EDITOR'S NOTE: Chad Vaughn is a two-time Olympian, nine-time National Champion, multi-time international medalist, and an American record holder in the sport of Olympic-style weightlifting. Along with competing, Chad owns CrossFit CenTex and has coached within the CrossFit community for the last four years through weightlifting classes and seminars around the world.

 

A 4-Week Intro to the Principles of Vaughn Weightlifting

Rhythm and timing are essential to developing proficient Olympic lifts; however, faults and mistakes can overwhelm and delay the desired progress of any competitive or casual fitness enthusiast.

 

I believe the initial breakdown and emphasis on four core principles can set a foundation that will ultimately lead to the smoothest and most successful path to optimizing anyone’s snatch, clean, and jerk.

 

Breaking Muscle Shop

These four core principles are:

  1. Overhead stability
  2. Bar path
  3. Extension
  4. Head movement

 

The corresponding program may seem a bit segmented, isolated, or even slow in progressing, but I want you to keep in mind the core principles I am trying to establish and make concrete.

 

For a more complete discussion of these principles and of Chad's methods, read the full article Slow Down: Chad Vaughn's Free 4-Week Weightlifting Program.

 

Looking for a different week of the program?

 

Week Two

Day One

1. Jerk grip strict press with head tilt: 65% x10, 70% x10, 75% x8, 80% x6  - Chin up and eyes find the ceiling on each rep

 

2. Front squat: 65% X2, 72.5% X2, 77.5% X5X3 sets, 77.5% AMRAP - Relaxed hands and high elbows

 

3. Hip clean: load by feel x3x5-7 sets - Emphasis on vertical torso and straight extension through the shoulders

 

4. Clean lift-off: 95-105% (% of full clean) x5x4 sets - Partial deadlift (DL) to above the knee using leg drive and acquiring vertical shins as bar lifts off

 

Day Two

1) 1X snatch push press + 3X overhead squat (OHS) with 3-second pause in bottom: 5-7 sets ending at no more than 80% of snatch - Emphasis is to keep the joints stacked and bar positioned over the body’s midline

 

2) Hip power snatch + OHS: 60% x3, 65% x3, 70% x3, 75% x3, 80% x3 - Emphasis on vertical torso and straight extension through the shoulders

 

3) Snatch-grip deadlift (SDL) with 3-second pause above knee on descent: 85% x5, 90% x5, 95% x5x2 sets (percentage is of full snatch 1RM) - Reinforcing the knee position and vertical shins from day 1, #4

 

Day Three

1) Two-pause push press: 60% x2, 65% x2, 72.5% x5x2 sets, 77.5% AMRAP - Pause in dip for 2 seconds and pause in head tilt 2 seconds finding ceiling with eyes

 

2) Back squat: 65% x2, 72.5% x2, 77.5% x5x3sets, 77.5% AMRAP

 

3) Hang snatch above knee with 2 pauses: load by feel x2x5-7 sets, ending at no more than 80% of 1RM snatch - Pause 2 seconds above knee and 2 second in OHS

 

4) Snatch lift-off: 95-105% of full snatch 1RM x5x4 sets - Partial DL to above the knee using leg drive and acquiring vertical shins as bar lifts off

 

Day Four

1) Power clean above knee + front squat: 60% x5, 65% x5, 70% x5, 75% x5, 80% x5 - Emphasis is on getting shoulders over bar, knees back with vertical shins, and straight extension through pull

 

2) Clean-grip deadlift (CDL): 65% x2, 72.5% x2, 77.5% x5x3 sets, 77.5% AMRAP (percentage of estimated 1RM of quality CDL)

 

3) Rack jerk with 2 pauses: 60-70% x2x6 sets - Pause in dip for 2 seconds and pause in head tilt 2 seconds, finding ceiling with eyes

 

Day Five

1) Back squat with pause: 70% x2x6 sets - First rep in each set has 3-5 second pause in the bottom

 

2) Snatch balance with 3-second pause in bottom: 65% x3+1, 70% x3+1, 75% x3+1, 80% x2+1, 85% x2+1 65% x1+AMRAP - Warming the receiving position and feeling the base of support and balance during pause

 

3) Snatch with 3-second lift-off: 60% x5, 65% x5, 70% x5, 75% x5, 80% x5 (reps do not need to be consecutive but rather accumulated) - Emphasizing leg drive and controlled bar path during the initial pull to above the knee

 

4) Clean with 3-second lift-off + jerk with 3-second pause in split: 60% x3, 65% x3, 70% x3, 75% x3, 80% x3( reps do not need to be consecutive but rather accumulated) - Emphasizing leg drive and controlled bar path during the initial pull to above the knee while demonstrating balance and control with pause in split

 

Download the complete 4-week program here.

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