T Nation

power clean poundage

hey T-people…just have a quick question about power cleans. I did them for the first time last year and built up to a 205 (lb) hang clean and jerk in about 2.5 months. Due to shoulder issues from rugby, I had to stop doing them, but got back into it about 3 weeks ago. I am increasing steadily and did 175 for a set of four (full power cleans from the floor), at a bodyweight of 178. I’m just wondering what you guys and girls figure is a good goal in terms of poundage and what set/rep schemes have worked for you in the past (right now I’m doing 4x4 on monday at about 85% of max and 10sets of 3 on thursday at 60% of max). Watching my Ironmind Bulgarian weightlifting video is extremely humbling when I see guys 20 pounds lighter than me are doing 205 KILOS!!! So I’m looking for what more “normal”/Tfreak people do. Thanks!

I’d say 600lbs is a good goal for C&J. Most of the Soviets say someone should squat 120-134% of their clean & jerk.

Drax—A 600lb C&J? What are you smoking? That would be a great deal more than the world record Clean and Jerk at any bodyweight.

lol, 600lbs huh?

My weight is about 75 kilos (165lb?) and my power clean is 100 kilos (I think it is 220lb?)!

Show more a great deal of variation in your exercise selection. At present it sounds like you are performing the exercise solely as as Hang Clean & Jerk. I would suggest you expand that include a variety of different start positions. You can also expand the %'s used to enhance speed-strength. I hope this assists you. In faith, Coach Davies

The best lifters in the world.
http://www.iwf.net/results/results.html
Do a search on weightlifting, iwf and turkey if the moderators dosn´t allow my link.

Before power lifting took off in the seventies the only weight lifting competition around was the three lifts(now two) called Olympic Lifts. My old coach had a goal of 315 for lifters who weighted 165.
He used to say that what you could low pull (stopping just above the waist, you should be able to clean) and what you can pull to you nipples you should be able to snatch.
Practice you low and high pulls as heavy as you safety can. Then practice “getting under the bar” with a medium weight and slow work up.
Best of Luck and keep training.

thanks very much for your advice. I have never actually done a full squat clean - the power version is a much simpler movement - but to move the heavier iron, I think that the squat clean must be learned. I was wondering what exercises you may have done or do to develop squat clean technique. Also, any info on increasing my specific flexibility for that position would help. Thanks!

Stick with Coach Davies’ advice. I performed a variety of exercises (Deadlifts, pulls, pulls from blocks, etc) for over a year before my coach would even let me do a full clean. And it worked.

For your edification, the stronger guys on my rugby team are going around 1.5 times BW in the Power clean. But I’d say BW is a good start.

If you’re interested in learning how to do a full squat clean, look into getting a copy of Arthur Drechsler’s Weightlifting Encyclopedia and/or his Video Companion. I’d especially recommend the video. Great stuff.

"Flip" (or "drop") cleans are a great exercise for learning how to get under the bar. Stand with the bar in your hands, then explosively shrug and whip under the bar. You don't need a lot of weight for these at all. Do these for a while to learn the technique, then you can gradually work into doing squat cleans from the hang.

Do front squats for flexibility. You may need a shoe with a bit of heel to it so you can stay more upright. One great thing to do is PC the weight, then immediately drop into a front squat and come up.

Cam the squat clean is an entirely different animal so it will most likely take a fair amount of time to be able to squat clean what you’re power cleaning now. In a power clean the emphasis is more on the pull. In a squat clean the emphasis is more on getting down under the bar. First you’ll need to be able to do ass to the ground front squats holding the bar in your hands elbows out, let the bar roll back a little on your fingers as this is the position you’ll catch the bar in on the squat clean. Once you can get the position just start practicing with light weights. When I was teaching myself squat cleans I used an exercise (don’t know what you call it or if it even has a name) but what I’d do is do a hang pull or regular pull with fairly light weight but only pulling hard enough to get the bar to my belly-button, from this position I’d quickly squat and drive the elbows forward into the bottom of a squat catch. As my technique improved I just started adding more weight to the bar until I surpassed my power clean poundages.

Here are some of the exercises we did.
Light Form Work - Put one 35lb plate on each side, if you can find some spinning lock down collars (the sping loaded ones are not good for this type of work). And practice the following:

  1. Slow put the bar to the waist accelrate as you past the waist and place it were you hold your clean. Now slow preform a deep front squat, return to standing and return bar to thighs. Repeat for sets of six.
  2. 3-way cleans is an old favorite of mine.
    First do three power cleans starting at the knees, next three power cleans from the floor (work on getting under them) and finally full squat clean. The first two movements make you use good form on the last, but you can not use much weight.
  3. Practice…practice…practice with light weights focusing on form.
  4. Stretch you calves. Just look at some of the pictures of these lifters in the bottom position.

Try and get a hold of some Old Strength and Health magazine with articles on this type of lifting. Bill Star has a great book called "Only the Strong Survive" check it out, also check him out. I understand he writes for Ironman now, try and contact him for some guidance. Once again best of luck....there is nothing like the feeling of being able to rip 100 lbs over your bodyweight off the floor and ram it over head. It is great!!!!!!

Can someone explain a “squat clean” please? Thanks in advance.

For cleans and lfits that begin with the weight on the floor, am I supposed to bring the weight from the ground and up onto my shoulders in one fast movement? Or do I deadlift it up to the top of my thighs and then begin the powerful pulling movement?

A squat clean is simply a clean where you catch the bar in a squat position or catch the bar in a 1/2 squat position and ride it down into a full squat.

During a clean, there are two pulls - the pull from the floor, and the second pull from the knees (a little past the knees, actually). The first pull is quick and clean, but not explosive, so don’t rip the weight off the floor. The second pull IS explosive - sort of like jumping with the weight in your hands. Hope that answers your question.

I should also mention that sometimes lifters will use what's known as a "knee rebend", which just means that after the first pull you quickly (and slightly) bend your knees to get a little extra power into your second pull. This is kind of an individual thing, but almost all the world's best C&Jer's use knee rebend. So if you watch a C&J'er and see their knees bend slightly after the first pull, that's why.