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Dave Van Skike
01-22-2007, 11:18 AM
I have freakshow long arms (1/1.05 positive ape index. ) and find the split style very natural. Any thoughts on why a person wouldn't want to do these. I have played around with split cleans and split snatches for reps with a dumbell. I'd like to start workign up in weight. Trouble is, not sure where I can look to see if I'm doing it right. My local Crossfit affiliate doesn't teach it that I'm aware of.

Any thoughts?

Robb Wolf
01-22-2007, 04:14 PM
I like them a bunch. Very athletic and I tend to alternate forward legs as I'm using them for athletic development, not so much for competition. Maybe Josh will chime in on this as he uses the split variants in competition with good success.

Elliot Royce
01-23-2007, 08:53 AM
Just curious since I have 36" long arms. Why would long arms make the split snatch more suitable? I thought it would help if you're not able to get into a full squat.

Dave Van Skike
01-23-2007, 10:49 AM
Just curious since I have 36" long arms. Why would long arms make the split snatch more suitable? I thought it would help if you're not able to get into a full squat.


Elliot,

It's just my guess that the longish arms are contributing. I have pretty crummy flexibity as well so dropping into an OH squat is a challenge but gettign low with a split is easy.

josh everett
01-23-2007, 01:29 PM
Here is a post I made on crossfit.com in response to a guy that asked if he should split snatch.
" If your goal is fitness by all means practice & use the squat snatch. The flexibility required to perform the movement is a great thing to have.
Now if you are a competitive weightlifter the rules define a snatch as one movement from the floor to overhead. Whatever style gets the most wt over your head in one motion is what I'd go with. For me my best squat sn is 92.5k, my best split sn is 122.5k. A squat sn got me to the american open, the split sn got me to the national championships.
For me no amt of time or work was ever going to improve my shoulder flexibility & stability enough to have a great OHS. I worked my butt off with coach B for years on this.
Would I ever teach a junior high or high school weightlifter the split? no. But a masters lifter or someone who has ruined their shoulder flexibility from years of bench press I certainly would. There are a large number of masters lifters who split sn so if it's what you need to do Craig then go for it."
I like the split versions for the same reasons Wolf stated and also for the reasons I wrote above.

Rick Deckart
01-25-2007, 11:11 AM
Hello Josh,

as I will try the split lifts for a couple of weeks and may likely stay with them (I tied my squat snatch PR with the split snatch on the first trial) I have a question:

How do you cope with potential imbalances? Do you switch legs or do you use some extra work like bulgarian single leg squats?

Do you have any tips for the split clean? I find the snatch an easy natural movement, not so the split clean.

Thanks,

Peter

josh everett
01-25-2007, 03:38 PM
Well I started splitting at age 28 i think. My plan was to stop competing at age 30 so i wasn't really worried about imbalances over that short of time span and considering the squatting I was doing ect. Now I'm sneaking up on 32 and I still compete & split & there are noticeable imbalances that I'll want to take care of some day. My leg I put forward is much stronger and I've noticed that one side of my lower back has developed more than the other.
I use the same leg forward everytime becuase i compete. The athletes i train that are using split snatches to train for sport I have them alternate at least some of the time (they really don't do enough volume to develop significant imbalances) other ways to prevent the imbalance include overhead split squats and front split squats done for equal sets/reps on each leg.
As far as the split clean goes it felt very natural for me from the begining. I basically do a power split clean unless i need to get low to recieve the bar. getting low to get a heavy clean feels natural and is no problen even though I never practice it. Trying to get low in a split clean feels incredibly akward and is difficult for me to do with lighter wts.
hope this helps, Josh

Allison Barns
01-25-2007, 08:57 PM
OK- I looked and it's not on the Exercises -> weightlifting link here.... what's a split snatch?

R. Alan Hester
01-25-2007, 10:00 PM
Here is a link to a video which illustrates a split clean at minutes 5:28, 5:52, and 6:44: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izfmP6-5tOg

The video was posted to this this PM thread:http://www.performancemenu.com/forum/showthread.php?t=335

Here is a jpg of the split snatch, but it is not as useful as the above video:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/splitsnatch.jpg

Rick Deckart
01-26-2007, 10:50 AM
Trying to get low in a split clean feels incredibly akward and is difficult for me to do with lighter wts.
hope this helps, Josh

Thanks Josh,

yeah that's exactly my observation, I find it next to impossible to do a low split clean with say 30-40kg and decent form.

I will try the splits for say 6-8 weeks and see how much weight I can manage with correct form. After that I will decide if I will stay with the splits or go back to the squat style.

Thanks again,

Peter

Robb Wolf
01-27-2007, 05:43 PM
I was tinkering with split clean one leg forward, then split jerk with the other leg. I would not recommend this for a competitive OL'er but I really enjoyed them. I also have a tendency towards some anterior hip rotation on the right side due to kick boxing and the alternating stance seems to help remedy this problem.

