T Nation

Clean more than Front Squat


You should definately be able to FS 65kg by the end of the year.

Yes your OLifts will crash when your on the RSR. Like I said before when I'm on it thats pretty much all I do. I maybe lift once a week if that? Your legs are so battered fromt eh RSR everything will feel heavy. It'll be good when it's over then you transition to lifting whilst hitting squats.

It's a constant battle to train less. A very wise friend of mine has gotten it in to me less is more and it really is. I can go to the gym and hit bigger weights because I'm training less. I'm THAT MUCH FRESHER hitting the gym. Why go to the gym and hit 80-85% if that? Why not just REST and go in and hit 90-95%+.

I'd say drop the training down to 3x a week. Ease up on the technique stuff. If your able to hit weights without training much your technique is fine. Remember it's not gymnastics, no points for style or artistic merit. It's the one with the biggest weights over held that wins. Get a HUGE FRONT SQUAT. Lift and it will carry the lifts up.

I want to lift more also but thats not going to help me smash over a 300kg total.

If I only knew what I know NOW 5yrs ago...I'd be so much further. But I'm glad I"ve told Oxman and hopefully he gets this.



The thing I'm finding the weirdest about the RSR...

Is that what I used to do was this:

Monday 5x5. I got up to 37.5kg for that. It was hard. I was a bit stuck there...

Wednesday 8x3. I got up to 40kg for that. It was hard. There were failures then singles to finish the set.

Friday work up to max single. I got 45kg for two singles on one occasion. Mostly... I couldn't do 45kg but could reliably do 42.5 for a single. The hardest thing was keeping the descent fast but controlled and hitting the bottom tightly. Neural recruitment, basically.

The RSR has me working with 36kg for the first couple weeks. That is LIGHT for me. Sure the 6x6 day isn't looking like much fun, but aside from that is is a fair bit easier than what I was doing previously.

So... If my snatch is expected to take a dive on the RSR it is probably fair to say that my snatch has been subpar for a while now because of my squatting work... Even though the main reason I can't snatch 40kg is because I get pinned in the hole (I've managed to catch it fairly solidly on a few occasions but not fast enough to ride the bounce when I extend fully on the second pull, it seems).

So... Sounds like I am overtrained / underrecovered, a bit...

I will front squat AT LEAST my bodyweight by the end of the year (61.something negligable).

Why go to the gym and hit 80-85% if that? Why not just REST and go in and hit 90-95%+.

Because I'm not that good Koing.

My body is still recovering from years of neglect and injury. I really look forward to the day I can spend 10-15 minutes on mobility, do a couple bar drills, then work to a max.

At present I need to spend about 40 minutes foam rolling so my air squat feels sort of smooth and comfortable. Then I need to spend about 30 minutes working with the bar, 20kg, 25kg and on a GOOD day that will feel sort of smooth and comfortable. I can feel that mostly I'm not holding ANY of the positions properly. Things still feel a bit stiff and / or tight and / or deactivated. Sometimes I ignore that and try and work to a max and usually what happens with that is I get in many reps with bad technique.

If I spend a couple days sticking with the light weights and trying to hold good positions and transition between them properly (e.g., by doing partials. Practicing holding the bottom position. Practice doing the first pull. Practice extending from the hang. Practice transitioning the first pull to extension. Practice dropping into a tight bottom position. Practice extending then dropping into a tight bottom position). THEN things start to feel a bit smoother and automatic. I find a day when my bar warm-up feels good after a couple reps. That is when I know working to a max is likely to be productive. Only way it gets to be is when I put in the time doing position / transition work, though.

If I work to max too often without doing sufficient bar position / transition work then I only ingrain bad habits of jumping forwards to catch because I didn't finish the pull. Or getting pinned in the hole because I bottomed out the catch rather than hitting the position tightly. I'm not good enough to ditch putting in the hours with light weights. I'm not good enough to ditch partials for position / transition work.

I want to go to nationals one day. I figure I'll be (realistically) looking at Masters Nationals (I'm 32 now and I don't know how many years it will take for me to figure out some kind of jerk movement that will have me cleaning and jerking respectable weights). Because of my feet injury I can't split jerk at present, I don't have the shoulder mobility / balance to squat jerk, and with the additional heel raise I need for cleaning... Well... You try push-jerking with high heels on... At this stage I can't even lock out a 30kg push-jerk.

I know there are no marks for style... I would like to go to nationals one day... But my main aim / goal with the Olympic Lifting is to be able to MOVE. It is a symbol of flexibility, mobility, and strength for me. In order to do the Olympic Lifts properly (with good technique) your body needs to be very flexible and mobile indeed. So... Style is important to me. I do want to lift weights so that people don't think I'm a joke (am understanding the he who lifts most is most right mentality) but I'm more interested in the technique and movement aspect than anything else. I'd rather become a master of technique than succeed via application of brute force. Barbell training is the functional expression of human anatomy under a load... (Ripptoe). My main goal is to be able to move.

They told me I'd never learn to walk without crutches. I can (not properly, though). At least I'll learn to stand up good.


Because do you see how she moves the bar (starting from 22 seconds)?

Because I want to be able to do that.

The weight doesn't actually matter to me. Except insofar as it is a test of positions. The stick is actually harder than a bar (in a sense). But you can still feel when you aren't quite getting it right. If you learn to listen to your body. The weight doesn't actually matter to me.

And the more right moving the bar feels...
The easier the weights go up.

It is kinda like happiness, I find.
Most likely to be achieved when not sought directly.

And that if why I love it.

And that is why I struggle with squats.
Because squats are not like that at all :frowning:


(sorry that was so freaking long)


RSR 3x per week.

everything else is viewed as assistance.

light snatch technique (less than 30kg) on the days I squat...
and probably on the days i don't squat, too...

