I used to have the theory that you “hook, hook, hook.” After reading Kono’s book and talking with others, I am not so sure. Hooking really helps your snatch, probably helps your clean, too, but it isn’t as obvious. That said, you have to ask yourself…”is the couple of weeks of thumb pain worth learning it?”
If you compete, no question that the answer is “yes.” Why give up those 22 pounds that hooking ‘supposedly’ gives you? If you are just training for other things, don’t. Strap up for snatches and go hookless for cleans.
I have been trying to go without the hook more often, after reading Kono’s book. He is right…it has caused me to reexamine the feeling of acceleration. In fact, I am in the middle of an enlightenment about pulls because of this. I keep adding more and more plates lately to my snatch pulls do to the combination of better acceleration and improved grip from my farmers walks.
Kono recommends a rep without the hook, then hook. It isn’t a bad way to go.