Del’s Daily Workout | 36/36 Snatch Test Protocol
The snatch test protocol was developed by Kenneth Jay and comes in two forms. 15/15 and 36/36. This is all based around snatching and involves in the case of the latter 36 seconds snatching on the left followed by 36 seconds rest and then 36 seconds snatching on the right again followed by 36 seconds rest (1:1 work/rest ratio) This is then repeated for a set amount of rounds.(I believe one round is one work period and one rest period as opposed to a left arm and right arm work period)
The first thing you have to do is to establish at what snatch cadence you need to achieve to elicit your VO2max. This is done by doing an incremental test that lasts 6 minutes. Basically you just start out slow and for each minute you increase the cadence. When you have get to the 6th minute you go all out snatching as many times as you can without stopping for at least one minute. The test might look like this but is subject to individual differences:
1st minute: 10 reps left arm, 2nd minute: 12 reps right arm 3rd minute 15 reps left arm 4th minute: 17 reps right arm 5th minute: 18 reps left arm 6th minute: 26 reps right arm (all out effort)
The 6th minute reflects your VO2max cadence, hence that will be your interval training tempo. It is very important for the protocol that you continued snatching for the entire 6th minute.
My result was 27 repetitions. You then take 60% of this figure and use that as your cadence throughout the test. In my case this was 16.
Now set your timer for 36 seconds work and 36 seconds rest, select your bell and go for at least 20 sets.
My first attempt about 2 years ago at the 36/36 test was with a 16kg bell. The amount of sets I achieved was way above what I was supposed to do simply because I was in the zone and enjoying myself. I achieved a total of 50 rounds totalling 800 repetitions. This took me one hour to complete. My average heart rate was 139 so quite low and I peaked at 156. The total weight lifted was 12800kg.
My second attempt was with a 20kg bell. Once again, despite my expectations I achieved another 50 sets totalling 762 reps. This time my average heart rate was 154 and I peaked at 172. Total weight lifted was 15240kg.
I have since done several sets with a 24kg I have also managed a 28 kg for a good 30 rounds.
Doing this amount of reps would normally be very hard on the hands but I didn’t have an issue with the 16kg bell. With the 20kg bell I chose to fine tune the technique of dropping the bell down into the fingers for the descent. This is the beauty of multi rep snatching, it enables you to really fine tune your technique. Dropping the bell down into your fingers prevents the pinching of any calluses you may have on your palm area. You basically give the bell a bit of a push out on the descent and catch it on the fingers therefore just clearing the palm. It takes a bit of practice but you get plenty of that with this method. Toward the end of my first attempt at the 20kg 36/36 test I was actually getting issues with my fingers blistering and therefore had to resort to the cut off sock method. This is just a short sock with the toe section cut. I just slip this over my palm area. It enables the bell to rotate freely in the palm whilst still having a good grip on the bell due to your fingers being exposed.
Today’s session had a bit of a twist to it as I decided to really load things up and went for a double 16’s 36/36 protocol.
It was a tough session but I managed 20 total sets with the following stats:
Average Heart Rate 164 BPM
Peak Heart Rate 181
Total Reps 280
Total Weighted Lifted 8960KG
The total weight lifted is way down on the 20 and 24 kg tests but when you consider the time frame in which it was lifted (23 mins) the intensity is way up on those previous methods and this is clearly reflected in the stats recorded.
The last 10 sets had my HR hovering around 170 and in the last 5 peaking at 183. This is my max. Bearing in mind I am 45 years old.
Using two 16’s as opposed to a single 32 prevented any issues with grip fatigue and hand problems yet still allowed me to really load my body up with serious poundage.
Try out the 36/36 snatch test protocol and let me know how you get on. Remember to start conservatively, warm up thoroughly and get your head in the right place first, you’re in for a tough session!