In a very practical training sense, proper foot placement is a vital step when setting up for a squat PR attempt. Dave Tate comments on foot placement as follows:

To me [a PR], is a one-rep max; that is the world I grew up in. In this case, foot position can be huge. If offset, it could lead to a missed lift or injury. It could also be the difference between optimal and horrible leverage for the lifter.

One might call this “feet mindfulness.” In Chapter 4:25-27 of Proverbs, Solomon writes:

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

For the uninitiated, Solomon lived from approximately 1,000 to 931 B.C. What’s interesting about Solomon is in 2 Chronicles; it says God appeared to him and said, “Ask me for whatever you want me to give you.”

Yeah, so imagine the God of creation basically asks you, “Tell me what you want, and I’ll give it to you.”

Solomon doesn’t ask for wealth, honor, a long life, or the death of his enemies. He simply asks for wisdom and received it to exceedingly great measure.

It’s this abundance of wisdom that continues to draw me back to Solomon’s writing. Aside from receiving wisdom, he also gained all the other things in greater measure than anyone in human history. Great wisdom + tons of experience = someone worth listening to.

Interestingly, Solomon says to fix our eyes ahead and be mindful of our feet. In a nutshell, he’s saying pay attention to your feet, lest they carry you where you don’t want to go.

So, I pose the following questions: How mindful are you of your feet? Do you think about where you want to go versus where you are heading? Are your feet on the right path, and if not, why?

foot placement mark dugdale

Fix Your Eyes

The location in which we set our eyes often reflects where we end up going. This holds true when riding a motorcycle, driving a car, or downhill skiing in waist-deep powder. If you don’t fix your eyes further ahead on the path you want to travel, they’ll lead you off track.

In a relational context, if you want a vibrant, healthy marriage while continually fixing your eyes on porn, negative ramifications often ensue. Disinterest, discontent, relational distance, and distrust soon set in. Distractions abound, so give thought to your feet and fix your eyes in the direction you want to go.

Remain Steadfast

Steadfast isn’t a commonly used word in most people’s vocabulary. Resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering is the meaning of the word steadfast. Does dutifully firm and unwavering describe your commitment to the things you hold most dear?

It’s important to note that Solomon doesn’t say to remain steadfast in a couple of ways. No, he says to remain steadfast in all your ways. Let discipline permeate all your life.

I’ve come to realize the men I most respect exhibit discipline in all areas of their lives; not just a couple. They built their discipline on the practice of habits. Good habits aligned with your goals work in tandem with discipline.

Don’t Deviate

Consider your trajectory and don’t waiver to the right or left. The shortest distance between where you are and where you want to be is a straight line. I learned this early on in bodybuilding. Alcohol, staying out late, and junk food all represent just a few things capable of hindering my road to success. I eliminated them.

This is where good friends come into play because we all possess blind spots which may render our deviation from the straight path imperceptible. Relinquishing authority to a trusted friend to speak into your life when your actions don’t align with your goals is invaluable. When you find those friends hold on to them!


Tapping back into Dave Tate’s original comment, carelessness with foot placement may lead to a lack of leverage, resulting in a missed lift or worse — an injury. Guard your steps and give a proper assessment to where you place your feet. In a very pragmatic sense, the wisdom of both Dave and Solomon extend beyond the chalk and iron.

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