Snatch v. (Double) Kettlebell C&J


Level 5 Valued Member
This question arose when I was reading the topic on the new program for grapplers.
The Tsar is considered to "have few gaps in promoting training adaptations. You can use it for cardiovascular development, overhead strength development, shoulder health and mobility, postural improvement, and of course, leg & glute strength and power development."
The question arises, is there any gap in the snatch, that a single/double kettlebell clean and jerk would fill? Or, to attack the issue with a different question, is there a reason to switch to/include clean and jerk if one can snatch? Is there any area in which long cycle is superior to the Tsar?
Right of the bat only several come to my mind: hand care, being a less technical lift, being more in the middle on the strength-power continuum and therefore not needing a supporting grind the snatch needs (?).
Probably comparing apples to oranges, still I think some interesting points may emerge in this discussion. What do you think?

John Bye

Level 5 Valued Member
Apples to oranges is probably about right!

I practice both (snatch and double LCCJ) and feel like they compliment each other very well and fill in the few gaps they each leave. They’re both ballistics but quite different in character- the snatch is more power oriented and emphasises acceleration (and deceleration), brief but very high loads (G). The LCCJ is more strength-endurance oriented and enables a lot of weight to be put overhead in short time. The loads are less peaky than those in the snatch. They both have eccentric loading but in different movements.

Mark Limbaga

Level 7 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Aleks salkin has said if the snatch is the Tsar, the c and j is the emperor.

The c and j allows you to move heavier load and tends to have more mechanical tension which makes it the better choice if you want more body composition changes vs the snatch IMHO


Level 7 Valued Member
As a grappler, thinking of the snatch, which is lighter versus the C&J which is heavier, just based on the weight factor, for grappling, what they are saying about the C&J being the emperor makes sense.
But this is all still a "one stop shop" mentality. I do not believe (yet at least!) that 1h swings plus TGUs is in any way deficient versus C&J or the snatch.

Steve Freides

Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Pros and cons of kettlebell CJ vs barbell CJ?
The skill requirement for the kettlebell version is much less than for the barbell version. Also easier to accumulate training volume with the lighter weight of the kettlebell version.

If memory serve, the Dry Fighting Weight article sings the praises of Olympic lifting.



Level 6 Valued Member
Pros and cons of kettlebell CJ vs barbell CJ?

Well, I do both. C&J is a competition lift for my sport.

I do KB C&Js in the off season as part of hypertrophy & conditioning blocks.

I'm also odd in that I don't swing clean KBs -- I clean them straight from the floor, because it has better carry over for my sport.

The biggest pros of KB C&J:

--Unilateral allows one to work on imbalances, even with double KBs
--Ergonomically friendlier lift path from the rack to overhead
--Slightly longer ROM on the jerk because the KB rack position is lower
--Friendly for higher rep sets / volume
--Harder to overtrain
--Far less demanding of wrist, forearm, thoracic, hip, and ankle mobility
--Not quite as technical, easier to learn

The biggest pros of the BB C&J:

--Can load it much much heavier, more max power
--Higher systemic impact; putting 100%+ of bodyweight overhead is a strong adaptive signal
--Bumper plates allow for better lift bails
--Squat cleans
--More jerk options -- split jerk, squat jerk, power jerk
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