T Nation

Background Info/Snatch grip Deadlift Question

Hey Guys,

I am not an Oly lifter (However, I use to work for an Olympic Lifter and have trained along side many of them!) I injured my left wrist back in 2002 playing football in high school. I fractured my Scaphoid bone and it has never healed resulting in a nonunion. My doctor at the time never considered a cast or anything invasive. The only treatment he prescribed was for me to wear a splint and physical therapy. I was only 17 so I did not know any better to take it upon myself to seek out answers elsewhere and took the doctors word that it would get better. Little did I know…

In the years that followed, I would continue to wear a splint and wrist wraps due to the aches and pains in my wrist whenever I would workout. My flexion of my wrist was fine and pain free but extension is where I experienced the most pain. I could no longer due pushups with an open palm due to pain and limited range of motion. In my mind I thought this was something I would just have to live with.

In 2010 I saw a hand and wrist specialist. He told me there were a couple options. The first was, he could do a percutaneous screw fixation and graft a blood vesicle from my leg or forearm to promote healing since the scaphoid has very poor blood supply in the first place. However, at the time I was personal training and I could not afford to take the down time. Plus, my doctor told me at the time the surgery and graft have a moderate success rate. I can’t for the life of me remember the exact number though.

The second option was for me to continue as is and just tolerate the pain, and any arthritis that has built up in my wrist and when I could no longer stand the pain come back in and he’ll do a fusion. (Side note: my friend had the fusion done and has lost ALL wrist extension capabilities and only has the ability to flex his wrist forward, which happens to be a typical result of fusions.)

I obviously chose the second option. However, in my mind I planned to never get a fusion. Thus, I started to supplement with Glucosamine/Chondroitin With MSM and had my friend who was an athletic trainer show me how to properly tape my wrist to prevent to much backward extension and provide stability.

I recently had a follow up with my Orthopedic hand and wrist specialist. He took another x-ray of my wrist and everything seems to be the same. So on a positive note my wrist has not declined at all. My range of motion was 60% for Flexion and 40% extension. My options are still the same. He said it would be a fools errand to try and fix my Scaphoid.

Bottom line, Athletic Tape and Supplements are my best line of defense for now. This is the reason I cannot do Olympic Lifts.

However, I’ve actually been looking for a way to incorporate Snatch Grip Deadlifts into one of my Leg days! My current leg days look like this:

Leg Day 1 (Wed): Back Squats, Deadlifts, Front Sqauts, GHR or Good Mornings, Then some Calf work.

Leg Day 2 (Sat): Front Squats, RDL’s, Back Squats, Hyper Extensions or Good Mornings, Calf Work.
Where would you guys recommend I place Snatch Grip DL on one of my leg days?

Any help you guys can provide would be very much apprieciated! Thanks.

Hey guys,

Let me know if anyone has any thoughts on if it would possible to ever try and perform any Olympic Lifts with my wrist, or if I should just stick to what I am currently doing?

Also, please let me know where I could add Snatch Deadlifts into one of the two leg days I listed above.

Thanks again!

If you are doing a pure bodybuilding type split, I would have you do the snatch grips on your back squat day off of blocks.

I wouldnt recommend you do any full olympic lifts with your wrist problems as it seems they would aggravate the injury, however, various olympic pulls like high pulls, low pulls, or power shrugs could be beneficial.

[quote]vali wrote:
If you are doing a pure bodybuilding type split, I would have you do the snatch grips on your back squat day off of blocks.

I wouldnt recommend you do any full olympic lifts with your wrist problems as it seems they would aggravate the injury, however, various olympic pulls like high pulls, low pulls, or power shrugs could be beneficial.[/quote]

Thanks Vali!

I try to take the approach of more “Power-Building” vs. bodybuilding.

Here is my split:

Mon: Chest/Back

Tues: Shoulders/Arms

Wed: Legs

Thurs: Chest/Back

Fri: Shoulders/Arms

Sat: Legs

Sun: Rest

I do back squats on both of my leg days so not sure which one you were recommending for Snatch DL? Plus, where within the workout would you insert them?

