T Nation

Learning to Clean in 5/3/1

Let’s say I’m laying down my programming for the next couple of months with all the details - templates, assistance exercises, days and kind of conditioning and so forth.
How do I fit in learning a new movement I’ve never done before and that I need to train from zero?
I thought about doing an extra day (saturday) where I just go to the gym and practice technique starting with the empty barbell - things like jump and catch drill, proper knee/hip/torso angles, starting stance and so on, progressing with just very light weights.
What I need is to ingrain the correct movement so that I can later on fit it into the workouts to make some progress with the weight.

-interested in power cleans
-no specific equipment available: no bumper plates, no olympic bars, no olympic platform, can’t drop the bar
-no coaching available
-available time to learn proper technique: 6-12 months, doesn’t really matter

Why don’t you spend some time after your mobility/jumping/throwing on learning the power clean? Saves you a trip to the gym and takes no time. Our kids do something similar prior to training as a warm-up and it takes little time.


I usually do jumps at the end of the warmup before the workout, then mobility at home with static stretching either before I go to bed or when I get back from walking/running (I don’t mind going to the gym but once I get there I try to get done and get back as soon as possible).

How should I practice it tho? With empty barbell and slowly adding 10lbs plates?
I practiced a bit yesterday, press day, I simply cleaned the weight at the start of every set instead of using the rack. Could do it on every workout along with the practice, my TM on press is going to be set at 110lbs in the next cycle, so the weight is manageable.
It wasn’t exactly a clean tho, more like the jump and catch drill.

PS: non completely related, but I feel much stronger when pressing the weight after a clean. The initial push is stronger and the rest of the rep is more fluid. That is, with the bar resting on front delts and top of the sternum, using no leg drive or anything, just squeezing the butt, lifting the chest and pushing straight up. Can’t understand why I’m stronger since there’s more ROM this way than when I start holding the bar at around clavicles level.

My guys do a barbell complex prior to the warm-up/jumps - some use the bar, some use 135+. These are HS kids so I’m sure you are as strong as them. But I’d look at some barbell complexes with the Olympic lifts and see what is more for you.

I don’t teach the Olympic lifts so I really give them no mind - but I don’t see why you can’t do a few sets prior to training to learn the technique. Use as much or as little weight as you need to get it right and not be a workout.

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Thanks, looking here on the website I’ve found an article by Charles Staley with some drills for the power clean.
Only thing I’m not sure: wouldn’t it make more sense to do warmup (agile8) > clean complex > jumps > main workout?