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Old 11-13-2009, 08:33 PM   #31
Clay Jones
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Re: Lifting barefoot? Good or bad?

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Originally Posted by Ed Haywood View Post
OK, go run a marathon barefoot on pavement and tell us how that works out for you.


You need to read the book Born to Run. Those wearing little to no footwear are very competitive--esp. in the ultramarathon scene.

Back to the original question: Lifting shoes on the platform, shoes optional for everything else.
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:21 PM   #32
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Lifting barefoot? Good or bad?

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Originally Posted by Brad Davis View Post
Here's a question, and there might be an answer. Is there a study that shows that training barefoot actually increases strength, agility, balance, conditioning, or any other performance parameter, as compared to training in shoes? For example, someone could take 40 trainees (half barefoot) and put them through the same S&C program for 6 months and then measure improvements in S&C parameters. Has this been reported? (I ask because I perceive there to be a risk to training barefoot. If there is enough benefit, then the benefit/risk ratio might make the practice worth it.)
Most traditional martial arts train either barefoot or in very minimal shoes/slippers. For me, at least, the difference between shoes and barefoot is like the difference between listening with or without earplugs. My balance and agility are noticeably "muffled" with shoes on. When lifting, I usually take my shoes off as the weight gets heavier (haven't invested in lifting shoes yet) because the instability under my feet starts to matter.

My advice would be (1) to spend as much time barefoot as you possibly can, just because it's good for your feet, and (2) to do enough barefoot lifting to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages for yourself.

Katherine
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:29 PM   #33
Brad Davis
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Re: Lifting barefoot? Good or bad?

Sure, but there are counter-examples. Football players wear shoes and some are extremely agile and well balanced. Basketball players cut, jump, and run very well in their heavy leather shoes. Dimas C&J 469 at 187 wearing weightlifting shoes.

What I'm wondering about is if the subject has been formally studied to actually prove whether training barefoot has benefit. All I've heard so far sounds theoretical.

Last edited by Brad Davis : 11-13-2009 at 10:31 PM.
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:44 AM   #34
Tony Black
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Re: Lifting barefoot? Good or bad?

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Originally Posted by Brad Davis View Post
Sure, but there are counter-examples. Football players wear shoes and some are extremely agile and well balanced. Basketball players cut, jump, and run very well in their heavy leather shoes. Dimas C&J 469 at 187 wearing weightlifting shoes.

What I'm wondering about is if the subject has been formally studied to actually prove whether training barefoot has benefit. All I've heard so far sounds theoretical.
So you need a study to prove that Kenyans, Zulus, Kalahari bushmen and other indigenous people (with stunning examples of top runners amongst them) exist?

Or that man evolved barefoot?

Or do you believe that genius sports companies have trumped several hundred thousand years of evolution by sticking some brightly colored expensive rubber under our feet?


Actually i do wish some1 would do a proper study and illustrate just how damn bad most shoes are.....
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:23 AM   #35
Beau Bryant
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Re: Lifting barefoot? Good or bad?

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Originally Posted by Leslie Powell View Post
What I always wonder about:

One of the selling points of barbells (and squat racks) is that they let you use loads that you couldn't realistically manage with "natural" weights (sandbags, people, stones, logs, etc.)

I'm sure that before shoes and barbells were invented, people were lifting and throwing heavy stuff. I'm not sure, though, that they were regularly squatting 500lbs., deadlifting 600 or cleaning 300lbs. I haven't seen a whole lot of sandbag/stone lifts anywhere near those weights (though I'm sure that someone somewhere is doing it.)
Yes, weightlifting shoes on the platform.
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Old 11-14-2009, 05:10 AM   #36
Shawn Casey
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Re: Lifting barefoot? Good or bad?

This guy runs barefoot unless he's running over 60 miles, then he runs in vibrams or sandals on hard packed surfaces. http://barefootted.com/

I'm pretty sure it's something you would have to work your way into if you have been wearing shoes all your life, Ed.

Brad, maybe when you were training barefoot, that is all you were doing barefoot. Going from having your feet binded to working out barefoot to binding them again might not give your feet a chance to get use to not wearing shoes. Maybe starting out just walking barefoot for a while will make an easier transition. I try to spend as much time barefoot as possible. When I transitioned, I started with walking and short runs using the pose method. I remember having little tweaks in my joints. I assumed it was from my body getting use to the transition. I train as much as I can barefoot and my knees, ankles and back are stronger than ever.

