Summer Is Barefoot Lifting Season. Here Are Our Favorite Shoeless Snatches

Vasily Polovnikov does all sorts of crazy strong things in training. And in honor of the beautiful weather in Norwood, Massachusetts, he’s getting summer training off to a great start by lifting appropriately: barefoot.

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Polovnikov posted some snappy looking 160kg, shoeless snatches to Instagram over the weekend. We’ve embedded them below, but even more impressive are the OTHER barefoot snatches highlighted below (all over 160kg).

Back in 2011, a young(er) Spencer Moorman decided to try out his barefoot lifting skills at California Strength — this back in the days when Donny Shankle and Jon North were also lifting at Cal Strength under the tutelage of coach Glenn Pendlay. When Moorman hits this 161kg barefoot snatch, Shankle runs right out of the gym — apparently because he didn’t think the young gun would make the lift.

Spencer showed him, and it’s one of the best spectator reactions to a made lift we’ve ever seen. When’s the last time you made someone run out of the gym because you were lifting so well?

But no iteration of snatch wars would be complete without Dmitry Klokov, he of the 200kg pause snatch (which, as far as we know, is far and away the unofficial world record for that lift).

At the 2016 Arnold Sports Festival, Klokov put on a display spectators won’t soon forget with his now-trademark pause snatching. But to make it a little more exciting, he decided to do it without shoes, up to 175kg. It’s a beautiful lift, and as with a lot of Klokov’s pause snatches, there’s definitely a moment in the pause where the viewer thinks, “There’s absolutely, positively no way he makes this lift.”

Chalk it up to his elite speed, tight bar path, ridiculous mobility, and precision timing, but Klokov pulls it out for a made lift. Thus far, it’s the heaviest barefoot snatch we’ve seen on film.

Any heavy barefoot snatches we’re missing? Let us know in the comments below!

David Tao

David Tao

BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting.

David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and, as well as a contributor to, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day.

David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.

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