T Nation

Big Lift Alert!


370 power clean by Jason Houde. He has cleaned 380 but his best power clean was 350.


That’s an awesome lift CT. I also power clean in a similar way moving my feet fairly wide during the catch. I always supposed it to be some mobility issue and/or lack of leg strength, but this vid made me feel confident.:smile:


Well I personally see it as a technical mistake because you wouldn’t be able to transform the power clean attempt into a full clean if it is not pulled high enough. And there is much less transfer from power cleaning like this to a full clean.

The funny thing is that Jason doesn’t move his feet much when doing a full clean.

Catching it wide Is something you will often see Crossfit athletes or football players do because they have no intention to possibly do a squat clean… it’s power clean or miss. An Olympic lifter catches a power clean with the same stance as what he uses for a squat clean and IMHO that is the proper way to do it.


Yes I agree with you that it’s a technical mistake but CT I’m not an olympic lifter and it always seemed much stable for me to catch in wide stance. I did lots of power cleans during the Athlete Lean Athlete Strong program but catching wider has always been more comfortable, and besides my front squat is also lagging behind as compared to my back squat. Could it be a strength issue here?


Unlikely. Jason for example front squats 450 and back squats 525 and does spread his legs during power cleans. Its more often related top overpulling (really pulling long and hard to get the bar as high as possible) which delays the move under the bar and spliting the legs wide is the only way to get lower under the bar.

One of the girls I work with, Jessica Cote-Beaudoin also does this and she power cleans 235… which is abou the same as her full clean.


That’s pretty interesting, I would be interested to know about this guy’s training history and age/weight/height since I lift about 50 pounds less on back squat and front squat, to give me some perspective.


Its more often related top overpulling (really pulling long and hard to get the bar as high as possible) which delays the move under the bar and spliting the legs wide is the only way to get lower under the bar.

Well, then it’s really a good thing for me because I really feel my traps working when doing power cleans like that, similar to Snatch Grip High Pull. Thank you for the guidance CT.


He is in his very early 20s… 21 or 22. Up until this year he played hockey. Quebec Junior (LHJMQ) which is where those who get drafted to play pro play. This means 70 games a year over about a 6 months season. So up until this year he trained hard for about 4 months out of the year and maintained during the season. Focusing on the big lifts.

He started training for crossfit this year. I worked with him for his olympic lifting/strength. When he started out this summer he was doing 225lbs snatch, 325lbs clean & jerk, 425lbs back squat, 375lbs front squat and 525lbs deadlift. (now 285 snatch, 380 clean & jerk, 525 back squat, 450 front squat, 620 deadlift). So he was already a very solid athlete. Genetically gifted for sure… 6’2" 215 at under 6% body fat (tested with 3 different methods, calipers, hydrostatic and bioimpedence). But more importantly he has a quality that I’ve seen in few people: mobile stiffness.

By that I mean that when you look at him he looks super stiff… like his muscles are always tensed and has a blocky walk. But his mobility is actually amazing. That gives him tremendous “usable stiffness” when lifting weights… he always stays tight when lifting and receiving weights so there is no strength loss.

For 16 weeks we focused on strength and Olympic lifting 5 days a week in the AM and he would come back and do crossfit skills or WODs in the PM.

The first 6 weeks was more about working on his technique than building strength or getting his lifts up. And the last 10 weeks was on this program:



Yeah, that it would. If you are using the power clean as a muscle builder then it’s probably fine. That’s how lifters from the 60s through 80s lifted and they tended to be more muscular in the upper body.