T Nation

Snatches are Dangerous


After warming up at the local 24 hour gym, I loaded up a barbell on a flat bench station to prepare for the snatch. I was about to put the barbell on the floor when a geezer on the bench press station next to me says, "I've seen you work out and you shouldn't do the snap because it's dangerous!"

At this point I have not performed even a single snatch rep yet but this guy already knows that it will be dangerous. I look over at him and ask "If it's so dangerous, where should I do them?" He points over at the power and squat rack. I don't use the racks because I can snatch from the floor whereas someone who wants to squat heavy needs the rack(s).

Here's where it gets strange. He adds "You should have a spotter so you don't hurt someone when you do the snap." That was the first time I've heard :
1. the snatch called a snap; and
2. that you need a spotter to snatch

So I laugh at him. He didn't seem to take this very well and said "It's not funny. You need a spotter so the new guys don't get hurt when you snap." I didn't want to deal with this individual so I went to another 24 hour gym nearby to get my training done. As I left I saw him talking animatedly with a personal trainer.

Couple of things I figure I can do the next time something like this happens:

  1. Ignore him but continue taking the necessary precautions, e.g., set up with adequate space, make sure nobody is walking into the bar path before commencing etc.

  2. Talk it over with the personal training staff to explain the exercise.

For those who have encountered similar problems, what have you done to remedy the situation?


They have teeth.

Oh, sorry, just read the subject line.

I'd go with talking to the staff. If they tell you not to do them, cancel membership and go somewhere else.



Hit him with a plate.

But be safe about it. Only use a 45 if you are sure you can swing it without doing damage to your cuff. And control the bounce:)


If he can't name the exercise he can't have an opinion on it.


This is why I wear a beanie that nearly covers my eyes and have my mp3 player turned up really loud.

If you tap me, or try in general to get my attention... I growl.

If I have plates nearby, I'm going to use them so stay away from them. And don't ask how many more sets I have... truthfully I don't fucking know. And your questions are sucking the T out the air... thus I growl.

Everyone I know who works out @ the same gym as me who trains similar to T-Men/Vixens don't need to speak to me at all...they just nod or point and we have a general understanding.

I HATE being interrupted during a workout it bugs the FUCK out of me.


I have flipped out completely before afew times.

Each time was at an overwight older lady telling me things with a condescending tone such as "Lifting fast like that doesn't work your muscles. If you lift much slower you'll get better results. or "You aren't allowed to take your sneakers off for the 10 seconds it takes to do a max deadlift," or "You aren't allowed to do squats in the squat rack without collars, the weights might fly off and hit someone!!" I'm getting pissed just remebering those incedents.

Now, on your case, I agree with the old geezer. I train in my garage now for various reasons but man it wouldn't take much for some stupid fuck, chit-chatting away to back into your space and get KO'd and probably seriously injured by your explosive SNAPS!! LOL


I think as a general rule it's a good idea to do Oly lifts in the rack. It's not like anyone else uses them for squatting and it pisses of the guys who want to curl in there.

The snap. You can't make stuff like that up.


Just wait until he sees you do "Drop Snaps". That'll blow his mind!

Maybe you can skip the Snaps and start doing the Clean & Burp!

1) He's an ass for using the word Snap.

2) I would Snatch (or var.) at the rack. Then it'd be the other guy's fault when his face gets torn off by the end of the bar.

3) I remember my ex G/F stepping in to get her water bottle when I was warming up in the clean (only 135). The bar missed her chin by about 2 inches. Would've been catastrophic. Some people need to learn a lesson, sure, but that could kill a person.


Last time I trained in a commercial gym I was doing cleans...they actually had the old York 25kg bumpers..the fat ones. Well, one of them was proping up the decline bench but anyway...

I did the cleans, and since 70kg is way too lite, i weight in the form of several 25lb plates.

The little dicksucker who worked there came over and said I had to stop because I would chip the weights. I said they're rubber and made for this...he says, "no, i mean the 25's"


On a related note, I hit someone with the end of my bar for the first time yesterday. I'd set the hooks real high to do overhead supports, and had pulled all but one plate off each side. I picked it up and brought it down to my clavicle and then went to drop it to a hang at the very instant some guy tried to wiggle close to my rack. I'm not sure if he was leaning on it or just walking by, because I clearly wasn't watching him.

At any rate, it just brushed his shoulder, and no harm done but man was it scary. People should stay the hell away from other people when they're

  1. On an olympic lifting platform
  2. In a squat rack
  3. Lifting a barbell
  4. me


I think it's funny how many simmilar things seem to happen to people around the same time.

