Snatch Test Diagnosis

In this blog, we will cover kettlebell snatch tests that help diagnose your weakest link. Armed with this knowledge, you should be able to fine-tune your training.


Test 1 – Sergey Rudnev’s pause snatch will give you an insight into your ability to fixate the weight or duration.


Test 2 – multiswitch kettlebell snatch for 10 minutes.


If you’re able to maintain this pace for your desired outcome, it would suggest that you have the aerobic capacity to perform this set.


Test 3 – multistage incremental snatch test.


This is been adapted from the Kenneth Jay Viking Warrior snatch test. I quite like it as it was the first test to adapt incremental testing, which is commonplace for determining VO2max. For our purposes, we won’t change hands and you can try a range of different repetition schemes that best suit your end-stage RPM. 


For example, 10RPM, 12RPM, 14RPM, 16RPM, 18RPM, 20RPM and 22RPM. Perform this on your weak side, rest as needed and then repeat on your strong side.


This should give you an insight into your local muscular endurance. Further, you can take your end result for interval training. 


Test 4 – biathlon competition test set compared to snatch only test set. Additionally, you can do this with any of the above tests. Ideally, these results are as close to one another as possible. It’s perfectly normal for your snatch only side to be significantly higher than your biathlon snatch set. 


Takeaways – 


Test 1 – if you can’t perform 10 minutes of pause snatch with one hand change fixation, there are most likely flexibility or strength limitations.


Test 2 – if you can comfortably perform your goal RPM for 10 minutes changing hands every minute, that would indicate sufficient endurance. 

If you comfortably hold this RPM in the beginning, but struggle towards the end, you may need to work on your endurance.


Test 3 – the stage that you finished at within the incremental test will give you an insight into your local muscular endurance. You should aim to get to a higher stage than your 10-minute pace.


Test 4 – if you have a large discrepancy, you may wish to perform your snatch in a fatigued state or work on your ability to recover within a session. This would suggest recovery is an issue and greater aerobic fitness would be useful.


My name is James Ross, I’m a qualified personal trainer, strength & conditioning coach and sports scientist. I am a founder and coach at The Richmond Gym in Melbourne and started the website

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