T Nation

What's the Best Way to Progress?


I just started training the O-lifts again with the goal of competing in Feb. I've taken a coaching workshop (O-lifts for Sports Performance)and did some training with the full lifts for a couple months last year. Between then and now, just power variations here and there.

What I've done so far is work up to weight where it gets difficult, but I can still do with good technique most of the time, and do doubles at that weight. For the snatch my problem is getting down to the bottom. At 105 lbs. (I think I can probably Power Snatch about 20-30 pounds heavier than this weight) I'm split between getting down smoothly; stopping around a half squat, then getting down; And catching in a half squat off balance and standing up right away.

I've worked up to 8 sets of 2 on a 105 lb Snatch and 145 C & J at ~155 lb. BW, and plan on going for 10 sets tomorrow. This workout's usually about an hour, I haven't started squatting yet (My FS is around 200 lbs, so I'm thinking getting good at the competition lifts is more important now)

What would be the best way to progress? Should I add more sets, more weight, or keep it the same until my technique is more consistent?

Also, any accessory work to help getting down in the snatch?


the way I learned to snatch was to just make myself go under it. this is assuming you have the flexibility to drop into a full snatch and it's simply an issue of lacking the timing/coordination/balance/nerves, etc. to actually get into a stable position under a loaded barbell. start off with just the bar and do some full snatches with it. don't power it. get comfortable with an empty bar. gradually add weight over time. eventually you will be able to full snatch significantly more than you can power snatch.


1) Ditch the power versions, you will NEVER learn to full Snatch properly by not full Snatching.
2) Hammer the bar work, 3reps x 3sets from each of the key positions,
-on tip toes
1: bent arms
2: straight arms
3: bent over hang
4: 1st pull to mid thigh

Then you connect it up

You should be doing this at the start of every session. Were you not taught the basics of how to learn the full lifts at that workshop? Or they taught you the power versions instead?

The better you get at moving the empty bar FAST AND FLUIDLY the faster you will learn to lift big weights.

After the above then start to lift from the floor.

The sooner you get 1000reps completed with the bar and some weights from the floor your technique will be THAT MUCH BETTER.

It is a learnt skill make no mistake about it. Put in the the 15minutes at the start of each session to hammer the bar work and by 3-6 weeks your technique will be a lot better.



You learned from Trevor Cottrel, I would assume? I did as well.

Contact him through his Sheridan email, I am pretty sure he would offer some pointers as he's a good guy.

Meanwhile, drop snatches and snatches+overhead squats working on minimizing the gap between the two will help out.


Thanks for the feedback guys. To clarify my long-winded OP, I can get down into a full snatch, but when the weight gets heavier, I can't get down due to nerves or whatever.

I do only attempt full lifts and warm up with multi-position work (hip, end of 1st pull and "floor" with different pauses on the way up).right now I do a set with a dowel, one with the bar, and one with 65 lbs, before going to the full lift.

I'll add in the lifts from the toes, and spend the 15 minutes on these.


Yes hammer the bar work.

Don't pause on the way up. I think it's rubbish as you never pause on the way up but different coaches will prescribe different things.

Your nerves/ in ability to pull under a big weight is lack of technique. You simply have not done it enough to feel comfortable yet. You will be in time :slight_smile:

You will get to a point where it is automatic to pull in to a deep Snatch position. Once you get to this point you just need to refine a few things.

No biggie, just keep it up!



Yes, I took the workshop last May (2010). When did you?

Ya, he's cool, I e-mailed back and forth with him for a while after the workshop. I'm still on his e-mail list, but I haven't sent him a message in a while.


Thanks for the advice again. I like the pauses just to make sure I'm getting in the right positions, since I don't have a coach (for the moment). But I'll start dropping them for the most part, and just use it as an occasional check.


Post up some videos and people here can check it out. But yes it's harder to get a feel of things without a coach.