T Nation

Cleans ?

I’ve been doing hang cleans for awhile and I developed a habit of resting the bar on my thighs in the latter sets.

basically i’m using my legs like a rack, but of course, racks don’t push up like legs. So I’m literally lifting the weight with my legs.

I guess I started doing this because my grips are gone from the negatives (if I drop the bar, I’d prolly get kicked out.)

is this an acceptable way to cheat or am I better off putting the bar on the (real) rack and reset the grip (meaning it’ll take some time)?

Well how many reps are you doing? What are you training for? Do you think it would be beneficial to maybe do more sets of fewer reps instead of a few sets of many reps? Remember that cleaning is a power move, so when one of the links in the chain breaks down, it’s a better idea IMO to train the weakest link later with an accessory exercise (grip in your case), and execute as many reps as you can with flawless form.

Come to think of it, are you sure that your form is good? Because I can see resting the bar on your thighs between reps, but I can’t really see using your legs to push the weight off. The leg motion involved with this exercise should be used to add momentum and acceleration through the initial portion of the movement, but your legs should not be used like a bumper to push the weight up. Based on simple geometry, I envision the weight moving up and away from your body if you do this, rather than in a straight vertical line.

I could also be way off on this assumption since I’ve never seen you actually execute the movement. Good luck with your cleans. And don’t forget to do power cleans once in a while for a real kick.

I don’t think this is acceptible at all. I know what you are doing. I had a teramate in college that used to do this. Your throwing your hips forward and using your thighs as a springboard. Above it was mentioned to do more sets with fewer reps, and I agree. The cleam is a power movement. IMO when you get above three reps you movew from power and explosiveness to a pure stregth movement. After three reps the bar speed will slow down considerably. In the clean you need to be moving the bar on a fast and steady acceleration. Hang cleans are difficult if your grip is not there, especially moving the bar from the top to the starting position…wraps may help you a bit. Otherwise start doing Power cleans rather than hangs. However, the exceleration part of a power clean is even more important when doing them from the floor. Remember…your excelerating the bar up.

Agree with Justhrowit. Sounds like you’re basically ending up doing a reverse power curl.
I’m still not exactly sure how this is making you stronger out of the bottom part of the movement because it takes all the explosiveness away.
What kind of a weight are you doing?
Do either triples at the high end of your max weight and do sets of five for medium to high weight.
Your grip should really only be a factor at Personal Record levels because normally people can deadlift at least 1.5 what they clean.
Also not sure whether you’re doing sets of six or more. If you are, don’t bother - never go above five.

actually, I haven’t done more than 5reps/set.
usually in the 185-205lb range unless I’m working on form/speed.

basically some guy comes to “have a talk” everytime somebody makes a noise (from dropping the bar or dumbbells or whatever) at my “gym.” so the negative kills my grips. after 5 or 6 sets, I have the tendency to start cheating.

thanks for the input.

I’m not sure if the bar moves away from the body… I don’t have video or anything, but I can’t imagine actually lifting the weight if I’m doing reverse curls.
…actually, I think i have the tendency to pull the weight backward.

I guess I’ll just put the bar on the rack from the earlier sets so the grip will (hopefully) last longer and work on grip a bit more.

IF your using your thighs to throw the weight up…The bar is traveling away from your body. Keep that bar on a straight path. No different than an upright row…the path of the bar anyway. Practice practice practice. Tough lift to master, as there is a lot of timing and rythm involved. Not sure if your using it or not, but chalk WILL help with your grip, but watch those Calluses (sp). When putting the bar down, they will tear off our hands. Just keep at it. I would still keep your reps in the 1-3 range. Again, don’t be afraid to change things up. Power cleans, hang cleans, box cleans, clean pulls, etc etc. They all help. The more you do it, the better your grip will be

Wasn’t it either Charles Staley or Christian Thibaudeau (or both?) that mentioned the “scoop” that effective olympic lifter use? If I recall, he said that it couldn’t really be taught, but it was a very good attribute to include in the OLY lifts? I may be off my rocker, or I maybe right and this may not apply to this case… I’m Not sure. Comments?


yea, just to see if the bar moves forward, I had a friend look at the bar when I cheat.

he said the bar is definitely moving forward when it comes off the legs. which makes sense cuz it’s the only place it can go like you said (and a bit up, or I wouldn’t think it’s any easier). I’m probably pulling the bar backward to bring it back into the path.

anyway, i’ll quit this cheat. thanks for the inputs.

I can mix power cleans, but this place looks more like a fitness center, there’s no box or anything. (3 storeys and only 2 racks and 2 benches… and this is the best I found, most place don’t even have a rack) there’s no chalk either. and I’m pretty sure I’ll be talking to some guys from the office if I bring my own… :stuck_out_tongue:

seriously, I’m surprised nobody has told me to quit doing it yet.

I’m guessing it got some views because the subject isn’t clear enough. sorry about that.

I really thought I typed more than just “cleans?”