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Monday
Mar262012

Power Clean

1 Power Clean, every minute, on the minute for 15 minutes.

Add weight at the 6th and 11th rep as appropriate.

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For Time:
Row 1K
Run 800m

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"A few weeks ago I went to Norway to ski across the Hardanger Plateau and the fjords. Eight of us started in white-out conditions.  Winds were fierce.  Snow was terrible.  Navigation was often limited to map and compass.  Blonde Norwegian girls were nowhere to be found.  Six out of eight skiers quit before the end of the trip.  Only two of us finished.  Both of us CrossFit.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so." -Joe M

Remember to Take Your Shoes Home this week! All shoes left by the end of the weekend will be stuffed in a duffel bag and thrown into the gowanus. For more information, see yesterday's post.

Grain-Free/Sugar Free Cooking Class #1

This Saturday, March 31st the Paleo NYC meetup group will be attending a Grain-Free/Sugar Free cooking class at 3:00pm.  The event will take place at Carol's Place on 25th st between 6th and 7th ave in Manhattan. For more information and to register, click here. There are currently 13 people attending.

A Crossfit Shoe Primer
By Coach Noah

If you’ve been Crossfitting for a little while, odds are you’ve noticed that most of our athletes tend to sport some footwear that many would consider unconventional, old-school, or just plain weird.  While you can Crossfit in any pair of shoes, some types of shoes will optimize your ability to get in good positions, protect your body, and ultimately perform better.  Since among our coaches I own the dubious honor of being the resident shoe-ho, I will be your tour guide through the always controversial world of Crossfit footwear.  3, 2, 1, GO(d I am lame)!

Training Shoes


For most of the population, one pair of shoes should suffice to get us through 99% of Crossfit workouts.  These don’t have to be incredibly expensive, and may in fact be cheaper than the over-engineered running shoes currently on the market.  Rather than give you specifics about one shoe over another, following a few general rules should get you into something appropriate:
A (relatively) flat and (relatively) non-compressible sole:  Most of the activities we perform require the ability to “feel” the floor.  Many athletes have trouble keeping their heels down when they squat or shifting their weight forward when they swing a kettlebell simply because their shoes are so built up and cushioned that they simply have no concept of their foot’s relationship to the floor.  Look for a shoe with a sole that is flat and low, without any zany cutouts or hollows.  Ideally, the shoe will be close to “zero drop” a term which means that the heel and toe of the shoe are of the same height.  The sole should also be made of relatively firm rubber.  Some shoes, in their quest for greater cushioning have embraced such plush materials that you may as well be squatting wearing a pair of sweet potatoes on your feet, which while delicious, is not ideal.

Lightweight aka the Single Digit Rule: An easy rule I’ve come to embrace is that any show I wear to work out in should weigh under 10 ounces.  Many weigh under 8, and there are some under 6 and even a few under 4.  The lighter the better, although I personally question whether your feet know the difference between 4.6 and 5.3 ounces.  Mine certainly don’t, but they, like their owner, are stupid.
Rad colors:  This is a personal sentiment, but c’mon folks, this isn’t black tie footwear we’re talking about. 

Most of these shoes fall into the “racing” or “performance” running shoe category.  Manufacturers use these terms to signify that when trying to run fast (like, say, for a race), people will want light shoes that don’t make their feet act stupid.  Since we are Crossfitters, and are ALWAYS RACING, we can just wear them all the time.

Weightlifting Shoes

Dedicated weightlifting shoes take the concept of a firm sole to the next level, using either ultra hard
synthetic (EVA or similar) or real-honest-to-paleo-god wood(!) for maximum stability and to better transmit force from the lifter to the floor.  These are purpose specific shoes, which violate the “no heel” rule above- most weightlifting shoes have a heel of about ½ to 1inch high, to allow for more ankle flexion at the bottom of squats, which helps mobility/positioning under heavy load.  Consider:

Pros:
Incredibly stable
Aids in mobility and positioning at the bottom of squats and in force transmission
Can “add” weight to your lifts (somewhat illusory/placebo, but whatever)

Cons
Most are expensive
Extremely purpose specific.  If you wear them to a bar, people will laugh at you.  Ask me how I know this.
Look like they were designed by a team consisting of my grandpa, Frankenstein, and a Hell’s Angel (except for the super sexy Nike Romaleos, which cost approximately the GDP of Belarus.)