Aim to work up to max snatch and clean 1x per week. or just technique if the movement feels shitty.

on the days i don't squat i'd like to do 2 assistance exercises from the following list (rotate them through or something)

pushup, chinup, GHR, standing press, inverted row.

weighted planks after squats.

does this sound stupid?


Speaking as a beginner, training more often made me do the lifts worse - poor technique and very inconsistent. Almost as soon as I began lifting x 3 a week, I've hit a PR every session.


I see what your saying Alexus. You have over come many problems and you are working hard.

This is what I am elaborating to. Less IS MORE.

Go in on your off days to stretch, Do nothing else but stretch. Then just go back home. DO NOT TRAIN ON YOUR OFF DAYS.

Being FRESH FOR TRAINING CAN NOT BE UNDERESTIMATED. I go in training now a days feeling much fresher. I don't do any BS stuff that I use to do. It's stripped down and bare bones.

By all mean do all the bar work and mobility work you need to do but don't do too much stuff. It isn't needed imo.

Dave knows the score.

I'm beginning to change my view on the RSR. It's good but it hammers the lifts so badly for most people it isn't nearly worth doing imo. When I was younger I was fine lifting and doing the RSR. I was younger and I was sleeping a tonne. But after 12yrs I can't do both properly due to work and sleep. The FS to Max single and 2 drop down sets and just lifting to max is helping me realise this is the way forwards. I can get my gains on the FS and get gains on my OLifts.



To be fair Pendlay does say exactly this in his beginners\intermediate programming articles. Basically be very careful in adding in sessions and only to do so when you stop improving on x 3 a week. John Broz says similar from what I've seen - it takes a long time to get used to adding in more volume and you need to adapt the rest of your life to it.


yeah. if i recovered more the weights would feel lighter and move faster. and some of my technique issues might simply sort themselves out. i think i hear you.

6x6 day yesterday. i just wanna eat and sleep. not going in to the gym today...

last week i started feeling like not training on a couple days... maybe my body is trying to tell me something after all...

i'll go a lot easier on myself for everything aside from my programmed squats for now.

figure out something more realistic once i'm done with the RSR.

i am really glad i decided to do it, though. was basically bashing my head against a brick wall trying to progress with 5x5 / 8x3 / max day.
have lighter days then heavier than you have ever done before days are made possible. hmm.

writing up my dissertation at the moment. i feel a lot better about hitting the gym (10 minutes walk away) than i do about crying under the covers 'i don't wanna write my thesis!!!' i know i won't be able to train like this indefinitely (ie when i get a real job). but looks like i need to reassess training like this now...

i just feel pretty demoralized that things like push-ups, chin-ups, inverted rows etc are still so freaking hard for me when they should be easy endurance work. but... well... how well is my strategy serving me with respect to making gains? not so much. time to try something new...


This is thing, if you want to be good at push ups, chins ups etc you'll have to train them and they will take away from the olifts. Do them after the OLifts but they will get easier in time. I could barely do 8 pushs ups when I was 15. I can rattle off 55 at any given time now, it's no biggie. It just takes time in training but I can't run for sh!t. My mile time is about 9mins?! I have no running endurance what so ever LOL.



When I first started I had the problem of a low front squat compared to my clean.

I just have a quick question. Are there any benefits of doing deadlifts over clean pulls. Or are clean pulls just the better exercise? What are the reasons?


I answered your question over on the beginners forum. Will be interested to hear what people say here.


Depends on your goals.

Are you wanting to train Olympic Lifting?

Are you wanting to train strength?

Clean pulls are an assistance exercise for the clean. I've never heard of anyone doing them for general strength training.


Clean pulls for general strength would be an amazing exercise for people who can't Clean. You get the explosiveness that most people lack in the DL. But the DL done correctly should be explosive also. But most people slow down towards the end of the exercise instead of speed up like the Clean pull. Not the exercises fault but the people that do them.

Like Alexus has said it depends on your goal. Why not do both for Strength? But I'd ditch both once your beyond a beginner and just focus on the full lifts if you want to shift big weights in the full lifts imo.

Most people also don't DL like they do the first 2 pulls in the Cleans. The Clean pull is suppose to have the same position as the Clean, back bolt straight, not rounded at all, chest up, hips and shoulders rising about the same rate.



Just so you know Christian Olsson swedish triple jumper, he weights about 73-80kg, PC 145kg FS 120-125kg BS 152.5kg

How is that possible to powerclean that much more than he FS?


his front squat must not be very practiced compared to his powerclean.

if he is a triple jumper... he probably has very long legs that aren't really built for squatting.

he probably does a lot of powercleaning to bring up his jump (explosive hip drive) and not nearly as much squatting.

would be my guess anyway.




He has a very strong pull. Theirs no squatting involved, just pull high and pop under.


Strong back squat = strong pull? Is that true?


Mmmm not for me. Strong pull = strong pull. My Bs sucks but I have a good pull. I'm sure it would help but I think the FS would help more and block work for strong pull. Plus below the knee and hang variations.

Edit: I'm sure jonty or koing could answer this better than me.


I saw that somewhere recently but I didn't really understand the relationship. I have a strong pull (I was told - I don't really know what that means with respect to) but my back squat and deadlift are pretty close. My snatch high pull (to my chest) is almost 20kg over my best snatch though, but I'm sure that's a technique thing.


Well do you get buried under cleans? If you do then your pull probably is stronger than your legs i.e. you have a strong pull or crappy legs. A weak pull also means technique, like your 2nd pull may be crap or your transition from below to above knee is crap.


No, so I guess maybe I don't have a strong pull relative to my squat. It was just something I was told that I didn't really get. But then my limits are all technique related anyhow so it doesn't matter.