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Set/Rep Scheme for Cleans


I am using an 8x3 set rep scheme for my lifts. Is that same scheme good for cleans? Or do I need to change it for my cleans? I am trying for strength and a little hypertrophy, I am using cleans mostly for strength and fatloss. If you guys have anything to offer in the way of advice I would appreciate it.


8x3 is one option, but the volume is much closer to building strength than hypertrophy. For more of a blended routine, I'd either bump it to 10x3 or 6x3-5, but that would obviously effect the entire rest of your program.

What's the rest of your routine look like?

Unless they're part of a complex or circuit, I can't see 3-rep sets of cleans contributing much at all to fat loss.


It really depends on your purpose. If you're using cleans to improve your explosive strength, then I suggest sticking at the 70-79% of your 1RM for 3 sets of 6 reps.

I don't consider cleans to be good for building "strength" if that's what you're doing them for...


I am doing cleans to be a little bit more explosive, and hopefully kick up my metabolism. I do not know exactly how to say it but saying I am doing just cleans is wrong I do a clean then a push jerk over my head. I am sorry if that is not the right phrase. But, at the end of a rep I look like the guy in Type2b's avatar. Just a lot less weight. I am doing these on upper body day for a good fullbody explosive lift. The rest of my workout that day is-
8x3 bench or weighted push-ups 250 lbs or so I do a wave load usually 225 245 275 275 275 245 245 225 this was weights for last workout

8x3 dumbell curls 45lbs this about kills me
8x3 tricep extensions ?? using a piece of shit machine that doesn't say the weight on the plates
4x10 cable rows ?? same as triceps
4x10 forearms curls 25lbs eh it isn't bad
8x3 standing shoulder press 135lbs/ I am replacing these withe the clean and jerks 205lbs 205 on the cleans almost killed me it was a hell of a workout had to get my straps though.

Then on leg days

8x3 front squats 225lbs (I can do more but have a hard time holding it)
8x3 deadlifts 315lbs
box jumps till I cant do any more.


I'd do something like that:

8x3 bench
8x3 cable rows

4x8 close grip bench press (or tricep extensions)
4x8 close grip chin up (or dumbell curls)

4x10 forearms curls

8x3 HANG clean and PUSH PRESS (if you want them to be a mostly upper-body exercise)

Normally you should do explosive movements at the beginning of your WO, but if you want a metabolic effect, you've better do them last in your WO, fairly light, keeping rest periods very short: 1 min, working down 15 seconds every WO; when you do them with only 15 sec of rest, increase load and start again with 1 min.

You may want to check this: http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/staying_power


Ahhh, so you DO prioritize explosive strength MORE than metabowhatnot? That's great. You just have to follow my recommendations. 3 sets of 6 repetitions at 70-79% of your 1RM on an olympic lift, or their variations... I'm not sure if it is applicable with the clean AND jerk, but if you're mainly using these exercise to build explosive strength, then the jerk has no place in any of it...


...Oh, and another thing, rest intervals between sets should be 2-3 minutes...


Thanks for the article link Fabiop I favorited it I will use that to progress so I don't lose all my muscle endurance. Ok, Type2b I will try the 3x6 and see what happens. Ya I am more about being explosive and powerful rather than bodybuilder looking. I figure with power and explosiveness and sticking to a workout that stresses those two things my body comp should change dramatically.


Ooooooookay.... So if you are using cleans in your routine you need to be doing them for less than 3 reps unless you are using them for cardio like the crossfit program sometimes has (30 reps of clean and jerk or snatches). You are going to want to emphasize form, keep the reps low, the sets medium to high.

Some examples would be 20 sets of 1 rep at 70% with 1 min rest, 10 sets of 2 at 70% with 90 sec rest, 8 sets of 2 at 85%. Doing cleans for more than 3 reps will cause you to lose the explosiveness needed to perform the reps correctly. Also saying the jerk has nothing to do with explosive strength is just plain crazy. Performing the jerk will make you explosive because it takes a great amount of explosiveness to get the bar moving and put overhead.

I suggest looking online for olympic lifting routines. I guarantee if you find one from an actual coach (which you will, it is easy) none of them will say to go over 3 reps per set.

I am not posting this so bash on anyone, but only because i actually compete in oly lifting and am a pro level strongman. I do have some background and would like to help all that I can. Have fun with the lifting.



This is not consistent with Prilepin's table.

Not as much as the clean and snatch... And saying that the jerk has great capabilities of increasing your explosive strength is like telling someone that the quarter squat is a superior lower body exercise...

Either way, you're a highly experienced man and you know what you're talking about. :slightly_smiling:


I just looked up Prilepin's table. This is a good guide, but it looks like a better guide for strict movements like the bench and squat. Using this set rep scheme would not play well into keeping the form to continue to be explosive.

Check out the website http://www.mikesgym.org/ he is one of the top oly coaches in the US, also if you look at the training programs of the Bulgarians, Russians, Chinese, and Romanians, all are olympic powerhouses and crank out the medals and all train less than 3 reps all the time, literally never going over 3 reps.

You are right that the snatch and clean are good builders of explosive strength, but the jerk plays an important role in this type of program. I would never say that quarter squats are a superior leg exercise, but they do have their place. I regularly do a quarter squat with weight into a jump to build a great deal of explosiveness.Think about all the explosiveness it takes to dip down drive up the bar with enough force to at least clear your head and then drop under it. How is that not explosive? It is of course, but like you said it is secondary to the clean and snatch, but for sure has it's place and should not be left out.


You are 100% right and yes, I've been to that site before. If I remember correctly, Bulgarians seems to be ptretty fond of heavy doubles. I feel happy that I've actually sen their logs.

The prilepin's table is created mainly for the olympic lifts and is probably not a perfect guideline (even though I think it is) with the stricter movements.


Stop advising anyone, Type2B. You are a beginner, and have absolutely no right. You don't know what you are talking about and your advice is flat out wrong most of the time.

The jerk does have great capabilities of increasing explosive strength. The short dip doesn't make a difference - the explosion phase of a snatch or clean is also relatively short.

Seriously, just stop posting advice. You don't know what you are doing.


Thanks for the dialogue, the info is nice I like the different opinions. I will see what woeks best for me. I am gonna keep the jerk because I am replacing standing shoulder presses with this lift. I think it also adds more work and more work an any lift help metabolism. I would like to start snatches but I never have done snatches really and don't feel safe trying to teach myself. Once again thanks guys.