How I got caught Red-Handed doing Squats in the Bathroom

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caught red handedYup.

It happened. I got caught!

I never thought it would happen this way, but it did. I’m usually careful not to make any noises. To time things perfectly. To cover all my tracks.

But this time I miscalculated.

I was off my game.

I got caught red handed…

Doing squats in the bathroom…at work.

Here’s what happened…

I was in the bathroom – at work – in the middle of my set of deep bodyweight squats when in walks one of my co-workers. Usually I’m prepared – ready to make it look like I’m stretching or something.

But this time I was so zoned into my set. Laser focused. I just kept going without even realizing what was happening.

He stood there looking kind of baffled.

Until I finally snapped out of it and realized what was going on…oh shit. We looked at each other awkwardly. I flashed my big smile and walked out. Quickly.

Our interactions have been kind of awkward since.

So I figured I was due for an explanation.

Why the hell was I doing squats in the bathroom at work?

There’s a good reason. I promise.

My job requires a lot of sitting. I sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day (usually more). I’m sure I share this unfortunate fait with a lot of you.

And we all know what sitting does to your body.

Your metabolism slows.

Your posterior chain completely deactivates. Your hamstrings. Glutes. Lower back.

All activity comes to a halt.

And what happens when your muscles become deactivated?

They weaken.

Weak muscles aren’t capable of performing their functions at an optimal level. They essentially stop serving their purpose. And when that happens other muscles have to step up to the plate.

They have to compensate for that weakness.

This means extra stress placed on particular muscle groups.

Remember that time your partner forgot to do his part of the project? When you ended up having to do the entire thing by yourself. Remember how shitty that felt? How stressed you were?

This is exactly what happens when you sit.

Your glutes and hamstrings become deactivated and thus they weaken. So the muscles in the lower back try to play hero and pick up the slack.

Introducing overcompensation.

And lower back pain.

Now you understand why lower back pain is the second most common reason people visit the doctor [ref].

But there are ways to counteract this effect. Keeping particular muscle groups active and strong allows you to negate the effects sitting has on your body.

This is why I’m always sprinting.

Working with kettlebells.

Skipping rope.

By constantly doing these exercises throughout the week, I’m working to strengthen my posterior chain.

The purpose of the bodyweight squats is to re-activate those muscles. To bring life to them. Since I’m sitting for eight hours of the day, I ensure that at least once or twice an hour I make my way to the bathroom to snap them back to reality. To get those muscle firing again.

Bodyweight squats (especially nice deep ones) do a great job of activating your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. Sometimes I throw in some lunges. A few stretches. But my main weapon is a nice deep bodyweight squat.

It doesn’t take long either. I’m not advising you spend half an hour doing squats at work. All that’s needed is a set of 20 repetitions of deep bodyweight squats every couple of hours to get those muscles firing throughout the day.

The only hard part is finding a spot to do it.

I’ve resorted to the bathroom.

But you can do it wherever your heart pleases (or boss allows).

I got caught this time. But it won’t stop me. No way. Nothing can stop me.

I’m going to keep doing my squats. Every single day. Every couple of hours.

Because my health is too important to me.

And as for my work buddy…

I just hope we can still be friends.

How do you fight the effects of sitting? What do you do? Any tips are welcome in the comment section below.

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Comments

  1. Srdjan, funny story. I remember a couple years back a co-worker walked into the breakroom to find me doing a few decline push ups. They chuckled, but since they already knew I’m really into working out it wasn’t too big of a deal.

  2. Haha that’s a classic story! Maybe you’ll start a trend at work and everyone will be doing squats in the bathroom.

    If I’m sitting for too long, I just get up and walk around for a few minutes. For every 50 minutes of sitting I try and get 10 minutes of exercise.

    If I’m working for too long my brain becomes clouded and my productivity decreases!

    • Like I said in my last post – it’s all about spreading the virus. I hope the trend spreads. It would make work more…interesting.

      Getting up every now and then just to walk around is a must. I figured I would take it to the next level with the squats. As long as there is some movement throughout the day to bring life back to the muscles you’re good.

  3. Hugo van der Walt says:

    Brilliant story and something i should do more!

    I sometimes do dips in the kitchen on the corner of the kitchen counter (obviously when no one is there :) ) and sometimes i do pull ups on the security gates frame, but that is really when no one is around…hahaha.

    Im luckily one of those guys that aren’t shy and i will do these squats at my desk! It brings a smile to your co workers! :)

  4. Haha, great story! Im an 8hour work day at a desk too! Thanks for the tip!

  5. Hello Srdjan,

    My co-worker and I were reading your blog at work, it was the best story. We laughed hard. We work on the fifth floor. So my co-worker just did her squats now. You have great blog, I haved been helped immensely from it.

    Thanks

  6. Shaneka says:

    That’s funny..
    I’m often doing leg lifts as I wait for my food to cook in the breakroom microwave at work. Haven’t been ‘ caught red handed ‘ yet though. lol

    • You really have to be sneaky about it. I usually have things all planned out ahead of time but I guess this time I slipped up. But it sounds like you got your lunch room routine perfected!

  7. Filipe Karam says:

    I guess I’m lucky that I have my own room at work. I can do squats, jump rope, exercise with my kettlebells… The only thing I don’t have is a shower for afterwards! hahah

    Cheers!

  8. Fathin Shaikh Naeemmuddin says:

    I’m always get caught of doing stretching at my desk, cons of cubicles LOL Other exercises such as pushups, crunches, jumps, etc, so far I’m lucky that no one see me in action or if they do, they don’t alert me of their presence!

  9. Haha….I loved this post Srdjan! I like it when you post stories about yourself, your experiments and funny things that happen to you :) It’s inspiring! I was advising a client about the importance of hydration, because she spends her entire day at an office too – and I was inspired to give her even better advice after reading this post. I told her she has to walk to the water cooler to get water once an hour, but now her challenge is to walk there doing lunges :) She said she would only do it on days she was wearing pants…which I said was fair lol.

  10. Srdjan,

    That’s funny. I can relate since I also work in a cubicle. In The 4-Hour Body, Tim Ferriss recommends air squats for 1-2 minutes prior to a cheat meal as a means of damage control. When I first saw the title of the post, I thought this is what you’d be doing. Tim recommends doing them in the stalls! Less chance of getting caught that way!

    Alykhan

  11. Mini workouts anytime, anywhere are the way to go! It keeps you energized throughout the day and your metabolism in high gear. I don’t care where I am at, I always somehow get in two sets of 25 of pushups and squats before each meal and before bed. These two exercises are all I’m going to do from now on, as they work the entire body, and you don’t have to lie down to do them, do them anywhere, all you have to contend with is washing your hands. And by doing these little workouts, you really don’t work up much of a sweat. Forget the looks you might get! So what! Health is your greatest wealth!

  12. I meant not lying down on your back like when doing situps or crunches. Thus, you can get in a set of pushups or squats almost anywhere. I started doing this routine when I was on an extended vacation going to a different hotel every two or 3 days.

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