I might switch to something else from the crunches soon, I don't know how much they're benefitting me and I haven't advanced since I dropped the counter weight.
I've always thought the reverse crunches were quite effective, I get a major burn off them. I'm still using a 5kg plate. I find they're as hard as you make them. The slower you do them the better, so you're not using momentum. And concentrate on your core pulling your legs rather than using the counterweight. Something that completely changed these for me was putting something inbetween my thighs and calves to ensure my legs were in a closed position all the time. Made them much harder - no cheating!
You know, you may be right. Looking back I think I was using the counterweight to cheat some.. I go slow on the down movement but not so much on the crunch movement. I'll try doing them slower next time and add a counterweight if I need to. I also find staying tensed at the bottom makes 'em harder, ie legs not past parallel. I do agree they burn when done right.
What do you eat on a typical day?
Let's see. I pretty much have some meals basically the same each day
Oatmeal - Oats, peanut butter, banana, bread, orange juice
Smoothie: Various fruits, usually some frozen, soy milk, oats, 15g protein powder
Salad: Spinach, beans, seeds, avocado, sprouts, etc w/ olive oil, salt (good salt)
Shake: Multigrains (oats, wheat, barley, rye), soy/almond milk, other 15g protein, wheat germ, granola, banana
Then the other couple meals I actually cook like black bean burgers, pasta, stir fry or I might eat out (tho rarely). Throw in some more fruits and nuts and peanut butter sandwiches/whatever and that's about it. I can eat more on days when I get a lot in early on. I'll have hit 4k and about to go to bed but still be hungry. Lots of oats and carbs I know
And no you're not being a pussy. If your leg hurts everytime you go to do them because it hasn't healed, you need to rest it. If you're not sure, start off light and add weight gradually to see if the injuries still lingering. I'll be able to tell you soon if deep squats are making a difference for me
Hopefully it does. I've been thinking about doing some front squats in the meantime, but I think those are supposed to use your quads more so we'll see. Did you change anything besides the bar position to start going deeper?