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How to pass the current RKC snatch test:

February 10, 2010 02:22 PM

The RKC snatch test has gone through a few evolutions over the years. Originally RKC candidates were allowed one hand switch, depending upon the candidates' weight they had a specific number of reps to complete with NO time limit.

Then the Snatch test changed to one snatch for every Kg of body weight with a max of 100 reps, a 5min time limit was imposed but multiple hand switches was allowed. One could even set the bell down and have a smoke as long as they hit their required reps in 5 min.

The 3rd evolution and current Snatch test is all candidates must complete 100 reps in 5 min. Here are the rules

For myself and for most of the people I train grip seems to be the big factor in putting up solid snatch numbers. So lets start by taking grip out of the equation. I am a big fan of the SAID principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand) in training. If you want to increase your grip strength for snatching the 24kg then snatch the 24Kg.

When I began preparing for my RKC snatch test I had to hit 74 reps with one hand switch. I as about 4 months out and was struggling to hit 40 reps with one hand switch. I emailed TL Randy Hauer and he gave me a program where I only snatched 3X a week. I would snatch first thing in my training sessions when I was fresh. I would start with my left arm and hit my #s, keep my rest to under one min and complete my second set. Then it was time to train the right arm, same method. In 6 weeks I retested and hit 40 each arm. I redid the numbers and did the same type of training for another 6 weeks. Upon my retest I hit 62L and 63R, at this point I was about 4-5 weeks from my RKC. I redid the numbers again and by the time my RKC came around I went into it with the confidence that I could hit my numbers with one arm.

By now you must be asking what is this magical program Coach Handy put me on. My book will be released in a few weeks so you will just have to wait. It was a percentage-based program, where you are hitting 120% of your max 3x a week. You must test your max reps using the snatch test weight, then plug in your numbers and go. So if your max is 20L / 20R then the program will look like this. I believe that Rob Lawrence based Randy's percentage ideas on a program.
  • Mon: 70% Set 1 (15L/15R) Set 2 50% (11L/11R)
  • Wed: 60% Set 1 (13L/13R) Set 2 60% (13L/13R)
  • Fri: 80% Set 1 (18L/18R) Set 2 40% (8L/8R)
Start with your weak arm and hit your numbers, rest no longer than 1 min and do your second set on that same arm, and then train the other arm. At this point do not worry about time, just get your numbers. Once you work up to 45-50 reps with one hand switch then we will start to factor time into the equation.

At this point we are ready to go after 100 reps in 5 Min. To hit the 100 reps in 5 min I prefer the rep count to look like this 20R 20L 15R 15L 10R 10L 10R Done! It keeps the hand switches to a minimum, 3 hand switches and you are already at 70 reps. I also prefer to just crank out the 100 reps without putting the bell down, mentally I feel it is easier. Use swings for your conditioning, Light Med and heavy through out the week. Switch it up between 2 handed and one handed swings.

So start with 20R 20L and put the bell down and rest 1min. 15R 15L put the bell down and rest 1 min. 10R 10L 10R (or go 5R/5L) done. There is no sense in rewriting the book when it comes to adding density to the numbers. Dave Whitley already wrote an excellent article on how to improve your numbers in the SSST. Just take a look at the chart at the bottom and use that to reduce the rest time between sets.

Now get it done!

Ken Froese is an RKC II in Santa Monica, CA – he can be reached through his website or through email at