Your Snatch to Clean & Jerk Ratio: Are Your Numbers Off
Your Snatch To Clean And Jerk Ratio: Are You Off?
The following are some facts that you might want to consider before making any conclusions about your snatch numbers.
Fact 1: A good snatching technique will make it easier for you to perform the lift with less effort. If you have poor technique, then your snatch numbers may suffer because of it.
Fact 2: A good clean and jerk technique will allow you to lift heavier weights than if you had bad technique. If you have poor clean and jerking technique, then your clean and jerk numbers may suffer because of it.
Fact 3: Poor form does not necessarily mean that you cannot do the lift; it just means that your lifts won’t be as strong or powerful as they could be.
Fact 4: There are many ways to improve your snatch and clean and jerk numbers. These include proper training, nutrition, rest periods between sets, etc.
Fact 5: Some lifters have a tendency to overtrain their body’s ability to produce growth hormone (GH). GH production increases during the last two weeks of competition preparation. This increase in GH levels causes an athlete’s strength and power output to rise significantly during these final few days of competition prep.
In fact, some weightlifters in years past have taken drugs to increase their GH levels. This drug use allowed these athletes to train harder and heavier than their non-drug using opponents.
Fact 6: Some weightlifters have a tendency to under-eat during the last few weeks before a competition in order to make weight. This practice of not eating enough food can cause problems with an athlete’s concentration, energy level, and overall strength.
Fact 7: If you’re a male, you may wonder if increased testosterone levels can help you lift heavier weights. Well, the answer is maybe. The problem with having higher than normal testosterone levels is that your body becomes accustomed to them.
Once your body adapts to these higher testosterone levels, it stops producing as much testosterone. This means that when you try to have high testosterone levels all the time (instead of just during competition prep), your body stops responding to them. This puts you in a situation where you have high testosterone levels, but you aren’t getting the benefits of the higher testosterone because your body has adapted to this hormonal state.
Fact 8: Most weightlifters eat more food than the average person. This is because weightlifting burns a lot of calories. Most of the extra calories that weightlifters consume come from complex carbohydrates such as pasta, whole grain breads, and potatoes.
Some weightlifters also consume extra proteins. If you’re a natural athlete, then you may find that you have a higher than average appetite. This means that you may need to eat more food than the average person.
The above facts should give you something to think about concerning your snatch and clean and jerk numbers. You may also want to talk with other weightlifters about their training techniques and strategies.
All the best!
The snatch to clean & jerk ratio is an interesting topic, but this is a very complex issue. In some Olympic weightlifting events, the winner is determined by not only how much you can lift, but also how you perform relative to the other competitors. For example, consider a weightlifter who can clean and jerk twice his bodyweight.
This seems impressive until you learn that another athlete in the competition can clean and jerk three times his own bodyweight! Even though this other athlete is weaker than the first one in the snatch, he will most likely win because his lift in the clean and jerk is so much higher.
While we don’t want to get too caught up in the specifics of the Olympics, it is reasonable to say that an athlete with a good snatch to clean & jerk ratio will probably do well.
In general, a 1.5 to 1 ratio is considered to be the “golden” snatch to clean & jerk ratio. In other words, if an athlete can snatch 100 lbs, then he should be able to jerk around 150 lbs.
If an athlete’s ratio is higher than 1.5 to 1, then he most likely has a broad, muscular back. If the ratio is lower than 1.5 to 1, then he probably has a narrower frame with longer limbs.
For some reason, many coaches believe that the snatch to clean & jerk ratio should be 2 to 1. In other words, if an athlete can snatch 100 lbs, then he should be able to jerk around 200 lbs. The logic behind the 2 to 1 theory is that the jerk is supposed to be twice as difficult as the snatch because you are not only lifting the weight, but also moving it from a position above your head to in front of you.
We suggest that you do not get too caught up in the numbers game and just try to become a better weightlifter in general. However, it still can be useful to know what your “ideal” numbers should be. For example, we know of one weightlifter who has a relatively low snatch to clean & jerk ratio (1.2 to 1).
This lifter had a hip injury and could no longer get into a proper deep knee bend position. As a result, he started taking more of a jump style approach to the snatch. Since this athlete was not supposed to jump, his coaches and friends got really upset with him and began calling him a “cheater”. On the other hand, if this lifter could snatch 135 and jerk 155, his coaches and friends would probably be a little more lenient with him.
While this is an extreme example, it does prove the point that it can still be useful to know what your “ideal” numbers should be. We suggest that you shoot for a 2 to 1 ratio.
In any case, your goal should not be to achieve this ratio at all costs. Rather, you should do what is most comfortable for you and what allows you to lift the most weight, while also avoiding joint and back injury.
Make sure to keep your diet in mind as well. If you eat a ton of food then you will get bigger and stronger. If you are on a strict diet, then you will not gain as much weight or strength as you otherwise would.
In general, if you are a beginner then your snatch to clean & jerk ratio should be a little higher than 1 to 1. As you get more experienced and your technique improves, then this ratio will drop. If you are an advanced lifter whose technique is excellent, then your ratio should be in the 1 to 1 range.
If you are an elite lifter whose technique is flawless, then your ratio might even be lower than 1 to 1.
We have an app for that
If doing the math yourself sounds like too much work or you are just a math wuss then we have an app for that. Our Oly Ratio Calculator App will do all the math for you based on the information you enter. The app is available in iTunes.
Check it out.
Our 1 to 1 Ratio Weightlifting Program
Of course, the whole point of learning about the snatch to clean & jerk ratio is so that you can use this information to your advantage and help you get better. In other words, you are not just learning about weightlifting for the sake of learning. You are a weightlifter and need a training program that is going to help you get stronger.
Our 1 to 1 ratio program is going to do just that for you.
The program works by gradually increasing your training volume while keeping constant the intensity of your lifts. You will be adding reps to your lifts without added weight. This is a tried and true method for increasing your strength.
It may not always work for everyone, but most people have good results with this style of training.
We have written extensively about this program in our other articles, so we won’t go into too much detail here. Just remember that you want your snatch to clean & jerk ratio to be 2 to 1. If you are a beginner then start with a 1 to 1 ratio and work your way up.
As you become more experienced, you can move onto this program.
If you are an expert lifter, then this program will not help you much. You will need a more complicated program in order to continue making progress.
Again, the program has been written about in detail elsewhere on the website. We suggest that you read the following articles:
Sorry, no program for you elite lifters! Go here if you want to learn more about periodizing your training.
The snatch to clean & jerk ratio is an easy way to gauge your strength and determine what you need to do in order to improve. If your ratio is 2 to 1 then you are a balanced lifter. If your ratio is 1.5 to 1 then you need to work on your squat strength.
If your ratio is higher than 1.5 to 1 then you need to work on your pulling strength.
We have given you a few different weightlifting programs that help improve your ratio, along with explaining why each one is recommended for the ratios we recommend them for. So, if you are having problems in this area, then give them a try and let us know how they work out for you!
Sources & references used in this article:
- The stop clean and stop snatch: alternatives to the hang (LZF Chiu, BK Schilling – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 2004 – journals.lww.com)
- Three periods of the snatch and clean jerk (A Medvedev – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 1988 – journals.lww.com)
- Weightlifting movements from full extension: The snatch and clean (M DiSanto, G Valentine, N Boutagy – Strength & Conditioning …, 2015 – journals.lww.com)
- Teaching of technique in the snatch and clean and jerk (I Javorek – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 1986 – journals.lww.com)
- CLASSIC COACHING TECHNIQUES: Coaching Optimal Technique in the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk—Part III (B Takano – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 1993 – journals.lww.com)