Extra Work

It seems that CrossFit is divided into lifestyle and sport. The lifestyle crossfitters train three to five daysa week for an hour at a time. Sport trainees live in the gym. They train six days a week sometimes twice a day fro up to six hours a day. Their life, from food to sleep to vacation, revolves around CrossFit.  Lifestyle athletes generally can't do this because they prioritize things like kids, work or even Netflix over top level CrossFit comp. Neither one is right or wrong.  What is wrong though is thinking these are the only two options.

As with most things there are more than two options. You can still be a lifestyle athlete but dedicate some extra time for specific work. How much? That's up to you. That's a terrible, unhelpful answer I know. So in order to help you figure out what you can do we created a template to guide you. All you have to do is decide what you want to improve on and go for it. 

The slow lifts – Press, Squat, Deadlift and variations

3 sets of 5 reps

Start light. 60-70% of 1rm and increase each time. Once you cannot increase each time increase weekly

3 days a week

Olympic Weight Lifting


10 sets of 2 at light weight

Stay light. 30-50% of 1rm or barbell.

3 days a week


4 sets of 2

Start light and increase in a linear progression. Be aware of technical failure and stop before that.

3 days a week


Develop first rep

Follow the progressions on progression sheet

3 days a week

Increase current abilities

Linear progression

3 days a week

Start with number of reps about 60% of max x 3 sets and increase from there


Do one thing

Pick one item. Do it three days a week. Should take no more than 15 minutes. 

Do two things a week alternating

Pick two things and alternate days. This will require either hitting the gym 5 days a week or picking something you can do at home. 

Alternating Sets

This works best pairing gymnastic movements with barbell work. For example you would do 1 set of squats then in the rest period do a set of pull ups. 

Two things three days a week

This is great if you have a half hour but only three days a week. You can do two things back to back on alternating days. 




Olympic Weightlifting Shoes

So you are a serious CrossFitter? You have your boardshorts or lululemon, and your innov-8's (at least until you rope climb in them) but there is one crucial piece of the wardrobe missing. Olympic Weightlifting shoes...

Olympic weightlifting shoes come in a lot of colors and styles and you doubt have seen people putting them on before a lift. Here are the basics. They are a shoes designed specifically for the sport of Olympic Weightlifting providing a stable platform and a raised heel.

Before the invention of these shoes all the clean and Snatch were performed as a split. Staying upright in a heavy front or overhead squat just wasn't going to happen in normal shoes. The raised heel lessens the need for ankle mobility and allows you to stay more upright in a stable position while allowing you to squat deeper at the same time. Want to preview this...through a metal plate under your heel and do a few squats. Feels like cheating right?

Additionally, the shoes provide through a couple of features much more lateral support. Why is this important? Simple, we are always telling you to spread the floor when you squat. This support will give you something to push out against helping to increase the strength of the squat and pull.


So now that you know what they do you need to get a pair and there are a lot of options. They run the gamut and a lot are based on individual factors. Are they good for wide or narrow feet? How serious am I about lifting? Do I want to use these from CrossFit?


Here is the basics

Basic Oly Shoes

Risto $119

Addidas $199

Pendlay $104 - $119

Rogue $119

VS - $79

Good Olympic lifting shoe. You can't use for CrossFit but for heavy lifts they are fine. You may eventually want to order Crossfit shoes or hybrids


Both of these will probably work for both. The Reebok would be the better choice but run about $60 more.

Reebok $149

Addidas Powerlift $90

The Reebok are ok for lifts and ok for CrossFit that doesn't involve running

the Addidas are better for CF and less so for lifting.


"If you insist on wearing gloves, make sure they match your purse."


Mark Rippetoe is a funny and smart guy. And generally correct. When it comes to barbell training, his specialty, there is no need to cover the hands. They will gradually toughen up and function just fine until they do. Sure they may hurt a little but they aren't going to rip open and bleed.

Throw some kipping pull ups in to the mix and that all changes. We are going to ignore the other issues that need to be addressed, including weak dead hang pull ups, poor kipping technique, etc for now. We work on that stuff all the time. Let's focus on gloves for now.

The desire for a pair of gloves makes sense. Ripping hurts...for the next week. It also limits you training. So we should all run out and get gloves right? Not so fast my friend. Gloves really don't work well. They put a thick slippery surface between you and the bar thus making the bar hard to hold on to. Not cool. Even worse gloves have been known to cause even  more tearing as they increase the friction on the hand.

Pick a pair up here

Ok, gloves are out. What's in? Grips. There is a reason gymnasts use these over gloves. They work. And they are fairly inexpensive. These may not stop all rips but they help. A lot. Add a pair of wristbands to keep the wsweat off and you just might be able to shake a couple of hands on Friday night.