The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Its no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Senior Member BoAnderson71's Avatar
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    power cleans and football

    should football players perform power cleans. i've read defrancos and westside, and they say you dont need them, but colleges seem to emphasize power cleans for football players. For my offseason i currently started my own westside/defrancostraining method with the me upper/lower and the de upper/lower. I just want to know if i should do some cleans? I am currently a junior in highschool and play o-line and d-line if that makes a difference.
    Last edited by BoAnderson71; 11-10-2008 at 08:37 PM.

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  3. #2
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    If you have a good coach who can show you proper form, and they make you do them, do them. If not, they aren't going to make or break you as a football player. Especially at the junior high and even high school level. Lift hard, hit the sled, do sprints, eat good, nut up, and you should be fine.
    Last edited by joey54; 11-10-2008 at 09:16 PM.


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  4. #3
    Senior Member BoAnderson71's Avatar
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    thanks.

  5. #4
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    A friend of mine just wrote an article on this same topic:

    http://www.elitefts.com/documents/st...wer_cleans.htm
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  6. #5
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Tom I read that article the other night and thought it was spot on.


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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoAnderson71 View Post
    should football players perform power cleans. i've read defrancos and westside, and they say you dont need them, but colleges seem to emphasize power cleans for football players. For my offseason i currently started my own westside/defrancostraining method with the me upper/lower and the de upper/lower. I just want to know if i should do some cleans? I am currently a junior in highschool and play o-line and d-line if that makes a difference.
    DeFranco and Westside are misguided in their recommendation. Olympic pulls such as power cleans, hi pulls, power snatches are vital to improving power. And in football, as in most sports, Power Rules!

    The power output of Olympic movements is up to 4.38 times greater than squats and deadlifts. (Research Dr John Garhammer).

    "Speed Squats" (via Westside Training) with lighter training loads (40-60% 1RM) only produce approximately 50% of the power output of Olympic movement.

    Dr Fred Hatfield's "Athletes and The Olympic Lifts," states that "Pound for pound, Olympic weightlifters have a greater level of speed-strength than any other class of athletes in all of sport." While genetics play a role, the Olympic movements allow these athletes, as well as football players and other athletes to develop their genetic power potential.

    In simple English, "To Be Explosive, Train Explosive. And the best, most effective movement for power development are power cleans and other Olympic movements.

    If you don't have a someone to teach you, there are training DVDs. Harvey Newton's "Explosive Training For Sports" is one of the best on the market.

    Kenny Croxdale

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    A friend of mine just wrote an article on this same topic:

    http://www.elitefts.com/documents/st...wer_cleans.htm
    I, along with many other strength coaches, disagree with this article.

    "Strongman exercises build functional strength," however very few of the training movement they perform build speed or power.

    Strongman/women competitors and powerlifters are some of the strongest athletes in the world. However, their power output does not rival the true power athletes, Olympic Lifters. While some of that has to do with genetics, much of it has to do with the exercise these athetes perform.

    The majority of strongman/woman training revolves limit strength and strength endurance. Events like the Farmer's Walk, Deadlifting/Squatting for reps, the Five Fingers, etc fall more under strength endurace and the ability to endure pain.

    One of the few power events in the Strongman/woman event is the Keg Toss. The Keg Toss is basically a snatch in which you throw the bar over you head.

    Vasili Alexeyev trained the snatch this way for power, throwing the bar over his head.

    Matt DeLany addresses the value of the Olympic Lifts in his article article at elite, "Defending Olympic Lifting Movements for Athletes, Strongmen, and Powerlifters."

    http://www.elitefts.com/documents/defendingdl.htm

    Very few movements develop power to the extent of Olympic movement.

    Kenny Croxdale

  9. #8
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Bottom line, all the power cleaning in the world ain't gonna make you hit like Ray Lewis unless you practice hitting. From my personal experience I have seen individuals who could power clean a substantial amount and couldn't knock over a weeble wooble. At the same time guys who would clean 135 and could knock people's heads off. Exaggerations with my examples, absolutely, but my point is this. Power cleans(and other olympic lifts) can be a training tool, like other weight training exercises, but they aren't going to be the one determining factor which make you a great football player. They can help, but in my opinion they are overrated. I've stated this before. Some disagree and that is fine.


