Power Vs. Squat

This was taken from Greg Everett’s newsletter at Catalyst Athletics:

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the differences in executing a power snatch or clean vs the full squat variation of the lift. Here’s the good news – There’s really no difference. The mechanics of the lifts are identical – the only difference is the height at which the lifter receives the bar and arrests downward movement. For a lift to qualify as power, the athlete must stop with the thighs above horizontal. It doesn’t matter how high the bar is turned over and either fixed overhead or racked on the shoulders; if the athlete continues into a squat or any depth below horizontal thighs, it is not a power snatch or clean.
In all cases, it’s critical to understand that the bar is received above the bottom position and the athlete squats with the weight to some degree. One of the most common mistakes beginners make is trying to “catch low”. This creates problems like incomplete pulls, the bar crashing on the lifter, disconnection between the lifter and the bar, reduced ability to absorb the downward force, less opportunity to correct instability, and more difficult recoveries.

In most workouts, we typically perform power cleans/snatches as they have a faster cycle rate. This has lead to decreased capacities in a squat versions for many people and even a fear of the movements in some. What has been your experience with the squat movements and which do you prefer? What’s your reasoning?


Brett’s vest is only 20lbs and he needed 25… Crossfitters are genius!