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Barbell 101 How to Create Better Lifters

By Team SAW | Aug. 01, 2020, 3:40 p.m. (ET)

Since 2016 Barbell 101 has been used as a free program to teach lifters how to properly perform the Snatch and Clean and Jerk regardless of their training goals. For the Chicagoland area, we have lifters that range from general population, to barbell enthusiasts and competitive fitness athletes, to national/international level weightlifters so the need for proper instruction in the lifts is needed at all levels of entry. The purpose of this article to inform and educate other coaches and gym owners on how to create an entry level program to educate and instruct the general population on these lifts. 


Whether an athlete is interested in joining the gym, Team SAW, or generally interested in the sport of weightlifting we have them go through today days of Barbell 101 with our coaching staff. Over the two days these athletes will perform 250 reps with a PVC or empty barbell working the positions of the Snatch, Clean, and Jerk. The goal of this program is to create a better mover in the lifts regardless of their setting or program in which they operate under. This is simply how we run the program, but you can adjust and modify this template to fit the needs of your facility and needs. 


On Day 1 we focus primarily on the Snatch. Day 2 we focus on the Clean and Jerk with more emphasis on the Jerk. 


General Warm Up 


-Glute Activation Work: We use a glute band and perform Penguin Walks, Side Steps, and Speed Skaters forwards and backwards 50’. After each exercise the athlete performs 5 air squats with the glute band on as well. The purpose of this warm up is to get the hips, legs, and knees ready to go for training. 


-Crawling Series: We then progress to more a more active warm up. The athletes will perform Bear Crawls, Ape Crawls, and Frog Hops 50’ forward and backwards. The purpose of these movements to build core to extremity awareness and focus on the wrists, shoulders, core, and legs before training. 


Barbell Specific Warm Up


Snatch Progression: 


-High Pull from the Power Position x5 reps

-Muscle Snatch from the Power Position x5 reps

-Overhead Squat x5 reps

-Snatch Balance x5 reps

-Overhead Duck Hops forward x5 reps

-Overhead Duck Hops forward x5 reps

Clean and Jerk Progression


-Press from the Split x5 reps

-Overhead Lunge x3 reps

-Tall Jerk x5 reps

-Muscle Clean from Power Position x5 reps

-Front Squat x5 reps


Technique Progressions


Snatch


-Snatch from the power position 2-3 sets of 5 reps

-Snatch from the hang position + pause at the power position 2-3 sets of 5 reps

-Snatch from the hang position 2-3 sets of 5 reps

-Snatch from the floor position + pause at the hang position 2-3 sets of 5 reps

-Snatch from the floor position + 2-3 sets of 5 reps


Clean and Jerk


-Tall Jerk with a pause in the catch 2-3 sets of 5 reps

-Jerk with a pause in the dip 2-3 sets of 5 reps

-Jerk 2-3 sets of 5 reps

-Clean from the power position 2-3 sets of 5 reps

-Clean from the hang position + pause at the power position 2-3 sets of 5 reps

-Clean from the hang position 2-3 sets of 5 reps

-Clean the floor position + pause at the hang position 2-3 sets of 5 reps

-Clean from the floor position + 2-3 sets of 5 reps


Technical Application


Snatch


-10 sets of 3 position snatch building to a moderate load. Athlete cannot set the bar down or regrip the bar during the set. 


Clean and Jerk


-10 sets of 3 position clean plus a jerk after the clean from the floor building to a moderate load. Athlete cannot set the bar down or regrip the bar during the set. 


Each session takes about 60-75 minutes and we only allow 3-4 athletes per session. At the end of the session we have the athletes cool down with stretching and foam rolling while we answer any questions they may have about the sport, the technique, or getting involved in training/competitions. Again, this is a method we use to educate and inform coaches and gym owners on how to spread the word of the barbell to anyone who is interested. No matter the skill level, age, or ability level, the Snatch and Clean and Jerk are total body movements that create better performance. Whether the participant is an everyday gym goer or competitive weightlifter, the lifts can prove to be beneficial to overall performance. Here’s another tool for your arsenal to building better athletes.