May 2019 TSC Snatch Prep

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Sean Mulcahy, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Sean Mulcahy

    Sean Mulcahy Double-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

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  2. fractal

    fractal More than 500 posts

    I’m hardly a seasoned snatcher or TSC competitor, but I don’t think you can go wrong with A+A snatching a heavier bell for 2-3 months and then onto a higher density program to peak.
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  3. Snowman

    Snowman More than 500 posts

    Agreed. Broadly speaking, it would likely be best to spend a lot of time up front developing strength and technique with the movement, then start the peaking process by working on cadence, longer sets, and then doing lactate threshold work.
    That could look like A+A work until you're 12 weeks out, then doing the 12 week TNT program, or even doing A+A until 6 weeks out and doing the last 6 weeks of the TNT program.

    Coming from someone who has not competed in a TSC ;)
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  4. Ryan Toshner

    Ryan Toshner SFG TL, SFB, SFL, FMS Senior Instructor

    Many of my students and I have had a fair amount of success with simply deadlifting and doing S&S-style swings (except with 2 snatch test-sized bells or heavier instead of 1H swings).

    My point isn't so much "do this because it's 'the best'" as it is "a few things work quite well".

    To determine what might (currently) be the best program for you:
    1. How many snatches can you currently do?
    2. What do you feel is your main limiting factor to doing more?
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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  5. NoahMarek

    NoahMarek More than 500 posts

    I don’t think A+A is the best option if you are also training for the deadlift and pull up. I think the TSC snatch programs look good.
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  6. Bret S.

    Bret S. Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Noah, @Sean M matched a deadlift PB total and then added another rep for good measure doing A&A snatching, (without training deadlift) don't know about pull-ups though.. (he did Al Ciampa's Plan 111)
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  7. Sean M

    Sean M Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Pull-ups have degenerated, mostly because I’m +20 pounds from my leanest (TSC fall 2017).

    I would say snatching heavy, a lot (A+A) got me stronger, and getting as strong as you can before the TSC makes it all easier. I was in the 20kg novice class, but didn’t own a 20kg bell. So my prep was lower-rep 24kg repeats, and it worked great...because I got stronger in the snatch.
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  8. NoahMarek

    NoahMarek More than 500 posts

    I am aware that some people have had improvements in pullups or deadlifts but again, it is not the best way to prepare for all 3 lifts. I did A+A snatches for over a year straight so I have a good amount of experience with them.

    And don’t get me wrong, Bret. If you are enjoying this type of training, that is one thing. But if you really want to improve your deadlift and pull ups, you should be doing them in some volume. Again, in my year of experience, deadlift stayed the exact same at 405lb at a bodyweight of 175 after almost a year of heavy snatches. Personally, I was glad I could still do this but wasn’t impressed.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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  9. fractal

    fractal More than 500 posts

    The cool thing about A+A snatching is that it's not exclusive. You can adjust the volume to make room for other training.
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  10. Bret S.

    Bret S. Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    No worries Noah, I just wanted to share a tidbit, I have no opinion on it, just a casual observer :)
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  11. banzaiengr

    banzaiengr Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Pretty tough to disagree with Tosh's results at the TSC. The TSC is all pulling, snatch, pull up, and deadlift. So, do you want to only pull all year for the TSC and also for all around training?

    I know there are benefits to A+A. It could work as a platform for year round training for the TSC with some deadlift work added. Then a peaking type template 12 or maybe even 6 weeks out before the comp. If you are snatching you can get by without actually working pull ups until you work your peaking cycle.

    Personally I would use a bastardized RoP template since it contains some swings and/or snatches. I would alternate the RoP pull ups with some rows and have a deadlift day in there. Do that until three months out from the comp and then have a peaking program for the comp. That way you are adding some pressing to your training.

    A lot of TSC competitors do some pacing with there snatching. It's not just 5 min. for 100. It's 5 min. for as many as you can do. So if you train slow you'll do your snatches slow. Somewhere along the line you have to work on speed. In theory if you are snatching the 32 all year and then use the 24 in comp you should be able to go faster but it seems the ones who actually do some training to improve their speed do best. You also need to work on hand switching.

