Thursday, November 8, 2012

-10 Minutes to work to a heavy Snatch
-10 Minutes to work to a heavy Clean & Jerk
Then you choose:
Take 80% of one of the lifts and do 1 rep every 30 seconds for 10 Minutes.
Okay guys.  Let’s talk snatch!  
Below is an excerpt from a “tongue in cheek” article written by Charles Staley and published on the T-Nation website.  I understand that many of you might not have every heard of a snatch before you joined SRC, but thank goodness you’re here now!  The snatch is FUN!  It’s difficult, complicated, and will take YEARS to master.  Some of you might feel frustrated by the initial learning process (having little to no weight on the bar, feeling uncoordinated with the mechanics of the lift), but my biggest piece of advice to anyone embarking on this journey is to enjoy this time as a novice.  The task of familiarizing yourself with the mechanics of the lift should be an engaging one.  This is your honeymoon phase!  Relish in the newness of it all and be proud that you have joined a small fellowship of individuals participating in the century-old sport of weightlifting.  I hope you enjoy the read below.
Charles Staley on the benefits of the snatch:
    1) First and foremost the snatch is FUN! Seriously! (Unless, of course, you accidentally slam the bar into your face like I once did about 12 years ago, but more on technical issues later). Joe Senate, an Olympic lifter I once trained, puts it this way: “Olympic lifts are like jumping from one rooftop to the other — you either make it, or you don’t.” And he’s right. With the snatch, there’s an indescribable satisfaction that comes from completing a successful lift. It’s not like grinding out an ugly, ass-in-the-sky bench press to impress your friends at the local Curves studio. With the snatch, if you use bad form, you miss. So snatching is fun, and if you’re not having fun in the gym, you shouldn’t be there.
    2) The snatch will smear gobs of muscle all over that bony frame of yours. From the calves all the way up to your traps, the snatch pretty much has it all covered. OK, it’s true that snatching won’t do anything for your pecs or your biceps, but isn’t it a safe bet that you’ve been on a “beach muscle specialization cycle” since, let’s see…THE THIRD GRADE?!?
C’mon Johnny, ya gotta work on your weaknesses…in order to grow, you need to put your strengths on the back burner while you bring up your weaknesses.
True story: I’m doing snatches at the YMCA in Salt Lake City. (A great place by the way.) This kid comes up to me and asks, “What muscle does that work?” Sensing my opportunity to make a profound, yet sublimely humorous impact on the little guy, I respond, “You know when you’re on the field, and your friend throws a football to you, and then you run downfield and catch it?” “Yeah,” the kid says with a quizzical look on his face. “It works that muscle.”
    3) The snatch will completely freak out everyone at your local health club, and I KNOW this is an attractive idea for most of you. Another true story: I was doing a workout in Chicago at a local health club chain. The particular gym’s logo was a pictogram of someone doing — you guessed it — a snatch.  Almost everyone has seen gym logos like this I think. In any event, sure enough, I was doing snatches, and you guessed it, an ACE certified trainer comes up to me and says “I’m sorry, you can’t do that here…” To which I respond (pointing to their logo on the wall) “BUT THAT’S YOUR GYM’S LOGO!”
You can’t make stuff like this up folks….
But I digress…back to the benefits:
    4) The snatch will make you strong, fast, flexible, and (stop me before I say it) functional. I still remember the day I met Antonio Krastev, who has the distinction of being perhaps the World’s greatest snatcher, having snatched more than 475 pounds in official competition. What’s that? Your best deadlift is 395 pounds? Anyway, Antonio did indeed grab a barbell loaded to 475 pounds and in a single continuous movement, threw it up to an overhead position, just like that gym’s logo.
Did I mention that Krastev is a really huge man? When he walked into the training hall, he had a raincoat on and it looked like one of those Halloween sight gags where two guys put on an oversized coat to look like one person. Antonio’s ankles were roughly twice as thick as my thigh.
Getting back to the point, throwing big weights overhead makes you really, really strong, and as T-Nation contributor Dan John likes to say, overhead lifts teach you that you’re “one piece.”
    5. Snatches come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Bottom line: you’ll never get bored. You can do them from the floor or from the “hang.” You can grip the bar wide, medium or narrow. Heck, you can even use dumbbells, kettlebells, or anything else you can grab and throw up over your head!
    6. Finally, and excuse me while I wax nostalgic… When you snatch, you suddenly become connected to weightlifting’s earliest history, traditions and all those great personalities who first crafted the sport. It’s kind of like taking a jog in the ancient Olympic stadium in Athens. Sends chills up my spine just thinking about it.
    7. Oh, forgot an important philosophical point: when you snatch you’re doing something profoundly important, which is breaking from the common herd. One of the most important lessons I can impart to you is that since most people are only mediocre at any given skill, the path to greatness is found in opposition. Put simply, if you seek greatness, look at what most people do, and then do the opposite. And I mean that quite literally by the way.