View Full Version : I want to do a 1rm Clean with good form by July 8

04-15-2007, 04:04 PM
Ok, I'm done trying to strengthen my cleans, trying to hypertrophy my traps/delts, trying to become explosive, etc.

I just want to be able to (full) clean my 1rm with good form. I don't care if my 1rm is 270 lbs or if it's 185 lbs. I just want it to be the most I can lift, and still look good.

I went to the gym today, after about 6 weeks of partials, really light weights, etc, and I just couldn't couldn't clean anything remotely heavy with good form. After setting up, I end up coming over the bar, I pull with my back, I do 2 motions and not one, I don't use my traps (just shoulders), and instead of dipping, I throw my legs out.

I should be good at power cleans. I have a good build for them and it compliments a lot of my strengths. I honestly know exactly how to do them, I just haven't been able to train my muscles to respond in the right way.

My best lift on power cleans right now is 246. Here is a video of me doing 135 for a few reps (http://www.zippyvideos.com/6225656006267366/135_clean/) and here is me doing 225 (http://www.zippyvideos.com/1725527616267386/225_clean/) (might want to mute first). And yeah, I already know what I am doing wrong. (These vids are from last November, but I also hit 246 that day ... stopped doing them for awhile after I was pissed about my form).

Here is the advice I am looking for: Exactly, how should I start training? I want to start from scratch. Should I do 8x3 jump shrugs with 45 lbs every day for a week, then move to high pulls, then cleans? Deadlifts? Do I just need to take some time to strengthen my hams/traps? I know that one of my issues is that I learn motor-coordinations pretty slow. I am like physically re-tarded, and I realize it takes me longer than an average person to learn to do stuff correctly.

Thanks for the help.

04-15-2007, 05:52 PM
The standard way to teach cleans is from the top down. Start with what's called a clean turnover - very little hip/knee bend. This lift is designed to get you used to getting your elbows through fast and racking the weight correctly. From there, move to hang cleans above the knee, then hang cleans below the knee, then cleans off the ground.

Im personally not a fan of high pulls. I think that clean pulls (very little arm bend) are much better. High pulls tend to get people into the habit of trying to use their arms/deltoids too much in the lifts, when it should mainly be legs/hips and some traps. I would drill normal clean pulls and really work on being explosive in them. If you don't use your legs well, clean pulls will help you fix that. I'd also drill clean turnovers and hang cleans above the knee so you get used to the pop and catching the weight correctly. Start with an empty bar if you have to.

As far as your recent problems go, splitting your legs out is not bad, but it does need to be accompanied by dipping as well. I tend to start with a fairly narrow stance (about shoulder width) and split to outside my shoulders for cleans, and even wider for snatches. Its easier to sit down in a slightly wider stance and you also have a bit more stability.

If you take video of recent lifts and post them, I'd be happy to give you an idea of what you need to work on further. Its next to impossible to be able to tell you what will work best if I can't see you lifting.


Paul Stagg
04-15-2007, 06:20 PM
Jay -

I just read or saw something on teaching the clean (I can't remember where), that had people new to the lift starting out with a jump shrug.


04-15-2007, 10:08 PM
I would work on the deadlift more - your initial pull looks kind of off.

Your elbows are down for your catch. You want to catch the bar on your deltoids with your arms parallel to the floor. This may be a flexibility issue; deep front squats will help with this.

I'm personally not a fan of hang cleans or a lot of trap work. You want to pull yourself under the bar, not pull the bar up to you. This is the difference between ok form and good form.

This article will probably be helpful: http://www.dynamic-eleiko.com/sportivny/library/farticles008.html They seem to agree that "pulling" exercises such as hang cleans, high pull or shrugs aren't that helpful in developing the real thing.

04-16-2007, 07:04 AM
KJ, this article might give you some ideas: http://www.athletics.ucr.edu/strengthconditioning/tprog.html