KBell Snatch: A&A, Q&D, ...?

william bad butt

More than 500 posts
Hi. I just finished a powerlifting cycle and competed. It went well, goals were accomplished, and I have been resting the last couple of weeks (enjoying being lazy!). I am looking forward to transitioning to a more GPP focused program until next year (maybe as late as next Spring). I've been taking it easy the last couple weeks, mostly traveling. Next week I want to start training again, focusing on kettlebells.

Ive written about ETK+ before, and twice a week I am planning on doing a Grind block that consists of ladders of 1 arm presses supersetted with tactical pull ups (similar to ROP), double kbell front squats, and finally double kbell military presses. I don't plan on keeping the volume too high, maybe 40 total reps per lift per session (Ill roll a die to determine volume). This is essentially my modified ETK+ Grind Block. Intended to be "park bench".

~3 days per week I wanted to do 1 arm snatches as my BALLISTIC movement (I am eliminating the clean and jerk from the program). Originally, I was planning on doing multiple sets of 5 reps with a moderately heavy bell and making sure to take appropriate rest in between sets (essentially what I interpreted the A&A snatch program to be), from what Ive read on this forum. And then I read Q&D. Q&D seems like it would be more time efficient (this is very attractive to me). It also seems like I will be using a lighter bell but maximizing power. A&A seems like it is less "park bench " than Q&D, but I may be wrong about this.

I am really kind of leaning towards just doing what I describe as A&A , above: Relatively heavy bell, 5 reps, lots of sets (build up to it). I will ease into this over the 1st couple of weeks since I haven't snatched in a while. But am I missing out not doing Q&D? Why choose one over the other, A&A vs Q&D, with respect to the snatch? Also, it seems like A&A is the natural progression from Q&D, so why not just start with A&A? By the way, I should mention that last year (and maybe the year before as well), my snatch sessions were similar to how I am describing A&A, the only difference being that I was closer to 20 sets (10 sets both arms) vs what I believe to be the recommended 30 sets (so this type of training is not completely new to me). In fact, for a long long time, most of my kbell training (whether it is a press or squat or whatever) typically follows this strategy: Somewhat Heavy, low reps (5 for example), long rests (can I pass the talk test?), MED (minimum effective dose) in terms of number of sets.

For those experienced and have tried Q&D and A&A, especially with snatching, I'd really like to hear from you! No matter which I choose, I will spend a few weeks building up to it, starting with a lighter bell (I haven't snatched in a while, but I expect muscle memory will allow me to get back relatively fast).

Thanks,

Eric
 

Harald Motz

> 2k Posts
Certified Instructor
I think @Harald Motz can answer your question better than anyone. I'll see if I can summon him ;)
The route for me was as follows:
A+A I started under Al's guidance in 2016 and I kept at it fairly consistent till StrongEndurance Oct/Sept 2018. So actually I (ab)used the 033 and 044 quite a lot and experimented a bit with some other moves. (There are hints in the book)

And then I read Q&D. Q&D seems like it would be more time efficient (this is very attractive to me). It also seems like I will be using a lighter bell but maximizing power. A&A seems like it is less "park bench " than Q&D, but I may be wrong about this.
Q&D takes 6-18 minutes a session. A+A 20-60 minutes, generally 3 times longer. A+A is more park bench, Q&D definitely more bus bench, as the bus arrives every 30 seconds or every minute...

And no mistake Q&D snatch sessions can be quite taxing. The sets are supposed to be all out sprints. And the rest between sets is incomplete. There is a good amount of glycolysis involved. Usually I feel power dropping on th last one or two reps on the last set especially on the 10's.

Also, it seems like A&A is the natural progression from Q&D, so why not just start with A&A? B
Pavel says so in the book.

As I said above it just happened that I had extensive A+A before Q&D. And this is what I would suggest. With A+A you autoregulate and learn to. Fatigue is minimized powerfull technique can be practiced on each and every rep of every set. Q&D fatigue and loss of power on the very last reps is almost unavoidable, or as I would see it almost desireable: A sure bet, the ATP/Crp system was thoroughly and rapidly depleted to trigger adaptations.

