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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 11-27-2015, 01:22 PM   #1
Sean J Hunter
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Not training the snatch?

Hello all,

We've been reviewing the movement list that we use for our programming. A debate started regarding removing the snatch from our list. I would be interested in others thoughts.

To provide some perspective
- Our garage group is entirely focused on "just getting fit" outcomes, no one is particularly interested in competing in CrossFit beyond perhaps friendly throw downs.
- One of our primary focuses in our movement list is to execute a value analysis for each movement; what benefits does this movement bring; such as training effect, compared to its negatives; such as it being intimidating, or hard to learn, etc.


Here was the argument.
- It could be argued that the snatch is the most technical and most intimidating movement in the CrossFit arsenal.
- Compare this to its added training benefits above and beyond what the Clean already provides (again in regards to our group goals - just wanting to get fit) and the ADDED training effect is not high.
- Looking at the cost / benefit of the snatch and accounting for the fact that, in our case, it is not needed to compete; why don't we remove it from our movement list, and perhaps offer it as a specialty class, run periodically, for those interested?

Look forward to your thoughts

S
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:39 PM   #2
Shawn M Wilson
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Re: Not training the snatch?

I understand what you are getting at.

Would I remove it completely? I would keep it as it is a great movement for explosive strength. Yes it is technical and does require practice and work to be efficient and skilled at it, but it can do wonders for teaching someone to drive through their legs and more.

If Crossfit is nothing more than a way to get fit and the snatch doesn't fit into what you want to do, then ditch it. Like you said it won't impact your fitness level if you are consistent in other areas. Getting to a throw down might hurt only if they have the snatch but then again most times it isn't a max effort and a fit person can muscle through them with a little work.

There are things I don't do that Crossfit does because I don't like them. People call me a cherry picker but deadlifts and box jumps is a no go for me. Seeing someone who is 20x better shape then me tear their Achilles doing the open workout at our box made me say I'll pass. Sure I still deadlift and do box jumps but just not together.

If I got to a competition and they had those you could go ahead and know I'm not going to go balls out and will step up / down if allowed. If not my score is going to be pretty low.
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Old 11-29-2015, 04:15 PM   #3
Michael A. Jones
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Re: Not training the snatch?

I would concur with Shawn regarding explosive power. It is very technical and does require tons of practice. If it doesn't/hasn't impacted your athletes overall fitness, then I'd negate the movement from your list.

I, too, am a cherrypicker of sorts. I don't sweat muscle ups and OHS as much because I don't plan on competing that often. Crossfit has yielded me great benefits without doing a lot of the "standard" movements...

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Old 11-30-2015, 03:20 AM   #4
Alex Burden
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Re: Not training the snatch?

Totally agree with the 2 previous comments.

If you don't compete and you see no use in doing it then why bother. There is so much more that can be done to improve your fitness.

You should loot at it like this.... you put the snatch on the shelf for now and should any of you at any time in the future want to try and test it out then you can start to look at it.

You might want keep OHS as this will help you with the snatch in the future should you ever decide to give it a go.

The most important thing is to keep people happy and willing to workout... The Snatch takes an awful long time to master...
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Old 11-30-2015, 05:35 AM   #5
Sean J Hunter
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Re: Not training the snatch?

Thanks guys,

Great advice.

Much appreciated

Sean
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Old 11-30-2015, 10:35 AM   #6
Mauricio Leal
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Re: Not training the snatch?

I understand where you are coming from on this. For a few months I reduced the Snatch to basically an accessory in our main gym programming because we had a lot of beginners and so many had much more basic things that they were still struggling with. But I ultimately put it back in more regularly, and challenged myself as a coach to be better even if it is frustrating at times, and challenged our athletes to want more for themselves than what they already have.

That being said, we still mostly do Hang/Hip Snatches, and if someone doesn't have a solid OHS, they're doing Hang Power Snatch + OHS. If it's a total cluster still (someone who doesn't understand basic triple extension) I'll have them just deadlift or do KB swings that day, but every few times it comes up again we challenge them to give it a try with the PVC and 5# bar. With consistency, sometimes people surprise you in good ways.

