Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Quick Changes when Home

A few months back when I wrote the college tips, I suggested to be able to separate your workplace and R&R areas. Here are a few more helpful tips,
Shoes at the Front Door
- I know many families who take their shoes off when they enter their home. This is great to incorporate more barefoot activity if your feet are usually cramped in shoes. The added bonus is less dirt is carried into other rooms which means there's less cleaning for you. (Trivia Fact: One of the high schools in Europe has their students leave their shoes in one area to keep the school cleaner.)

Eat in the Kitchen

- By having all your meals in the kitchen, crumbs won't end up in other rooms and your attention is on your food. Watching TV or doing work as you eat lengthens how long it takes to finish your food. When it's time to eat then eat and when it's time to work then work. Ditch multitasking. Multitasking is the synonym for half-assing everything at once.

TV in the Living Room
- Keeping a TV in the bedroom will waste more of your time. Stick to lounging in the living room to avoid becoming a couch potato when you're not even on the couch. Consequently, this reduces your overall TV viewing and frees up your time to do other things.
These are a few easy and subtle changes to improve your productivity and health. If you know more helpful suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Moment of Power

Left to right: Min-Jae Kim, Vladimir Sedov, and
Saeid Mohammadpourkarkaragh

Keep the bar close! You want to get it in or near the crease of the hip right before straightening out. The snatch hasn't changed much in the last few decades,

Compared side-by-side,

Click to enlarge

And it's not too different in the clean,

Sa Jae-Hyouk
Remember not to extend early. Wait until the bar is in the right position or you'll miss out on a lot of power.

Related articles,

Monday, February 13, 2012

Nike Romaleos 2

A few months back I saw the need for a weightlifting shoe. My go to footwear the last few years has been a thin and flat shoe [Tai Chi from Asics] or lifting barefoot. It was great for deadlifts however not the Olympic lifts. I was spending more effort in balance and coordination than necessary.

As a result I went to work researching shoes and, thanks to the magical power of Google, I concluded the Nike Romaleos would suit me. During my search I also learned it was being updated. I wasn't in a rush to order and decided to wait to purchase the newer model.

Because these are my first pair of weightlifting shoes, I can't compare them to other shoes in the market. After two sessions here's how they held up.
  • SN/CL: Pitching my weight forward while maintaining a deep knee bend is much simpler than before. I drop under the bar with ease and receive it in a very solid squat.
  • SPLIT JERK: My feet felt glued to the floor in the split jerk. Recovering to a stand was a smooth transition.
  • SN DROP: No problem at all - I could sink fairly quick without balance or ankle flexibility being an issue.
  • SQ: I could care less for shoes to squat in but I did try front and back squats. I was able to keep my torso more upright. That makes sense because of the heel.
  • The heel runs proportional to the shoe size. Many shoes are made with a set heel height. (The other exception is Risto)
  • The double straps run in opposite directions to better secure the foot and they do it very well. A single strap is commonly found on most shoes and shoes with double straps have them run in the same direction.
  • It comes with two insoles. Pictured below is the bottom view but the tops are actually covered with the same material as the inside lining of the shoes.
    - TOP: The flat thin and soft insoles are for regular training which gives the shoe a more sneaker-like feel.
    - BOTTOM: The harder and thicker insoles are meant to be worn in meets. It's composed of a hard rubber material (or plastic, not sure) and offers arch support.

Click to enlarge


  • The new training insoles are different compared to the previous model. It's a flat piece of material whereas before it had more contours to it. Also, the insoles are not labeled to distinguish which is for training and which is for competition.

    *JULY 2012 UPDATE: I've been using the shoes roughly three times a week for five months. The most apparent flaw of the Romaleos is the training insoles. The current flat insoles cause the the shoe to be slightly loose. The previous model's insoles gave the shoe a much better fit but due to the material it becomes flatter after its initial wear. The competition insoles don't suffer from these problems.
  • Currently this and the Adidas adiPower are the most expensive weightlifting shoes available.
  • The TPU heel might not suit those who prefer a traditional wood heel.
  • Apparently advice was taken from Crossfit athletes. This can be a bit unsettling since Crossfit and Olympic weightlifting are not the same. Although the only changes made were a more flexible forefoot area and making the shoe lighter by 50 grams.
  • Only two colors are available to choose from, but a Nike rep has stated more colors will be released around August.


  • As I walked around between sets, my toes had enough space in the front of the shoe. The sides were a tight fit and give arch support. It felt a bit loose around the back of the foot but no problems yet.
  • It's a large shoe yet surprisingly light.
  • The competition insoles should be worn in training sessions prior to a meet to become accustomed to them.
  • For any type of exercise footwear the inside tends to gets warm. If odor is a concern, stick a dryer sheet in each shoe to keep them smelling fresh.
Aside from that I also had a few personal reasons for selecting the Romaleos.
  • I've predominantly worn Nike shoes and have had no complaints with the brand.
  • I wanted a proportional heel and wider toe box area. The former seemed logical and narrow shoes tend to restrict my toes.
  • Throughout my online search I couldn't find negative feedback. It seemed like a good sign that it was a quality product.
From my initial assessment the shoes are definitely good and I'm happy with my purchase. How they hold up after years of training sessions is another story.

Above all else though it's important to understand that the weightlifting shoes do not make the lifter. Straps, a belt, and other lifting gear are useless if not used in the correct manner.

Related articles,
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Websites to order the Nike Romaleos 2 and other links of interest,
*Runs true to size and similar to Nike running shoe sizing*
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