Total-body barbell training 7

Each month top strength and conditioning coach Chet Morjaria gives you a total-body barbell challenge
(Image credit: Unknown)

This month’s workout will improve your Olympic weightlifting skills while making you stronger and more explosive. It takes one of the Olympic lifts, the snatch, and gets you to perform one of its component parts, the snatch pull. You then have to replicate the same movement while pulling yourself under the bar for the full snatch. Breaking the lift down in this way allows you to focus on the technical elements of the pull separately before hitting the full lift. A strong pull will give you more time to get underneath the bar for the squat snatch.

Perform one snatch pull then, without putting the bar down, do one snatch. Continue to do that on the minute every minute until the time is up (see below). Doing the moves in quick succession helps the body learn that a successful snatch requires this same strong pull. And performing this drill for a sustained time gets your body used to lifting heavy weights with consistent form.


Five minutes of low-intensity rowing cycling or skipping.

Shoulder pass-through - Sets See below Reps 5

Grasp a broomstick or plastic pipe with a wide grip and pass it over your head, maintaining straight arms.
From this position behind your body, bring the stick over your head and back around to the front. Repeat.
For each subsequent set, bring your grip in a few centimetres until you cannot perform this drill with straight arms. Then bring your grip out slightly and perform one further set.

Leg swings – Sets 1 each leg Reps 15

Stand side on to a fixed object and hold it with one arm. Swing the opposing leg back and forth while keeping your torso vertical.

Jump – Sets 1 Reps 10

Touch your toes then jump up in the air, concentrating on forceful extension of the hips.

Overhead squat with a broomstick or plastic pipe - Sets 2 Reps 10

Take a wide grip on the broomstick or pipe and, with your feet shoulder-width apart, pull your hips back and down, keeping your weight on your heels until the crease of your hips is below your knees.

Maintaining drive through the heels, squeeze your glutes, brace your core and rise out of the squat.

Snatch drop with a plastic pipe - Sets 3 Reps 3

Take the same wide grip on the pipe as the overhead squats. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bring the bar halfway up your chest, keeping your elbows high and pointing out. 
Go up onto your toes so your ankles, knees and hips are fully extended (this replicates the top of the pull). 
From here, drop to an overhead squat position, bringing your feet out to squat width and catching the bar securely overhead with your arms locked. 
Stand up with the pipe in this position, then repeat the movement.

The workout


Do one snatch pull followed by one snatch on the minute every minute for eight minutes with 35% of your bodyweight.


Do one snatch pull followed by one snatch on the minute every minute for ten minutes with 50% of your bodyweight.


Do one snatch pull followed by one snatch on the minute every minute for ten minutes with 75% of your bodyweight.

Snatch pull

Pulling the bar smoothly off the floor, driving through your legs and keeping your chest covering the bar.
When the bar reaches the top of your thighs, explode up with a full hip extension immediately followed by an upward shrug of the shoulders. Your elbows should go high and outwards.


Perform exactly the same sequence as for the snatch pull.
As you shrug, continue pulling on the bar to pull yourself underneath it. At the same time move your feet to a squat position so you can catch the bar in an overhead squat with your elbows locked out.
Stand up with the bar in this overhead position before bringing it back down under control.

Chet Morjaria

In 2013, Chet wrote a series of articles for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, then shared a website with, Coach.