Workout of the Day

Guest Post: It's not a cure-all, but...


When I was in high school, I went out for track for two years. At that point in my life, I was doing about all I could do to avoid working too hard, physically speaking. I went out for shotput and discus because I knew the amount of running would be minimal.

To my dismay, however, there was still some running involved, and I began to notice a dull pain in my right knee whenever we had to hoof it around the track. I didn’t stick with track for very long.

A few years later, though, realizing that my body was not magically going to become the ideal size and shape I dreamed of, I picked up running again because it was 1) free, and 2) the least complicated way to work out. Again, I began to notice my knee aching on a regular basis. I was told this was common for runners, and was advised to wear a knee band while running.

This was my setup for the next couple of years, living with a general dull ache in my right knee, one that got especially bad when my leg was bent for an extended period of time. Looking back on that, it kind of amazes me to realize that at 20 years old I thought this was probably normal. I had anecdotal evidence to back me up on that; many people I talked to spoke of similar complaints.

This all came to a head when I started spending more time with our friend coach Preston, who was starting to flex his baby coach-muscles by getting his girlfriend to work out with him. I complained of my knee ailments, and he suggested that my problem probably had something to do with the fact that the muscles surrounding the knee joint needed to be stronger. I protested the idea that my legs were weak, but I asked what he would recommend.

“Squats,” he said. “Lots and lots of squats.”

Thus began my journey of strength training. The first time I tried to squat, I dropped my hips a few inches and stopped in panic.

“You need to go lower,” Preston informed me.

“I can’t,” I replied. “If I do, I’m pretty sure my knee will explode.”

At first, it really did feel like that’s what was going to happen. My knees were so tight, so unaccustomed to that range of motion, that it felt like my patella was about to pop out of my skin.

Anyone who has seen me squat lately can probably guess that this is no longer the case. I do not pretend to have perfect form, but I can easily get below parallel and do so without pain or discomfort. And I have not had chronic knee pain in years--actually, since I started lifting weights.

I would venture to guess that anyone else who lifts could tell you a similar story--that when you start strengthening the muscles, the joints stop being quite so achy, and are able to function a little more ideally.

We know there are certain things that work when it comes to fitness. Eating lots of veggies, for example.

And squats. Lots and lots of squats.

-Joy Sprimont


  • Bench press - 10,10,10

  • 10 min EMOM

    • Min 1: 12 renegade rows (6/arm)

    • Min 2: 40s max air squats