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.

 

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.

 

 

Week One

Day One

1. Jerk grip strict press with head tilt: 60% x10, 65% x10, 70% x10, 75% x8  - Chin up and eyes find the ceiling on each rep

 

2. Front squat: 70% x5x6 sets - 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: 90-100% (% 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: load by feel x3x5-7 sets - 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% x5x3 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: 70% x5x6 sets - Pause in dip for 2 seconds and pause in head tilt 2 seconds finding ceiling with eyes

 

2) Back squat: 70% x5x6 sets

 

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: 90-100% 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: load by feel x3x5-7 sets - Emphasis is on getting shoulders over bar, knees back with vertical shins, and straight extension through pull

 

2) Clean-grip deadlift (CDL): 80% x5x6 sets (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: 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 1 - Warming the receiving position and feeling the base of support and balance during pause

 

3) Snatch with 3-second lift-off: 12 reps total @ 75% - 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: 8-10 total reps @ 75% - Emphasizing leg drive and controlled bar path during the initial pull to above the knee while demonstrating balance and control with pause in split

 

Click here to download the complete program and article PDF

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