Power Snatch: The Most Useless Possible Technique?

Rudy Nielsen of the Outlaw Way posted the following message from Olympic Lifting Coach Glenn Pendlay:

The Power Snatch is half the movement. It gives someone with a shitty pull and a shitty finish, the ability to continue to be shitty at Snatching, while moving a relatively heavy load to overhead with the shittiest, most useless possible technique. It allows under-developed lifters to feel good about themselves, while remaining under-developed, and only practicing the pulling portion of the lift. My best lifters—at the Snatch—look the exact same with an empty barbell as they do with 150kg. The Power Snatch is good for de-loading, or practicing the pull, but it should never be a lifters default choice.

Reminder to self: quit trying to improve my snatch by doing power snatches.

You can find the original post here:
The Outlaw Way: A note on Power vs. Full lifts

You can also find our favorite Snatch video here.

That's no power snatch...

That’s no power snatch…

Awesome pic courtesy of Amber Karnes on Flickr

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Dumb question time!
    Does this mean I should always be doing squat snatches?

    • Phil says:

      Not a dumb question at all Chad. I was thinking the same thing. Here’s where I ended up: When I’m working on “snatch” in isolation or with very low reps I’ll be doing the so called “squat snatch”. For any workout where snatch is not the emphasis (i.e. the average metcon) I’ll likely resort to power snatch. Good luck!

  • I always seem to go to split snatch when the weight gets heavy. I wonder where that leave that?

    • Phil says:

      My gut was that a split snatch would be akin to a power snatch (at least that’s typically how I see it used at the gym I go to). Poking around on the newsgroups a little bit though revealed I was incorrect. I’ll get a quick post together with the relevant links. In a nutshell, you’re probably good with the split snatch but work on getting some serious depth if you want to be able to go heavy.

  • Jordan Shinn says:

    Nice post, Phil!

    The power snatch is great for switching up workouts. I love recommending it to lifters with limited squat mobility or those who lack pulling or finishing strength.

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