T Nation

Getting a Big Power Clean


Hey there,
I see all these threads and topics about how people have increased their squats and bench press, etc. But how about the power clean? Are there people with big cleans who are willing to share how they got there?

And please, this is just a fun way to exchange training ideas, leave the necessity of olympic lifts for another topic.



I'm not power clean expert, but having a strong deadlift is a good way to get your power clean numbers up. More importantly, you'll need to master the technique. You need to shrug, deadlift, upright row, etc. the weight in a well-timed manner. Start with lighter weights first so you can learn the most efficient way of moving the weight.


FORM!! Get a coach and have him show you how to lift properly, once you get form down the weight will come. Stronger guy with weak form will not power clean as much as a weaker guy with perfect form.


my bad, I'm not new to power cleans. I've cleaned 130 kg at 100 kg with reasonable form. Nothing special, but I'd really like to get to 150 or maybe higher. Thanks anyway!


Besides good form and just doing tons of cleans, here are some hints from a power clean nut. Do your deadlifts with a clean grip (not reverse) and clean stance (not wide or sumo). Alternate power cleans from floor one workout and hang cleans the next. Experiment with straps for high volume. After cleans, do high pulls off the racks and make your traps scream.

On leg days, do at least half your squats as front squats, mimicking the exact leg and hip work involved in the cleans. Do lots of calf work, especially standing raises with heavy weights-again mimicking the action of the calves in the cleans.

And consider doing T-bar rows or bent-over rows to work your back/lats, these are more likely to contribute to your power cleans than just chins or pull-downs.

The key ingredient in form that most people struggle with, me included, is pulling the bar out away from the body too much and failing to make an explosive movement to catch the bar with elbows out, not down. Most non OL folks tend to do more of a reverse curl type movement to the chest.
Good luck...    Doc


if your form is good then make sure you getting in lots of leg work in, probably like 3 days a week-heavy squating-


Front squats... You should be able to power clean what you can front squat for a triple. Front squat often and heavy. By the sound of your numbers you probably already know this though. Good luck to you bro.


Care to elaborate on why this is? Not being a wise ass, just curious as to why I don't have it doing on. My best front squat triple's 130kg, that was with a belt. I reckon I'd do 120 without. My best power clean's 105 I think.

I've been thinking about perhaps doing a 4 weeks sheiko cycle with cleans, hang cleans, snatches and hang snatches (all power) and maybe various pulls.

My thinking being, lots of lighter and 80% work will give me the chance to work on form!


Front squats
High pulls
Hang cleans

Get some oly shoes if you don't have them already.

Find a USAW coach.


The guy is talking about power cleans, not full cleans. Front squats are not going to help much beyond a certain point, and chances are you're beyond that point. And there is really no correlation between your power clean and FS, the second pull of the clean, where the power is generated, is almost exclusively hips and the front squat legs.

There IS a correlation between your front squat and FULL clean. They say that you should be able to full clean what you can front squat for a triple (assuming you can pull it high enough).

I'm not saying that squats won't help, but the reason oly lifters do a lot of squats is because they're squatting the weight up in competition. Many of them acknowledge that beyond a certain point, heavy squatting is a waste of time. If you can't pull it to waist (or even higher in the case of power cleans) height it doesn't matter how strong your legs are.

In other words, get your hips and back stronger, a big front squat is not important.


considering your front squatting muscles play a very large roll in just getting the bar high enough to catch (regardless of how high it doesnt matter, the stronger you are, the faster/higher you can get it) that makes little sense-its not just to squat it back up, but partially just to drive it up in the first place


aside from really exploding on the second half of the movement I would also add in doing barbell shrugs. They would go nicely with the deadlifts using your power clean stance and grip. Right before you snap under the bar its just a "power shrug" if you will where you go up on your toes.

I would highly suggest The Black Book of Training Secrets by Thib.


What set/rep scheme are you using? Have you tried the 3/2/1 wave loading?

Like I said earlier, power cleans are like upright rows, deadlifts, shrugs, etc. combined into one smooth and coordinated movement, so you might wanna be strong in each of those movements.


a few top level coachs' I've talked to believe that squats make you slower under the bar. But they also agree that that is when you get closer to the elite level.

I would say just work on throwing the bar explosivly up.


How would I go about finding a USAW coach. And also, for athletic carryover is it best to do power cleans Oly style, where you catch the bar in a front squat position, or how I've been taught which is just pretty much catching it in about a fourth squat?


The best way to get a good powerclean is by DOING POWER CLEANS. All that other stuff is fine, but untill you actually start doing the movement your never going to get better at it.


Forget about the upright row allready! It's not an upright row!
When the elbow bends the power ends.

The deadlift doesn't match the first pull either.

I concur with the other posters who wrote that if you want to clean a lot you have to clean a lot but first clean up your technique.


I've found the best way to improve certain exercises...

deadlift-> deadlift from a deficit (or use smaller plates)
squat-> squat from dead stop in the rack (i forget what these are called)
dip-> weighted dips, and/or weighted drop sets
chins-> weighted chins, and/or weighted drop sets

Basically, making it harder then the regular lift has helped me. But as far as power cleans, I'm not quite sure how to incorporate this method. I've been doing 5 sets of 4 and adding 5lbs a week to each set.. very small prgoression, but it's coming.


its like physics your putting a lot of force into the ground-power from legs- and in return popping the bar up.


Here's a start.