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  10. #9
    The Dude Abides Bango Skank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    A friend of mine just wrote an article on this same topic:

    http://www.elitefts.com/documents/st...wer_cleans.htm
    Tom, good article. But it leads me to different conclusions. Mainly that the Power Clean is over-taught. It's not a difficult exercise and once you learn it there is very little thinking to be done, it just happens. This relates little to the efficacy of the lift as a tool for power development.
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  11. #10
    The Dude Abides Bango Skank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Croxdale View Post
    If you don't have a someone to teach you, there are training DVDs. Harvey Newton's "Explosive Training For Sports" is one of the best on the market.

    Kenny Croxdale


    From the article Kenny linked to:

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Delaney
    While Olympic lifters take years to develop, Olympic lifts dont require world class technique to elicit training effects for beginners. When you have a good strength coach eyeing your technique from the hang, it isnt that difficult because the jump is a very natural motion. For beginners, using loads that are light enough to get good bar speed and technique will go a long way in helping teach an invaluable tool for force development.
    Last edited by Bango Skank; 11-20-2008 at 11:38 AM.
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  12. #11
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bango Skank View Post
    Tom, good article. But it leads me to different conclusions. Mainly that the Power Clean is over-taught. It's not a difficult exercise and once you learn it there is very little thinking to be done, it just happens. This relates little to the efficacy of the lift as a tool for power development.
    Agreed. Most coaches have no idea how to teach a clean, so they overteach it. IMHO, the main points to learn are hip drive (i.e. not a deadlift + see-saw) and catching the weight without doing the "throat-catch-limbo-splits". I do this with kettlebell swings, high pulls, and front squats. Kids cleans are usually much improved just by doing those things consistently.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    Bottom line, all the power cleaning in the world ain't gonna make you hit like Ray Lewis unless you practice hitting. From my personal experience I have seen individuals who could power clean a substantial amount and couldn't knock over a weeble wooble. At the same time guys who would clean 135 and could knock people's heads off. Exaggerations with my examples, absolutely, but my point is this. Power cleans(and other olympic lifts) can be a training tool, like other weight training exercises, but they aren't going to be the one determining factor which make you a great football player. They can help, but in my opinion they are overrated. I've stated this before. Some disagree and that is fine.
    Joey,

    No exercise will make you hit like Ray Lewis!

    I guarantee anyone who can power clean 300 lbs is able to "knock people's head off" much moreso than a guy who power cleans 135 lbs.

    I can also guarantee you that Ray Lewis can power clean a lot more than 135 lbs.

    One of the most power linebackers in football is Brian Urlacher with the Chicago Bears. Urlacher could power clean 390 lbs when he played for the University of New Mexico.

    Olympic movments, all strength training for that matter, is a training tool to make players "Bigger, Faster, and Stronger." As you stated "they can help you" but they are not going to make you, anyone "a great football player."

    What we strength coaches want to do in the weight room is develop a stronger, faster more powerful athlete. Football coaches then take players and show them how to transfer that speed, power and strength onto the field.

    Speed, power and strength are important. However, that speed, power and strength does not insure that you can play.

    To be able to play, as you alluded to in your post, a player needs to have a "talent for the game"...skill.

    Power cleans, Olympic movemets, are one of the most effective tools for developing power. They are definitely not overrated.

    To increase power, it is necessary for all athletes to employ "power" movements. Olympic movements are clearly shown to produce as much as 4.35 times as much power as squats and deadlifts ("A Review of Power Output Studies of Olympic and Powerlifting..."/Garhammer).

    Dr Fred Hatfield/"Athletes and The Olympic Lifts" has noted that Olympic movements play a vital role in an the development of power in athetes.

    That is why Olympic movements are a staple exercies for football players and many other athletes.

    Kenny Croxdale

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    Agreed. Most coaches have no idea how to teach a clean, so they overteach it. IMHO, the main points to learn are hip drive (i.e. not a deadlift + see-saw) and catching the weight without doing the "throat-catch-limbo-splits". I do this with kettlebell swings, high pulls, and front squats. Kids cleans are usually much improved just by doing those things consistently.
    Sensi,

    Coaches these days are more familiar with how to teach Olympic movements. That because today's younger coaches were part of strength training programs that included Olympic movements. Thus, they are somewhat familiar with Olympic movements.

    Coaches from my generation knew little about strength training. Many believed that lifting weights make you slow and muscle bound.

    Luckily, I had a coach that was a former Olympic Lifter. The foundation of our program was the squat, bench press and Olympic pulls (power cleans, power snatches, hi pulls, hang pulls, etc).

