View Full Version : Why Power Clean?

Ola Persson
04-12-2010, 03:09 PM
I've been incorporating semi-light power cleans in my strength training. After reading a Q&A at DeFranco's site (http://www.defrancostraining.com/ask-joe-test/41-strength-training/180-hang-cleans-vs-weighted-jumps-for-explosive-hip-extension.html) I wonder if I should continue with them?

The reasons for not doing so:

My short-term goals only concern the squat and presses (no current need for training (explosive) power),
There is no or very limited carry-over effect to the powerlifts,
I have an injury prone back and recently started deadlifting after healing a bulging disc,
My PC technique isn't the best and I won't get any coaching before August.

Have someone else read DeFranco's Q&A? Thoughts would be much appreciated.

Garrett Smith
04-12-2010, 05:25 PM
Sounds like you've figured it out yourself.

Derek Weaver
04-12-2010, 06:29 PM
I read it, and agree with it. Like Garrett said, it sounds like you have figured it out as well.

they're effective for developing power, but so are jumps, med ball work, sprint starts etc. Even certain KB drills can help out.

The above examples are things you can do, usually with less flexibility than it takes to rack a power clean.

don't worry about it.

Garrett Smith
04-12-2010, 08:00 PM
Now to answer your question, at least from my (admittedly way too limited) opinion/experience:

PCs feel like they improve my "elbow whip" speed out of necessity to rack the bar higher
PCs and FS done separately, I seem to recover better from than full C&Js
PCs feel like they have taught me a more explosive second pull
PCs would seem to have carryover to HGs, another thing I do on occasion

I do agree with DeFranco's take on them for non-OLers (in general).

Steve Shafley
04-12-2010, 08:03 PM
I like them for the trap building aspects, which seem to be far above what shrugs loaded to almost 2x the weight might do for me.

Garrett Smith
04-13-2010, 05:16 AM
I like them for the trap building aspects, which seem to be far above what shrugs loaded to almost 2x the weight might do for me.
I fully agree with this too.

Alex Bond
04-13-2010, 10:11 AM
It's nice that power cleans are a precisely and progressively loadable way to develop explosion. If you power clean X# this week and X+5# next week, you got more explosive, and you can attempt X+10# the week after that. Most of us don't have boxes of many different heights at our gym. And with regards to "ease of learning technique", I agree with Joe that there are lots of ugly power cleans out there, but there are plenty of ugly box jumps out there too. It's unfair to compare Joe Highschoolfootball's power clean with Brian Cushing's box jump and say "Don't box jumps look better and more explosive?" Yeah, let me link to Pyrros and let's talk about who looks explosive now. I think the fundamental problem is that lots of people are just naturally not that explosive, and aren't going to look good doing PCs or jumps or whatever. So in those cases, I would argue that the power clean is a more precise way of incrementally increasing their explosiveness. Me, I'm no expert, but I'd prefer to use exercises for what they are "best" at. Use the jumping for plyometric purposes, doing depth lands, depth lands to box jumps, bounces, etc, training that explosive rebound out of the SSC, and let's put the power clean in the same category as all the other bread and butter barbell stuff - techniques for incrementally increasing the ability of the body to explosively move.

There may be close to a million ways to develop explosive power: oly lifts, jumps, speed squats/dls/whatever, etc. It's all about finding what works for you. Joe thinks jumps are great, though he's fortunate to work with athletes who walk in with pretty good verticals on day 1.

Derek Weaver
04-13-2010, 01:38 PM
On the flip side, most people who are training to look and feel better are de-conditioned, lack flexibility, and/or weren't athletic to begin with.

Hurdle jumps, box jumps, med ball work, depth jumps, etc. are all simpler movements that serve roughly the same purpose with a far shorter learning curve.

Joe may have a slightly skewed view as he gets to work with so many high level athletes, but he's got a lot of regular guys and 'washed up meatheads' as well, from what I gather.

When you are going to mostly have 2-3 months total to work with someone, results need to happen quickly. It may take someone 2-3 weeks of grooving the power clean several times/week to learn it well enough to apply a significant load that would produce the intended training effect.

Just playing devil's advocate, for the most part.

04-14-2010, 12:46 AM
People who know how to teach/coach the clean are fans of it, those who have no ability to teach/coach the movement find reasons to do other things besides cleans. Its that simple.

Shawn Casey
04-14-2010, 01:45 AM
I agree with the trap building aspect. I haven't done shrugs in years and my traps are huge. someone told me the other day that it looks like I have boobs on my upper back. That's about all I have though.

Ola Persson
04-16-2010, 03:22 PM
Thanks for the replies! Wrapping up: power cleans are currently not for me.