Some other quick thoughts


LSD Shoes: No, these are not shoes to wear while attempting the Dark Side of The Moon/Wizard of Oz mashup- I’m referring to Long Slow Distance.  If you are planning to run substantial distance, or are training for a long race and logging significant miles, you may want to invest in some purpose specific running shoes.  Especially if you have not practiced (or suck at) minimalist/POSE/Chi running, you may want to avoid super-minimal shoes.  While a super-efficient runner may get away with a length of tractor tire duct taped around his foot, most of us could benefit from a little bit of cushioning in our shoes.  There are plenty of models out that split the difference between the conventional Staypuft Marshmallow Man meets Cadillac Biarritz shoe and dipping your feet in candle wax before your marathon.  Ease into it.

Chuck Taylors: Worn by the everyone from Wilt Chamberlain to Kurt Cobain to toddlers everywhere, Chucks are in many ways the perfect Crossfit shoe.  They’re flat, non-compressible, fairly light, and cheap.  Plus, you can wear them in the “real” world, which cuts down on WOD to “first beer of the weekend” transition time on Friday.  The only real downside is that they are a bit clunky to run in, and don’t make you feel like a ninja.

Vibram Five Fingers: I’m going to take some flack for this, so I will be gentle, but I don’t particularly care for VFF’s (yes, in the name of science, I do own a pair.)  VFFs arose from well-intentioned folk who wanted a more minimalist training shoe when there weren’t many options out there.  Now there are plenty of shoes that blend minimal/lightweight design and the benefits of modern technology.  Five Fingers are offer poor stability during lifting, and are inadequately padded for box jumps, double unders, and sprints.  I do think Five Fingers can be useful for training runs or to practice minimalist running, as they do offer great ground feedback, but as I mentioned earlier, that feedback comes at a price.  If you can run fast in Five Fingers, you can run faster in real sneakers, trust me. 

Ok!  Enough about shoes already!  You get the drift- light, flat, not squishy.  Cheap and colorful are pluses.  If you have any other questions, want my thoughts on Shoe A vs. Shoe B, have specific training goals or injury history to consider, or just want to talk about feet, email me at noah(AT)crossfitsouthbrooklyn.com

What Shoes do you train in and why?
________________
CrossFit and Kenya CrossFit
Report: Some People Wake Up When It’s Still Dark Outside (for our 6am Crew)
Caffeine and Performance Robb Wolf
Abs Mark Rippetoe

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Reader Comments (27)

Good to get back in there this weekend, and claw my way back.

exercise Shoes - innov8 230s, just the most comfortable shoe that I've ever worn.
oly shoes: rogue do-win oly shoes. love them.

other than that it's mostly cap toe oxfords.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJR

73# cleans -- wanted to try 83 but DO told me to keep working my form at 73, which was an excellent idea, of course. This lift continues to bedevil me.
WOD 8:44. Probably could have pushed it harder on the run.

I wear Inov-8 230s for everything (I even ran a marathon in them last year). Very comfortable and natural-feeling, yet I can handle long distances in them. Thinking of getting Oly shoes to complement them, given all the good things I've heard about them in strength cycle.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStella

Good to be in with the 6amers today. Power cleans: 185, 195, 200 (changing weights at 6 and 11). 7:15 on the WOD. That run felt agonizingly slow after the rowing.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBetz

Lifting: Rogue Do-Wins
Running: Merrell Trail Gloves
Other: Innov8 Bare X whatever the number is. They're bright green, yo.

March 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterJoe

Sometimes mom and dad make me wear these terrible little balloons on my feet in the winter. Otherwise, shoes are for suckers!

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHerschel

85# on the cleans. They were fun.

I rowed a 2k rather than running because my ancles have been beyond sore lately (Likely, I probably need to get new shoes... and to learn not to heel strike). Did it in 8:59. I worked really hard to get it under 9 minutes. Rowing (and any sort of endurance sport) is usually a low point for me so I was happy with my number...until someone informs me of what a normal 2K time is ;)

As a comment on yesterday's shared article on fast twitch vs. slow twitch muscles -- I got my DNA tested a few months ago on 23andme. My DNA shows that I likely have double fast twitch muscles (likely explaining my hatred for endurance activities, and my love of explosive fast lifting). This was one of my favorite pieces of information from the results.... though, I also enjoyed learning that I am not likely to get Alzheimer's.