    I have not seen any research on kettlebells as a means of increasing power. However in my view, kettlebell swings and kettlebell hi pulls make sense. I employ them in my training, at times in place of Olympic pulls.

    What you can also do with kettlebell swings and kettlebell hi pulls is to attach an exercise tube. Anchor one end of the tube to something like a power rack. Then attach the other end to the kettlebell.

    As you perform the kettlebell swing or kettlebell hi pull, the tube stretches providing more resistance the higher you pull it. Attaching the tube to the kettlebell allows you to continue to pull all the way through the movement.

    Another movement is the kettlebell toss. The kettlebell toss allows you to develop power throughout the full range of the movement. You continue to acclerate the kettlebell right up to the release.

    With traditional swings, you usually need to allow the kettlebell to slow down as it nears the top. Inso doing, you "take you foot off the gas" (so to speak) decreasing you exertion on the pull.

    The kettlebell toss is basically the same thing as a shot putt. Reseach show that power outputs from a shot putt rival Olympic movement power outputs.

    The downside of the kettlebell toss is that you are going to leave crates in the ground, so find a field where you can do it.

    The upside of the kettlebell toss is that it is a fun way of training with a group. It becomes a contest of who can launch the kettlebell the futherest.

    In place of medals, I award Tootise Roll Pops. First place is allowed to chose the his favorite flavor. Second place gets the second choice, etc.

    Each thrower's distance is measured. The next time we threw, the previous winner's distance is staggered. If the winner threw 12 inches further, he now throws from 12 inches behind everyone else.

    I found that encouraged them to really crank out their best efforts and make it much more competitive for all.

    Kenny Croxdale

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    Are weights more effective for developing power than unweighted plyometrics?

  16. #15
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Croxdale View Post
    Sensi,

    Coaches these days are more familiar with how to teach Olympic movements. That because today's younger coaches were part of strength training programs that included Olympic movements. Thus, they are somewhat familiar with Olympic movements.

    Coaches from my generation knew little about strength training. Many believed that lifting weights make you slow and muscle bound.

    Luckily, I had a coach that was a former Olympic Lifter. The foundation of our program was the squat, bench press and Olympic pulls (power cleans, power snatches, hi pulls, hang pulls, etc).

    I have not seen any research on kettlebells as a means of increasing power. However in my view, kettlebell swings and kettlebell hi pulls make sense. I employ them in my training, at times in place of Olympic pulls.

    What you can also do with kettlebell swings and kettlebell hi pulls is to attach an exercise tube. Anchor one end of the tube to something like a power rack. Then attach the other end to the kettlebell.

    As you perform the kettlebell swing or kettlebell hi pull, the tube stretches providing more resistance the higher you pull it. Attaching the tube to the kettlebell allows you to continue to pull all the way through the movement.

    Another movement is the kettlebell toss. The kettlebell toss allows you to develop power throughout the full range of the movement. You continue to acclerate the kettlebell right up to the release.

    With traditional swings, you usually need to allow the kettlebell to slow down as it nears the top. Inso doing, you "take you foot off the gas" (so to speak) decreasing you exertion on the pull.

    The kettlebell toss is basically the same thing as a shot putt. Reseach show that power outputs from a shot putt rival Olympic movement power outputs.

    The downside of the kettlebell toss is that you are going to leave crates in the ground, so find a field where you can do it.

    The upside of the kettlebell toss is that it is a fun way of training with a group. It becomes a contest of who can launch the kettlebell the futherest.

    In place of medals, I award Tootise Roll Pops. First place is allowed to chose the his favorite flavor. Second place gets the second choice, etc.

    Each thrower's distance is measured. The next time we threw, the previous winner's distance is staggered. If the winner threw 12 inches further, he now throws from 12 inches behind everyone else.

    I found that encouraged them to really crank out their best efforts and make it much more competitive for all.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Actually Kenny, aside from actually knowing what cleans are and being able to perform them with some proficiency, I'd say there are still A LOT of coaches out there who can't instruct the movement for **** (including young ones).

    When I mentioned using KB swings, it was to teach engaging the hips into the movement - like you said, the resistance is not really geared toward maximal power production. But, you can always break the upward acceleration of the bells by actively pulling the bell downward, or having a partner assist you, or as you mentioned by using bands or throwing weight (as in a weight for height event).