    Not saying any one way is best. There's more than one way to skin a cat.
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  12. Sean M

    Sean M Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I agree, I don't want my anecdote to be taken the wrong way by anyone. It was a WTH effect, I wasn't out to use A+A snatching to get a bigger deadlift. And I wouldn't use A+A to prepare for the TSC, not if I wanted to be competitive. Might be an interesting experiment, but that could involve a total fail.

    To train for the TSC, you have to train the deadlift, pull-up, and snatch. Getting strong in all those makes you better able to do well/better. I don't think there's any way to get a bigger deadlift without deadlifting, and heavier snatching does help but I do think speed/work capacity is also a huge variable (and can be trained by various means). Pull-ups may or may not be something that goes along for the ride; some people need training on it (me), other people seem to increase their pull-ups without having to train them.
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  13. Sean Mulcahy

    Sean Mulcahy Double-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Thanks to all for the interesting thoughts!

    @Ryan Toshner , can you explain the "S&S-style swings except with 2 snatch test sized bells" piece? Do you mean they're doing double KB swings with 2 snatch sized bells (or heavier), 10 reps per set, around every minute?

    @Ryan Toshner , I haven't tested in a while, but can usually meet the 100 rep SFG standard on any day. Main limiting factor is that I rarely train the glycolytic path, lots of S&S and low rep/heavy grinds.
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  14. Ryan Toshner

    Ryan Toshner SFG TL, SFB, SFL, FMS Senior Instructor

    @Sean Mulcahy , you are correct... double kettlebell swings with a pair of snatch test sized bells (or heavier), done for 10 sets of 10 reps, as fast as possible but with the added requirement that each subsequent set of swings needs to be as powerful as the first set. i.e. rest enough so that the power does not drop from set to set

    I'm by no means at the top of the snatch leaderboard, but I did 129 (Fall '16) by doing this twice/week with a pair of 28s. If you can hit the SFG standard, I'd suggest doing this for 8-10 weeks, re-testing, and then maybe doing a peaking program in which you actually snatch.
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  15. Al Ciampa

    Al Ciampa Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    I think you’re going to have a bit of a different opinion after the death march. It’ll be interesting to see.
  16. Sean M

    Sean M Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @Al Ciampa Yes, I’m sure. And I should’ve phrased it differently - I think A+A is great base/prep because it gets you stronger and builds that aerobic tank. But a peak is needed to cap it off. Looking forward (?) to your death march :eek:
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  17. dcc449

    dcc449 Triple-Digit Post Count

    I would say that with A+A, it depends on how much heavier your working weight is compared to your snatch test bell. Stating the obvious, but if you are doing A+A with the 24, its unlikely to get you where you need to be to test with the 24. But if you're doing A+A for good volume with the 32, 36, or even 40, then I think it will prepare you to test very well with the 24 (esp with a short peak). Obvious point probably, but felt important to mention.

    Personal experience - a crap-ton of A+A volume across 3 months with the 28 (and small amounts of the 32 worked in) got me within inches of passing the test with the 24 (I got 98-99 reps in 5:00). And that was with absolutely zero glycolytic work, or even any snatch work above MAF, in the 3+ months before the test. Oh, and I maintained my DL PR (that I had previously hit off a dedicated DL peaking program) with just a few sessions of singles across that 3 months.
  18. Sean Mulcahy

    Sean Mulcahy Double-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    @Al Ciampa @Sean M I have to ask, what's the death march?!
  19. Sean M

    Sean M Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @Sean Mulcahy Follow my training log for the next two weeks.

    I recently completed a 13-week A+A snatch protocol from Al. I tested my 24kg snatch test before and after. Pre-test was first time ever with that weight (previously I did 20kg at a TSC). Post-test was without any peaking, just the heavy (28-32kg) A+A snatching. It added 6 reps to my PB.

    "Al's Death March" is a 2-week glycolytic peaking cycle he's got me on. Longer duration sets (but longer rest, keeping that 1:2-4 ratio) for repeats, varying the weight too.

    Hopefully it'll help me bag 100 in 5:00 before New Year's.
    Guy Adini likes this.
  20. Bret S.

    Bret S. Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    You'll regret you asked.. ROFL JK it looks brutal
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