Anyway fun 7am class with David. Happy to be back in the morning grove.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLana Z

I am SO JEALOUS of Joe. A Nordic ski trip in Norway in those conditions sound AWESOME. I'm eager to hear more!

Re: Shoes, I try as often as possible to wear what I was born in. I took my sweet time making the transition, and it wasn't easy, but I'm very happy to have made it and hope to keep it up over the years.

I'd like to call everyone's attention to this contest in The Ethicist column in the NY Times Magazine. The panel of judges is total BS (Jonathan Safran Foer, Peter Singer, etc.), but I think we should send in some essays!

March 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterNick Peterson

Jonathan Safran Foer lives up the block from me...I purposely fan my smoker and grill in his direction, just to be as annoying as possible. Regrettably, he'll always be more annoying.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJR

JR: Agreed. He's ever ubiquitous. He's even featured in a piece in the Times yesterday about people who ditch their smartphones and get old clamshells. JSF apparently decided to ditch his smartphone because he was looking at it during his kid's bath; my response, "How about just stop being an a-hole???"

March 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterNick Peterson

That was a funny write-up Noah, very enjoyable...

I got a pair of Nike Airs a couple of years ago that I still use to push the prowler in. I was sort of getting into running at the time and intended to learn pose running and go super minimal but lifting took precedence. The Airs were intended as a transitional shoe. They aren't very minimal though and I continued to run on my heels. Anyway, I like them enough and they were good for box jumps during FGB.

I generally wear skateboarding shoes which are actually pretty adaptive as they are flat and have a good hard sole like chucks.

I swear by weightlifting shoes. I bought them when Jeremy taught me OH Squats and I needed the elevation. Now I never do those, but they are great for all the big lifts, even benching. However my Ristos have barely lasted 15 months, so I'm changing brands. Both Michele and I were complaining how they are not built to last which is lame for $125.

March 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterRob Is

Oh yeah, for the shoe conversation I'll add... I just bought weight lifting shoes and I could not be happier about it. I absolutely love love love love love (x-infinity) them. All my lifts feel better & my squats feel like magic.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLana Z

KMo pointed out that Ethicist contest, and I totally want to write in. Here are my 2 points:

1) Regarding the wording and guidelines of the contest in general.
!

2) My argument would center around that it doesn't matter whether eating meat is ethical or not, because its natural. To deny hereditary and evolutionary programming is affected at worst, and at the very least environmentally unfriendly and extremely small in scope of consideration.

Really I just want to make Safran Foer do Fight Gone Bad.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNoah

120# clean and a 7:25 row/run. I should have picked up my pace more at the end of the run and eyed to clock as I went by.

right now I am in ino8's which I do like but I got my size and they fit the width but not the length is too long. For their price I am concerned to buy smaller for the toe length and get my feet crushed side to side.

I use to wear 5 finger when I ran/did bootcamp and then wore Nike Free Run 2's when I started crossfit. The raised footbed def. effected rolling side to side when lifting. I might try the new balance trail shoes that are similar to the inov8s

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKeith W

185, 195, 205 on the power cleans

6:53 on the WOD -feeling better about my metcon the last couple of weeks.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDan L

My first thought when I read about The Ethicist contest was, “This feels like a trick.”

JR – that is great.

Re: shoes. I usually wear chucks because they’re cheap. I recently bought a pair of Saucony Kinvaras to wear for running (i.e., for Ragnar). They’re so light! I’m going to start wearing them whenever we have running / metcon WODs.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKMo

COMMENT PURGATORY AGAIN, kill me

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichele ma belle

The Times meat thing is total troll bait. If anyone wants a copy of the Steven L. Davis paper titled: "THE LEAST HARM PRINCIPLE MAY REQUIRE THAT HUMANS CONSUME A DIET CONTAINING LARGE HERBIVORES, NOT A VEGAN DIET" I just downloaded a pdf.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJZ

I like Chuck T's in the gym, the Brooks Beast when I run, and to ski, I went to this place called Surefoot to get some custom Langes - I wear orthotics, etc., so I am a bit hard to fit.