Here is a breakdown of what each leg day looks like:

Leg Day 1 (Wed):
-Back Squats,
-Deadlifts,
-Front Sqauts,
-GHR or Good Mornings,
-Then some Calf work.

Leg Day 2 (Sat):
-Front Squats,
-RDL’s,
-Back Squats,
-Hyper Extensions or Good Mornings,
-Calf Work.

Thanks again!

[quote]viva51 wrote:

[quote]vali wrote:
If you are doing a pure bodybuilding type split, I would have you do the snatch grips on your back squat day off of blocks.

I wouldnt recommend you do any full olympic lifts with your wrist problems as it seems they would aggravate the injury, however, various olympic pulls like high pulls, low pulls, or power shrugs could be beneficial.[/quote]

Thanks Vali!

I try to take the approach of more “Power-Building” vs. bodybuilding.

Here is my split:

Mon: Chest/Back

Tues: Shoulders/Arms

Wed: Legs

Thurs: Chest/Back

Fri: Shoulders/Arms

Sat: Legs

Sun: Rest

I do back squats on both of my leg days so not sure which one you were recommending for Snatch DL? Plus, where within the workout would you insert them?

Here is a breakdown of what each leg day looks like:

Leg Day 1 (Wed):
-Back Squats,
-Deadlifts,
-Front Sqauts,
-GHR or Good Mornings,
-Then some Calf work.

Leg Day 2 (Sat):
-Front Squats,
-RDL’s,
-Back Squats,
-Hyper Extensions or Good Mornings,
-Calf Work.

Thanks again!
[/quote]
Here is what I would do:
Leg Day 1:
-Back Squat (Heavy load, low reps)
-Front Squat (Moderate Load, Moderate reps)
-Good Mornings (Moderate Load, Moderate reps)
-Calves (light, very high reps)
Leg Day 2:
-Deadlift (Heavy load low reps)
-SGDL (Moderate load moderate reps)
-RDL (Moderate Load moderate reps)
-Calves as above
It would not be ideal to Squat and deadlift same day because you want to get much stronger on the conventional versions of those lifts. Deadlift strength carries over to SGDLs and RDLs. Back squat strength will also carry over to GMs and front squats. The stronger you get on the conventional versions, the more weight you can use on the more exotic “variations” (which are more like pump work as far as “powerbuilding” is concerned), which will addd more mass. The SGDL will put on more mass everywhere than a regular deadlift, but not if you use light weight. The point is doing back squats and conventional deads on the same day will make it hard to get stronger at both, so they each have their own day with their own variations. Sorry for rambling

Thanks for the input man but they do not need to be trained separately. In fact, there are numerous Olympic and Powerlifting programs out there that train both Squats and Deadlifts on the same day.

Here are some examples of Olympic Lifting programs that involve back squatting and pulling:

Back Squat
Block Snatch (knee)
Snatch Pull on 2" Riser
Heaving Snatch Balance + Overhead Squat

Or:
Back Squat
Block Clean (knee)
Clean Pull on 2" Riser
SLDL

[quote]viva51 wrote:
Thanks for the input man but they do not need to be trained separately. In fact, there are numerous Olympic and Powerlifting programs out there that train both Squats and Deadlifts on the same day.

Here are some examples of Olympic Lifting programs that involve back squatting and pulling:

Back Squat
Block Snatch (knee)
Snatch Pull on 2" Riser
Heaving Snatch Balance + Overhead Squat

Or:
Back Squat
Block Clean (knee)
Clean Pull on 2" Riser
SLDL

[/quote]
First off a program with back squats and conventional DLs on the same day is not comparable to one with back squats and SLDL on the same day. SLDLs are modification that is intended to target the hamstrings more than any other muscle involved in a conventional DL. Most powerlifting routines are designed to get maximal strength in back squats and competition form deadlifts (conventional or sumo). Consequently they usually do not have squats and dealifts in the same day. When they do, either squats will be trained heavy with low reps ( to build strength) and some deadlift variation will be used (moderate weight and reps for hypertrophy), or the deadlift will be trained first for strength and some squat variation will be used for hypertrophy. But for powerlifting deads and squats usually aren’t trained competition style the same day. 5/3/1 is a great example of what i’m talking about.