    I've never done them, but a keg toss would be a lot of fun.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  17. #16
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Croxdale View Post
    Joey,

    No exercise will make you hit like Ray Lewis!

    I guarantee anyone who can power clean 300 lbs is able to "knock people's head off" much moreso than a guy who power cleans 135 lbs.

    I can also guarantee you that Ray Lewis can power clean a lot more than 135 lbs.

    One of the most power linebackers in football is Brian Urlacher with the Chicago Bears. Urlacher could power clean 390 lbs when he played for the University of New Mexico.

    Olympic movments, all strength training for that matter, is a training tool to make players "Bigger, Faster, and Stronger." As you stated "they can help you" but they are not going to make you, anyone "a great football player."

    What we strength coaches want to do in the weight room is develop a stronger, faster more powerful athlete. Football coaches then take players and show them how to transfer that speed, power and strength onto the field.

    Speed, power and strength are important. However, that speed, power and strength does not insure that you can play.

    To be able to play, as you alluded to in your post, a player needs to have a "talent for the game"...skill.

    Power cleans, Olympic movemets, are one of the most effective tools for developing power. They are definitely not overrated.

    To increase power, it is necessary for all athletes to employ "power" movements. Olympic movements are clearly shown to produce as much as 4.35 times as much power as squats and deadlifts ("A Review of Power Output Studies of Olympic and Powerlifting..."/Garhammer).

    Dr Fred Hatfield/"Athletes and The Olympic Lifts" has noted that Olympic movements play a vital role in an the development of power in athetes.

    That is why Olympic movements are a staple exercies for football players and many other athletes.

    Kenny Croxdale
    You can cite whatever research you want. Personal experience for myself; squats and deadlifts coupled with serious sprinting and plyometric work did more for improving my strength and explosion for football than power cleans did. I made it up to close to 300 pounds on those with ****ty technique because we had to do them, but I PERSONALLY found them useless. I only played division 3 football, but we seriously had one linebacker who could clean around 300 pounds and the other who maybe did 185. The 185 pound cleaner, who also could barely bench press 225 was all conference. But I think we agree how lifting all the weights in the world won't make you a great football player if you don't got it. And, who knows, had I had someone who would have taught me the clean properly, rather than just trying to learn it for myself, I might have a different opinion than I do now.


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  18. #17
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    As a football coach I can tell you we do not use Oly. LIFTS at all we use mostly a westside methode and Plyos
    With this said one of our Powerlifters showed up at track practice to watch he was board because he had just broke his arm and could not realy lift, he was in jeans and a arm sling and he out ran every track kid in there sprints.

    can they work yeah I say anything a kid does at that age will help, but will it help the most not in my opinion.

    1 last thing at the end of this season we tested our kids for max records in verious lifts
    some of the younger kids jumped 30 lbs on deadlifts and even 25 on bench almost every kid hit prs even our advanced kids made 5 lbs gains 3 kids did nt set more than 2 records this came after 10 wks of football.

    would they have inproved this much at olympic lifting I do not know, but I would say they became more explosive as the year went on.

    I also played for a coach that had us pc for 3 years, My last year we got a another coach we thought he was crazy hard core lifting no power cleans maybe 1x a month just for a change up. but the differance in the kids bodies and power and speed was just plan crazy coach #2 work out was supior(proof was there) by fare so that is something I seen first hand.
    Last edited by Jason198; 11-22-2008 at 09:20 AM.

  19. #18
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    I didn't check this for a little while, but there are quite a few strongman exercises that would build explosive power:

    Keg toss, tire flip, truck pull, log/axle press (similar to clean and jerk but more brute force).

    Olympic lifting is great, but as many have suggested it is very hard to do them with proper technique. I still do some olympic lifting but pretty much muscle all of the weights.

    When it comes to football, what do you think would be more beneficial for a running back? Being able to sprint with 500 lbs on their back, or being able to power clean 250 lbs?

    To me the ability to carry a weight in each hand equal to my bodyweight while running would make me more effective on the field than a "static-explosive" lift. Either way I think power cleans are great, just saying that there are also other movements out there and that for some athletes if they are a little clumsy or don't have a great coach then these alternatives could be more effective.
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  20. #19
    Pro Strongman | Moderator Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Cool video showing some of the strongman implements used to train athletes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZilD_4pi7E&NR=1
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    This has been a great thread,you guys with the superior knowledge and training are a joy to read.
    Might not agree,but awesome info for all of us to look through.
    Tom,I would think any kid in sports that trained strongman would see good results in life and sports.Very hard training involved in strongman,it has to yield some crazy results.