Joe, fantastic pic, and anytime you need an alpine skier to slum nordically, I am your man.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Ive been having an identity crisis at the gym. I felt strongly after talking to Nick P, that I should take over DH1 due to the fact that Dh1,2 are no longer commenting/participating/posting at sbk. After mentioning and thinking more abt this I am sticking with DH3. To quote Fox "its just who you are"

On to serious business.

12pm class today alot of fun. Worked on line drills which i really like as warm ups. and then power cleans, EMOTM for 15min.

In minutes 1-8 I worked at 165 and really tried to get under the bar fast in the later sets. in rd 7-13 I worked at 175, and then to 185 for reps 14,15.

Wod in 7:30.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDH3

Had fun dropping into the noon class today to work out under the direction of Chris, or Fox, or C-Money, or Coach Awesome.

Did my first five cleans @ 73#, second five @ 83# and last five @ 88#. Considering my previous 1RM is somewhere in the low 90's I am very pleased with my improving technique on this lift. It really has taken a long time but it gets better on every attempt. Got some good feedback on my start position today from Funk Master Fox.

Rowed a 2K instead of the run, my knee has been bothering me ever since the 12.4 wall ball extravaganza. I think if I give it a little bit of a rest it should be alright, and it's a shame modifying today's WOD because I don't hate running as much as I once did. Rowed the 2K in 8:37, my previous time (over a year ago) for a 2K was 9:17 so felt good about that.

The wording of that NYT essay competition is totally whack, by the way. So condescending!

Seriously, Fox, love the nicknames during the WOD. You say "Come on, K-dawg!", and I row faster. That's just how I roll. Every day I'm Hoeslin'.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKH

Noon today with Fox! I KNOW - totally mixing it up. I actually appreciated the comments/questions on why was I in-house 5 hours later than usual. Gotta keep everyone on their toes.

1. Power Cleans felt great! And it only took me 6 months to get that move down! Too much thinking, finally learned to shut the brain off and just "do."
2. Ran a mile instead of the two-fer, egads loving it even with allergies.

Totally with KH and Fox's nicknames - he has a couple for me but I truly feel that one in particular is the best: "Julie Lou Hoo"

My foot is too narrow to feel really "in" and comfie with Chucks, tried, and the Merrell's, but am happily ensconced in a pair of Inov8 195's. Dreamy.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJules

@Noah JSF does his own aerobic activity when I am around. For starters, I refuse to move as we walk up the street, and he is coming down (yes, I am about 7 years old.) Secondly, my dog, that gets along with just about any other dog, always tries to eat his, especially in the park off leash. What can I say, dogs are like their owners!

But getting back to the morality of meat. Look at the CSA. The animals that we live are not cooped up with corn being jammed in them.

given what we've read about the side effects of soy, for young boys and young girls, how is it ethical to take those risks with your children? That's the part that would prevent me, above all else. Upsetting hormonal balances? Sorry, not for my little cavemen!

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJR

OMG how happy am I for the anti-JSF scorn theme of today's comments. Not only is he an insufferable self-important boob, he was once a real jerk to my sister. So, JR, you can feel free to trip him next time on my behalf.

I wear Vivo Barefoots for everything. I got 'em for cheap and they are great--totally minimal, super light-weight, and kind of retro-cool looking (at least, I think so). I am contemplating getting a pair of NB trail shoes (the super lightweight ones) b/c the Vivos are very smooth on the bottom and can be slippery on trail runs.

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte

more crock pot goodness, a braised lamb ribs recipe, and irresponsible vegetable consumption all at The Daily Paleo

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichele ma belle

PC - 185-205-215

WOD - 7:54

----

I'm glad some folks like my nicknaming...I have a "bad" habit of doing that. 2K-Dog and Julie-from-the-Who-ville, you gals rock.

---

Shoes:
Rogue Do-Wins for Squats, Presses, and, duh, Oly lifts
Chucks/NB MBTs for WODs
Innov-8s for running
Leather boots for motorcycle riding

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFox

5/3/1 Squats
295x5
330x3
370x8

Dmbl Overhead Unilateral Press
75x6x3

Shrug
465x1 OTM for 10 mins

2 Rounds
Wrist Rollers 50#
Ab wheel rollouts (feet)

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

3/27
6am with coach lady fox

pre wu
foam roll
coach stretch
droms

wu1

PC
135 165 185
started too light

WOD
row 1000m 3:33.
did't run.

March 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMcGrath

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