I understand that you’re doing powerbuilding and not necessarily competing in powerlifting. My main point was with back squats and conventional deadlifts, you want to get as strong as possible. They honestly aren’t very good hypertrophy movements in the bodybuilding sense ( they will add mass that lacks definition). Front squats are great hypertrophy movements for the quads, snatch grip DLs are great hypertrophy movements for the upper back, etc. All those variations target something pretty well so you want to bodybuild with those movements but they work best if you can move a lot of weight with them, which going heavy on the main lifts will train you to do.

Thanks man I value your input. I’m not trying to specifically use Squats and Deadlifts for hypertrophy. It’s more important to me for my legs and posterior chain to be stronger rather than ripped up. However, if I was going for hypertrophy “Accumulation phase”, I would change up my rep scheme along with the percentages for each lifts.

On another note, a lot if not most Olympic lifters around the world follow some form of the Bulgarians weightlifting system.

I’m sure you might know this but, The Bulgarian system has a characteristic of using very few exercises in their programs. Other weightlifters might use half a dozen auxiliary exercises and specific exercises such as deadlift, back squat, front squat, overhead squat, rack pulls, hang cleans, power cleans, power snatch, full snatch, overhead press and possibly bench press. Bulgarians use only a select few. A Bulgarian programme can typically consist of only 3-4 exercises. They will, of course, use the snatch and components of the clean and jerk but beyond that they might ONLY perform deadlifts and squats and thats it, without many variations of each.

Extra exercises are often used too much in many strength and conditioning programmes. Sometimes these extra exercises cost the athlete energy and physical resources that could be better put to use on the specific exercises of competition.

The Bulgarians have used this method to win them countless Olympic Medals over the decades.

Here is a quick Sample of what a Bulgarian Weightlifting Routine looks like:

DAY ONE: Session

  1. Snatch
  2. Cleans
  3. Back squat and deadlift
  4. Jerk

Day ones training intensity is high. Specific Olympic lifts are performed at 80-90% of max for singles, doubles and triples. Auxiliary lifts are performed at 90-95% of max for reps ranging from five down to singles.

DAY TWO: Session

  1. Cleans
  2. Snatch and jerk (trained separately)
  3. Back squat
  4. Deadlift

Day twos training intensity will be lower and use higher reps in the range of 3-5. The focus is on technique. Intensity will be in the range of 70-75% of max for Olympic lifts and 75-85% for auxiliary exercises.

When I was younger and followed more of a bodybuilding approach, Squatting on monday hard then deadlifting hard on say thursday or friday always seemed like “too much” to me. I never felt like my low back was fresh on deadlift day, then squat day would roll around again and it would still feel fatigued. When I started training along side Olympic lifters and started incorporating the Bulgarian methodologies that they introduced to me. For instance, putting Squats and Deadlifts both together and not doing so many accessory lifts on my leg days. This helped me stay fresh and each time that workout rolled around my low back felt stronger and more stable than before!

Personally I have had my best gains when hitting Squats and Deadlifts within the same day!

And don’t think I go heavy every day balls to wall. I definitely practice Periodisation.

Periodisation is important no matter which system you’re following. By training at full-on intensity on a continual basis the body eventually protests and wont allow further strength gains. This is why the Bulgarian weightlifting system utilises loading and unloading cycles, which is a rather simple system for periodisation and to prevent hitting the wall.

I always go through an Accumulation phase to Intensification phase to
maximization phase.

I recommend you give this a try man.