Allison Barns
01-28-2007, 02:18 PM
Thanks for posting those links!

Elliot Royce
01-29-2007, 01:12 PM
My O lifting coach, Gary Valentine, who recently set the New England masters' record for snatch and C&J (111/155), asked me to post the following comment, together with pictures (his computer was acting up):

"point would be that many who believe they cannot squat are often using too much back and arm swing in the lift, which is why they can't squat. if indeed they think they are splitters, they should be hitting the depth pictured in the attachments, which would mean they are truly splitting, not justifying using the back and and arms too much, which is easy to get away with in a shallow split."

Greg Everett
01-29-2007, 02:49 PM
My argument against the split in general is pretty basic:

with the split photos above, yes, the hips are getting nearly as low as they would in a squat (but not quite as low). But then you've essentially got 1 leg to stand up with. Granted, your back leg is not entirely useless and you can shimmy your way up if necessary, but that of course then adds another balancing element to the problem. Also, notice in each of those photos that Dude is up on the toes of the front foot--necessary to achieve that depth without throwing the foot farther out front--which then further reduces the potential rising strength and adds more of a balance problem.

I'm not arguing that people can't lift huge loads with a split style--however, I would argue that the ones who can are few and far between. It takes greater leg speed to hit that position, and for most, who won't be hitting the depth pictured above, it takes a higher pull. The evolution of the sport from the split to squat style was not an accident.

Josh Everett is a good example of a guy who is both remarkably quick and has an extremely powerful pull. He said he chose to stick with the split because the flexibility limitations that prevented him from performing the squat style successfully appeared to be incorrectable. So in his case, the split allows him to lift more. However, I can't imagine that he wouldn't be capable of lifting even more were he able to achieve the flexibility for the squat style.

So of course this is a very individual matter--in each case, I would ask:

1. How much work are you willing to do to be able to squat?

2. Is your present inability to squat genuinely incorrectable to the necessary degree, or are you just impatient (understandable)?

3. What are your ultimate goals for the lifts--as a tool for conditioning, for general fitness, to lift as much as possible in the gym, or to be competitive on the local, national or international level?

Rick Deckart
01-29-2007, 11:36 PM
Gary Valentine? That's a good choice Elliot!

Greg,

Your points are valid, same is true for Gary Valentines points.

I can only talk for myself:

1. As much as it takes, my OHS is not too shabby the problem is more or less twofold a) too much armpull b) 'mental', that is technique breaks down once a certain weight (>65kg) is involved. I never had a coach and learned the lifts by trial and error. Strengthwise I think I should be able to squat snatch 80kg+ now. So noticing that I tied my snatch PR in the first split attempt I will use splitting as a confidence builder. BTW I could not split higher loads with the left leg in front due to old injuries in my right big toe which was once broken and is now more or less stiff. Surgery could cure it but I have no time for it and foot surgery is not trivial and inherently risky business.

2) Probably, as I have very stiff ankles nowadays. But we will see.

3) My goal is a consistent BW snatch, after that we will see. I am too old to compete.

Regards,

Peter

Allen Yeh
01-30-2007, 04:18 AM
I can only talk for myself:

2) Probably, as I have very stiff ankles nowadays. But we will see.

Peter

Peter,

Take a look at this link I ran across it a couple of weeks ago

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxr9-IB0Rr4)
It's a little video on some ankle mobility stuff the tennis ball stuff can be a bit painful but Bill Hartman seems to know what he's talking about in this regard.

Nothing much else to contribute toward the split snatch stuff but an interesting read and I look forward to anything else Gary Valentine might have to contribute.

Elliot Royce
01-30-2007, 07:02 AM
I am very fortunate in having Gary about 25 minutes away from me in Wilton, CT and in his being willing to spend 2 hours with me every weekend. The progress I've made with him is amazing (of course, there is also an amazingly long way to go).

What I would say is that if someone as inflexible as I am can start to do squat snatches and cleans, then pretty much anyone can. Maybe not with incredibly high weights but high enough for conditioning purposes.

Frankly, there is no way I would want to get stuck in that position (the photo is of Waldemar Baszanowski, Olympic gold medalist in 1964 and 1968). At least with a squat you don't risk a groin rupture or something!

Gary Valentine
01-30-2007, 11:59 AM
thanks guys.
without seeing the original poster split, my input is just that many times ive seen lifters frustrated with doing a squat version of the lift, and "discover" splitting. the problem most times is not whether they are splitting or sqautting, its that the pull is incorrect, not allowing the lifter to move properly to finish the lift. by that i mean if the lifter is using too much back and arms in the lift, which is very very common especially when starting by learning the power clean without a coach, he wont be able to do a proper sqaut OR split. the timing is negatively affected if you stand there too long trying to pull it higher. this is easier too get away with if you finish with a shallow split, but does not address the problem. regular squatting form should be addressed too. if the lifter regulalry sqauts shallow or bentover, this of course carries over into the attempt to do the sqaut versions of the lifts. so strict flexible form in all forms of sqauts must be learned first.
the test would be if you could land in the full split position as pictured, you probably have done the pull correctly. whichever you'ld like to use for your own training purposes is up to you, and clearly the squat version allows more weight to be lifted, and with balanced development over time. but either way, the pull should be efficient.-g

Bill Ripley
01-30-2007, 12:29 PM
A couple of people, including John Coffee, have suggested that I consider split style because of my age (45). The theory being that split style allows more time to get under the bar. Comments?

