Monday, December 31, 2012

"Twenty-Thirteen" Tracyrif 1000 rep snatch workout, and the 12kg Competition Bell

Warning:  This post contains way too much of my personal training information....just sayin'.

When I wrote my snatch workout a few days ago I wrote it in 'theory' based on a ton of past experience, and of which I go into detail in that particular post (my last post below, 12/28).  I learned quite a bit from actually testing it but in this post I'm only going to touch on a few points, the parts that involve using the 12kg competition bell because I've got to get to designing my 2013 swing workout for tomorrows class....and this next workout is in fact up to 2013 swing reps!

1000 snatch reps w/12kg, broken down into the combinations and intervals I designed did not seem (in theory) to be that big of a deal for me.  I routinely swing and snatch close to twice that number of reps every Saturday, although snatch reps are only about 25-40% at most, not 50%, and it's certainly a rare occasion when snatch reps out number swing reps, especially by that much.

Sure, I could have snatched a heavier bell, the 14kg or the 16kg.  I find the 14kg to be very close to the 16kg, but the handle routinely tears up my hands terribly and since I didn't really plan this workout until the last minute, (kind of accidentally), I know I'll need to figure out a more solid strategy for both the heavier weights.  Longer intervals would be one requirement for that high a number of snatch reps.  Speed would not be of importance, at least not the first time.  Also multiple hand switches, which take more time.  Each transfer from R to L is a swing rep, and that needs to be accounted for.

Back to the 12kg and the comp bell.  Because I chose to use the 12kg for my 1000 reps, I designed the snatch reps to be done at a Max Vo2 pace, which is 8 reps per 15 sec.  I've trained this pace so many times so I know 20 snatch reps at this pace would take just under 38 sec if done without a hand switch.  Add in one transfer swing and it takes 40 sec (10/10), still leaving me plenty of time to complete an additional 13 swings within the minute long work interval (30 sec rest).  Okay, so speed/pace is the first challenge.

I've trained that exact speed and rep count numerous times, but without the addition of swings, and not for 1000 reps!  One of my favorite No Brainer snatch workouts is 20 snatches (10/10) "on the minute" (40 sec work/ 20 sec rest).  I've done that workout, at the longest for 30 minutes, that equals 600 snatch reps. Thirty minutes is a long time doing the same set which is why it's a No Brainer, but that adds a different level of difficulty, not to mention that that one set, pace/work/rest ratio, is freakin hard to begin with!  Enter the Competition bell....

I'm scheduled to travel down to So Cal to participate in a snatch test in Feb. and I'll have to use a competition bell.  Well I know enough about training and testing to recognize that I should probably practice a bit with it first!  So I have been, and in fact I've also used the 16kg comp bell for some of my recent training.  Knowing I'd be training 1000 snatch reps I wanted to incorporate the comp bell for some of them, how many?  There was no way to know until it came time.  I just did not have that much experience, and I had other training goals to conquer in addition to the rep count of 1000.

My own personal training goal was to snatch the reps 20 without switching from R to L, alternating R for one entire set, and L for the other.  25 sets of 20 snatch reps R, and the same on the L.  I had never done more than, maybe, 10 sets each R and L without having to switch at least every 10 reps.  And in fact I had my first PR with the 16kg (comp bell) last week of 24 R/24 L for two sets.  I've been more and more interested in training my snatch and jerks with fewer and fewer hand switches.  So my first goal for my 1000 snatch reps was to do at least half of them 20 R/ 20 L.

I started my workout with no warm up at all.  My first set of 20 sn R + 13 2 hd sw was my very first set.  As I mentioned I alternated the next set with my L, and so on and so forth for my first ten sets.  I did not want to use the comp bell to warm up.  My plan was to "warm up" with my first 10 sets, and then continue on with the comp bell at set 11....which is exactly what I did.