    Ryan Hale

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    I didn't check this for a little while, but there are quite a few strongman exercises that would build explosive power:

    Keg toss, tire flip, truck pull, log/axle press (similar to clean and jerk but more brute force).

    Olympic lifting is great, but as many have suggested it is very hard to do them with proper technique. I still do some olympic lifting but pretty much muscle all of the weights.

    When it comes to football, what do you think would be more beneficial for a running back? Being able to sprint with 500 lbs on their back, or being able to power clean 250 lbs?

    To me the ability to carry a weight in each hand equal to my bodyweight while running would make me more effective on the field than a "static-explosive" lift. Either way I think power cleans are great, just saying that there are also other movements out there and that for some athletes if they are a little clumsy or don't have a great coach then these alternatives could be more effective.
    Tom,

    As you, I stated in a previous post that the keg toss is a great power movment, "One of the few power events in the Strongman/woman event is the Keg Toss. The Keg Toss is basically a snatch in which you throw the bar over you head."

    However, the tire flip is more of strength movement and the truck pull is falls more into the strength endurance catagory. The log/axle press is a strength movement.

    There are some other movements that can be used to develop power. However, most individuals perform sub par power movements because they don't know.

    Kenny Croxdale

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoAnderson71 View Post
    should football players perform power cleans. i've read defrancos and westside, and they say you dont need them, but colleges seem to emphasize power cleans for football players. For my offseason i currently started my own westside/defrancostraining method with the me upper/lower and the de upper/lower. I just want to know if i should do some cleans? I am currently a junior in highschool and play o-line and d-line if that makes a difference.
    Westside is for powerlifting. Full stop. I was rather amused watching Louie Simmons criticize Olympic weightlifting, cleans and full squats, referencing all of his lifters who have squatted a 1000 and how helped some college track athletes do ok.

    When the westside system helps someone medal at a world champs for an athletics event, then can the athletic community take a program that has no Olympic movements seriously. Until that does happen cleans and other Oly lift will, and should, form an integral part for any athlete in a sport.

    I realise it sounds like I'm bagging westside. I am not. Westside has produced some of the strongest people on the planet but as completely obeying the system for other sports, you would be blatantly dumb to do so. Again, I state my point, westside is for powerlifters, and it stops there.
    Being a strong teenager means nothing.

    My wrists hurt, but some people don't have wrists to be sore. My knees have tendinitis, but some people don't have legs to get tendinitis in. I seem to be going backwards with training, yet some people can't even walk let alone lift 400 pounds on a daily basis.

    Dust out the vagina, and keep on lifting.

  24. #23
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    short and sweet, do power cleans if you want to be fast and explosive on the field.
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  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey54 View Post
    You can cite whatever research you want. Personal experience for myself; squats and deadlifts coupled with serious sprinting and plyometric work did more for improving my strength and explosion for football than power cleans did. I made it up to close to 300 pounds on those with ****ty technique because we had to do them, but I PERSONALLY found them useless. I only played division 3 football, but we seriously had one linebacker who could clean around 300 pounds and the other who maybe did 185. The 185 pound cleaner, who also could barely bench press 225 was all conference. But I think we agree how lifting all the weights in the world won't make you a great football player if you don't got it. And, who knows, had I had someone who would have taught me the clean properly, rather than just trying to learn it for myself, I might have a different opinion than I do now.
    You found them useless because you were doing a reverse power curl. Not a clean. You were relying on brute strength. If you were to properly extend and shrug there is NO DOUBT that they would have been a big help to your power. This is a fact.
    Being a strong teenager means nothing.

    My wrists hurt, but some people don't have wrists to be sore. My knees have tendinitis, but some people don't have legs to get tendinitis in. I seem to be going backwards with training, yet some people can't even walk let alone lift 400 pounds on a daily basis.

    Dust out the vagina, and keep on lifting.

  26. #25
    WannabePLer fpr's Avatar
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    16 yo, 210lbs, interested in males and females, enjoys long walks and jerking.
    I'm trying to figure out your signature, are you bisexual? Not that I care, just confused by the sig
    Last edited by fpr; 12-06-2008 at 09:28 PM.

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