I am starting to have a bit of a fitness crisis. I have not been working out much lately.
For the past few years, I have mostly been doing squat thrusts for fitness. I do between 10 to 20 sets every minute for about 30 minutes. And the issue is that it is making my legs get bigger and making me worried I might become some sort of quad monster.
I know that squatting a lot can make your legs bigger, especially the thighs. It can make the front of your legs bigger. Or the back. Or the outside. For me, sometimes it feels like all the growth is on the inside, particularly near the top. It is starting to crowd my boys out. I sometimes worry that I will have a hard time fitting into a seat on airplanes. Or I will have to spend the rest of my life walking like I have to go number two all the time. Like I have to ride the fudge dragon. Sign the paperwork. Serve an ace. Plus I just don’t like feeling my legs touching.
Sometimes I also feel like I am encouraging uneven leg growth by all my workouts these days. Sometimes I do kicks and punches, and the kicks seem to work the inside more that the rest of my leg.
It’s not that I did not think my legs would get bigger. I wasn’t expecting them to get bigger quite that way and cause problems.
I started this about eight years ago. I read an article on the New York Times about workouts people were doing outside of gyms. I read the comments on the story (which are not a cesspool like Breitbart). A lot of people talked about their no-gym workouts. One commenter said they did the “prison workout”. I search for that term, and I found a few pages that used that term for different sequences of burpees. I guess they are easy to do in prison yards or cells. Some people did nothing but burpees for their workouts.
I found out later that some people use the term “prison workout” to refer to workouts using different calisthenic exercises, because those are also easy to do in your cell.
One common sequence was to do countdown sets: A set of 20, then a set of 19, a set of 18, etc down to 0. I thought, “How hard can it be?” So I decided to try it out.
I went down to the small, not very good fitness room in my apartment building. I decided not to jump since I have had knee problems in the past. But I still did the pushup. I think I got down to 16, but I think I did three sets of 16 before I realized that I was losing count. I only lasted ten minutes. How hard can it be? I found out it can be pretty hard.
The next day my arms were tired. But I decided to persevere. So I started doing workouts in my apartment. Eventually I started adding some kicks and punches, jumping jacks, mountain climbers and a few other exercies, but squat thrusts were the basis. I think the squatting helped my knees. I was a bit worried then about my inner thighs getting bigger. But it was not too bad then.
I was unemployed when I started this. I started working out on my own to save some money. I quit the gym not just to save money, but also because I never really talked to anyone when I was there.
After doing this for a year, and after I had another job, I thought about going to a gym again. There was a boxing gym near my apartment. I thought about going in to ask about rates and schedules. But before I ever did, I saw a class through the front window, and the class was doing squat thrusts. I thought to myself, why should I pay money so some doofus who barely made it out of high school can yell at me to do something that I am doing on my own anyway.
My first few years in Austin I did not do too many squat thrusts. I was living on the second floor and I was worried about disturbing the people below me. The complex had a nice gym, but I got tired of people knocking on the door like I was some damn doorman. It only happened a few times, but it should not happen at all. Now I am on the first floor in an apartment with a wooden floor.
And now my legs are really starting to get big. To the point where sometimes getting in and out of my car is difficult. And now I have to keep pulling my sweatpants up every few sets. I don’t have the thigh gap the ladies love.
I like squat thrusts because I feel like I am preparing myself for anything. I feel like I can push myself harder than with other workouts. Plus I don’t need to go to the gym. And the squats help my knees.
I don’t have great range of motion, but a bit better than the Crossfit Efficiency burpees. Burpees and squat thrusts have the fundamental motions of the human body. Another issue with the way I do them is that my spine is neutral, and not much arm/shoulder action. But it is my one stop fitness shop.
I found out about this guy named Funk Roberts who really pushes burpees. Funk Roberts said to have feet wide and put your hands in between, but that really hit my inner thighs. Having my hands about shoulder width with feet a few inches behind and pointed out was okay.