T Nation

One-Arm Barbell Snatch


is there some sort of logical progression to this?

Honestly have no other desire to perform it other than I think it would make me pretty fucking strong and just to see people's reaction throwing up 135 with one hand.

i need to stop going to brad cardoza's site ... i keep finding new things I want to accomplish in his videos lol.


Um... the progression is pretty much start with the bar to practice form, then add weight as you can. It's just like any other lift, except neat lookin' :slightly_smiling: Hand strength is most likely going to be the limiter to begin with - while you practice, I'd recommend upping the unbalanced grip work.



i looove doing those. heaviest i've gone is about 40k. i usually do them for reps as a speed move and focus on perfect balance and technique while catching as much air as possible. you're right though it would look preeetty awesome huckin' a pair of blues up w/ one hand. once someone asked me "hey why are you doing those ?" and my answer was simply "cause they're fun !!"



I really like these. I haven't done them in a while, but was considering throwing them back into the routine. The hardest part for me was the one armed over head quarter squat when the bar got heavy. I could muscle up 95 without the squat, but anything higher was quite a challenge. My best is 135 and I used a progression of triples up to 95 and then just pulled singles. I would pull a triple or single then rest a few minutes and switch sides. This is probably the best upper back and shoulder exercise, but I think you already know that. Another cool ass lift is the two arm anyhow lift. Do a barbell snatch with one arm and then do a windmill to pick up a DB on the floor. Clean the DB and press it. That shit really freaks a lot of people out.


Xen...I don't remember seeing any of those on the QWA lifting progression.


Or bent press the barbell. I believe Arthur Saxon's record still stands at 448lbs (He did 336 pound barbell bent press and a 112 pound kettlebell clean and press). God only knows how light he was at the time, too.


I know I know........shhhhhhhhh.

During christmas break, i probably wont have access to a gym, just a 110lb standard barbell set so I'm going to have to take a break for 2wks or so...figure i'll do some fun shit.

pullups/oh squats superset
1 arm barbell snatches
1 arm pushups

shit like that.


Holy FUCK.



I am not sure if this is exactly what you are looking for, but it may help you out.



other than the coolness factor

what are the benefits to using a barbell over a dumbbell?


Xen Nova:

BB over a DB = more work involved to keep the bar going up balanced... involves more stabilizer muscles, I would suppose.

I've tried just the bar previously, & it is a very humbling exercise... Going to keep at it and work towards 95/135 lbs without wrenching a shoulder socket LOL..

Anybody recall when CNNSi used to be a TV Show? Years ago, they did a segment with Jayson Williams from the NBA (before he shot his butler) & he upped and cleaned a BB loaded w/185 easily w/1 hand... shit. I can remember my jaw dropping at the dinner table when they showed that...


That is fucking gnarly. I never could get the hang of bent presses. Is that were you "uncorkscrew" yourself from under the bar bell as you press? I could do Get up's with a 95lb barbell when I was training them. I have windmilled the same for 3s and 5s. I don't think I could properly bent press 95.



whats your program look like right now?

my best 1arm snatch then lower and press back up is 105lbs. really hard.
once i got the 105 i knew 135 was a future possibility. i agree with you--1arm snatching/pressing a bar with plates on it would look cool as hell!

do speed and max effort work with your 1arms snatch (an or press) and you will really get up there.

one thing that helped me a ton was actually "throwing" the bar. we had a thick walled 3"diameter pipe (about 7'long) that we could cap and fill with extra sand or nuts and bolts we had lying around. its ballistic work so it doesnt have to be really heavy--60% "felt" like it was generating the most force.

if you cant throw anything through the ceiling in your gym, i would just add some speed work and really focus on that. for me it was "all about the explode". word.

train hard,
ryan b.

ps as a side note: if you really get your 1arm presses up there , "regular" 2 handed pressing is comparitively easy.


i love doing one armed BB snatches. last time they were part of my program i worked up to 95 pounds or so. i got bored just doing the snatch, so after every rep of the snatch i would perform a windmill. i call these "Power Mills". great lift and everyone in the gym will think you are crazy.


I really like doing these, I have been trying to make sure I can do the same weight with both arms.

110 lbs for reps of 5 is currently what I'm doing. There is a pic of a guy (Vasily Alexeev's) doing 231 lbs on this site.



I really like this lift to work on breaking up a normal workout and it also turns alot of heads. I have worked up to 80 Kilos with a wrist strap and droping into the full squat position. I also like the Turkish getup. Check Crossfit to see a video of this.

On a side note my best snatch is 97.5 kilo's so getting 80 with one hand was cool. I don't do as much Oly training as I once did and I can't touch 80 kilos now but 50 is routine, I do it to mess with people all the time. My most recent snatch workout I struggled to hit 90 kilo's in the traditional version of the snatch.


i never really did much of a progression, I just decided to try it one day, started light and went heavier. My avatar is a pic of the result.


Yea if i was going to train this specifically as my main lift i'd train it in a westside sort of fashion. (speed/max effort day)



just performed my first one-armed bb snatches

the sense of acheivement inspires you to push harder with every single excercise that follows.

the freakin looks from the t`others in the gym were worth the effort alone hahahaaaargh

my first attempt went as follows.....

10 x bar alone
10 x 20kg
8 x 30kg
8 x 35kg @ failiure

any advise on reps/steps of weight between sets would be greatly appreciated

i want to make these badboys my speciality along with shrugs.

i trained chest first with fat bb and dbs followed by standing shoulder presses then the snatches followed by heavy trap work and finished with tris and grip work.

is there a better time to train the snatches?
pleas advise i want to go off the scale with these !!!

my personal best with db snatches is 4 x 40 kgs after 10 x 32 + 8 x 38 kgs.
thanks in advance...
Yours in strength


A couple of pretty obvious ones:
while doing reps
- start with weaker side
- use plenty of chock for extra grip.

I reckon that your bar GRIP is a limiting factor to the progression.

So again... make it strong! Making grip strong is another story and different post!

You're right... this is A Fantastic exercise!!! I always get looks when do this :slightly_smiling:

Good luck!