Dumbbells in the gym

Another week of Bulgarian split squats

I’m back to join the Weekly rundown link-up, where bloggers share their week of fitness. But first, let’s talk about the events of last weekend.

We survived St Patrick’s day! It was mad though. We managed to squeeze in two parades, a music session, staying in packed pubs, and later chat and music with a friend in Sweden over Zoom. The latter gave some strange lockdown vibes (we used to do this weekly for a while) but I still enjoyed it, and it was lovely to see her.

The parade in our little town is absolutely nothing compared to what you may have seen in photos from Dublin, but it’s nice. It’s mostly about local schools and organisations, but it was fun to photograph it with my new-ish 45 mm lens. I didn’t take many photos but here’s a collection, since so many of you asked! (Click on photos to see them in larger size)

This week has been quite a bummer! The gym was closed on Monday, and on Tuesday I started having sore throat and sniffles. That’s what you get for being social on St Patrick’s day.

So there has been no proper strength training this week. I’ve been well enough to want to train, but unwell enough to know I shouldn’t train. And definitely feeling well enough to be annoyed about it!

Fitness this week was almost exclusively about doing Bulgarian split squats. This is not bad – it’s balance, strength and mobility work all in one exercise. I’ve kept this going all week, but carefully, with low or no weight.

Monday

I got my Bulgarian squats done, and added push-ups, bicep curls and lateral raises with 5 kg dumbbells, and lunges with the light bar.

Tuesday

I did Bulgarian squats, and a few sets of single leg heel raises too. I need to prepare for the long walks that will happen soon and I haven’t been doing heel raises a lot recently.
Today I started feeling “funny” in my throat but thought it was just heartburn.

Wednesday

Bulgarian squats and nothing else.

It was a lovely day with both 10 degrees and sunshine and I would have loved to go for a walk! But I also realised my sore throat had taken the turn towards a virus thing, so decided it was probably best to stay inside.

Thursday

This was a grey, dull day. I was bored and just wanted to go back to the gym! The only thing to do was to enjoy some Bulgarian squats.

Friday

Today I thought my throat had settled down! But I still needed to take it easy to keep getting better, so I only did Bulgarian squats, one set with dumbbells, one set without.

When I don’t use weights it becomes an excellent balance-only exercise (although of course, with the squat happening, some muscle work is involved too) and I tried to focus on the stability while putting my back foot in place, and tried understanding what my problem really is with this exercise. I’m not any wiser, lol! But I’m trying some different strategies to make Bulgarian squats easier to perform.

Saturday

The obvious repetitive sentence here… I only did Bulgarian squats. Only bodyweight today and very soft. My body is telling me to take it easy.

Sunday

Today I’ll just rest… I’m “enjoying” a very slow moving cold with all the bells and whistles, and I want to recover asap. I’ve been doing some single leg stands to challenge my balance while waiting for my breakfast waffles. At least something!

Bulgarian squat reflections

I’m three weeks into my Bulgarian split squat challenge, although this week has been less productive since I needed to be careful with my sore throat.

So how have I been doing with my Bulgarian split squats this week?

I’m not making any huge progress. But it takes more than three weeks to work up balance and stability. Building strength probably takes longer than three weeks too, but I feel stronger around my hips, and I feel less wiggly around the knees.

I was able to do Bulgarian split squats ok last spring but after my injury I was back to zero. Now I’ve been struggling with them for too long and this is the top reason why I’m so obsessed with them.

I’ve decided I should be able to do them, that I WILL conquer them and will continue doing the work until I succeed. Too much of my lack of stability is in my head (and of course my trainer is telling me this, he knows everything about my head, lol), and that’s something else to work on.

That’s it for this week, and I certainly hope to be more into action next week! How was your week? Do you have anything fitness-related you’re obsessed with, that you’re working on?

Thanks Deborah and Kim for hosting the Weekly rundown link-up!

22 responses to “Another week of Bulgarian split squats”

  1. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    I’d probably say (and many would agree) that I love stair-training! It is such a great full-body exercise (with most emphasis on lower-body, obviously). It has balance (if you incorporate double-steps or triples), strength in every muscle of the legs, and all kinds of cardio. What’s not to love 😉 I would bet you have a lot more progress than you’re aware of. Doing a challenge like that, daily, makes it’s hard to see the slight improvements…but they’re there!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I can imagine that sort of stair climbing is hard work and a good workout. We did some stair climbing once in a hotel but otherwise we don’t have access to any proper stairs.
      Yes, you’re probably right when you say I’ve likely made more progress than I think… I’ll make a summary later on and the ultimately test will come when I’m asked to do them in the gym!

