“Squat Clean?” “Full Clean?” Or just simply “Clean?” [Snatch as well]

Hang squat snatch is the CF main site wod posted today. This post is inspired by a discussion with many people but most recently Emily Bingham 😁.

Quite often, weightlifters take exception to a crossfitter using the term “squat/full snatch” or “squat/full clean”. In weightlifting, it is simply a “snatch” or a “clean”.

I don’t have a problem with saying “squat snatch” or “squat/full clean” when referring to CrossFit workouts because this is the sport of Crossfit, not weightlifting. In the rules of Crossfit, you don’t have a lot of the technicalities you do in weightlifting. For example, in CrossFit, you can press out a jerk and it is legit – not so in weightlifting.

They are 2 different sports that use very similar movements.

Doing “Grace” (30 clean and jerks for time at 135lbs) or “Isabel” (30 snatches for time at 135lbs) is one example. As written, you could muscle clean and press the bar like Graham Holmberg does in one barbell for boobs video – he nearly went unbroken! Some might power clean it, some might have to do an ass-to-grass clean. The word “clean” in Crossfit means all 3 would be legit unless specified. But how do you specify what you want? If you want each rep to include a proper clean, it is simpler to just say “squat clean” or “full clean”. If only power cleans were allowed, you would say “power clean”.

So that is for CrossFit.

If you are speaking with a weightlifter or a weightlifting coach and they are helping you in weightlifting, be mindful of the world of weightlifting. To them, a full clean is simply a clean. If they wanted something else, they would ask for it. Don’t use the terms “full clean” or “squat clean” because it just antagonises them.

What do you think? Am I wrong? Is there a better way?



About Antony Lo
Antony Lo is an APA Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist based in Sydney. His website is www.MyPhysios.com.au. He specializes in the management, treatment and prevention of pain and dysfunction, particularly of the pelvis and ribcage. His sub-specialties include Crossfit and Exercise Performance Optimization, Ante-Natal and Post-Natal Care and difficult cases that have failed treatment elsewhere.

4 Responses to “Squat Clean?” “Full Clean?” Or just simply “Clean?” [Snatch as well]

  1. Chris says:

    If I was being provocative I would say the Oly lifters are being silly – Crossfit has introduced more people to their sport in the last 10 years than they’ve managed in the last 20.

    But if I was being reasonable, I would ask everyone – does it really matter that much? We all know what the terms mean. Lets just have some mutual respect 🙂


  2. Pingback: Thursday 1/15/15 - What are the consequences of sleep deprivation?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Chris has a point on crossfit has introduced more people to the sport of Olympic Weightlifting (can’t really get used to the shortened version Oly) I think it is just that they don’t get it. I think crossfiters might get a little annoyed if you took some of the terms they use which I think are a little silly like AMRAP, WOD, EMOM and all the other terms and just started calling them something else. Imagine is a METCON was simple called a circuit which to me that is essentially what it is or calling is conditioning.


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