Increase Your Squat Weight Instantly! Force Dissipation Ah, here we go again, another empty promise for the day; so what’s new?! Well let me assure you fellow iron warriors, the promise I’m making here is not another one of those empty magazine promises, where if you just take this or that pill, or follow such and such a program, you’d turn into a superman or wonder woman overnight. This here is the real deal. This short article of mine is not about that Russian or Bulgarian squat program, nor is it about squat technique as such. This article is about what you’ve got underneath your feet…your shoes! I’m willing to take a guess that about 95% of everyone reading these words is wearing the wrong shoes when it comes to that almighty exercise we discuss so much on public forums. Yes, it’s the king of leg strength exercises we come to love and respect; his name is King Squat! Now we all want to feel comfortable and secure, that goes for our feet also. We go shopping and we spend a hefty sum of money on the most comfortable shoes we could find, or could afford at the time. Usually these shoes are great looking and mighty comfy. They have some of the best shock-absorbing materials you could ever find. The feeling one gets from such a comfortable shoes is as if one was walking on air. After all, who wants to damage their feet walking or running on hard surfaces? Not me that’s for sure. But hang on a minute; we’re talking about squatting with some heavy duty weights here, not running or walking…SQUATTING! I won’t be using two yards long words here to try and impress you with some science etc. When was the last time you saw a sprinter wearing weightlifting shoes and racing with them? The sprinter’s shoes have spikes on the front portion where the feet make contact with the ground as the sprinter is bursting through like a bullet. Shoes that fit the occasion beautifully. Now for the fun bit: Force Dissipation. Now imagine this with me if you will. You're sitting on the floor with your legs half extended forward (as in a half-squat position). You’re placing your feet against a heavy object which you intend to push forward away from you. You have your back against the wall for some serious stabilisation and force generation. You begin to push and are happy to see that heavy object moving slowly forward. Now imagine this; what would happen if suddenly the wall you’ve had your back against is taken away? Your legs and glutes are still your legs and glutes are they not? Well then why has that heavy object stopped moving forward and why have you lost your strength? The answer is because the object that was preventing the generated strength of your legs from dissipating has been eliminated. We’re talking about the wall that was giving support to your back here remember? Ok, let’s look at it from a slightly different perspective. What would you say if I was to magically bring that wall back but with a small variation to its composition? I mean a wall is bloody rock solid is it not? Well how about I make it a little bit soft, you know, cushioning it a bit to make it more comfortable on your back when you’re pushing and applying force against that heavy object in front? Basically what I’ve done is I’ve taken a non-compressible wall and exchanged it with one that is all nice and soft for you; all in the name of comfort! Now transfer the above example of lost strength to when you’re squatting. You’re coming out of the squat, pushing against the ground with everything you’ve got; or are you? If you’re wearing runners, then you can bet some of the force you’re generating upwards has been lost through your shoes instead of trapping every atom of it to help you explode up. An example of power dissipation is what happens when you run on soft beach sand. Have you picked the magic words yet? Soft Cushioning Compressible Shock-absorbing The above three qualities need to be eliminated from your shoes the next time you intend to take my challenge and instantly beat your pre-existing squat poundages. Bodybuilders spend a large sum of their money on supplements etc. How about allocating some much needed attention to the only two feet you have and investing in some proper weightlifting shoes. I have not touched on weightlifting shoes’ feet stability factor or the way they stabilise you if you lack flexibility in the ankle joint. Usually inflexibility of the ankle joint results in the heels rising off the ground. Failing to keep the heels grounded while the knee travels forward in the squat position can spell disaster for the knee joints and ligaments where stress is magnified tremendously. This article was simply written to highlight the point of strength "leakage" if you like. I’ll leave it here and leave the rest for you to reflect upon. The decision is yours; make it wisely. Thanks for reading. Fadi.