Gary Valentine
01-30-2007, 01:39 PM
well, you'll have a hard time convincing me age has anything to do with it:-) sunday i sqaut clean and jerked 150 kg, front sqautted 190, and clean pulled 170 for 5 sets of 3. i'm 50.
thats the whole thing in a nutshell - lift in the right positions so that the stresses imposed are developmental, not detrimental; and rest enough between workouts to fully recover, whatever it takes.-g

Bill Ripley
01-30-2007, 03:22 PM
Gary - thanks for the response, I'll give squat style another go. Any advice on programming for someone in our age group?

Gary Valentine
01-31-2007, 04:47 AM
I learned form the great coach joe mill "3 days per week is ideal, 2 is better than 4, one is better than 5!" while that seemed backward in 1980 when i met him, it is very true. the idea is once you are overtrained, you cannot make progress and will eventually get injured. so i never lift 2 days in a row, and focus more on rest and nutrition than abything else.
the workouts follow this outline:
1) an Olympic Lift
2) a Jerk variation, from the rack usually
3) a squat
4) a pull
5) assaitance exercise (shrug, press,rdl)

3-5 sets each, 1-5 reps. set 1 Light, 2 Medium, sets 3-5 as Heavy as you can go that day. you might keep the first 2 exercises Medium, while pushing exercises 3 and 4 to maximum effort if farther from a meet and builing strnegth. other way around if close to meet and being sharp for day of meet. lower reps in all as meet approaches.

key is listening to your body and if truly tired, dont lift! regardless of age, this is true. as we age, we will need more rest in between. have to be patient and take rest to come back stronger for next workkout, not take out more by working out again. problem is, with drug aided programs of last 4o years, people expect to lift more often due to artificial means taken by most supposed champs. understanding recovery process is the key. -g

Bill Ripley
01-31-2007, 06:57 AM
Gary - thanks! That's a great quote, one I will have to remember.

Robb Wolf
01-31-2007, 07:18 AM
Gary- Great post.

Bill Ripley
01-31-2007, 08:16 AM
Rob - great forum!

Dave Van Skike
01-31-2007, 10:20 AM
I learned form the great coach joe mill "3 days per week is ideal, 2 is better than 4, one is better than 5!" while that seemed backward in 1980 when i met him, it is very true. the idea is once you are overtrained, you cannot make progress and will eventually get injured. so i never lift 2 days in a row, and focus more on rest and nutrition than abything else.
the workouts follow this outline:
1) an Olympic Lift
2) a Jerk variation, from the rack usually
3) a squat
4) a pull
5) assaitance exercise (shrug, press,rdl)

3-5 sets each, 1-5 reps. set 1 Light, 2 Medium, sets 3-5 as Heavy as you can go that day. you might keep the first 2 exercises Medium, while pushing exercises 3 and 4 to maximum effort if farther from a meet and builing strnegth. other way around if close to meet and being sharp for day of meet. lower reps in all as meet approaches.

key is listening to your body and if truly tired, dont lift! regardless of age, this is true. as we age, we will need more rest in between. have to be patient and take rest to come back stronger for next workkout, not take out more by working out again. problem is, with drug aided programs of last 4o years, people expect to lift more often due to artificial means taken by most supposed champs. understanding recovery process is the key. -g


True knowledges....

I shall now scuttle way and do legit squat snatches.

Ronnie Ashlock
03-11-2007, 03:20 PM
Great thread. I read it a little while back and now have something to contribute.

While doing a light pick-up workout in the garage today, I just thought I'd noodle around and try out the split snatch. Wow. I worked right up to 60 kg with it for three singles, no problems. It felt very natural for me. My best squat snatch is 70 kg. I didn't attempt my max today as yesterday was a max effort day and I was pretty beat up from that, but I think, based on what I did today, I could easily adopt this technique. Some of the criticisms of the split snatch in this thread are duely noted, and apparently, because I'm a 35-year-old creaky "master," it kind of makes sense why I take to split snatch so easily.

However, I have no problem going very deep on my cleans and shoulder flexibility isn't really a noticable problem for me. In fact, I tried a few split cleans and didn't like the feel of the lifts. I prefer the regular squat clean to the split. It's been noted I must have a mental block on the squat snatch. I don't know what it is, but I found the squat snatch to be a nice detour from my regular squat snatch work - more comfortable and more fun. I won't stop squat snatching, but I think I will do about half-and-half of squats and splits.