Saturday, June 16, 2007

GS style snatches

OK, I've been humbled! This is the first time I've tried snatching with more of a GS style. I put it that way because, now that I'm reviewing the tape, it felt different than it actually looks. I felt the "corkscrew" decent more than it shows up on tape. When I was doing it it felt like I was bringing the bell in, closer to my face and body than it looks like I did. I don't think I'm built for this style. I had a hard time pulling from my shoulder, instead of hip-snapping, I naturally use my legs.

After warming up by trying this new style (about 10 min), I then tested how long I could snatch the 16kg @ about 18 rep per min. speed. Starting on my weak side, I could only snatch for a little over 1 1/2 min. (30 reps), then switched to my stronger side for 30 more reps in the same amount of time, for a total time of only over 3 minutes. Three minutes! My shoulders were "smoked"! It's been a long time since I couldn't just put my head into it and gut it out, I couldn't! That's all I had!

So, since I had to then do my actual snatch workout, i decided to do sets of snatch/holds. Here's what I did;

1:30pm KB snatch/holds w/12kg & 16kg

Warm up

10-15 min. GS style practice w/12kg & 16kg

Work sets

#1 12/12 snatch/5 sec hold w/12kg, 2 min. on 1 min. rest (1 min. each side before switching)

#2 6/6 snatch/5 sec. hold w/16kg, 1 min. on 1 min. rest (30 sec. each side, video shows this set)

I repeated set #1 twice before set #2. So the pattern was 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, etc. for 5 rotaions. Each rotation took 8 min. to complete for a total time of 40 min.

I realized that I hadn't done any swings, and I wanted to, so I added 10 sets of 2 hand swings w/16kg, 1 min. on 30 sec. rest, for a total time of 15 minutes / 400 reps.

Total workout 65-70 minutes


Saturday AM weight 127.6 (exactly the same as last week)
1:30pm KB snatch/holds/swings
7:00pm 1 hour walk
Total calories around 2500

No "bake sale" binge, but I did let myself eat foods that I wouldn't normally eat. I had a few chips, alot of wheat thins, some ice cream, some cookies as well as some better foods. I would consider this Saturday to be 50% better than last week. And that's a huge success!

When I told this to Mark he asked me what I was shooting for, and I realized that I hadn't really set any goals, as far as what I was going to allow myself to eat. I was mainly concentrating on not bingeing on 4000 calories worth of sugar in 30 min. time. Next week I'll be out of town and that will present more challenges, but I'm fine, I'm still in a good mood!


Aaron Friday said...

I see the corkscrew movement you talked about earlier. Thanks.

Christine Petty said...

First of all, loooooove the music.

Secondly, D-I-E-S-E-L-E-D sister!

fawn friday said...

For the love of god woman... 3 minutes of snatches with the 16kg!? 30 reps on one side... holy crap! Who cares about a single oh squat??? THAT is way more impressive! 30 reps with a 16kg... Now, I hate you!!! (in the best possible way of course)

Tracy said...

Aaron, You have a better eye than I do!

Fawn, It's just a regular "hate fest", in the most loving sort of way.

I'm thinking of torturing myself and training squat day later in the afternoon when I'm more flexible, just so I can try and go deep, like you! A pistol is coming, I can feel it!

Tracy said...

Christine, Who me??? I'm working it hard....I'm hooked on building some muscle! I'm not getting any younger, lol

Zorbs said...

How do you keep from hurting your shoulder/forearm when doing cleans?

Royce said...

OK, holy hell! Now thats some freakin work!

Tracy said...

Zorbs, What do you mean by hurt my shoulder/forearm? Hurt them from the weight of the bell or hurt them (muscularly) because of incorrect form?

If your form is correct, as taught by the RKC, you learn to move your hand around through bell (the handle) instead of
flipping" it over the wrist and banging it.

Does this answer help?

Jen said...

Tracy, great blog! Keep up the strong work. I can learn alot from you about the KB. I've been using KB's for about a year and they have made a huge difference in my fitness.

