Friday 160930

In 25 minutes:
Run 2 miles
10 Clean & jerk, 185#(135#)
10 Clean & jerk, 165#(115#)
10 Clean & jerk, 135#(95#)
Max rep clean & jerk, 115#(75#)

*Score is total reps of clean & jerk

Post reps to comments and BTWB

Barb getting support from the Verve community to help her finish "Andy".

Barb getting support from the Verve community to help her finish “Andy”.


Olympic lifting shoes: Wear or Wear Not? When or When Not? By Courtney Shepherd

Alright folks, Tuesday we started a 3 week deadlifting/ back squatting program. During the deadlift portion I noticed a few athletes wearing their Olympic lifting shoes. I made recommendations for them to change into more flat shoes. Each of these athletes gave me a look of “Really? Why?”. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you why wearing Olympic lifting shoes for something other than Olympic lifting is not ideal.

Olympic lifting shoes were created for the specific sport of Olympic lifting. Here is why:

1) Spreading the floor- Olympic lifting shoes possess straps, which allow us to push out against the side of the shoe with our foot, increasing hip activation. More hip activation will equate to a stronger pull or squat.

2) More stability- Olympic lifting shoes have a wooden sole with rubber on the bottom to prevent sliding. This means our feet will consistently be on a stable surface, unlike Chuck’s, which have a compressible sole. More stability means we will have a consistent platform from which to push.

3) Heel- Olympic lifting shoes typically have at minimum a .5” to a 1” heel. This heel allows the lifter to squat into a deeper position due to the increased range of motion for the ankle joint. The raised heel also allows the lifter’s chest to stay upright, even in the bottom of a deep squat with the bar held overhead or in the front rack (snatch and clean & jerk). *As a side note about the heel, this does not permit us to slack on our mobility of the ankle and hip, just because the shoe can help mask the issue. We should be able to squat without artificial support.

If we are in fact doing Olympic lifting or movements associated with Olympic lifting, i.e. front squat and overhead squat, then yes let’s strap on our Oly shoes. But what about those other barbell movements, our Power lifting moves? Should we continue to wear our Oly shoes? Because these shoes were designed for a specific sport the same benefits to wearing them do not exist when doing Power lifts (back squat, deadlift, sumo deadlift). Power lifting is a completely different sport. The same ankle mobility required in Olympic lifting is not required in Power lifting and the extra height on the shoe can actually be problematic during our deadlifts and back squat. Oly shoes create more distance to be covered in the lift as well as push us forward when we really need to stay back in our heels/ posterior chain. So basically we have taken the biggest muscle group we need to lift the heaviest weight we can from the ground, out of the picture. Also Oly shoes were designed for a narrower stance squat, so they may feel awkward when doing a wide stance back squat or sumo deadlift. For Power lifting a more flat, stable shoe is recommended.

Here is a common question I get, “what do I do when my workout has both Olympic lifting and Power lifting in it?” I would like to stress that from this point on I am merely giving my own two cents on the subject. When I am working with a barbell and there are a variety of lifts involved, I wear flat shoes. I don’t like having that extra lift when I’m pressing, deadlifting, back squatting, or quite literally anything other than Olympic lifts. I find I am able to transition well between Olympic lifts and Power lifts in flat shoes. I have seen some athletes switch out of their Oly shoes when the Oly lifts are done and put their flat shoes on for the rest of the workout. I have also seen Oly shoes worn for the entire hour. The choice comes down to what you are comfortable with. However, here is my final thought: When the WOD is the “Olympic Total” (clean & jerk and snatch)- Olympic lifting shoes. If the WOD is the “CrossFit Total” (back squat, shoulder press, deadlift)- flat shoes.

**During Tuesday’s lifting that back squat got pretty heavy for some folks. The percentages on the board are ideal goals, but there may be days when those ideal goals just don’t line up with what we are capable of. It is more important to move the weight well (positioning) and be successful with our reps, than it is to lose mechanics and force something to the point of failure. Yes, we are asking a lot of you as athletes to do both deadlifting and then back squatting, but we are also asking that you stay within your abilities for the day. If you have any questions or concerns, make sure to talk with the day’s trainer. 

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