The snatches are a bit lighter, but faster with some more eccentric involvement. Going fast the lockout gets compromised (at least by me and here too I would say that it almost unavoidable)

The videos tell a story:

Q&D session with 40kg:

A+A with 40kg

Snatches with 48kg, also an example how my heavy A+A snatches look like:

To be getting into a really nice lockout is no little goodie one can have with A+A autoregulation.For me a heavy A+A snatch starts at the top.



and some hr comparison. Tells a story too:

Q&D Snatch with 40kg
2019-10-07 18.09.52.png
good old "pure A+A" snatch with 48:
IMG_20190226_195222_652.jpg

an 5x20 emom with 40:
2019-04-13 19.27.29.png
 
Last edited:

ohnbye

Double-Digit Post Count
So much gold in Harald’s answer...

Q&D vs A&A is a question I’ve mulled over for some time. I attended Strong Endurance but it wasn’t until afterwards that I started to understand the distinction and some of what Pavel talked about (Strong Endurance is probably one of those things you get more from the second time around...). I’d been doing A&A snatches for several months when I attended and have done some Q&D since.

A&A is definitely the park bench (apart from for your hands )! Q&D the bus bench. It’s amazing how different the timings and emphasis on power make what appears on the surface to be pretty similar. Q&D seems, in my experience, less tolerant of what else you do. With A&A, apart from hands and time constraints, it feels like it’d be productive to go all day. Q&D- not so much!
My intention is to park bench A&A and probably once or twice a year, for 6-12 weeks, switch to Q&D. Since I roll a dice to do between 16-40 repeats with A&A, this meshes nicely with Q&D and suits my obsessive compulsive tendencies...
 

william bad butt

More than 500 posts
As I said above it just happened that I had extensive A+A before Q&D. And this is what I would suggest.
Thanks @Harald Motz . You are a Beast! It takes a Beast to snatch a Beast! I've never attempted snatching a 48 kg before, but last year I worked up to the 40.

Your response is incredibly helpful, especially connecting the videos to your HR plots. I think I am going to give the A&A snatches a go. I like to spend about half my year focusing on "health" and the other half focusing on powerlifting. I think ~3 (maybe 4) days per week of A&A snatches plus minimalist strength training (some Grinds) and some walks with my 65-75 lb weighted best (aerobic, the black labs will thank me!) may be the right recipe. This is what I am leaning towards starting next week. I want Park Bench. Does this seem reasonable to you?

Regards,

Eric
 

Harald Motz

> 2k Posts
Certified Instructor
I’ve found this to be very good advice. Also, that hand skin tends to fail first is, in my opinion, an under appreciated safety feature of snatches.
absolutely. Usually one day of snatch rest is a good call, sometimes two. And one has to get into a good hand care management which takes experience to develop, cutting/grinding callous literally daily not to little, not to much...

Your response is incredibly helpful, especially connecting the videos to your HR plots. I think I am going to give the A&A snatches a go. I like to spend about half my year focusing on "health" and the other half focusing on powerlifting. I think ~3 (maybe 4) days per week of A&A snatches plus minimalist strength training (some Grinds) and some walks with my 65-75 lb weighted best (aerobic, the black labs will thank me!) may be the right recipe. This is what I am leaning towards starting next week. I want Park Bench. Does this seem reasonable to you?
Good plan. Wave the volume up and down session to session with the delta 20% principle let your hands be your gide. When you have hr monitor it is a great tool to monitor the lowering of the overall hr at the same work output.

I like to start a repeat at 90 - 100bpm. I can go without too which has its own appeal. Some people can get stressed while monitoring, mostly when hr does not behave like one wishes. I find hr monitoring kind of entertaining especially on thecrower since I've quit hearing music while doing it a year ago or so...
 

william bad butt

More than 500 posts
absolutely. Usually one day of snatch rest is a good call, sometimes two. And one has to get into a good hand care management which takes experience to develop, cutting/grinding callous literally daily not to little, not to much...


Good plan. Wave the volume up and down session to session with the delta 20% principle let your hands be your gide. When you have hr monitor it is a great tool to monitor the lowering of the overall hr at the same work output.

I like to start a repeat at 90 - 100bpm. I can go without too which has its own appeal. Some people can get stressed while monitoring, mostly when hr does not behave like one wishes. I find hr monitoring kind of entertaining especially on thecrower since I've quit hearing music while doing it a year ago or so...
@Harald Motz , Thanks! I am much obliged!

I'll try this out and share results every so often.

Regards,

Eric
 
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