Weekend – November 1-2, 2008

Weekend – November 1-2, 2008

On Monday, October 27, Russ K. hit a full-depth, 225-pound front squat for one rep (after grabbing 215-pounds for three reps a few minutes earlier).

On Saturday, October 18, Mike S.—at a body weight of 153 pounds—nailed a 185-pound clean from the floor.

And, since our nutrition course on October 16, John S. has tightened up his diet and lost eight pounds!

In our opinion, the best shoes for training are the Puma H-Street and low-top, Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Many indoor soccer shoes—those with traditional, vertical lacing patterns, are also good choices. Why? These shoes are minimalist; they do not change the normal alignment of the foot by elevating the heel. Because they are flexible and do not have any padding, they allow the muscles of the lower leg and foot to stabilize and fire during each foot strike—the way nature intended. In addition, without two inches of cushion separating the foot from the ground, stability is greatly increased, which is helpful for strength training. Over time, it has been our experience that training (and living) in these shoes improves performance by correcting musculoskeletal imbalances of the lower leg, up through the hip complex. And yes, you can run in these shoes.

Post thoughts to comments.

–Melody and John


  1. metamorphit | October 31, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    The Puma Alsten is another option – it has a little more structure and support than the H. For those making the transition away from the high heel (Melody’s words) cross training/running as I just did, it’s a little less drastic a change. I am not exactly looking forward to running in the Alsten, but it has worked quite well for the range of torture that Melody and John come up with. John S.

  2. coach | November 1, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    I agree, the Alsten is OK. I love the H-streets, however, and you can indeed go straight to them by transitioning with your old sneakers (or as I like to call them, orthopedic boots). When I first tried on the H-streets, I was quite disconcerted with how “un-shoe-like” they felt. We are conditioned (by Nike, Asics, Adidas, etc.) to think that our feet have to be surrounded like a military siege by a pound of protective foam, leather, and plastic, in order to be “safe” and performance-optimizing. This could not be further from the truth.

    When I first started wearing the H-streets, my median arches (having no orthopedic support) were visibly low, and the muscles in my ankles and feet were tired after an hour or two of walking. I transitioned into them by alternating (day to day) between the H-streets and my orthopedic boots for the first few weeks. I knew it was time to go full-time in the H-streets when I hated wearing the orthopedic boots, because they started feeling heavy and restrictive, in comparison to the H-streets. The median arch in my foot (the one people talk about when discussing flat feet) looked visibly higher—presumably from strengthening the muscles needed to help create the arch.

    One final reason why the H-streets are so fabulous is that, aside from the narrow strip of rubber on the sole, the upper is made entirely of fabric—a very strong, cotton-based material (not leather)—which moves with the foot’s natural motions. The Converse, Alsten, and any other shoe I have ever encountered do not have this key feature.



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