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  1. #1
    GeoffreyLevens is offline Senior Member
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    Default Snatch-what's the deal

    I am pretty new to KB, about a year. Been working my way... I love doing snatches but am curious what the benefit they have (besides more complexity, more coordination) over swings or high pulls. Been working on Viking Warrior program and playing with it a bit and find swings aerobically much more challenging since there is no pause at the top. Even that 1/2 second or whatever each snatch adds up to a lot of rest! High pulls even more challenging than swings, more muscle groups more challenged etc and no pause/rest.

    So why would I do snatches rather than either of the other two for high intensity intervals like VWC?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Pk13 is offline Senior Member
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    Kenneth Jay has noted that that rest pause is important for accessing the VO2 max. It is not so much about maxing out your heart rate as much as it is about finding the appropriate level to sustain effort at. The swing is an awesome exercise, but the snatch involves far more shoulder stabilisation. I honestly cannot say anything about high pulls, except to suggest that Kenneth Jay is a smart dude who has done significant research into this type of thing, so if he suggests that the snatch is the way to go, i would want some significant evidence before i went a different way.

  3. #3
    CZECHSTER is offline Banned
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    The deal... You obviously have never pushed yourself into "no mans land" with snatches.

  4. #4
    faizalenu is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffreyLevens View Post
    I am pretty new to KB, about a year. Been working my way... I love doing snatches but am curious what the benefit they have (besides more complexity, more coordination) over swings or high pulls. Been working on Viking Warrior program and playing with it a bit and find swings aerobically much more challenging since there is no pause at the top. Even that 1/2 second or whatever each snatch adds up to a lot of rest! High pulls even more challenging than swings, more muscle groups more challenged etc and no pause/rest.

    So why would I do snatches rather than either of the other two for high intensity intervals like VWC?

    Thank you!
    The reason you gave is exactly why the snatch is better for MaxVO2 rather than the swing or the high pull. It is in the book. Keep in mind, it is called MaxVO2, and not MaxHR.
    Faizal S. Enu, CFT/RKC/PBA
    My blog: [URL]http://faizalenu.blogspot.com[/URL]
    Workshop Schedule: [URL="http://tinyurl.com/XA-Kettlebell-Workshops"]http://tinyurl.com/XA-Kettlebell-Workshops[/URL]

  5. #5
    ShuriteKempo is offline Senior Member
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    Also you really don't have to rest at the top of the snatch, locking hard and immediately pulling hard is not resting. You won't get very many snatches like this but that is not always the goal.
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  6. #6
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    Nice thread guys. I wondered something: I have heard that high repetitions of snatches can be really rough on the elbows if over done. First of all, is this true? I guess overuse is a possibility with any exercise but are snatches particularly hairy? If so what would be some suggestions of some other great exercises to use with Viking warrior's mvO2 protocol? How about naming the top 3 "second best" exercises to the snatch for this protocol. I would be interested to see what many of you think. Sprints? Jump rope? Swings?

  7. #7
    GeoffreyLevens is offline Senior Member
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    Thank you all for the many quick responses! What brought this question up was getting biceps tendonitis which kept me from doing "ovehead" work for a few months. Coming back into it gradually, started to experiment w/ other moves w/ same protocol. I was doing snatches 20 sec/20 sec and by 20 minutes staggering and wobbling and would have trouble doing anything else for awhile after as I could not coordinate even simple things like making breakfast without dropping things. Is that anywhere near "no man's land?" (Never puked though) Could be I was using too much weight as I really could not sustain that at more than 5 or 6 reps per interval. Could be my size, I am now up to 120 lbs but at the time I weighed only 105 (5'3" tall).

    I think Jay is brilliant but I also know there are many reasons for choices. He may just like snatches and was doing them when he came up with the protocol, so wrote it that way. and then it became "gospel". I know people who do exactly the same type of intervals on rowing machines, stationary bikes, up hill sprints on foot, doing burpees, etc. Not saying that is how it is, just wondering if there is anything to that idea.

    Reminds me of the woman who always cut the end off the roast and used it elsewhere; she did not really know why she did it, only that it was important. Finally she asked her mother from whom she had learned to do that. Answer? "I don't know, that was how my mother always did it." Fortunately Grandma was alive and when asked she said, "Oh, I only had a small roasting pan and they never would fit when I got them from the butcher." Hmmmm, I guess that makes Ken Grandma and you guys Mom!

    I do get it about more shoulder stabilization required for snatches. Also about pushing the speed on snatches but I guess what got me off on this tangent was that with the weight I was using, my body size and condition, and the speed/rate I was doing snatches, I am forced to work harder w/ swings due to the inherent dynamics of the motion ie there is no place to pause even momentarily and in the snatch there can be and I was utilizing it a tiny bit. Maybe should have been doing the snatches w/ a 25 or even 20 lb bell...

