Calculating Strength – How to Work Out Your Olympic Lifting Ratios

Are you strong enough? Find out how to use your 1 rep maxes (of various different lifts) to calculate exactly where you are weak and where you are powerful.

It can often be difficult to identify exactly where you weak and where you are strong. Sometimes it is difficult not to measure ourselves against the people that we surround ourselves with and the people that we chose to train with. But the best option is always to look internally.

These ratio calculators will help you to judge your progress and identify weaknesses that you can work to improve, and areas and lifts you can be proud of. Time to find out if you are strong enough!


male crossfit athlete performs back squat
How much you can squat highly influences your Olympic lifts.

The following chart gives you a good indication of how much you should be looking to lift in relation to your 1 Rep Max back squat.

 87.5%  65%  77.5%
 125%  90% 100%
If you want to work this out even more specifically then check out the scale below from Oly
Oly Lifts Calculator


This ratio test is even more specific for Crossfitters and Weightlifters. The measurement base is a 2 Rep Max Clean and Jerk, so you will need to test this and establish a current number

The ratios are as follows:

Reference Lift: 2 Rep Max Clean and Jerk

  • Snatch: 82.5% of clean & jerk
  • Clean: 102.5% of clean & jerk
  • Jerk: 105% of clean & jerk
  • Power Clean: 85% of clean & jerk
  • Power Jerk: 90% of clean & jerk
  • Power Snatch: 67.5% of clean & jerk
  • Front Squat: 110% of clean & jerk
  • Back Squat: 125% of clean & jerk
The clean & jerk is the second basis to messure the ratios.

There are a multitude of reasons why snatch and clean and jerk ratios often vary between individuals, but here are a few:

The snatch may fall below the range relative to the clean & jerk when:

1. The athlete is short-limbed, especially the arms
2. The athlete has poor snatch bottom position mobility
3. The athlete’s bodyweight is high for his/her height
4. The athlete is less explosive than strong
5. The athlete has incomplete elbow extension

The snatch may be above the predicted range when:

1. The athlete is tall and/or long-limbed
2. The athlete’s bodyweight is too low for his/her height
3. The athlete is more explosive than strong
4. The athlete’s squat strength is limited

From this ratio you can filter weaknesses in strength, technique or power. For example, if a lifter’s power clean and power snatches have a very high ratio (are above 85% and 67.5%) versus the clean and snatch, it’s obviously that the athlete is either exceptionally powerful, or has technical or mobility issues in getting under the bar into a full squat to receive the barbell.

That is a very common issue for Crossfitters – practicing the power snatch and power clean too much, and never developing the timing to get under the bar effectively.

If an athlete has a very large back squat but their clean & jerk and snatch are low compared to the squat, it’s clear that the issue is technique related.

Instead of trying to get stronger, they should invest more time in practicing the Olympic lifts and developing their technique.

Thuridur Erla Helgadottir weightlifter clean and jerk
Good technique is the basic for a succesful lift.

Technique is important, but you should always focus on what’s holding you back. If your clean is way ahead of your jerk, you should spend more time getting your jerk to go up rather than simply keep getting your clean higher.


This is a fun test if you do like to compare your lifts against others. With a data base that numbers in the millions, you will be given a ranking based on how your lift matches up with everyone else.




“A recent post on CrossFit Training’s Instagram highlighted Roots’ owner Nicole Christensen. In the short video, she mentions a standards list that CrossFit Roots uses to determine if athletes are ready for a competitive program.

Over the past week, we have received a number of requests for this list. Here it is:”

Crossfit roots competitor standards
The standards

“This minimum standards list determines if an athlete can join the Roots Competitor Program. The program trains 5 days per week, at a set mandatory time and in 2-hour sessions. Athletes must meet at least 19 of 21 standards – muscle-up and handstand push-up capacities are mandatory.

Prior to beginning the program, it is made clear that this is a program for athletes who want to compete in the sport of CrossFit and who have goals to do well at the Open and Regional levels.

We hope affiliates and CrossFitters may find this useful.”

8 Tips To Prepare For a Crossfit Competition

male crossfit athlete performs back squat © Circuit+ CrossFit

Oly Lifts Calculator © Oly Lifts

Barbell-mobility-clean © Stevie D Photography

Thuridur Erla Helgadottir weightlifter clean and jerk ©

Lifts © Strength Level

Crossfit roots competitor standards © CrossFit Roots

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3 Tough Weightlifting Workouts to Build Strength and Skill Under Fatigue

About The Author

Simon is the Assistant Editor at BOXROX. He has been Sport addicted since childhood and comes from a swimming and bodybuilding backround to Crossfit, which he does for 4 years now and it still challenging him every day. He tries to combine his passions for sport and writing.


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