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:
- Overhead stability
- Bar path
- 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 4 Weeks to Bigger Lifts With Olympian Chad Vaughn.
Looking for a different week of the program?
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
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
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
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
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