The Hardest, Most BRUTAL Workout I've Ever Done In My Life
The 40 Rep Squat - A Single Set That Was Worse Than a WHOLE Workout
When I look back on this single set of squats, I still can't believe I managed to get as many reps as I did. Let me set it up for you...
I got to the gym in the early evening - it was leg day so it was time to do some squats. I had been experimenting with some high rep squatting for the past few weeks and had done sets of 15 to 20 reps with some decent weight.
But nothing would compare to what I was about to put myself through.
I started with 225 lbs on the bar and pretty much just BLEW through a set of 50 reps with it, not even getting to failure. It felt like a feather on my back...like nothing more than a warm-up. It was crazy, especially since I weighed about 195 at the time.
I can still remember thinking to myself..."hmm, I wonder how many reps I could get with 315 lbs on the bar?"
So I put another plate on either side and took a LONG rest (about 7 or 8 minutes). I wanted to be sure I was completely ready to push myself to the limit - everything felt in the groove.
But before I even came close to starting my set, I walked over to the weight room monitor (it was a university gym) and said to them "I'm about to do a set of VERY high rep squats with heavy weight. If you hear a lot of screaming, don't spot me. If you see me rack the weight and fall on the floor and not move for awhile, don't call an ambulance until you come talk to me."
Of course, at the time, I think they thought I was kidding...
Then my rest period was over. I walked over to the bar. It was one of those squat stands that had solid rails and angled bars with pegs to rack the weight on rather than a regular power rack setup.
I got myself set under the bar then stood up with it. It felt like nothing. I took a couple of steps back, set my feet, then began to squat.
The first 10 reps felt like I hardly had any weight on the bar and I didn't even have to pause between reps. It was great! The next 5 reps started getting a little more challenging. After 15 reps, I started taking brief pauses at the top of the reps. I was feeling pretty good!
At 20 reps, I thought "man, I think I can get 25 reps with this". It was starting to get tough but I kept going. I wanted that 25. I was starting to breathe really heavy now.
Then I made it to 25. And I thought to myself "I need to get 30." So I kept going, each rep tougher than the last. At this point, I was REALLY suffering. My legs were shaking. My arms were numb. The bar felt like it weighed a TON.
Then something SNAPPED in my head (and luckily not my back!). Everything else faded into the background and, with laser beam focus, one thing was in my head...40. I'm getting 40 reps. No matter how painful it was or what it took, I was going to get 40 REPS.
So I kept going, grinding out one grueling, brutal rep at a time.
To this day, all I remember of those last 5 reps are the numbers. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40. Then I remember getting the last rep and slamming the bar into the racks then falling to the ground.
The weight room monitor came running over and asked if I was okay. It was all I could do to nod my head and say "uh huh." It took me almost 5 minutes to even be able to get to a sitting position.
After 10 minutes, I was able to stand up and walk around.
Then I got back under the bar and did it again.
I actually packed up and dragged myself out of the gym. And through some twist of cruel irony, the gym was in the basement of the buildng. I had to haul myself up two flights of stairs just to get out.
And that one single set was actually the most brutal workout I've ever done!
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