T Nation

Clean and Snatch Percentages

I’m wondering how I should choose my percentages my power cleans/snatches.

I know typcially people say 5x3 for cleans, and 6 doubles for snatches, and Jim has said if you’re not an Olympic lifter, it really doesn’t matter if you do 5 reps of more on a lift, provided you don’t fuck it up.

But I’m thinking about wanting to get into Olympic lifting, so I’m wondering what my best path is. I snatch before deadlifts, and clean before squats. Deadlifts and squats I always follow 5/3/1. What percentages should I use for the snatch and clean, if I’m doing 5-6 sets of 2-3 reps, instead of 3 sets?

It’s not 5/3/1 but I’ve had good luck with hitting a set number of reps at a certain percentage regardless of the breakdown. For example, 12 reps at 80% however I can get them. 4x3, 3x4, 6x2, etc.

For regular 5/3/1 exercises the rule is go to technical failure and don’t grind out reps. I think this same mindset applies to the Olympic lifts - - - if technique isn’t crisp then the set is over.

There’s a program in Forever that steers towards oly lifts (Morning Star), without giving away details, the bulk of the work is done by either working up to TM x3-5 reps or doing a certain number of total reps (like 10) at TM, splitting them how you see fit. The rest is kept at 5x5, 5x3 or 3x5 with a fairly submaximal %.

Mind it, this is still something that puts oly lift into a bigger picture of training them along with other non-oly lifts, so while they may be trained a lot it doesn’t mean it’s ideal for someone who wants to really focus on oly lifts. Chances are that you’ll need a coach for that.

One method I see a lot mentioned here where I live is MAV (which translates roughly to “best fast lift”) and basically has you working up to a daily 1RM or 3RM. These RMs are fast explosive reps, as soon as the bar slows down and technique is not crisp, you stop.
Using that 1RM/3RM, you can then do a fixed amount of sets/reps based on %s of that RM (i.e. like 3x3@80% of your daily 1RM or 5x5@85% of your daily 3RM), or working up to another RM (i.e. you can work up to your daily 1RM, then back off and restart ramping towards a 3RM), or you can back off doing variations of the lifts (like partials, paused and so on).

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Sorry I took so long to reply to both of you. Been busy lately. OK well thanks for both of your inputs. It was interesting to hear your advice and opinions - I’ve been experimenting with some stuff and hopefully it all goes well!