Muschamp Rd

Squatting Away My Life

November 10th, 2014

I’ve been trying to keep busy, I have applied to so many job postings and of course looked at hundreds more. I’ve resumed studying for the CFA® Program and of course I’ve continued to workout at the gym, including following a squat heavy program that has become en vogue.

I’ve injured my knees and back many, many times over the years so I stopped playing sports and stopped going to the gym and I did rehab type exercises especially for my shoulder for a long long time. Now I still don’t have the greatest range of motion and I need to lose more weight, but I regularly go to the gym. The folks over at Fitocracy and elsewhere online are big on “squat form checks”. I’m not so big on taking pictures of myself let alone video, but I got up at around 5 AM this morning to go to the gym.

Squat Form Check

5 AM isn’t the least busiest time at the gym, all the super keeners are there, an hour or so after the gym opens is less busy, the super keeners are gone and regular folks are still in bed. I couldn’t get my preferred squat rack and I had trouble keeping myself in frame at first and I had to battle with iMovie a bit, but I did upload a short video of me squatting 275 lbs then 185 lbs. My form is noticeably better at lighter weights, I think I subconsciously stop myself from going as low with more weight on the bar. I am working on my flexibility and mobility, but I need to work on my confidence too.

Confidence definitely helps during the job search. I have two interviews this week, both for contract positions, hopefully one of them pans out because I spent way too much money on rent, food, and cafe mochas during my latest spell of unemployment.

Improved Squat Form

It has been a while, but I’ve kept at it, I lost a lot of weight, but I never took another video of myself squatting. I was working towards attempting a widowmaker which is twenty reps at your bodyweight. But I kept injuring myself, not necessarily because I have bad form, but because I’m old and I have chronic back, knee, and now hip problems. I actually had an infected gallbladder which was causing me all kinds of problems and pain too, but then I had emergency surgery just before my CFA exam. So after all that I ordered an Inzer Forever Belt and SBD sleeves to go with my Anta weightlifting shoes and I decided I was going to attempt twenty reps at 105 kilos and despite some numbness due to my chronic back problems I made it.

But there is no video because when I record video on my iPhone I discovered I get no music on my Monster iSport Freedom bluetooth headphones, so I’d rather have music than video, but I recorded another set I did after the widowmaker this time 110 kilos for 5 reps which I then edited and despite iMovie not letting me upload it directly, I eventually got it uploaded to YouTube and you can see it below along with another gym selfie I took the first time I squatted in my new gear, the video was taken a week later.

Another Friday night at the bar. I know how important the right outfit is so I assembled this little ensemble. Green @adidas tennis shoes, green @underarmour socks, green @nike shorts Green Lantern t-shirt, green @monsterproducts iSport headphones, then when I got serious green @inzer_official Forever Belt, @sbdapparel sleeves both purchased from @innerstrengthproducts and shipped to #Shanghai, the shoes alas not green but #anta #olympiclifting #shoes bought from #instagramer @yangyang7878 of course I have #pink #gym bags because they were free and I made sure to squeeze in my @lululemon water bottle so I get all the #yoga love and #instafame alas I forgot my towel and ran short of time for #cardio and #kettlebellswings but I got in my first #squats in my new belt, need to lose a little more of my #powerbelly

A post shared by Andrew McKay (@muskiemckay) on

Am I a Fitness Influencer?

I continue to get requests to edit my old blog posts and webpages to link to articles on websites I’ve never heard of, I got quite upset about that and the theft of my intellectual property. I’m still looking for a better job and still studying for certification exams and against my better judgement I agreed to link to an article on gear you can wear while squatting or powerlifting. I actually set a lifetime squat PR and then another recently, my first in the three years I’ve been in China. It was probably too much for my knees, I’m still trying to heal from whatever new damage I did. For the record I was wearing my knee sleeves and using my powerlifting belt.

As for whether I’m a fitness influencer, besides the emails requesting links, I seem to have more followers on Instagram. The Rock came to my gym multiple times in Shanghai so you never know who might be reading your social media posts, so best be positive and go easy on the spam.

Here is a recent gym selfie, still not able to get my bodyweight down to 100 kilos. I must focus on passing the Level 3 CFA Exam after that I’ll train more frequently if possible and possibly go on a stricter diet and do high intensity cardio if my knees can take it, some people think I should have abs, but others are all about how much weight you can put on the bar. Most females fall into the former category, males are more likely to fall into the latter category.

If you have any thoughts or advice you can leave them below.


  • Muskie says:

    I think I’ve gotten better. I walkout better and I hit depth or come a lot closer to it, 110 kilos is lighter than 275 lbs I think, but comparable weight. The shoes help with depth, the belt helps with bracing and the sleeves help when you are at the very bottom plus just gives you confidence when you’ve got bad knees.

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