T Nation

Plateau on Hang Cleans

I’m a newcomer to T-Nation and posting here because people simply know how to train here.

For the past 3 months I’ve made no progress whatsoever in my cleans or snatches. For one month I tried a high-frequency GTG type training specific to snatches, and failed to add any weight to them. Another month I tried switching up with plenty of variation, including hang pulls, close-grip snatches, cleans from blocks, and so on.

It’s not specifically the hang clean that I want to improve, but my overall explosiveness. I’m just starting to throw for track and want to have a base of power before I can transfer it through the technique work we’ll begin in a couple months. Hang cleans and hang snatches (esp. close-grip) are great for throwing, and I can’t imagine that I’ve made much progress in my power if the weights on these haven’t been budging. It’s not like I’ve reached a high limit type of plateau, either – my hang clean max is 180 lbs, which is actually 20 lbs lower than from the floor.

Can someone offer suggestions for moving past this wall I’ve hit? I really appreciate it. I’ll post anything you need to know that could help – other lift numbers might be relevant, etc.

How is your front squat?

hard to tell just from the internet. Could be your form or whatever (certain problems with where/when/how you’re exploding).

Just from your explanation though I’d say that you need to improve your leg/squat strength.

Front squat (huge indicator of your ability to clean- i’ve found the old statement to be true, whatever you can triple on your front squat you can single with your clean), back squat, snatch grip DL, Good mornings (explode onto your toes), split squat, single leg(bulgarian) squat…

add in jump squats as well (do this AFTER you improve your squat) Very light- start without weight and add like 20-25 lbs… Its going to translate in getting you to activate more muscle fibers quickly… so adding speed to your clean. But from what you describe it just sounds like a brute strength issue.

if you can get access to them- do high pulls with bands or chains…

It’s brutal

by the way…

it could also be a problem if you’re doing any other training and stuff. For example practicing throwing or sprinting before you lift, etc. I mean its common sense stuff, but you have to take that into consideration. I started training MMA 2x a day and I thought I could still lift like I used to and I was in for a big surprise. Weight room #'s go down but when it’s balanced properly my performance on the mat goes up.

That is to say that suppose your weight room numbers don’t go up a buttload. It really matter’s what you can do on the field. Not just your lift #'s.

That being said you really didn’t mention your squat #'s, or squatting at all. And thats primarily where it’s at to me. So improve your squat. Work on your high pulls, if possible add some accomadating resistance (chains/bands)…

Thanks a lot for your detailed response. I always did my Oly lifts before anything else, and although I went through a period where I wanted to do EVERYTHING in the gym 6x a week (search through my past posts and find a thread where I tried to come up with a hybrid of Westside BB and Grease the Groove … overtraining hell), now I’m just sticking to more of a one lift a day type of setup.

On off days I do my throwing, and some light BB-type isolation lifts.

Some squat numbers … max belted squat (to parallel) for me is 360#, max overhead squat was 185# for 3 reps, and I haven’t front squatted in a while.

I used to do plenty of jump squatting in one of my past routines. I could easily get air with 150# on my back for five reps. I still do other kinds of plyos like weighted standing long jumps and depth jumps.

And you’re right that it’s what happens on the field that counts, but my coach is too busy until the beginning of the spring season to begin teaching me the form and technique, so I’m pushing myself to develop as much power as I can, so when the throws become natural to me, I’ll have a lot of power to transfer.

Just doing what I can to compensate for my lack of throwing experience.

[quote]xcendo wrote:
Thanks a lot for your detailed response. I always did my Oly lifts before anything else, and although I went through a period where I wanted to do EVERYTHING in the gym 6x a week (search through my past posts and find a thread where I tried to come up with a hybrid of Westside BB and Grease the Groove … overtraining hell), now I’m just sticking to more of a one lift a day type of setup.

On off days I do my throwing, and some light BB-type isolation lifts.

Some squat numbers … max belted squat (to parallel) for me is 360#, max overhead squat was 185# for 3 reps, and I haven’t front squatted in a while.

I used to do plenty of jump squatting in one of my past routines. I could easily get air with 150# on my back for five reps. I still do other kinds of plyos like weighted standing long jumps and depth jumps.

And you’re right that it’s what happens on the field that counts, but my coach is too busy until the beginning of the spring season to begin teaching me the form and technique, so I’m pushing myself to develop as much power as I can, so when the throws become natural to me, I’ll have a lot of power to transfer.

Just doing what I can to compensate for my lack of throwing experience.[/quote]

If your coach is too busy, find a good one that isnt. You are a beginner-seek some help and dont try to teach yourself everything. I recommend med balls as well. Read all the articles on here about training for athletics.

Also, you can have the best training program in the world but it won’t really “compensate” for your lack of throwing experience. Sport skills come first. You mention you do some plyos but there doesnt seem to be any rhyme or reason to your selection…by the way the point of jump squats is not to load it up and see if you can get air or not.

Keep learning and applying-see what works and what doesnt. good luck.

The strength coach (who cannot help me with my throwing form, unfortunately) that my track coach sent me to suggested the weighted broad jumps. I was doing depth jumps for reactive speed, because I throw with the glide.

The lack of time and resources for throwers on the team at my school is terrible. I’m just doing what I can to help while I still have a lot of time to lift pre-season.

“On off days I do my throwing”
“my coach is too busy until the beginning of the spring season to begin teaching me the form and technique”

Can you clarify what you are doing with your throwing at the moment?

Rotational and straight from the chest med ball (8kg) throws.

More than anything I think it’s a form issue, so I’d recommend posting a vid on youtube.
Some tips I’ve got from other websites, and a bit of my own experience:
-Variety, do 3 weeks of lifting from the hang, 3 weeks from below the knee, 3 weeks from the ground etc.
-heavy clean/snatch pulls
-vary between snatches and cleans, so one month cleans, the other block snatches.
Also:
http://www.everythingtrackandfield.com/catalog/matriarch/OnePiecePage.asp_Q_PageID_E_149_A_PageName_E_ArticlePowerCleanProgram
http://www.longandstrong.com/LSTJ/Jan99.html