Fireman Tom said...

you have a great conditioning base for doing high rep sets, but you will have to change your technique to be able to do high reps.

First, the KB handle will need to be at an angle in your palm, and you need to let your forearm relax a bit, and your wrist will bend back slightly, but the handle will be wedged tightly into the webbing between your thumb and index finger and the handle will run over the bottom corner of your palm nder your little finger.

Second, don't rotate your shoulders all the way out (so your palms face forward). This causes your deltoids to maximally contract - great for low rep max strength, but you'll burn out quickly. Try locking out with your palms turned out at about 45 degrees (half way between inward and forward).

Third, let the bell go farther back between your legs, and the handle should be at a 45 degree angle (thumb farthest back). Also, it should be higher up your thighs ("riding the broom-stick" style).

Fourth, bend your knees less, fold more at the hips, use your glutes to do the work.

Fifth, catch the handle with your fingers in a claw grip, which will avoid catching any callouses where your fingers meet your palm.

Sixth, just keep your lowback "neutral" (slight curve) throughout the snatch. Trying to hold a tight arch is only needed for max strength-low rep effort. You will exhaust your low back quickly if you try and keep it too rigid and locked in.

Seventh, go to YouTube and review some of the KB snatch clips, especially from the Competitions. Yu will see some variations in style, but there are basic similarities of all their styles. Really study the clip (Mark posted it once) of a Artur Ginko snatching a red KB alongside a mirror.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress. 'm sure you'll be going 5 minutes a side in a couple of months.


Tracy said...

Tom, Everthing you suggest is true! IF I wanted to convert my form into a GS from, which I don't.

I'm not built at all like Aturo Ginko or alot of other long/armed- short/back people that excell at GS. I loved watching the video clip of Aturo, which is why I could tell how far off I was in my own technique. It was difficult to get the bell to go farther back using (or I should say trying to use!) the corkscrew decent, and I naturally have a "tight arch" in my lower back.

I wanted to try it, but I don't think I'm interested in re-building my entire swing pattern in order to compete. I'm more interested in doing the SSST w/16kg. I was pretty happy snatching 60 reps w/16 in a little over 3 minutes on my first try.

Fireman Tom said...

I'm so glad you took my suggestions as they were intended.

While I understand not wanting to mess with your hip/leg drive pattern, you may want to experiment with the angle of the handle in your hand, and the angle of your shoulder at lockout, both of which aren't affected by by body type. The handle technique will save your callouses when you lower the KB, and the shoulder angle will put less wear and tear on your shoulders no matter how many reps you do.

Keep kickin' butt with your training. I send women to this blog all the time to checkout what KB training can do!


Tracy said...

Tom, I'm looking forward to playing around with your suggestions on the handle and my shoulder position in my next snatch workout, which is Sat.

And maybe if I run into you again at a RKC cert again I can take advantage of your advice, personally! I'll still play around with it.

Thanks for understanding where I'm coming from, Tracy

Fireman Tom said...


remember at the RKC cert during the snatch section when I went up and did a "hybrid" snatch? You use the hip/leg drive of the RKC snatch with the positioning of the GS snatch at lockout, and you sneak the bell around your wrist like a GS snatch.

With this style, you have a great snatch for conditioning because you can go really fast and generate a lot of power, but you spare your shoulders, forearms and grip.

My advice would be go light on the volume at first. You have enough conditioning to do a lot, but your joints will need some time to adjust to the new positions.

Take care,


Zorbs said...

I have a giant bruise on my shoulder. I read From Russia With Tough Love a little closer and I think I am getting the hang of the cleans, but I am wanting some sessions with an RKC in my area for some extra technique refinement. Thank you for your help, you are a wonderful inspiration!

Tracy said...

zorbs, What about a DVD? Of course nothing beats an "in person" certified KB instructor, but if done correctly a shoulder bruise should not be a result of a proper clean.

Maybe I can tape a talking/demo when Mark gets back, we have a new camera!

denise said...

thanks for the inspiration..... I have only been doing kb for a few months and your story has inspired me...