Looking for a new snatch workout as part of your training? Here are 5 of the best snatch workouts around, with the exercises, sets, reps and intensities provided.

Person performing snatch lift

The Classic Olympic Weightlifting Snatch Workout

This workout is perfect for any weightlifter. It starts with overhead squats to build overhead stability and confidence, then moves into a snatch complex combining a hang snatch and a snatch from the floor. A great workout that combines technical development plus hard work.

Overhead Squat: 3×5 Light – Use this as a technique primer

Hang Snatch + Snatch: 5 sets at around 70-80%

Snatch Pulls: 5×3 @ 90-100% of max Snatch

Power Snatch Workout

This snatch workout focuses on power snatches (snatches caught above a parallel squat position) with a real emphasis on developing explosiveness. Weights are kept light to moderate for a focus on bar speed.

Power Snatch from High Hang (Power) Position: 3×3 Light

Power Snatch from Hang at Knee: 3×2 @ 60-70% 1rm

Power Snatch from Floor: 3×2 @ 60-70% 1rm

Crossfit Snatch Workout

Isabel, the infamous CrossFit snatch workout looks simple on paper, but is incredibly humbling in practice. The key to this workout is hitting a good rhythm and managing to maintain good form under increasing fatigue.

  • 30 snatches completed as quickly as possible
  • Men use 61 kg (135 lbs)
  • Women 43 kg (95 lbs)

Snatch Workout for Athletes

This workout is something I’ve used for athletes who want to get stronger and powerful without having to learn the full snatch lift. It’s also a great option for people lacking shoulder mobility or dealing with shoulder injuries that prevent them from snatching. The focus is on pulling variations from the blocks and the floor.

  • Snatch High Pull from Block: 3×5 by feel
  • Snatch Pull from Block: 3×5 by feel
  • Snatch Pull from Floor: 3×3 by feel

*All weights are by feel, as these athletes often don’t have a snatch 1rm to base percentages off. If this is you just aim for something moderately challenging.

Snatch Snakes and Ladders Workout

This is an old US Weightlifting Coach Glenn Pendlay special designed to build consistency whilst encouraging lifters to push towards heavier weights. It’s challenging, but also great fun. Here’s how it works:

  • Warm-up, then perform 10-12 singles starting at 80% 1rm
  • If you make your lift, go up by about 3%
  • If you miss your lift, go down by about 5%

Looking for An Olympic Weightlifting Programme?

olympic weightlifting programme

I’ve put together a 13-week classic weightlifting programme.

It utilises the best evidence-based practice and focuses on the exercises, sets and reps proven to work, whilst cutting out the fluff and filler.

It also comes with full instructions, Q&A access, and a guide to auto-regulation/individualisation.

You can learn more about the programme by clicking right here.

Snatch Workout Frequently Asked Questions

How can I improve my snatch lift?

Improving your snatch is all about consistent progress over time. That means technical progress as well as strength progress. Technical progress comes through lots of reps at lighter weights, often with feedback from a coach, or through recording with a phone and self-analysis. Beyond that, if you’re still asking “how can I make my snatch stronger?” you can use assistance exercises like pulls, deadlifts and squats to strengthen key positions. Check out this beginner’s weightlifting guide for more information.

Snatch muscles worked?

The snatch is a full-body movement that highly recruits your quads, glutes and spinal erectors, as well as your shoulders, lats and upper back muscles.

How do you catch a lower snatch?

Catching a snatch lower is mainly achieved through a combination of confidence and movement proficiency. What this means is that you need to build the ability to move automatically and naturally under the bar without thinking with heavy loads on the bar. To do this I recommend that you…

Start and finish each workout with 4 sets of 6-10 slow motion snatches on a light technique bar or stick. The goal is perfect technique and a low catch position.

Next Steps

1) Hopefully you’ve found the article useful, if you did, maybe take a moment to consider joining my mailing list for weekly programmes, workouts and weightlifting tips.

2) Feel free to share the article with anyone you think would benefit

3) If you want to find out more about my weightlifting coaching options, or pre-written weightlifting programmes, you can check out the links there.

‘Til Next Time


strength coach

Alex Parry, MSc

Alex’s experience includes 7+ years within professional strength and conditioning, as well as working as a tutor & educator for British Weightlifting.