Bob Clayson's Optimal Exercise
for optimal health, aesthetic form, and function

Rest-Pause and Barefoot “Primal” Sprinting

This week I decided to switch up  my workout based on the suggestions of Drew Baye and some suggestions given by Mark Sisson in Primal Blueprint.  Instead of a squats or dead-lifts, I actually just did Sprint Intervals. I didn’t have a stop watch so I wasn’t really able to see what my speed was or how much time I took between intervals, but nevertheless it was still a great workout.  I did 8, roughly 100m sprints up a slight hill, with probably around 30-60 seconds rest as I walked back.  The soreness in my legs is pretty good, and definitely different than my usual lifting.  Soreness in my hip flexors and obliques in particular is heavier than normal, and different parts of my hamstring.  I also sprinted barefoot to effectively strengthen the feet.  I was shocked at the soreness I felt especially in the arches.

The reason for barefoot running is actually to strengthen the feet muscles that have grown disfigured and atrophied from shoe use.  Humans have spent a great deal of their history either barefoot or with flexible, sandal-like shoes.  For some reason modern scientist think that they can improve on evolution with complex shoes.  How ridiculous. Nature and natural selection and Intelligent Design have proven to be better. Many studies have shown the superiority of a primarily shoeless existence. In 1905 Dr. Phillip Hoffman did a study of people who’d gone primarily barefoot, vs. those who went primarily shoed.  Of the 186 “primal” shoeless feet he examined, none of them had any evidence of weak arches or any other issues plaguing approximately 20% of the “civilized” foot.  The full study, including exercises to strengthen the feet and restore function and health to one of your most important body parts, can be found at Mark’s Daily Apple.

I also changed up my upper-body routine, using Drew Baye’s suggestions for Rest-Pause.  I performed Weighted chins, dips and overhead press using significantly heavier weights than normal, and taking between 5-10 second rests between each rep.   I averaged between 7-10 reps for each movement (which is what I was shooting for).  The most notable thing was what I felt.  I seemed as though i felt a greater fiber stimulation than normal.  I don’t know how to describe it other than it felt like the entire muscle was stimulated through and through.  I experienced a similar sensation when performing John Little’s Max Contraction training, which is also a high-tension technique.  I experienced great results using that, so I hope to continue that with Rest-Pause.

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