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Does the Power Clean Build Muscle?


In most 5x5 programs the row is replacing the clean. If I am lifting for mass is the clean a good choice or is it only for power? If so, what rep ranges are ideal for hypertrophy with this lift?


Anything will build muscle if you progress it far enough and eat enough.


If you are training for mass you really don't need to power clean, but you certainly can. It can build you some manly fucking traps. But, if you were to use it in a mass gaining phase, you can use it first thing in the session to prime your nervous system for the work to follow. Use somewhere between 3-6 reps in the power clean.


I agree with this to a certain extent. I'm no huge individual BUT why do something like a power clean for mass which has a greater risk of injury(specially without a coach) when you can get the same or better results with a Bodybuilding split.


^ Good Shit


Thanks guys. Makes sense I do not have it in my program at the moment and I think i will leave it that way for the time being.


Sure it builds muscle. Nothing else makes my upper back sore like cleans.


Within a training program you have a number of variables: intensity, volume, density, recovery, etc. If you're using the clean at the beginning of your leg workout to build mass then your other more important exercises like the squat will suffer. If however you're using it to prime the nervous system then keep the volume low. If you're using an exercise to prime the nervous system you don't want to be dead afterwards. Prime the CNS, then being your real lifting:

  1. Hang Clean 2-3 ramped sets of 3 reps. Focus should be on explosive power...not just muscling the weight up. This shouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes.

Then into your normal routine.


Wouldn't it depend on much you shrug when you clean as opposed to a more explosive movement?


Well a well done power clean is suppose to be explosive, the shrug just becomes part of the technique, this is why people get injured.... once the technique is down the shrug comes in naturally.


OP, you can also do power shrugs though.


I'd say use them to enhance your motor unit recruitment, then use more row variations to concentrate more on smooth controlled motion and work more of the eccentric portion to stimulate growth. Plus you can use more volume without losing form as early. Keep as many explosive movements as you can to work recruitment patterns, and then hammer those muscles with some good controlled eccentrics at a good volume, I know there are a few contributors here that dig the 25 total reps scheme. Lift Strong Bro!


High pulls also build the upper back and are generally easier to master


I gotta disagree with ya here. I do cleans after squats and have found that they don't suffer much from it. You will want to squat first if muscle mass gain is your main concern since squat is king and if you aren't training for sports or olymipic lifting there is really no point in doing cleans first. On mondays, I do a 5x5 squat then an upper body exercise to let the lower body rest some, then I do 25 total cleans (5x5 or 8x3). Been doing it that way for nearly 2 years and I have gotten considerable stronger at both.


Power Cleans if you do them properly you'll thicken out your traps like no other exercise BUT you will need A LOT of load to stimulate them if you are beyond a beginner phase. And then it becomes very technically limited for most people that OLifters.

Your better off using another exercise to build mass if your technique isn't sufficient to use at least bodyweight for reps with good technique, and even then the weight is probably too light.



Nothing will thicken your traps more than doing heavy power shrugs.


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Power cleans are an excellent exercise
There are about 3 exercises you can do to replace the power clean.
You have 5 minutes in the gym, do you do 1 set of 3 exercises or 3 sets of an exercise equivelent to 3 exercises?

Nearly everybody says OL lifts are not worth the injury risk for beginners... they're right. The powerclean is not an olympic lift. I would not recommend a snatch, or clean and jerk, possibly not even a clean. but a power clean yes.

If you want to replace them with rows fine but it doesn't hit the back the same way. If your starting off choose one for a cycle then choose another or do them on two seperate weeks to see if theres any difference for you. What's 2 weeks in a life time of training?


What do you mean by clean and power clean?...do you mean clean as in Squat clean?


I can't say I've gained a considerable amount of size from power cleans but I used to do them mainly in preparation for sports. I like them a lot and feel they really hit my traps and upper back. I will work them back into my training, however Ive found anything over 5 reps or so and my form starts to go down the shitter. Try em out and if you can't do them stick with bb or db rows.