  2. Melissa avatar

    Ha – you photoshopped that tank top?! That should definitely be in your wardrobe. Nice job with all the strength workouts. I am really just trying to prioritize core workouts and stretching for my hips so I keep injury free – I’m newly injury free and picking up my mileage for half marathon training but trying to also be cautious and not injured.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, I’ll definitely get a real tank like that!
      Good on you for focusing on staying injury-free. Core and hips are such important body parts to keep strong! The hips seem to be key in everything. I hope all goes well with your half marathon training!

  3. Debbie avatar

    I hope you start feeling better soon. You have got to make a tank like that! As I said earlier, you are the queen of Bulgarian split squats!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Debbie! I’ll definitely get a tank top like that! It’s too cool to not do it. “Queen of Bulgarian split squats” gives me another print idea… 🙂

  4. Coco avatar

    Hah! That’s an awesome shirt for you — you will have to will it into existence!

    Are you able to do them in front of a mirror? I need a mirror to do any strength moves, but definitely need one for anything that requires balance.

    Love the parade photos!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I could find a way to use a mirror, but I think it’s less work to use the camera and then check the video afterwards, then correct form if needed. It’s helped so far although I still have things to work on. Also, I think my eyesight is too bad to even see details in the mirror where I’d need to place it. Do you use a mirror to check form? Or do you mean it helps you with balance?

  5. Wendy avatar

    Haha! I love that shirt! Bulgarian split squats? Not so much. I love your dedication!

    My favorite photos were from your parade! So much better than a big city parade, I think! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I think everybody dislikes them! But they have this strange appeal to me because they are so challenging.
      I totally agree about a small town parade! I’d never enjoy the one in Dublin, way too big and too crowded.

  6. Jenny avatar

    Ha! Of course I thought that was a real shirt at first and was astonished such a thing exists. If you make it, make some extras and I’ll buy one from you! I haven’t been doing them EVERY day like you have, but I’ve been doing them a few times a week. SO HARD on my left side! Which just goes to show that I need it. (btw you look really strong in that photo!)
    I hope you feel better this week and can get back to the gym. Oh and I agree with Kim that you’ve probably made more progress than you realize with the BSS- consistency is key!!!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Never underestimate the power of Photoshop! 🤣 I’d love to sell one to you! Actually I’ve been planning to sell things like that but I’m still struggling with all the administrative stuff.
      A few times a week is very good! Consistency is key as you say! Keep doing them and it’ll help your left leg a lot.
      I took that photo (and a few others with it) in mid-December, even before all my PBs. But of course, I didn’t really start counting PBs until I managed to do the 50 kg squats. Looking strong is one of the best compliments I can get (I was always skinny and weak all my life) so thank you!

  7. Deborah Brooks avatar

    Feeling stronger is a win! I’m impressed w your dedication. It’s fun to see the real Ireland celebrations!

    1. Susanne avatar

      It certainly is a win! Now sadly I’ve had to take a few days off but I’ll be back on it asap.

  8. Jenn avatar

    I’m so sorry you got sick, but look at those arms! You are absolutely crushing it! And you did so well, even though you weren’t feeling great!

    I love your dedication to this journey!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Ah, thank you, Jenn!! I used to always be skinny and weak so I celebrate every piece of defined muscle!
      This Bulgarian split squat challenge is a lot of fun…. simply because everyone dislikes them so much! I just wish I could have kept it going full-on with weights (I had to slow down and do less because of not feeling well).

  9. Catrina Denker avatar

    Well, this is a great reminder to do Bulgarian Squats again!
    I’m off to Crossfit this morning and we have walking handstands. It’s going to be interesting, because I can’t even do a handstand against a wall, ha!
    Love your St. Patrick photos! It looks like a very “cosy” event.

    1. Susanne avatar

      OMG, handstands!! That must be so hard! And yes, do some Bulgarian squats (obviously after your leg is healed), they’re so good for so many aspects. I think our size of St Patrick’s day parade is very good, although I wish there were more non-kids organisations represented. There used to be more charities that I haven’t really seen in recent years.

  10. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures avatar

    Fun parade! You are doing awesome on your squat challenge. How great that you are feeling stronger! I could probably use some squats in my life. I am starting to feel some glute pain with the increase in mileage and speedwork that I’ve done lately.

    1. Susanne avatar

      That’s a bummer about your glute pain! Is it same as you had before? I hope you get it sorted. I’ve realised in recent years how important glute and hip strength is for most activities (and health) we do so I make sure to make them strong. All the varieties of squats are so beneficial.

  11. Anne avatar

    Love the tank top, too. And yes, I owe you an email – many apologies. It’s been a challenging week and it’s only Tuesday.
    You have amazing muscles! I hope you are duly proud of them – you have earned them!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m incredibly proud of them! They’re the result of hard consistent work! And when we go to Spain now, every day it’s warm enough I’m going all in with tank tops!

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