I was starting to get an uneasy feeling in my knees about 2 years ago. Not really joint pain but like my knees would give out any minute. I did the barefoot thing and transitioned to pose running and my whole body feels better not just my knees. Your feet are intricate works of art that are destroyed by shoes. Your feet aren't alowed to naturally strengthen themselves when you ware shoes and it can lead to issues from knee pain to upperback pain to elbow pain. Alot of nagging injuries throughout the body can be corrected just by taking off your shoes and walking around barefoot every day.

Another thing, I tend to move out of the way when I drop something heavy. If a person drops weights on themselves, they might not be concentrating hard enough on what they are doing. I tend to pay attention when I have stuff in my hands that might hurt my feet.

There are plenty to google about training and running barefoot. Steve Maxwell makes you take of your shoes to train with him because he believes in it so much. He had a guy that had prior knee surgery start training without shoes and it took away his knee pain and strengthened his knees.
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:39 AM   #37
Ed Haywood
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Re: Lifting barefoot? Good or bad?

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go to a marathon and observe the athletes from kenya that are doing exactly that and posting times under 2:30
I'm not talking about some exceptional Kenyans. I'm talking about YOU ... or anyone else commenting on this thread. Because I'm just a normal guy, yet I've run a marathon in shoes, and my feet were fine. The notion that shoes are inherently bad or inferior to the bare human foot is laughable. If that were the case, human beings would not have started wearing shoes ten thousand years before Nike started advertising.

This thread is becoming a bad example of the pseudo-science, amateur anthropology, and pet theories that sometimes take control on this board.

Last edited by Ed Haywood : 11-14-2009 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:53 AM   #38
Brad Davis
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Re: Lifting barefoot? Good or bad?

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So you need a study to prove that Kenyans, Zulus, Kalahari bushmen and other indigenous people (with stunning examples of top runners amongst them) exist? ...
No. I can easily enough accept that it's better to run barefoot with a forefoot style than with squishy shoes and a heel-toe style. The human body was designed with a fabulous system to minimize problems caused by the impulsive forces from running (or walking, jumping, landing, etc.). The system depends on the use of a forefoot style and feedback from the ground being contacted. The second of these is what I find most interesting. With the squishy shoes, the feedback is harder to feel and has a small time lag, so the suspension system operates less efficiently. At least that's what I've assumed is the problem with squishy shoes.

However, this thread is about weight training and I don't think many here are dedicated distance runners. How are other S&C parameters affected by barefoot training? Parameters such as max strength, explosive strength, quickness, vertical leap, max sprint speed, etc. For example, if 20 people lift barefoot and 20 lift in shoes for 6 months, will the barefoot group have a better average improvement?
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:18 AM   #39
Brad Davis
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Re: Lifting barefoot? Good or bad?

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Originally Posted by Shawn Casey View Post
... Brad, maybe when you were training barefoot, that is all you were doing barefoot.
...
Alot of nagging injuries throughout the body can be corrected just by taking off your shoes and walking around barefoot every day.
You make good points here IMO. I was spending more time barefoot, but perhaps not enough. I tried to walk around the house barefoot, but there's the 50+ hours/week spent on the job in leather shoes.

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Another thing, I tend to move out of the way when I drop something heavy. If a person drops weights on themselves, they might not be concentrating hard enough on what they are doing. I tend to pay attention when I have stuff in my hands that might hurt my feet.
All I can say is that if someone spends enough time lifting weights, sooner or later, it's going to happen. I haven't kept formal count, but I think I've probably averaged dropping a plate on my foot once every 4-5 years and I'm not careless (or maybe I am, LOL...). I've also seen a lost finger in the gym, so maybe I'm just bad luck--I didn't cause it, I promise! Back on topic: There are also other lifters, like the guy I typed about from a couple of days ago. I'm not the only one that sees this as a valid concern. Go over to Mark Rippetoe's board and bring up the topic of barefoot lifting! Prepare for a non-WFS rant about safety, LOL.

This thread is great. I'm tempted to give barefoot another try...everywhere but in the weight room that is. I have enough lingering little pains here and there and it would be interesting to change this variable and see if any of them go away.

Edit: This might've been covered somewhere else, and if so, I apologize for asking: What's the most "barefoot" shoe alternative that's realistic in a business environment? I think my teaching evaluations, etc. would probably suffer if I was the only professor with VFFs. Those guys really need to develop a shoe with the basic feature of the VFF, but that looks more like a regular shoe!

Last edited by Brad Davis : 11-14-2009 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:26 AM   #40
Brad Davis
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Re: Lifting barefoot? Good or bad?

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...This thread is becoming a bad example of the pseudo-science, amateur anthropology, and pet theories that sometimes take control on this board.
Agreed. Hence my question from last night. If there really is something to barefoot training (outside of distance running), then someone should be willing to prove it with a formal study.
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