To snatch, Clean or squat first, that is the question?

By on March 10, 2016. Posted in . Tagged as , , , , .

I’m going to try and sum this particular topic as succinctly as I possibly can so it’s nice and easy to process. There will be no bamboozling your brain with fancy words, just straight facts.

Fact 1: Everyone has their weakness, very few lifters are outstanding in the snatch, CJ and squat. One will be lacking and you will know exactly which one as soon as you read this.

Fact 2: The only thing that matters in weightlifting is your total. Nobody cares that you snatched 100kg if you clean and jerked 105kg. You would have totaled more doing an 90kg snatch and 120kg CJ.

Fact 3: Your Clean and Jerk should be at least 25kg higher than your snatch, if not you need to focus more on CJ (15kg for females). Your Clean and jerk should be no higher than 35kg above your snatch, if it is then you need to focus more on snatch (25kg for females). If your best front squat is less than 15kg above your best clean then you need more squats.(10kg for females)

Fact 4: Whatever your biggest weakness is of the 3 you need to do it first in your programme. If your legs are weak, squat first. If your CJ is poor, do that first and if your snatch is slow, do that first!


Lot’s of people get hung up on the traditional order of a programme but to really attack your weaknesses you need to change things around. I regularly programme Clean + squat + jerk FIRST, before snatching. Yes it makes the snatch harder but nearly everyone I coach has a snatch which is too close to their CJ. In order to push their TOTAL up (which remember is the only thing that matters in weightlifting, Fact 2) time and energy would be better spent working on their CJ.

How are you expecting to get any better if when it comes to addressing your poor areas you have already done 3475 sets of snatches?!

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