Thursday, January 15, 2009

Intermediate training

Once you can handle a few snatches on each,
say about 10 or so, it's time to get a little more sophisticated.

The basic premise of this program is that you have a fixed resistance, ie only one KB or the weight used is dictated by contest or requirements (ie RKC snatch test). Hence you will vary the volume. The goal is to increase the cardiovascular preparation, the technique, the grip endurance but primarily just the 'conditioning' required (particularly in the hands) to do high repetitions of the snatch both in single maximal sets, but also over extended workouts totalling hundreds of reps.

Test your max. Let's say for the sake of example it's 14 reps. The limiting factor is typically the performance on the 'bad hand', typically the left for righties, and it is this performance that you will use to gauge your 'max'. It should be your goal to narrow that gap overtime, until the performance is essentially the same between the two hands.

Once your max is established, a pattern of training three times a week could go something like this:

3 sets at 75% (3x11)
5 sets at 65% (5x9)
8 sets at 50% (8x7)

You can see how the daily volume accumulates while the individual efforts get easier. This is the opposite of most traditional liner periodization, but is logical as our end goal is not intensity but rather duration and volume.

In the second week it might look more like this:
4 sets at 80% (4x12)
6 sets at 70% (6x10)
10 sets at 60% (10x8)

Often this progression is enough to lead to a substantial increase in peformance if you retest your max after a few days rest, particularly with new skills.

Training in this fashion for a continuous 6-10 weeks would surely take a beginner from 14 reps to something approximating 22-30 reps per hand. It would be at this point that they'd likely be ready for training in Girevoy Sport specific methods or to engage in Jay's VO2max protocol and other regemins that rely on a large volume of snatches.

In addition to KB lifts, I have used this pattern in my own training and with clients to increase max reps in any lift where the weight is fixed, such as thrusters with an Rx weight, or pull ups or ring dips etc. It seems to really be best for those things where max reps are somewhere between 8 and 18 to begin with, and is often inappropriate once the PR is over 20 as the sheer volume of the workouts becomes impractical if not impossible. Even if you were forced to work with a fixed weight above 20 reps, I might suggest attempting the next weight up and retesting that lower PR of max reps.

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