What the hell is a Damper?


If you have ever been on a rower than you have probably seen that little thingy on the side of the rower fan. Well, that little thingy is called a damper. In my years of training I have come across MANY people who THINK they know what it is and what it does. I was one of those people until I came across this. Even after reading MULTIPLE TIMES (I am not that smart) I still get something out of it when I revisit it. The entire site has some very useful training info on rowing and training tips that I have found EXTREMELY useful, so I wanted to take the time to share and recommend that you check it out! (My friends would be SOO proud of me for sharing since I am an only child)


rhuben red.jpg


Proper Footwear for training

proper shoes.jpg

The proper foot wear is crucial to optimal performance while training. When choosing the right training shoe we hold in regard the same ideas we value when training...

Safety and effectiveness. 


When we think of safety, we want to make sure the footwear either helps or has no detrimental effect on achieving proper alignment.


One of the primary concerns is going to be the transfer of forces. When performing ground based lifts under load, we want the maximal transfer of energy from our body to the weight. That being said, a running shoe is usually not ideal for our purposes because more often than not they have some sort of gel or air sole. This sole will unfortunately absorb rather than transfer the energy that the body has generated. Another key factor is STABILITY. We want to have a maximal and constant contact with the ground in order to produce as much force as possible over the largest area. Therefore the sole must be rigid.


The Olympic weightlifting shoe has a few characteristics which help maximize your  safety and effectiveness while lifting. Most  have metatarsal straps to increase lateral stability. Pretty much all  WL shoes have a raised heel of anywhere between .5''-1.5". The elevation of the heel enables a larger range of motion in the ankle joint which allows for a deeper squatting position at the bottom of the lift.


When training with kettlebells I follow the instructions of Pavel. (The Kettlebell Godfather & my mentor when it comes to ANYTHING kettlebell)

Train Bare foot when possible and if you must wear shoes avoid running or tennis shoes. They will compromise yor performance and make it easy to roll forward on your toes during swings which will increase your incidence of injury

What I do:

When I train with bells I always go barefoot when possible or with a flat soled minimalist shoe. I mainly wear Merrell Barefoots with a flat last, but there are many comparable shoes out there. ie. New balance minimalist, Chuck Taylors, Vibram Five fingers ect.

When I do ANY type of barbell squat or Olympic Weightlifting, I always wear my Weightlifting shoes.  I have been lifting for over half of my life and  I have only bought two pair. I currently have the VS athletic shoe (its SUPER comfortable and pretty inexpensive). 

Here is a picture of the 1st Weightlifting shoe that I owned...

adi WL old.jpg

This is the current shoe that I have...


Here are a few more for reference:



This is my favorite from the Rogue site:



I have found through experience what works well for ME. Take some time to find what work best for YOU in order to MAXIMIZE your efficiency when training.

rhuben black.jpg