T Nation

Power Clean Programming


Hey Jim,
i just reread your power clean article since i am considering to start implementing them on squat day.

Next week will be the start of my first 5 forward cycle, so maybe i’m testing my max on PC today. If i program the 5 forward like this:
Cycle 1: 5’s PRO + FSL AMRAP + BW assistance + 4x Prowler (2x light, 2x heavy per week)
Cycle 2&3: 5’s PRO + BBB + easy conditioning (2x light Prowler, 2x 30 mins walking)
Cycle 4&5: 5’s PRO +FSL 5x5+ BW assistance + 4x Prowler

Which of the programming options you gave in the article would i have to choose in the correspondent cycles?

Thank you!


I probably wouldn’t use PC the way you have this set up.


Thank you for your answer! Okay… how would u recommend to use it then? Isn’t the way i set it up similar to the way you implemented it into the yoke template?


I wouldn’t do power cleans with BBB. I’d probably do a 3-4 day, full body routine. But in general - you add PC - something has to come out. So 3 cycles of variations of 5 PRO - and some additional supplemental work on other days. Move to Beyond for next cycles for a few lifts, then 5 PRO for others. There’s a lot of variables here and I don’t train you. Hell - I don’t know if you are good with beyond programming. I have a “Man Template” written somewhere which is a full body template for PC, squat, press and bodyweight work. I know because I just edited it for new book. Where I published if - I have no idea. Point is - you need to take shit out if you put stuff in.

Keep at it.


Jim - seeing as you mantioned the “Man Template” here, with regards to the chins, how do you implemement “progressiion” in this template please?


Either total reps, weighted, 20% method: I don’t really do progressions with bodyweight. Not my area of specialty.


Yes OK, I get that.

I only asked because “Man Template” has chins (and PC, squats and presses) performed with a different protocol each day, and I wondered if some sort of progression was recommended with the chins as you moved through the weeks.



You can do whatever you want - it’s chin-ups, ya know? I do same basic shit with it and continue to break records when I test. So it’s not about always about progression - consistent discipline.


Thanks for taking the time to reply; your patience is admirable!


I am working hard on my patience.


I have never done Beyond Programming before, just either the original 5/3/1 or 5’s PRO with 5/3.

I guess i’m just gonna proceed as i laid it out (without the PC - not going to work against your advice) and wait for your new book to come out.

Thanks again, your work really means a lot to me.


It shows haha.

Although not specified in “Man Template”, I assume some other assistance besides the pullups is (or can be) done eg abs, back hypers, neck etc.?



abs and neck and hypers - sure. I think I’ve written 80 templates since I answered this post so my brain is fuzzy as hell. In general, common sense rules and you have that. So use it!


Hey I tried to search around and couldn’t find the Man Template. You think you could share a link?


This “Man” Template sounds exactly like what I’ve been trying to program out myself. Would love to see that template if you know it.


Another option worth looking at would be the beach body challenge that Jim did for this website. It programs in Power Cleans nicely. I’ve used it a couple of times and really liked it


I saw that, but I would rather replace all bicep work with dips and throw GHR twice a week in it. The problem is I know people are big on not modifying templates and I’m afraid those would be unacceptable edits since bicep work isn’t something that “motivates” me to do serious work in the gym.


Ha well ok. It sounds like you suffer from what I have in the past. I wanted to include every one of my favorite excercises in every template I did. I’d tweak and tweak and tweak until I totally changed the entire program basically. I’ve learned myself to stop doing this. You can’t train everything all the time. Also just like an article on this very site talked about sometimes you need to do things you aren’t good at or don’t love doing. Part of the reason for this is it helps balance out your training. Say you hated deadlifts and just squatted for your lower body days. Well it would stand to reason you’d develop some significant strength imbalances over time. Now I’m not saying not doing curls will cause your elbows to fall off from all the dips but doing one day of curls a week isn’t going to kill you either and may offer you a performance and hyper trophy boost because you haven’t I assume done them much being you dislike them so much.

Plus 6 weeks (the length of the challenge if I remember correctly) isn’t going to cause your triceps to atrophy because you didn’t do dips during that time. It may actually make you stronger in them in the long run and prevent some possible over use issues. That’s the biggest form of clarity I’ve achieved myself with the 5/3/1 program. You aren’t locked into anything for 12 months. You’ve got say 3 or 4 6 week blocks planned out at time with each 6 weeks being a bit different from each other. There’s no perfect template, and effective tweaking things every 6 weeks to me keeps things fun, keeps me motivated, and I think leads to better overall performance as well.


I completely get what you’re saying and I do have that weird thought in my head getting into 5/3/1 that I feel like if it’s not included in my current cycle I’ll never get to it lol. The reason I wanted to substitute curls with dips is because A) I’m still weak so pull-ups own my biceps B) To avoid nonsense I know it’s good to substitute instead of add a bunch of stuff and finally C) I used to do a lot of curls about 4 years ago and neglected bodyweight dips, but now that I’m trying to stay dedicated with body weight dips and GHR my Jiu-Jitsu performance as exponentially shown change. In my mind my hamstrings and triceps need more attention for the athletic goal in my Jiu-Jitsu I’m pushing for.


Its assistance work. Just put GHR in for whatever deadlift/squat assistance work there is,maintain balance, keep it goal focussed and your cock won’t fall off.