Is it OK to Use a Foam Barbell Pad For Squats?

Posted on 10 Jun 2015 16:03


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For an industry and a sport that really takes pride in itself for promoting this attitude of you versus yourself, where the only competition that you have is yourself, we give a fuck-load of attention to what other people think about us.

If a beginner to lifting goes on an internet forum, and asks whether it is OK for him to use the foam barbell pad for squats to cushion the bar against the shoulders, he's going to get torn apart.

All the big boys, "the elite," — most of them anyway — are going to come down on him and tell him that that's a fucking pussy pad! And, a real man does NOT use a pussy pad! It's not acceptable.

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These same douchebags who are calling people pussies, most of them, are going to be very big users of the Safety Squat Bar (SSB). For those of you who are unaware, the SSB is the biggest, the ultimate, pussy pad of all time. So having all that padding on an SSB is acceptable, but having padding on a regular bar is is not acceptable, even though the movement that you're doing is the same. It's a squat.

All the BS aside, let's break this down. If you're a beginner, and you want to use a pad — and I'm going to call it the pad, I'm not going to call it the pussy pad, that's stupid. But if you want to use a barbell pad for your back squats, it's OK.

Normally what happens, and what you should expect is that as you get more proficient and stronger at the squat over time, you're going to want to discard the pad on your own. It will become a source of distraction or it might even add to your discomfort. A lot of people, when they start lifting, the bar is uncomfortable because they are not used to it, but later on as they get good at the lift, and find the proper position for the bar, and add upper back muscle (natural padding), they will find that the pad is no longer necessary and they can hold the bar on their shoulders. The pad will become useless, or even uncomfortable and a hindrance.

However, there are some people who, no matter what they do, putting the bar on their back is always going to be uncomfortable. For those of you who fall into this group, first of all, you don't have to do squats if you don't want to. But if you do want to, and you want to use the pad, it's OK. Don't get worked up about it, it's no big deal. And don't let these fuckers who are against the barbell padd for whatever reason get you worked up, either. It doesn't matter.

Do what makes you happy. As long as your numbers are going up, and you're feeling good about you're squats and you're getting stronger keep doing it. You know there is this phrase that a lot of bro science folks like to repeat: The Iron never lies to you. Because 200 pounds will always be 200 hundred pounds and 400 pounds will always be 400 pounds. So remember that. The pad really doesn't matter at all. Just make sure you get stronger, and you get closer and closer to your goals.

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