I have been lifting weights since I was 16 years old and it’s only in the last year that I have started to train and learn more about WeightLifting and the exercises that are The Clean & Jerk & The Snatch.
In hindsight I wish I had been taught these at an earlier age but I grew up learning bodybuilding and powerlifting and nothing from WeightLifting.
However my goal is to constantly learn, improve, train, compete and learn as much as possible when it comes to building muscle, losing fat and lifting weights.
A few months ago me and a few of my HWTC coaches did a two day coaching clinic on WeightLifting. It was a great experience and it made me realize that I have so much more to learn about this sport and the technique involved.
I am personally training for my first Provincial WeightLifting Competition on March 22 & 23 which will be hosted at Heavyweights Training Center. As well I will be coaching for the first time in a weightlifting competition as Team Heavyweights will be entering 20+ people which will be a huge learning experience for me as a coach and an amazing day for my team to compete and have fun.
Out of the two lifts the one that I have been focusing on recently is “The Snatch”.
The barbell is placed horizontally in front of the lifter’s legs. It is gripped, palms downwards and pulled in a single movement from the platform to the full extent of both arms above the head, while either splitting or bending the legs. During this continuous movement, the barbell may slide along the thighs and the lap. No part of the body other than the feet may touch the platform during the execution of the lift. The weight, which has been lifted, must be maintained in the final motionless position, arms and legs extended, the feet on the same line, until the referees give the signal to replace the barbell on the platform. The lifter may recover in his or her own time, either from a split or a squat position, and finish with the feet on the same line, parallel to the plane of the trunk and the barbell. The referees give the signal to lower the barbell as soon as the lifter becomes motionless in all parts of the body”
It sounds easy, it is NOT.
Here is my student Megan doing a Squat Snatch
Here I am doing a Power Snatch
Snatch Tip 1 – Learn The “Jump & Catch – Overhead Squat ” From A Hang Position
Learning the “Jump & Catch” with a broom stick has made me learning the snatch and coaching the snatch so much easier.
Starting from mid thigh in a squat position you go from a hang position (where the bar sits on your thigh or hips) and from this position you simply jump, driving the bar over your head and catching.
When you catch you want to drive your heels into the ground and create a good amount of full body tension.
When learning the Jump & Catch be sure to start light, be sure to focus on keeping the bar moving fast and explosive and pay attention to your landing. Foot work is key to a good snatch.
Snatch Tip 2 – Go No More Than 3 Reps
The Snatch like the Clean & Jerk is meant to be explosive and fast.
This is an exercise where you want to main perfect form, fast bar speed and not fatigue. This is not a great exercise to do for multiple reps or conditioning. The chance of injury on a snatch when you are fatigued is VERY high which is why I never let my athletes go above 3 reps on a snatch.
Some key points to consider.
– Train for speed and power
– Make sure the bar is moving fast and that your not “muscling it”
– Don’t seek fatigue. Better off resting longer and maintaining explosiveness
– Practice with perfect form and maintain perfect form
Snatch Tip 3 – Use Lighter Weights & Don’t Miss Lifts
Once The Snatch gets heavy it gets heavy fast.
Be sure to really focus on solid technique and maintaining a high bar speed.
Fast and explosive is the name of the game here.
Another big thing is DO NOT MISS LIFTS.
Do your best to hit your lifts and do not miss lifts. The Snatch is an exercise where the bar is over your head loaded with weight, if you miss lifts there is a good chance of injury here so always practice to MAKE the lift not MISS the lift.
Another key issue on this is do not go for personal bests too often. Your better off working 80-90% of your 1rm for multiple singles than always going for a PB and missing lifts.
As my friend Coach Dan John says often “Make The Lift”.
For some amazing resources on Olympic WeightLifting check out “Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches” on Amazon.com & my friend Wil Flemming’s DVD.
If you enjoyed this blog post please “Like” & “Share” thanks, Rob.