T Nation

Snatches in ABBH

I am embarking on a barrage of Chad Waterbury’s programs. First with Triple Total Training, then to ABBH1, then to the Singles Club, then to ABBH2, and finishing up with Quattro Dynamo. I typically dont substitute exercises into ready made programs, figuring that they are pretty optimal by themselves. But recently I have taken a liking to doing the Snatches and dont want to go 6 months without doing them. Does anyone have any ideas for subbing in Snatches into any of these programs?

I noticed that Chad’s often use the Westside method of explosive training. This is used in triple total training (box squats for 8 x 3 explosive sets). In the past, I have combined olympic lifting with a westside template. When I did so I performed an olympic lifting movement on the same day as box squats. Reducing the box squat volume by 50% (so doing 4 x 3 instead of 8 x 3) and performing 4 sets of 3 reps for the olympic lift. Since the olympic lifts are explosive by nature you can use up to 80-85% for your sets. I suggest performing the box squat first as it will act as a good specific warm up for the snatches.

I just took a quick peak at the TTT program. If you don’t mind doing power cleans instead of snatches, you could, in theory, substitute the power clean + push press for all of the exercises schedule for TTT speed day since the PC+PP hits all of the muscle groups targeted for that day.

I’ll let Chad try to explain how to add snatches to the ABBH series of programs.

I will add this: my goals right now are strength, power, and conditioning, and I kept thinking of a way to tweek the ABBH programs to suit my goals. Rather than tweek what was already a well-designed program, I ultimately decided that ABBH was not the right plan for my goals. That’s not to say that these aren’t excellent plans, just not for my goals. Instead, I plan on doing Chris Thibaudeau’s Power Circuit. This program might be something for you to look into as well instead of ABBH. And yes, the Power Circuit will help to put on mass. Then again, I put on mass very easily, and I can gain mass on just about any program if I eat enough, so your mileage may vary. I’m not saying that to brag, because this can sometimes be as much of a curse as a blessing.

Chris took my answer. I’m in the middle of TTT as well and would like to hear other opinions though. I hear cleans and snatches are good at getting you jacked.

just curious, define “jacked”

From what I have seen, they are really good at developing mid and upper back depth which gives you that powerful look. The look that the guys using the curl machine and tricep pushdowns never seem to acquire.

Most non-professional weightlifters get more shoulder/upper back stimulation when performing snatches, compared to lower back/glute/hamstring stimulus. I mention this because many coaches would advise the snatch to be performed on leg day. But more often than not, I have trainees perform snatches on the vertical pressing/pulling day for the aforementioned programs.

BUT, I have had clients perform snatches or power cleans instead of deadlifts on the ABBH program. For certain trainees, this works very well. Since the first part of the ABBH program has 5 x 10 with deadlifts, it gets a little tricky because 10 continuous snatches will usually lead to poor technique towards the end of the set. The only trainees I have perform snatches instead of deads, are those who are highly trained snatch artists.

Therefore, you have a few options with the snatches:

  1. Perform them in place of one of the vertical plane upper body movements.

  2. Perform them instead of deads on the ABBH program.

  3. Perform them first in one or two of your workouts each week for 6 x 3.

Actually, you have four options. The fourth option relates to performing snatches as an entirely separate workout. This is a very effective method for those who have the luxury. You’ll increase your work capacity, and you’ll dramatically increase your technique since mutiple exercises and strength qualities won’t be taxed. Here’s an excerpt from the outstanding text “Programming and Organization of Training” by Verkhoshansky:

“…it has been shown that individual workouts devoted solely to perfectioning sport technique are appropriate…training sessions with the primary emphasis on the development of a single motor ability (but under conditions of a wide diversity of means and methods used) renders a more extensive influence on the organism in comparison with training sessions where several objectives are undertaken.”

Therefore, if you seek improved technique, then perform your snatch workouts separately.

thanks for teh input guys. MUCH appreciated.

Also, for those who are embarking on the snatch, be sure to check out Staley’s excellent articles on the movement. They’re located in the archives a few weeks ago.

CU Aero,

The term “jacked” is being in the state of getting your swole-on. I could see how a good snatch or power clean could easily jack or even swole.

But all kidding aside, I think I’ll try some power cleans now. It was one of our core workouts along with military press in high school. A clean sure does work your coordination if you know what I’m sayin.

jodgey, what should a guy do starting out power clean again after not doing it for awhile? Chad? I’ve been reduced down to beginner status again. ty


Anytime you introduce a new exercise into your regimen, you should start out relatively light and keep the reps low/sets high to build up your technique. Perform 8 x 3 with a 7RM first in your workout with power cleans.