The kettlebell snatch is the most “bang for your buck” movement in all of strength training. Not only does snatching train all out power, but the high workload of the movement trains the energy systems in a safe, yet effective manner.

I have used snatch training to enhance my posterior chain for improved power endurance in my hiking, trail running, and climbing. During my regularly scheduled programming, I’ll use moderate weight snatches (24kg-28kg) for conditioning.

I have been spending the months of November 2020 – March 2021 to train for StrongFirst SFG II. During the certification, I will also be renewing my SFG I skills, meaning I will need to complete a snatch test.

Although daunting, I figured that my training leading up to SFG II would hone in on comfortability in high-repetition sets. The tissues of the forearms, arms, shoulders, back, glutes, and hamstrings need time to adapt.

My plan in completing the 100 reps in 5 minutes is based on 10 repetitions performed every 30 seconds. When I took SFG I in 2014, trainees were not allowed to set the bell down.

New rules allow the bell to be parked during the 5:00min test. And a smart competitor knows that the most important part of the test is knowing the rules.

I allotted 4 weeks of training for the snatch test. My program was performed after my regular skill practice and started from 10 minutes of snatching: 5 reps every 30 seconds, down to a 5:00 minute set with 10 swings every 30 seconds.

This program is straight to the point: you perform 1 extra rep per the 30 second period at each training session. Each training session decreases the total number of minutes you will be snatching.

I offered myself a de loading in repetitions on session 4, 6, and 8. This was part of the plan to ensure that I could peak on the 9th snatch session (the test day) to avoid excessive fatigue.

I decided to train the snatch at my snatch test weight of 24kg twice per week.

As you add repetitions and decrease overall time, the math doesn’t always equate to 100 reps. I made up the extra reps in the final minute of each session (examples in parentheses within the table).

Week 1Session 1Session 2
15 reps/side: 30 seconds –
10 min
6 reps/side: 30 seconds –
8:00min
(Add 2 reps/side on last set)
27 reps/side: 30 seconds –
7:00min
(Add 1 rep/side on last set)
6 reps/side: 30 seconds –
8:00min
(Add 2 reps/side on last set)
38 reps/side every 30 seconds
6:00min
(Add 2 reps/side on last set)
7 reps/side: 30 seconds –
7:00min
(Add 1 rep/side on last set)
49 reps/side every 30 seconds
5:30min
(Add 5 reps/side in last 30 sec)
8 reps/side every 30 seconds
6:00min
(Add 2 reps/side on last set)
5Test: 100 Snatches in 5:00min
Four Week Snatch Test Plan

I am currently in week 3 of my snatch test plan. In the next training session, I will deload to 7 reps/side while adding 1 rep/side on the last set.

Training Session 7: EHMOM 5:30 – 9 reps/side (5+5 in last 30 seconds)

I will follow the plan as listed on week 4. Week 4 will be a review of my SFG I skills and very low volume. I plan on using my final week before SFG II for rest so that I come to the certification full of energy.

I hope this plan helps you out. If it does, I’d love to know how you do in your preparation and on test day!

John Parker

March 16, 2021