I picked up the comp bell on set 11, and the difference in difficulty was apparent immediately.  The obvious was that it moved slower.  The not so obvious (maybe) is how many other levels of difficulty!  Not just that it took about 1-2 sec longer to complete the 20 snatch reps, which may not seem like that much of a difference in how long the work set took, but much more force you have to produce to "drag" this larger size bell through time and you were snatching it through water, or mud!  At least that's what it felt like!  Trying to move it as fast as possible, but the size dictated just how fast it would let you move it!  Wow, this is going to be fun to train....another time!  But now was not it!  Then of course you have a completely different weight distribution, smaller handle, etc..  But I had a larger personal goal, and that was to maintain the 20 continuous snatch reps without switching hands.  I had a decision to make.

I could only complete 15 of my 20 snatches in the first 30 secs, and adding on the 13 swing after 20 snatches took longer than 1 minute.  The next 10 sets like this added up, and increased my fatigue greatly.  Needless to say that because I decided to break this whole workout into 5 rotations of 10 sets, the difference came with the variation of swing combinations (another traning blogpost to come), I had to complete at least 10 sets, no less, with the comp bell before deciding what to do next.  What did I decide?

I decided to go back to the DD bell and try to complete my first goal of half of the workout 20 R/20 L, thinking that when (and if) I had to switch to 10/10 I would go back to using the comp bell for some of those sets.....but it never happened.  Going back to the DD bell felt a bit wonky the first two sets, but after that it became obvious that I could in fact complete all 1000 snatch reps 20 R/20 L, so I did just that.  Done.  Now I know I can.

But I also know that I could NOT do this same workout with the comp least not without training specifically for it.  The comp bell tired me out faster because it moved slower, and because it moved slower I had to spend more time "working", but also "holding".  It tired out my shoulder much faster in the snatches overhead position, even though that extra time was probably barely measurable, it was measurable enough to add just that much more of a challenge.  Fun stuff huh?

And really that's what I felt about it!  It's fun for me and I love it when I can't do something....the first time!  It gives me a gauge, a measurement of where a weakness is so I can make it stronger.  One rep Max lifting strength is not of big interest to me, but combining what I love, the ballistics, with slower and lower rep counts is interesting to me in a number of ways.

There was so much more about training this workout that I learned when it came to the overall snatch and swing rep count, the overall time involved (1 hour 15 minutes total), the combination of swings, the work to rest interval times, etc.  I love this stuff, and it's the essence of my favorite "Rifisms"

"Training is the source." Mark Reifkind

Training is the source of so many things.  It's roots extend deep into my soul creating the strongest of foundations for personal growth in every other part of my life.....for which I may try and bore you with another time!  It's an absolute miracle that this woman (me) who is almost 50 years old, formerly fat and out of shape, heck, downright obese, gets to live this life, write about it, and help other people grow through my experience.  I have a great life that has only proven to have brought me some amazing things this past year especially, but I never think that life can't get better, I only think of how life will get better! 2013, ready or not here I come, how about you?


Nadine said...

True. When I switched to the GS bells for the snatch, I had to get out of my ego and realize I would be snatching less rpm than with the DD bell. It is humbling :) i think I read somewhere that when training for GS comp. the goal is 20rpm and if you are a home exerciser using GS style 10-11rpm is the goal.
also here is a link I plan on using later in 2013 for the snatch. Its a program generator for the snatch and the was designed by a GS guy who competes:

Happy New Year!

ps- l love the gs bells!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Why can't we be neighbors? lol! Seriously, what do you girlfriends think about you?

Personally I didn't have my ego wrapped up in anything, this was just another workout. I pretty much predicted what the differences and challenges were going to be (fun stuff!)

I do have to snatch the comp bell in preparation for the test in Feb, but still I don't have any ego in it.

Although I wrote about one of my favorite "Rifisms" "Training is the source.". my favorite of all time is "If I can't outlift them, I'll outlast them!"

My ego is in my every day training. I show up...every time, never miss.

Happy New Year to you. It's an honor for me that an woman and athlete of your caliber even cares about how I train, or what I do. Seriously. Thank you.

guy said...

another great post, in a whole year full of great posts Ma'am! Thank you and Happy New Year!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Thank you sir. Now i'm up, not so early, putting together the first swing workout of the me some swings!