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A snatch training session for an advanced weightlifter

I have written a lot about how to develop beginners in weightlifting. I will now provide a snatch workout for an advanced lifter who has 2 years or more of training in weightlifting where technical mastery and strength levels are sufficient to begin training more intensely with weights closer to maximum.

Dynamic warmup. This involves various joint opening stretches.

1. Snatch Squat Push Press (Snatch Thruster). 2-3 warmup sets of 3 reps then work up to 65-70% of max for 3 sets of 3 reps. This is to activate the central nervous system and warmup the joints for the work to come.

2. Snatches. warmups then 85-90% for 3-4 sets of 2 reps. The number of sets can go as high as 6 if the lifter is feeling good and technique is consistent. If technique starts to break down after 2 sets we move on. If there is energy to do more we do more. Once the sets with 85-90% are completed we drop down to 80% and do powersnatches for 2-3 sets of 2 reps. Finishing the session with powersnatches reinforces a fast, snappy turnover.

3. Snatch Panda Pulls or Drive Pulls (this is the classical pull where lifters quickly thrust the quads and shrug. There is no rebending of the knees), from the floor or blocks. 2-3 warmup sets then 110% of snatch maximum for 4 sets of 3 reps. If the lifter struggled with any part of the pull phase i.e. pulling too fast from floor, knocking the bar out front, then I will have the lifter do pulls from the floor and work the tempo and timing. On the other hand if the lifter had trouble getting low fast or receiving the bar to lockout quickly we will work panda pulls from blocks and sometimes the hang with the emphasis to re-bend the knees and snap down reinforcing the instinct to get low fast.

Panda pulls

Drive pulls

4. Snatch grip upright rows. 4 sets of 10 reps with light weight. 1-2 minutes rest between sets. A lot of shoulder pain that is felt in the overhead position in the snatch is caused by weak lower traps. The traps are a muscle group that plays a major role in supporting the arms when supporting a bar overhead. Elite weightlifters from Russian to Egypt perform some kind of upright row. Some countries perform a more strict upright row with light weight while others go heavier.

Tian Tao from China. Snatch upright rows.

In closing it is worth noting this is usually the first and most intense snatch training session of the week. The other training sessions are lighter and involve variations from blocks, the hang and complexes. It depends on each lifters weaknesses as to whom is given what variation.

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