  8. #8
    faizalenu is offline Senior Member
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    Thank you all for the many quick responses! What brought this question up was getting biceps tendonitis which kept me from doing "ovehead" work for a few months. Coming back into it gradually, started to experiment w/ other moves w/ same protocol. I was doing snatches 20 sec/20 sec and by 20 minutes staggering and wobbling and would have trouble doing anything else for awhile after as I could not coordinate even simple things like making breakfast without dropping things. Is that anywhere near "no man's land?" (Never puked though) Could be I was using too much weight as I really could not sustain that at more than 5 or 6 reps per interval. Could be my size, I am now up to 120 lbs but at the time I weighed only 105 (5'3" tall).
    ==> 5 to 6 reps in 20s is waaaaaaaaaaaaay to slow.


    I think Jay is brilliant but I also know there are many reasons for choices. He may just like snatches and was doing them when he came up with the protocol, so wrote it that way. and then it became "gospel". I know people who do exactly the same type of intervals on rowing machines, stationary bikes, up hill sprints on foot, doing burpees, etc. Not saying that is how it is, just wondering if there is anything to that idea.
    ==> There is, but it is probably not max VO2. In my opinion:
    * Sprinting has way to much impact to be sustainable for max VO2 for most people
    * The burpee movement is too slow for MaxVO2. I have found burpees overused by most unskilled trainers. I do burpees about 3x/year, and when I do them I find I destroy most of the competition because of my kb conditioning. The burpee is a low skill movement, it does not have to be practice very often to be good at it.

    Reminds me of the woman who always cut the end off the roast and used it elsewhere; she did not really know why she did it, only that it was important. Finally she asked her mother from whom she had learned to do that. Answer? "I don't know, that was how my mother always did it." Fortunately Grandma was alive and when asked she said, "Oh, I only had a small roasting pan and they never would fit when I got them from the butcher." Hmmmm, I guess that makes Ken Grandma and you guys Mom!
    ==> There is a reason Ken's book is over 200 pages thick. Ken is model turned hack trainer. Ken is one of the smartest people in the business.

    I do get it about more shoulder stabilization required for snatches. Also about pushing the speed on snatches but I guess what got me off on this tangent was that with the weight I was using, my body size and condition, and the speed/rate I was doing snatches, I am forced to work harder w/ swings due to the inherent dynamics of the motion ie there is no place to pause even momentarily and in the snatch there can be and I was utilizing it a tiny bit. Maybe should have been doing the snatches w/ a 25 or even 20 lb bell...
    ==> You may be right about the size of the bell. Take the cadence test that is in the book, otherwise you are not operating at MaxVO2. More is not better. Also, for a given bell size, you need more force to do a snatch than a swing, but you can do less of them. In 15s, you can do 10 swings. You can do about 8 or 9 snatches. With swings, the weight doesn't matter, you can't really speed them up or slow them down. With snatches, you can. I get about 9 reps with the 16kg, 8 reps with the 20kg, and 7 reps with the 24kg. The different doesn't come from how fast I can do one snatch, but what I can maintain for over 10 minutes.
    Faizal S. Enu, CFT/RKC/PBA
    My blog: [URL]http://faizalenu.blogspot.com[/URL]
    Workshop Schedule: [URL="http://tinyurl.com/XA-Kettlebell-Workshops"]http://tinyurl.com/XA-Kettlebell-Workshops[/URL]

  9. #9
    Steve W. is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShuriteKempo View Post
    Also you really don't have to rest at the top of the snatch, locking hard and immediately pulling hard is not resting. You won't get very many snatches like this but that is not always the goal.
    This is true, but pausing at the top of a snatch is not exactly "resting" for most people either. Snatching at a slow cadence can be even harder than snatching at a fast cadence -- it just exposes a different limiting factor.

    Quote Originally Posted by bballerkbeller View Post
    Nice thread guys. I wondered something: I have heard that high repetitions of snatches can be really rough on the elbows if over done. First of all, is this true? I guess overuse is a possibility with any exercise but are snatches particularly hairy? If so what would be some suggestions of some other great exercises to use with Viking warrior's mvO2 protocol? How about naming the top 3 "second best" exercises to the snatch for this protocol. I would be interested to see what many of you think. Sprints? Jump rope? Swings?
    Snatches with good form are not really hard on the elbows. If you are catching the bell with your elbow slightly bent and with partial tension, and not absorbing the force with your hips, it can result in elbow soreness or tendinitis. Therefore VWC is most appropriate if you already have your snatch form pretty well dialed in.

    I've seen KJ suggest the Viking push press as an alternative exercise.

    Many people also do the basic 15:15 and 36:36 protocols with swings, but I'd look at that as just interval swing training that won't necessarily have the same VO2max effect. Just like doing (insert your choice of exercise here) in 20:10 intervals shouldn't be thought of as necessarily following the Tabata protocol.

  10. #10
    GeoffreyLevens is offline Senior Member
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    Oops, mistyped (misthought) was doing 5-6 reps on 15 sec. Maybe still not fast enough but it certainly got my pump going! I do see what you mean about rep speed though by firing lats etc extra hard I can speed up swings somewhat, at least w/ the 16kg.

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