May 17, 2012
Running the Bars
By Chad Vaughn

Find out how Aja Barto successfully snatched all 15 bars at the South Central Regional.

Aja Barto snatched every bar in Workout 3 of the South Central Regional. Olympian Chad Vaugh explains how he did it.

There are quite a few things Aja Barto did really, really right that significantly helped him not only complete the snatch ladder, but also make 295 pounds look light!
The base of his success, of course, is technique. Barto was maintaining and creating all the right angles and positions as the bar traveled up the legs, where he then fully extended with hips open and arms straight before those arms pulled and pushed the body under the bar. His body moved around and underneath it to lock it out overhead. All these positions help keep the bar closer to the body and the bar path in line, and they set the body up to exert the most possible power by activating the proper parts at the right time for a smooth, powerful, fast lift.
Barto was also consistent in his movement: he squat-snatched every rep from 155 to 295 pounds. Most of these weights would have been easy power snatches for him, so some might wonder why he wasted his legs and didn’t choose the squat squat snatch only when necessary. Really, it’s all about preparation and insurance. The whole body is engaged differently in the two receiving positions. If you are trying to put the most weight overhead, you want the muscle memory to be wired into what you’ll be doing with the heaviest weights as much as possible.

Read the full Journal article here.