minutes left to go in my training session . . .

We moved over to the kettle bells, where I did weighted lunges, followed by two jump squats and two step-ups onto the box (I did the jump-squat-and-step-up combo five times). After three sets of this, we were headed back over to the squat rack. I knew my legs were getting pretty darn tired, but I didn’t want to quit. This time, I was supposed to start out squatting for eight reps of just the bar (again, 45 lbs.), but when I got to my third rep, my legs were so shaky and I didn’t feel comfortable squatting. I racked the weight and rested for a little; my trainer was very patient with me and understanding. When I felt like I could finish the set, I grabbed the bar and did five more reps. This time, though, when I went to rerack the bar, I didn’t look to ensure the left side was in the holder. It wasn’t. So down went the bar, and smush went my neck. In that split second of being stuck, I felt a sense of solidarity with all those people back in the Middle Ages, chillin’ in the stocks.

I feel you, bro.

I feel you, bro.

Thankfully, Carley was right there to help me and rerack the side I’d let slip. He made sure I was OK, and I did feel fine, mostly just embarrassed. Normally I am obsessive about checking both sides of the bar to see that they are in the rack. Apparently I got lazy. I was able to do another set before Carley thought it best my legs take a break, so we finished out with some kettle bell swings. My legs were sore and I was content with my workout, but more importantly, I learned to always look both ways before crossing the street letting go of the bar! And, in case I forget any time soon, I have a nice little reminder on the back of my neck. So please, learn from my brainlessness and squat safely, friends! But do squat. It’s amazing.

It doesn't feel nearly as bad as it looks, believe me.

It doesn’t feel nearly as bad as it looks, believe me.