all posts post new thread

Kettlebell About learning the snatch


Level 5 Valued Member
Im currently maintaining timeless simple, and I thought now it would be good time to learn the snatch on the side.

Maybe I would do 2 sessions of S&S a week and then 1-2 practise sessions with the snatch. I have done some snatching with the 16kg, and it’s way too light. I don’t have a 20kg bell, and I wonder if 24kg is too heavy to start with... ? I can press the 24 for few reps.

Do you think I should be good to start snatching it? How should I go about it volume wise? Few reps every minute on the minute, making sure the techinque is not compromised due to fatique? How many reps total?

How have other people done it?

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
@Nacho - I highly recommend finding a coach to help you. It'll shorten your learning process and they will be able to give you recommendations based on seeing you.

Why do you say 16kg is too light?

After hitting timed simple I started learning to snatch the 12kg and 16kg. If I look back at my training journal, I split my training sessions into two parts - S&S and play. Play I would practice whatever kettlebell movements I wanted, but when I was learning the snatch I was mostly focused on the snatch and the bent press. I would snatch for a set of 5, 5+5, or a set of 10, and I would usually do 2-4 sets per arm for a total of 40-60 reps. From my notes, I would rest until easily breathing before going again and I would cut a set before fatigue set in.

Steve W.

Level 8 Valued Member
The snatch should not be intimidating to learn. It was the first thing I did with my KBs as soon as I got them (from DragonDoor's first production run).

Sure, I banged up my forearms for a couple of weeks, and there's been a couple of decades worth of technique refinement since then. But I consider any technique challenge that the snatch presents to be part of the fun of doing it, not an impediment to doing it.

16kg is a good starting weight to build technique. Even after I got much better and stronger at snatching, I still used the 16kg for the VWC 15:15 protocol for a long stretch, and the fast cadence and high volume of that program taught me a lot about technique.

As far as practicing to learn technique, you don't need a structured program. You can do some lower volume snatch practice after S&S or more on separate days. Just mess around and practice. Try out different cues and technique variations (a lot of variation will just occur naturally since your technique won't be consistent) and look for those good reps that feel especially good. Then try to replicate them. Then try to replicate them consistently. Just by messing around and focusing on technique, you can rack up a substantial volume without even realizing it.

Once you feel somewhat comfortable with the technique, a good protocol might be Q&D 015, but with no power pushups, just 10 x 10 on the 3:00. This gives you a nice total volume, slightly longer sets to get in rhythm, and plenty of rest so you're doing each set fairly fresh and the overall session effort is relatively moderate.

Catherine Buck Le

Level 5 Valued Member
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Hi @Nacho -

Yes, there are some great training protocols in the Quick and the Dead book.

I like the 044 snatch protocol, which is summarized on pages 73-75 and 88.

You can do 5 snatches on the 0:30 or 10 snatches on the minute. You do sets of 20 snatches per arm before switching sides. There are extra rest periods built in after you do a total of 40 snatches (20 per side) to ensure you stay fresh. It's worth reading the book!

Examples of a light, medium, and heavy day, as per the 044 protocol. (This is assuming you want to do an equal number of reps per side):
• Light day: 20 snatches per side, 40 reps total.
• Medium day: 40 snatches per side, 80 reps total.
• Heavy day: 60 snatches per side, 120 reps total.

This video that I made has a few technique pointers on the snatch. I hope it's helpful!

Have fun practicing and LMK if you have any questions at all! :)



Level 6 Valued Member

I learned the snatch with my 16kg bell using these instructions. It did kinda need a few bumps on the forearm to teach me good timing.

Eventually through 3 months or so of 2-4 days /week of grease the groove practice I worked up to sets of 5 with the 32kg.

the grip really suffers and needs time to recover. My yard has a set of divots to remind me of that.
Top Bottom