Beginners at snatch will progress fastest and most effectively with methods that are different and even contradictory to advanced weightlifting.
Everyone deserves movement. The elitist culture around weightlifting has for the most part been broken by CrossFit but most CrossFitters still haven’t hit this beginner milestone of a bodyweight snatch even though they may have aspirations for local or regional competitions. Outside CrossFit weightlifting has made little penetration into mainstream gyms even though many of them are now buying the equipment.
As a great philosopher should have once said: “A platform does not a weightlifter make.”
The methods that I used to reach a 100kg snatch with a front squat of only 130kg prove that my efficiency in the movement was fairly high compared to my raw strength. I know too many guys with 150kg-180kg front squats who still haven’t reached the 100kg snatch.
What is the key?
The best beginner weightlifting coach I’ve worked with is Martin Harlowe. He has some great junior lifters who are overachieving by Australian Weightlifting standards on the world scene. I’ve had him teach me and the NRL teams I’ve worked with how to lift more efficiently. This is a task that never ends. What does he do? Lots of repetitions.
“THIS IS POWER DEVELOPMENT” – I HEAR YOU SAY. “WE NEED LONG RESTS OR WE WON’T DEVELOP POWER!”
When NRL players are snatching 40kg they’re not developing much! I’ve met too many player who think that 40kg snatch and 80-100kg power cleans are STRONG! That’s not strong.
By having such low standards our players are sacrificing power and wasting time in the gym. Doing sets of 5 at 80kg on the clean is not very useful for athlete development but I see them programmed this way often.
Now here’s the contradiction.
– Do high reps to nail the movement pattern.
– Don’t worry about complete recovery until the movement pattern starts to become worthy of loading
– Once we can work with some big weights then we work up to singles or doubles at the most during intensity focus phases. Don’t be scared of 1-3 reps. This is where the biggest improvements in performance come.
Check out how you can teach your body the motor pattern, mobility and start to build strength into the specific muscle for the snatch.
See the drills that will help you get the hip action and body positions for a 100kg snatch.
In this second video I discuss why my athletes learn weightlifting and the results that I have seen from implementing it. Weightlifting was a massive part of the change of training culture that happened in the Rooster’s gym in 2013 prior to winning the regular season and the premiership.
This method has been applied to help lots of people achieve a body weight snatch. A bodyweight snatch is still very much so a beginner standard for weightlifting and is very achievable for those with a 4/4 front squat of 125% body weight.
The best relative strength result at the Roosters was Jake Friend who snatched 90kg at a bodyweight of just under 90kg. He was also electric out of dummy half when he found the right moment. As Charles Poliquin often explains, snatch is great for relative strength, acceleration not against an external resistance, e.g. soccer, volleyball etc. Cleans use more load and are more applicable to improving the contact side of Rugby League and American Football. I use both in my programming depending on where I feel like we need to improve most. Cleans have been used more in my Rugby League programs.
OTHER COMMON PROBLEMS:
What if your 4/4 front squat is way too low?
Squats respond best to frequency. Perform a 5 min block of squats at least 3 times per week. Focus on back squats initially as they have a more global effect then switch to front squat’s once you’re close to your goals as they will have more transfer to your weightlifting positions.
What if my mobility is so bad I can’t even perform these movements in the video through half range?
Jump on the mobility series in the side-bar of the blog. This is an advanced series out of the 5 full body series we use in the RealMOVEMENT. Also performing the series with 20-50kg will teach your body how to move into the positions it needs. The weight of the bar becomes a stretch. We have specific movement sequences for specific errors (bottom position, shoulders, thoracic etc.) which are available to online members.
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN PROGRAMMING YOUR SNATCH?
WHAT IS THE MISSING PIECE OF YOUR SNATCH PUZZLE?
IN THE NEXT ARTICLE I WIL TALK ABOUT HOW TO PROGRAM BEYOND A BODY WEIGHT SNATCH.
Everyone deserves movement. The feeling of throwing a bar with bodyweight above your head, balancing it and standing up is something we should all experience. If you haven’t had that feeling, I want to help you get it. Do the work, be patient and great things will come. The time is going to pass. What are you going to have to show for it? There is no better drug than getting better!
If you’ve got some friends who are on this journey please SHARE this and create a more powerful world!