Secret Service Snatch Test – A Complete Guide to SSST Kettlebell Test
When you’re trying to measure your progress on your fitness journey, you might test yourself with certain exercises. These are usually a challenge to do a certain number of things within a certain time or to do something as fast as possible and try to improve.
The thing is, there are a lot of these tests for different parts of your body…if you want just a general test to measure your overall fitness level, this can be hard to find. The secret service snatch test aims to fix this by being a whole-body test.
Interested in the secret service snatch test? Keep reading for a complete guide, getting started with the secret service snatch test, what you should know about the snatch test, and more.
Service Snatch Test – A Complete Guide
The secret service snatch test is a measure of strength that’s done using a kettlebell. It has a reputation of being an intense test that makes people shake in fear when they think of doing it again…but there’s no denying that it’s one of the best ways to test muscle strength and your ability to use a kettlebell effectively.
The name of the secret service snatch test is derived from the entry requirements for the US Secret Service. Because the secret service protects the most important influential people in the world, impressive strength and speed is required to be able to fight off any and all threats.
The aim of the kettlebell secret service snatch test is simple – do 200 kettlebell snatches in 10 minutes. Yes, 200. You don’t have to stop at 200 either – that’s just the bare minimum. The higher score you can get on the secret service snatch test, the better.
It’s said that if you can get a good score on this test, then you’re in with a good chance of being accepted into the secret service. Even if that’s not your goal, being as strong as a US Secret Service member is a good motivator to get fit.
The purpose of the test has changed in recent years, and a good score on the test is used as a measure of success and envy online. There’s even a competition for the world record SSST score, which currently sits at a recorded 275.
Getting Started with The SSST Test
So, 200 kettlebell snatches in 10 minutes might sound like a lot. For a lot of people who do the rest regularly, this goal on the secret service snatch test still isn’t possible for them. It’s especially a problem if you’re getting started with the SSST test.
The SSST test is as much a test of your strength as it is a way to improve it. The test doesn’t require you to do anything out of the ordinary that you wouldn’t normally do with kettlebells, you just have to do a lot of them in a shorter timeframe than usual.
If you find yourself struggling with 200 snatches in 10 minutes, then you shouldn’t force yourself to meet this target. You won’t have fun, you’ll burn yourself out very quickly, and you might cause yourself some serious injury.
Instead, it’s all about gradual progression. 200 snatches in 10 minutes are an intimidating target, so like any lofty goal you should break it down. For your first week of doing kettlebell snatches and the SSST test, you should aim for 50 snatches in 10 minutes.
This doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s better to start small than to overexert yourself immediately. You can also break this down further, by setting small and incremental goals. Start by trying to do 5 kettlebell reps in 1 minute. Keeping this pace will allow you to meet your first long-term goal of 50 in 10 minutes with enough practice.
SSST Kettle Snatch Test
If you’ve never done the test before but want to start, you might not even know what a kettlebell snatch is or how to do one. It’s one of the fundamental kettlebell exercises, so even if you don’t plan to do the secret service snatch test it’s good to learn.
A kettlebell snatch is like swinging the kettlebell as if you were going to throw it but not letting go of it. Hold the kettlebell in one hand, with an overhand grip. Then, swing it in between your legs (carefully!). Using the momentum, swing it back so it goes over your head.
You need to be careful with a kettlebell snatch as there are a few opportunities for causing yourself injury. Practice the motion with something that has less weight behind it at first, and then practice it slowly with a kettlebell.
Russian Kettlebell Snatch – What You Should Know?
Want a different take on the kettlebell snatch? Instead of kettlebell snatches, you can try doing the Russian kettlebell snatch. Sometimes also called the Russian kettlebell swing, this is a variation of a kettlebell snatch that uses two hands but also works out more of your body.
To do the Russian kettlebell swing, take the kettlebell in both hands with an overhand grip. Have your legs apart and swing the kettlebell between them. When you swing the bell through, double over at the same time and then lift when you bring it back through.
The Russian kettlebell snatch is great for working your abdominal muscles as well as your upper arms, thanks to the bending over motion. It can build core strength, which will help your performance in the SSST.
Doing 200 Russian kettlebell snatches in 10 minutes might not be a good idea though; as when you’re doubling over, doing it too much could give you vertigo or make you nauseous.
Secret Service Snatch Test – Closing Thoughts
The secret service snatch test looks intimidating, but that just means it should be a long-term goal you set yourself. Instead of thinking of it as something you could do in the future, you need to put in the effort towards getting a good score. It’s a great way to measure your progress and push yourself for self-improvement.
Interested in more kettlebell exercises and strength training? We have plenty of guides, tips, WODs, and more to help you reach the next level!