Second, it is a slippery slope. So many of the things we do in CrossFit you don't absolutely "need." Pull-ups, muscle-ups, rope climbs, double unders, rowing, biking, sleds, and pretty much all the actual weightlifting: most of us could probably be perfectly healthy and functional for the rest of our lives without ever doing one more rep of those. For modern living at a nominal bodyweight, you probably only absolutely need to: walk up stairs, deadlift and carry 30-50# for a minute or so at a time (carry groceries or a child), air squat, the midline strength to get up from bed or a chair. Practically everything else is situational or a bonus.

Third, all movement is "technical." Even the most basic things we do in CF are pretty complex. Touching your nose with your index finger is a complex motor function that your brain has memorized through countless repetitions and heuristics. I think the Snatch is unique in its technique AND mobility demands, and primarily the latter. If we avoid this movement, we are essentially allowing/encouraging our members to maintain at least a thoracic spine and shoulder mobility deficit. Broad and inclusive functional mobility is as important as work capacity, which is why broad modal domains and learning and playing new sports are all part of the definition of fitness.

Finally, practicing things you aren't proficient at stimulates the brain in unique ways, which basically makes us young again. I think the "legends/grays" athletes would appreciate that more than anyone.

Ultimately, over time I think most people (that are even interested in working out at all) appreciate being held to a high standard rather than being given an easier out. Keep in mind that even doing the basics (squat, press, deadlift) is still really hard work. How unsatisfying would it be for an athlete/"regular person" to train really hard for years AND find out they are completely deficient at a movement because they never even had a chance to practice it? We have to lead the front on this.
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Last edited by Mauricio Leal : 11-30-2015 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 11-30-2015, 06:11 PM   #7
Sean J Hunter
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Re: Not training the snatch?

Gosh Mauricio,

Really appreciate such great feedback! You've definitely challenged my thinking on multiple fronts, and a couple things I hadn’t considered. Thanks a bunch!

I still think the snatch is too much hassle for too little gain for beginners, feedback from members is that it's annoyingly technical and intimidating, so we're gonna take it out of our Ramp-up. But you’ve definitely challenged me to look at your model and perhaps keep it as an 'encouraged optional', offered when a members ready.

And I agree with you on the OHS front. We are leaving the OHS in, as the mobility it demands is great, and it’s a fun lift for when members get over fear of the bar, and of course GREAT for core stability.

As an aside topic, you mentioned how you like to swap lifts out, and basically have people doing different lifts than each other during your strength elements. This is an area we’ve really been thinking a lot about. We’re a little out of the loop down here in the South Pacific; would you be open to me asking you a few questions in this area?

Sean
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Old 12-01-2015, 08:03 AM   #8
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Not training the snatch?

I will echo what Mauricio said.

The snatch is probably the most demanding movement as far as timing, positional awareness and mobility are concerned. I believe for this value alone it should be included.

With that said you don't ever have to put it in a met-con or max out to get the these benefits. Create a culture in your gym that looks for virtuosity instead of weight in the snatch.

It would be perfectly reasonable for a small garage gym to treat it as a progression that went power clean, clean then snatch. Treat it as skill work. A good light snatch getting under the bar well is not an easy thing to do. There are plenty of strong folks who don't move under the bar well.

I believe strongly in programming for your gym's population. Here in the Phoenix metro we are seeing a lot of competitors programming. In actuality some of the best gyms in town have stayed away from competitors programming and stuck to basic CrossFit with strong coaching. These gyms don't make headlines but they have lots of happy healthy members.
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:47 AM   #9
Sean J Hunter
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Re: Not training the snatch?

Thanks Brendan,

Much appreciate your input. We're seeing something very similar here, of the 48 local affilaites, few to none have a business model focsed on what we call the "Tick The Box" crowd, those just wanting to be fit for life.

The real issue, is other non affilated offerings are coming in and cornering that sector...it's interesting to watch.

CrossFits strength (decentrilized) appears to be it's weakness...

Sean

Last edited by Sean J Hunter : 12-01-2015 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:47 PM   #10
Mauricio Leal
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Re: Not training the snatch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean J Hunter View Post
As an aside topic, you mentioned how you like to swap lifts out, and basically have people doing different lifts than each other during your strength elements. This is an area we’ve really been thinking a lot about. We’re a little out of the loop down here in the South Pacific; would you be open to me asking you a few questions in this area?

Sean
Happy to help. Yeah feel free to PM me if you have more specific Qs.
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