Stephanie is one of our Outlaw Barbell followers over at Outlaw CrossFit HQ. She is also our in-house mobility torture enthusiast coach. So, it was odd that no matter how much mobility she did on her ankles and hips, she could never get a good bottom position in a snatch or clean.

I would take a look at some of her snatch miss videos and everything would look good- except that pesky bottom position. As luck would have it, I eventually came across a great article that helped changed Stephanie’s life forever, and she will forever be indebted (just kidding).

We did a little experiment with the metal plates we have. The first picture below is Stephanie doing an overhead squat. No frills. Picture number 2 we had her do an overhead squat with 2.5# plates underneath each foot. As you can see, her back angle is much more vertical. In the third picture, she is squatting with 5# plates beneath each foot, which are slightly thicker than the 2.5# plates. Bingo.


We measured out the metal plate and off to the cobbler she went. I assume all cobblers are little frail old men balding with white hair and gold spectacles, so when she told me the one she went to held up her shoes and exclaimed with a puzzled look, “What ARE these?” I wasn’t surprised. Nevertheless, after about a week of cobbling, Stephanie had her shoes back. It has taken a little time to adjust to the new positioning throughout the entire lift, but she says the feeling in the bottom position of her snatch and clean feels dramatically better, and she has already hit PRs in both.

photo (3)

Mobility should always come as the initial remedy to problems with the bottom position, but sometimes a lifter’s physical structure is the issue and artificial solutions must be used.



1) Tall Snatch: 4-5 light singles to warm up

2) Snatch from blocks (just above knee): 2rm- 1×2@95%, 1×2@90%


1) Floating Snatch First Pull (3 count pause at knee): 3rm (with PERFECT technique)- 1×3@95%, 1×3@90%

WATCH THIS: Floating Snatch First Pull DEMO VIDEO

2) Snatch Balance + Overhead Squat: 1+1x2rm- 1×2@95%, 1×2@90%


1a) Bench Press: 3rm- 1×3@95%, 1×3@90%
1b) Pendlay Row: 3rm- 1×3@95%, 1×3@90%

15 thoughts on “140610

  1. I have the exact same problem, and thicker plates under my heels always helps me. Are those shoes still legal for competitions? Would a cobbler know how to make a hard sole?

    • The shoes become illegal for USAW regulated competitions i believe

        • I’m confused. It says there is no minimum or maximum height, but then says
          “The sole must not extend from the footwear by more than 5mm at any point”.

          Am I misinterpreting the rule?

          • I believe it means horizontally extended, because then it wouldn’t conflict with the no minimum or maximum height rule.

    • Stephanie took her shoes just to the closest cobbler in town, and after describing what she wanted he was able to make a hard sole for her.

  2. I couldn’t find a cobbler so i took mine to the blacksmith and he added horseshoes.

    did i do good?


  3. we have an athlete w/ an Achilles deficit from 2 Achilles tears, and risto made her custom lifting shoes w/ a higher heel

    plus a cobbler’s job is to make shoes, and all old lifting shoes used to have wood, not just a hard plastic polymer

    I don’t think there is a limit on heel height according to usaw rulebook

  4. WL:

    1) Tall Snatch: 4-5 light singles to warm up. Up to 135

    2) Snatch from blocks (just above knee): 2rm- 215
    1×2@95%. 205
    1×2@90%. 195


    1) Floating Snatch First Pull (3 count pause at knee): 3rm (with PERFECT technique)- 245
    1×3@95%. 235
    1×3@90%. 225
    I probably could have done a bit more but that was all I wanted to put my back thru today.

    2) Snatch Balance + Overhead Squat: 1+1x2rm-
    Skipped. Elbow on my left arm is killing.

    1a) Bench Press: 3rm- 230(2)
    1×3@95%. 215
    1×3@90%. 205
    1b) Pendlay Row: 3rm- 225
    1×3@95%. 215
    1×3@90%. 205

    • Nice work man. Always impressed by your numbers. I am curious about your snatch balance. It seems to be quite a bit less than your snatch. Why do you think that is?

  5. 1) done
    2) 2RM snatch from blocks: 72kg (PR)

    3) FloatingSnatchPull: skipped
    4) SnatchBalance+OHS: 80kg

    5) 3RM benchpress: 75kg (PR)
    6) 3RM pendlayRow: 63kg

  6. WL:
    1) Worked to 125
    2) 215, 225 (ox) — 205, 195

    1) 285 — 270, 260
    2) DND (returning bar to the back rack still painful)

    1a) 245 — 235, 220
    1b) 255 — 245,230

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