I was wondering since I’m not doing hip snatches or snatches in my program, does that mean I won’t be as fast or as explosive?
This is a very interesting question and my answer is if you are not born fast and explosive, and even if you are doing snatches, will without a doubt—if done correctly, will make you more explosive.
Your rate of force development will tremendously increase with doing snatches. A lot of people or coaches or athletes figure they can get away with doing it. Yes, you can, but in my opinion, you are not reaching your optimal potential. You’re not reaching your highest potential you can reach with programming snatches the right way.
It’s just a self-fulfilling prophecy. You’re throwing weight over your head, you got to move as fast as possible to catch the weight over your head. Period. The stronger, the faster, the more power you gain, the heavier the weight you have to lift. You apply force at that bar, you have to move your feet extremely fast, get the bar over your head fast to catch that weight. Without a doubt, that is a direct transfer to rate of force development.
That’s why weightlifters are the most powerful athletes in the world. Period. And that is why I include Olympic weightlifting for every athlete, as long as they qualify based on time. Every athlete does Olympic weightlifting: snatch, clean, clean and jerks, some type of variation of Olympic lifts.
Years ago when I was in Sweden, there was a strength conference out there and I was talking to a European rugby strength coach. This is the first time I actually heard this concept, he was talking about this American coach, and he said that regardless of the athlete, they all do Olympic weightlifting immediately. So as soon as they come into the gym, they have to start Olympic weightlifting some type of variation.
At that time I thought that was odd or strange because don’t you want to get that person get their mobility going, make sure they can actually work on all these other structural balance up before they start? But what I didn’t really understand was that is structural balance work, that is mobility work, that is flexibility work, that is stabilization. That is all these things you need to work on, whether it’s working with a stick, a training bar or bar with no weight, that’s why we have athletes, they just work with a bar over and over, working on mobility, working on their flexibility. What happens over time? You’re just reworking on that power development over and over and over, working on that quick feet over and over.
That’s our quick feet drills—snatches. Period. Period. My athletes will tell you with a fat or without a fat, they are more explosive. That first step, more explosive to come out of the blocks, more explosive. Period. Whether it’s box striking and so on and so forth, wrestling, shooting, that you are more explosive.
So without a doubt, I am saying, point blank, if you’re not doing snatches in your program, you’re not pushing yourself to the potential that you could be. A lot of athletes get away with it because you know what, they’re not exposed to it, they’re naturally gifted athletes, but over time and time, I’ve seen naturally gifted athletes implement snatches in their program and guess what? They’re even better. So without a doubt, every athlete should implement snatches in their program.