T Nation

First Time Cleaning

Had a really good time in the gym today doing some full clean + jerks. I have literally never done a full clean before in my life before today. I have done powercleans a couple of times before, but that’s about it. I have been sick, and therefore had to take a break from my normal training regimen, so today just for fun I decided to play around with cleaning and try and work up heavy. I ended up hitting 235 for a single

I know it’s not perfect, but it’s way better than I thought I would do, and I had a great time. I think I’m going to try and start working the olympic lifts in more regularly, I really loved cleaning today, and I think I could add them in one day a week. As long as I’m patient with PR’s and spend a lot of time working at lighter weights to try and tweak my form, I think I could make a lot of progress and have a lot of fun.

Anyways, I’m not too worried about critiques because I know it’s not amazing haha, I’m mostly just posting this cause I’m excited and had a lot of fun. But if anyone has any helpful advice, tips or tricks, let me know. Thanks

Nice to see you starting real weightlifting. It’s a lot of fun, as you said, and if you really get into it I know you will have an awesome time. For your first time doing cleans, you did an excellent job. I’m surprised you were able to catch it so low. Most people do more of a power clean when trying the full depth clean the first time.

Keep it up.

great lifting! keep your chest up/out a bit more throughout the pull and get the elbows through quicker/higher - both these adjustments will help you catch the bar in a better position and recover/stand up easier, just work on 1 (or maybe 2!) things at a time

Not a bad clean at all…but I would recommend doing some front squats from the bottom position. Set up the squat rack so that you can front squat from a standstill and set that bad boy as low as you want. It really helped me to learn how to power the weight up from a ass-to-grass squat, which is where you were at the bottom of your lift. If you can jerk up 235 as easily as it looked, you should have no problem blasting 235 up from the bottom squat position. I have only jerked 225 personally but I’m tall and very lean, not ideal for oly lifts.

Going heavy with your front squats is critical and shoot for a 315 front squat from the bottom, which is very impressive!

front squats are a must but the standard squats should suffice in the main, pause squats and squats starting at the bottom are good for variety or when a specific need arises eg weakness/technical issue.

Thanks everyone for the advice and comments. My front squat is a little bit weak, especially compared to my back squat. My best front squat ever is 275, with a belt, so I was pleasantly surprised at how well I could squat the 235 clean up. Here’s a video of the front squat for anyone interested.

Still, getting my front squat stronger will definitely do wonders for my clean. I’m hoping to hit 295 in about 3 weeks, and then shooting for 315 towards the end of the semester. That will probably give me some growing room on my clean. I also haven’t really been able to work on the lifts since I shot this video because of some nasty elbow tendonitis. But maybe in a few weeks, when I’ve gotten a few saturday training sessions in, I’ll go heavy again and post some videos. Thank again for taking a look guys.

You hitting squats and pulls extra hard in view tendonitis?

Hey guys, first day back messing around with the Olympic lifts. The original plan today was to teach myself to snatch (because I have never done full snatches before), then do a bunch of light singles/a bunch of light clean and jerk singles to work on form. BUT I was feeling pretty good, and since I clean and jerked heavy and have an idea where I’m at with that lift, I decided to snatch heavy so I would have a beginning “total”. Here’s the video of me hitting 185

I’m pretty happy with that for a first time. Even more so than clean and jerk, there are some definite form improvements I can make (bigger thing I can see is I’m super slow under the bar, I pull it nice and high but I’m not very fast haha). But overall not bad. Now I know where I’m at, so I can slowly but surely keep working and hopefully make some progress. I’ll try and keep posting vids here and there. As always, any comments, ideas, questions, criticisms, etc are welcome. Thanks everyone

A little update:

So after finding my max snatch and clean and jerk (in different sessions), I decided to work up heavy with both of them on one day a couple weeks ago. And it was a HARSH awakening haha. It showed me why the Oly lifts are so enticing and sooo painful. My form was off, it was a rough day, and I felt like I was dying.

SO, that was rough. But after resting for a couple weeks (time kept me away from the lifts), I maxed out again today, and had a much better time. I am starting to get better at fighting the arm bend, and the bar is starting to contact in a better spot. With snatch, my big problem seems to be pulling under with my chest up, and putting the bar in the right spot. I snatched 175, but I am pulling it WAY higher than I need to, I am just slow under the bar and missed it both forward AND backward because the bar was out of position. BUT, cleaning went much better. I was feeling really good today, and ended up cleaning a 10 lb PR. The clean looks really good to me, front squat was hard, and I missed the jerk. I might have gotten it on a second attempt, but I decided to just leave it be for the day. I really need to learn to split jerk properly, so my coach and I are going to work on that soon. Anyways, here’s a video. As always, any criticism or comments welcome.

Another update. Had a good day today. Form is coming along very well. Started the session by learning how to split jerk. Then, did some high hang work on my snatch to work on keeping my chest up, and work on speed under the bar. Then I worked up, and hit a big PR! 195, 10 lb PR. missed 200 afterwards forward - I need to work on sweeping the bar back a little better. Clean and Jerk also went really well, up till 245. Had a hard time at that weight, but after many an attempt I finally made it! Might have had a little bit of a press out on the jerk, it’s kind of tough to tell - but in the end I’m very happy with that PR, especially since that was my first time split jerking heavy. I need to work on sweeping the bar back on my cleans too, work on rebounding out of the bottom better to make the front squat easier, as well as get my front foot out a little further on the jerk.

BUT, on the positive side, I’m keeping my chest up much better on both lifts, and moving a LOT faster under the bar. And, having a lot of fun as well. Here’s some video’s, as always thanks in advance for checking them out and any comments or criticisms are appreciated. Lets keep at it.