T Nation

Power Clean Technique? RDL Straps?

Who does power cleans and do you do them on upper body or lower body days? I know bar speed is key to getting the proper training effect from them, but what guidelines do people use to know when to up the weight/reps?

Also what is everybody’s opinion on lifting straps. On sets of less than 5 reps I definitely need them, but some days when doing Romanian deadlifts for 6-10 reps I feel I cant finish a set w/o my grip failing. Should I use a lower weight to develop my grip first?

-> Strength Sports Section is where you may want to post this instead.

People there should easily be able to help you…

I don;t want to step into this discussion, but what the heck…

IF you know how to perform them (due to a previous training background in the area), then power cleans (and presses) will be an excellent addition to your existing shoulder routine as a bodybuilder.

IF you don;t already know how to perform them (as is your case), the time spent learning how to do them properly is best spent doing the basic lifts with good intensity.

I was doing RDLs without straps first in the 6-12 rep range (pyramiding). Once I started using straps I was able to focus on the stretch better and get a couple of extra reps in the last sets… So I’ll keep using them for my heavy sets. :slight_smile:

Rep schemes that I use with all my explosive exercises (muscle snatches, plyo pushups, jump squats, clean and snatch pulls, speed bench press, jump shrugs, push presses, and push jerks are my favorites) are 3 x 5, 4 x 4, and 5 x 3. But I do these at the beginning of a fully-body workout.

If you use an upper-/lower- body split, you can fit more sets in. You could use a set-and- rep scheme 10-12 x 2-3. If your form really needs work, you could do 15 - 20 x 2 - 3 reps with a very light weight for speed-squats and -bench presses (only; 20 to 30% for the OLs would be a joke!).

A good guide on speed training is provided by Elite Fitness Systems. Or you can just refer to Dave Tate’s articles on here.

There are no rules as to when you use straps. Personally, I don’t need them with low-rep work and I have a very strong hook grip. I need them with high rep (>8) work.

As you have read above, I don’t include highly technical lifts in my speed work as a) my form is abysmal and b) (I don’t say this to brag) I have too much muscle mass in the shoulder girdle and arms to catch the bar in the snatch and power clean.

If you have trouble with snatches and cleans, try muscle snatches. These don’t have a catch. It’s a combination of a deadlift, high pull, and 1/4 overhead press. They work the entire body too; you will probably feel destroyed after 5 sets of these with a high intensity. Try some of the other ones I mentioned too. Let us know how it works.