Warm-up: Joint mobility
Power Snatch: 3RM, 95%x3, 90%x3
Work – Not for time:
10 Good Mornings
10 Leg Raises
And so begins a guest blog post by Dave ‘G8R’ Parmly…
It’s sort of funny to find myself slipping into my lifting shoes at the gym considering where I was when I joined CFKT. As one of the Masters Division class at CFKT (there aren’t that many of us), I brought different abilities and limitations to CFKT than many of those in the 25 to 35 age range which comprises the majority of CFKT. It was unlikely, I said to myself back in the day, that I would be “serious” enough to need sport-specific shoes. I didn’t “need” O shoes because I’m not going to be doing any “serious” weights, etc., and those are the kind of things the “serious” lifters wear, and I was not, in my mind, one of these. “Serious” lifters were the people that lifted “serious” weights and I was not one of them.
But as you remain (and grow) in the sport of CF, eventually you start to hit points where you have to decide if you are going to get better at the thing or not. My limitations were so significant at first that buying O-shoes would have been like trying to ice the cake while the batter was in the bowl. I had some steps I needed to take before I was at the point that shoes would make a difference. So I kept at it, working that shoulder mobility, getting a little stronger, a little quicker.
My biggest goat in CF so far has been my overhead squat. I am pleased to look in my book to see so many numbers significantly improved since June 2010. But the OHS remains a goat that I simply struggle with…and I mean struggle. When 65# is your 1RM, and even then it’s not full depth as it should be, then you know I have problems. Some I can help (mobilize more), some I can’t (long femurs). But I keep working at it, with the coaches actively trying to correct my flaws Grant advised me , after about 12 months at CFKT,to think about lifting in something other than my Vibram 5 Fingers, which kept my foot both completely flat and a little unstable on lifts. I started to put two 10# weight plates on the plywood to get my heels to a better height but on metcons that was a hassle too. Still, it made a difference and I knew heel height was a factor I needed to consider. In typical CFKT coach fashion, Grant offered me the use of his O-lifting shoes whenever I did lifts other than the Deadlift. This solved the need for the weight plates for my heel and saved me money to boot!
It didn’t take long for the voice in my head to start to nag that if I was wearing Grant’s shoes almost every time I worked out, that I probably needed to spring for my own pair. So I looked them up on Amazon. WOW! Way outside of this 3-kids-in-college-at-the-same-time guy’s budget. So I started looking for a better alternative. I eventually saw a pair of adidas “cross trainers”. (It seems there are actually 2 different heel heights depending on if you are going to be an Olympic lifter or a Power Lifter…oh, there’s some new learning. I thought there was just “weightlifting”. So cross-trainers are a little higher than powerlifting shoes but not as high as O lifting shoes. This seemed about right as we do both at CFKT. The fact that Amazon had them for just under $100 was even better. 2 days later, I was the proud owner of weightlifting shoes!
I will be the first to report that these shoes have NOT had an immediate or “measurable” impact on my lifting. In fact, getting them corresponded with an effort (with Taylor’s coaching) to adjust my stance to a narrower/less toes-out one, which, for me , meant often dropping back in weight but rebuilding with better form. So, no ”Instant PR” just because I have the right shoes. But a funny thing happened a few months ago. Doing some squats, Grant came up after I had racked the weight, and asked how I liked the shoes. I said they were fine. He said “It has made a visible difference in how you approach the bar.” Now, we are all used to Grant coming up with a seemingly obscure observation or two but the phrase “approach the bar” seemed unusual to me. How would my shoes make a difference in approaching the bar? After the WOD I asked what he meant. Grant said that I seemed much more confident in the lifts in the O shoes, and that this had an effect on my lifts. I realized that he was right. I wasn’t thinking about my “base”, my stability, since the hard, flat soles of the O shoes seemed to become one with the floor, lifting my heel to the proper height for improved form for the lift. As we all have realized, this sport of weightlifting is one of constant growth and skills mastery. As soon as we get one thing right, we are told there are more to address now that we have that one fixed. In my case, getting the correct shoes enabled me to remove more than a few issues from my stuff-to-think-about as I approached that bar, which presented itself to Grant’s all-seeing eyes as greater confidence throughout the lift.
So let’s re-define the word “serious” when it comes to being a weightlifter. Let’s move away from a meaning of mere pounds on the bar. Being “serious” about this sport means taking yourself seriously, realizing your status as an “athlete” has nothing to do with mere numbers, but it has everything to do with your dedication to being as good as you can be. Just as the baseball player has a minimum amount of “gear” needed if he is going to be considered “serious”, I would opine that anyone serious about lifting weights should get shoes that are commensurate with that.
By the way, if ANYONE wants to borrow my shoes, they are size 9 in the blue Covenant Marathon bag on the floor by the cubbies. I consider it paying Grant back for all those times I borrowed his!