I also just almost hit someone today doing high pulls. I was on my 4th set, off in a little corner away from anyone, and this guy just had to go next to my bar right when I'm about to do another rep (the bar was already hanging in my hands).

That's one reason I don't like going to the gym on weekends. You never know who's going to show up, where as durring the week you usually get the same people at certain times.


things I learned at my gym

The gym I'm going to has made me paranoid to deadlift. The first time they complained I was making too much noise (my deadlift is stronger than my grip, so I would drop the weight loud sometimes, which I'm trying to improve). This nerdy "physical trainer", e.g. "magazine page flipper" came over and told me to be quieter. meanwhile, I have seen other people:

1) bench ridiculous weights with what I call the "bounce and spot tenchnique", aka "pectoral trampoline" albeit no collars, and sliding the plates off when they can't lift it...

2) same people with feet on the bench, no spotter, and 1/4 reps on the bench like it means something (I dont think they were doing X-reps, or like that, i think they believed were sincerely benching)

3) use the squat rack AND hack squat machine as a leaning post with an occasional few reps so as to continue their monopoly on the equipment I want to use

4) use of the chin/dip station for the same purpose, or clothes rack

5) WRIST CURLS in the squat rack!

6) people who walk sideways without looking in our very crowded gym with weights

7) deadlifts, cleans, squats below parallel, curls outside the squat rack, agnostics, athiests, and wearing sleeves are all dangerous.


Thanks for the input guys. Seems like the wise course of action is to Snap in the (c)Rack. Another reason why I tend to avoid doing explosive movements in that particular rack is because (for some reason), the base of this rack has a hollow sheet metal platform. Which means it booms when my feet make contact during the catch.

Heck, I might start enjoying the noise if it pisses the geezer off. I had to come in here to Snap because you complained. What more do you want? Do you now wish to retract your complaint? Ha!


One more thing, I tend to agree with XenNova in that I dislike being interrupted or distracted when I train. However, I reckon I have to accommodate the geezer because there is the potential for getting banned because my behavior is construed as dangerous and/or intimidating.


You mean YOU do the "Foot Stomp" too!



I bent over to add a plate to my deadlift bad one time and cracked my head on the end of the smith machine bar and was it ever loud!! The whole gym looked at me. It was dead center of my forehead right at the hairline.

I then got set up to pull and noticed blood running down between my eyes. There were some hot chicks there and I was embarrassed as hell. I finished my workout though, kept going to the bathroom between sets and wiping the blood off. I set a PB that day.


once i was warming up with the bar benching and i went to rack it and dropped it on my head lol


About a year and a half ago I broke the ulna of my right arm. After months of being in a cast wrist was very tight from being held stationary for so long and my arm ached constantly trying to keep up the demands I placed on it being that I am right handed.

I started a specialized forearm routine to rehab the arm get the mobilty back etc. the size from the atrophy came back literaly within a week or so (Muscle memory) but I still struggled with strength do to tightness and pain.

so the only real heavy move I could do was Hammer curls and because I was looking for good legitimate strength and range of motion gains everything I did was very strict.

I say all of the above to set up the following.

There is this old guy that trains there and through out my days of training over the years I have seen him at various gyms we have never spoke but this was all about to change
mid you this guy has never looked anything except a old man and has never done anything in the gym except use the worst possible form and made of exercises that you can imagine.

Then it happens he starts walking over (I spot him in the mirror) as I am doing seated alternate hammer curls.

"You know son you'd get alot more out of those is you turned your hands at the top thats the only way to build those biceps!"

since I was in the middle of the set I just looked at him in the mirror and said "I am not training Biceps!" he stood there incredulous and said oh.

I look over and he has about the entire weight stack on both of the cables doing some king of combination puldown bear hug barrel grab cable crossover thing straining and shaking , grunting and groaning rattling that pulley station so much some guys on the basketball courts walked over to the weight room to see what the fuck was going on. Suddenly Red in the face veins bulging tendons ready to snap he loosens or loses his grip and drops both stacks. Sounds like a damn pallet fell off the back of a semi.

I walk over to him and say "well you know son you should really wear a belt when training chest! Thats the only way to develope the lats!"

As I was walking away I swear I heard him call me a young asshole or something "I just don't think he got it."


Now THAT'S funny stuff! I think I know him


Just ask them to show you how it's supposed to be done, and if they reply in any way and don't show you, just yell relly loud, "then shut up!!!"