Technical Tuesday: Amazing Grace Strategy 4

Power Output for Snatches

PDF Version of the above power output, in watts, for snatches chart.

As you know, we are going to do Grace all day Thursday. I created a power output chart, in watts, to get some data to help me decide what weight I should use. In strength and conditioning, the most common measure of intensity is how much weight, including his/her bodyweight, an athlete can move in a specific amount of time (work per unit of time or power output). I was talking with Josh G the other day and saying that faster is always better and I framed it as a win-win. For instance, if you run 800M in 2:30, then running it in 2:20 is better because a) it is faster and b) you suffer less. Josh wouldn’t have it, and specifically, and correctly, brought up intensity. Josh is right, as you can see from the chart, reducing time to complete a WOD by a mere 30 seconds, or increasing weight by 5 KG can increase the suck factor dramatically.

I know that Grace is Clean and Jerks but the Work & Power Output Calculator at the Performance Menu doesn’t really have Clean and Jerk, besides I think snatches are pretty dang close to the kind of C & Js in Grace. At any rate, the actual numbers are not really the issue because these are for my height and body weight, more importantly, it is how the numbers change, or don’t, that is what this post is about.

What I think the chart shows is that Grace is about doing C & Js as fast as possible, in that order. By C & Js, I don’t mean, a deadlift, some sort of funky row and “rack” followed by a “shoulder to overhead.” I mean a real clean and jerk, like you would see in an weightlifting meet (yes, you can power clean and power/push jerk in a weightlifting meet, you just have to be strong and/or fast enough to pull it off). The chart shows that an athlete who snatches 60 KG in 4:00 is performing the workout at a lower intensity if he/she snatches 40 KG in 3:00 . In short, there is no need for heavy, skanky C & Js. Pick the right weight so that you can do the best C & J you can do as fast as possible. What does as fast as possible mean? Certainly, less than 4:00 and closer to 3:00.

This chart changes my strategy a little. I wish I had taken the time to create the chart a month ago but we are going to have roll with it. I had planned on going for 50KG in less than 3:30 but now I am going for 45 KG (my max C & J is 90 KG) in less than 3:00. I think 10 reps on the 1:00 interval three times will get me there. This may require that I take a small break from my Diet Coke fast… 🙂

When you warm-up on Thursday, consider going 5K lighter, :30 faster with a minimum of skank.

4 thoughts on “Technical Tuesday: Amazing Grace Strategy

  • admin Post author


    Actually, I think that is acceptable. I would like to see his back a little straighter and to finish his press/jerk, but overall that is acceptable, after all we are doing it for time. What I am saying is that the clean should have the elements of a clean and jerk, e.g. back tight, pulling with straight arms, using hips to generate the bar speed and height, etc. but be optimized for speed. Muscle clean + PP will only get you so far unless you are Khalipa, Welbourn or other CF Gamers. An athlete optimizing for speed will move to a power clean and a push/power jerk and keep moving. Ideally, the technique will adapt as the cardio goes from strong to weak, or more accurately, as the athlete moves from one pathway to another.

    Because you are so tall, you should make a chart for yourself, just do 40, 50 and 60 KG, using 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00 for the snatch and see what happens. These measurements that Greg uses are for “full squat” snatches but it will still get a good idea of power output. The juiciest range is really 2:00 – 3:00.

  • Kris

    Ok, so, a mini watt chart for me:

    2 3 4
    40 : 331 / 220 / 165
    50 : 370 / 246 / 185
    60 : 409 / 272 / 204

    If I’m looking at this right, it’s basically saying that for me to do the workout in 2 minutes at 40 kilos is roughly the same power output as you doing the workout in 2 minutes at 60kg?

  • saulj Post author

    Yes, that is one way to look at it. But more importantly for you, you will develop _more_ power using 40 KG in 3:00 than using 60 KG in 4:00. In addition, you are more likely to use the correct technique with less risk of injury at the lighter weight.

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