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  • Barefoot Squats and Deadlifts?

    what is your opinion on this?
    I've been doing these work outs barefoot or with vibrams on and have had no problems so far. I feel I engage my thighs/legs better.


    The other day this guy mentioned that he began to use work out shoes because the weights on deadlifts where getting very heavy and thought his feet needed arch support to resist the heavy weights being pushed onto his feet. I thought that was interesting...


    Please share your experiences
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  • #2
    What are "work out shoes?" Do you mean weightlifting shoes? Or some kind of ridiculous fluffy-gel-soled "cross-trainer" B.S.?

    What does he think will happen to his feet if he deadlifts without arch support? That they'll actually develop musculature that's appropriate for weight-bearing exercise?

    I deadlift in Chuck Taylors and squat either barefoot or Vibram-clad. Not sure if you'd consider the weight I lift heavy, but it certainly feels heavy to me.
    The Champagne of Beards

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    • #3
      barefoot or vibrams for me. about 15 years ago when i saw all of those old videos of arnold and all of those giants muscleheads squatting and deadlifting barefoot, i decided that if it was good enough for the biggest and strongest guys in the world, it was good enough for me. you could also get away with some chuck taylors or a barefoot style shoe like a merrel trail glove if you wanted to

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
        What are "work out shoes?" Do you mean weightlifting shoes? Or some kind of ridiculous fluffy-gel-soled "cross-trainer" B.S.?

        What does he think will happen to his feet if he deadlifts without arch support? That they'll actually develop musculature that's appropriate for weight-bearing exercise?

        I deadlift in Chuck Taylors and squat either barefoot or Vibram-clad. Not sure if you'd consider the weight I lift heavy, but it certainly feels heavy to me.
        Hey Rich why different shoes for squats vs. deadlifts?

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        • #5
          Since I lift in the morning about 15 minutes after I get up, and I'm still in my PJs, I lift barefoot. I prefer barefoot over even barefoot shoes, because I need the feedback of how far my heels vs my toes are sinking into the carpet (keeps me from tilting back or forward.)
          Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
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          • #6
            I used to do them barefoot, but now I wear Vibrams. I lift in my basement, and there are tiny metal shavings, wood splinters, etc. that are scattered about and completely invisible. I got tired of getting splinters in my feet, so I wear the VFFs for protection.
            "Don't waste your time, or time will waste you."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sjmc View Post
              Hey Rich why different shoes for squats vs. deadlifts?
              Just don't want to cheat myself out of 1/2" of ROM for the deadlift.
              The Champagne of Beards

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              • #8
                I use weightlifting shoes for squat, but deadlift in socks alone.

                Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

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                • #9
                  Vibrams for squats and deadlifts here. Lifting barefoot feels weird somehow.

                  Arch support for deadlifts.... what? lol. "Arch support" is one of those things that just seems completely insane after being primal for a while. Is that guy not also concerned about his hamstrings and glutes?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                    Just don't want to cheat myself out of 1/2" of ROM for the deadlift.
                    Ah got it. I have just recently started lifting with a barbell, and I followed the general advice to use the full-size light weights until 45s are needed. I wonder if that's even necessary, since I am so short...the bar is practically at my knees. So I think maybe it makes sense to scale the height. BUT on the other hand, assuming I want to someday lift with 45s, it makes sense to practice from that height. (I squatted 50kg my last workout ... I haven't set an honest baseline yet for deadlifts).

                    ^This was a question I've been wanting to ask, so excuse me for rambling into it here.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by sjmc View Post
                      Ah got it. I have just recently started lifting with a barbell, and I followed the general advice to use the full-size light weights until 45s are needed. I wonder if that's even necessary, since I am so short...the bar is practically at my knees. So I think maybe it makes sense to scale the height. BUT on the other hand, assuming I want to someday lift with 45s, it makes sense to practice from that height. (I squatted 50kg my last workout ... I haven't set an honest baseline yet for deadlifts).

                      ^This was a question I've been wanting to ask, so excuse me for rambling into it here.
                      If you never plan to compete in a Powerlifting meet, then you don't "need" to be used to deadlifting from the standard height.

                      There was a point when I did all my deadlifts with the little 25 lb plates for the extra ROM. This would basically emulate what's called a "deficit deadlift"

                      What is important is consistency. Both for form and because you need a way to gauge (and drive) your progress. So if you'll be using 45's to deadlift eventually (which you will, don't worry), I'd just stick to pulling from that height for now. You can always specifically add some longer ROM work later on (like deficit SLDL's or whatever else sounds fun) when you're a more advanced lifter.
                      The Champagne of Beards

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                        If you never plan to compete in a Powerlifting meet, then you don't "need" to be used to deadlifting from the standard height.

                        There was a point when I did all my deadlifts with the little 25 lb plates for the extra ROM. This would basically emulate what's called a "deficit deadlift"

                        What is important is consistency. Both for form and because you need a way to gauge (and drive) your progress. So if you'll be using 45's to deadlift eventually (which you will, don't worry), I'd just stick to pulling from that height for now. You can always specifically add some longer ROM work later on (like deficit SLDL's or whatever else sounds fun) when you're a more advanced lifter.
                        Thanks, that sounds reasonable. It's almost like there's more than one day to do this stuff

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                        • #13
                          My squatting form really started to improve when I took off the shoes. Obviously this could be a function of the shoe, but squatting barefoot allows me to push with the heel. When I wear shoes, I want to push with the balls of my feet. I believe this has something to do with the construction of the sole of the shoe, but who knows.

                          Without trying to state the obvious, a couple of pointers:

                          1) Make sure your socks have some traction. I have been with a guy when his feet started slipping when he went heavy.
                          2) Be aware of people around you and even yourself when changing weights. Idiots drop plates all the time and rack them improperly. Even a 2.5 dropped from 6 feet could put you out of commission.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TTBlue21 View Post
                            2) Be aware of people around you and even yourself when changing weights. Idiots drop plates all the time and rack them improperly. Even a 2.5 dropped from 6 feet could put you out of commission.
                            are you suggesting that sneakers provide some sort of magical protection from dropped weights?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by not on the rug View Post
                              are you suggesting that sneakers provide some sort of magical protection from dropped weights?
                              are you suggesting a shoe would not provide more protection against a 2.5 pound weight than a sock? I didn't say 45 pound weight did I?

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