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Thread: Do speed squats really replace power cleans?

  1. #1
    Banned KingJustin's Avatar
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    Do speed squats really replace power cleans?

    For those that read the Westside articles, you've probably seen Dave or Louie or whoever else give reasons why they thing powercleans aren't that great for any athlete. They suggest that you can squat a hell of a lot more, and you can even speed squat more than you can powerclean. Well, outside of Westside, what is the consensus on this? I am going to try to train for explosiveness again, and so I need to do some kind of RFD movements. Should I do power cleans or no?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Do that voodoo that he do
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    One of the reasons that they don't like cleans for athletes is because of the skill involved in a real clean. Athletes are better off learning their sport as opposed to learning how to do a complex movement.

    I also feel that one can create more of a consistent speed load by doing squats for exactly that reason. For example, I work with a couple of football players who squat about the same. One of them came to me from a program that has had him doing cleans for a couple of years and surprisingly his clean technique isn't bad. He cleans about 245. The other one really hasn't done much for cleans but just started doing them in his high school program. His form sucks, and he can't do a good clean with 135, let alone more than that.

    I could spend a lot of time teaching him how to clean and not working on his explosiveness or I could have him do dynamic effort squats, which he grasped much more quickly. Reps of cleaning 45, 95, or 135 isn't going to make him better at much of anything other than doing cleans.

    If you actually can do a good clean, then by all means do it. If you prefer squatting or high pulls (a great exercise to do with good form and also work on the triple extention, which is the true value of the olympic lifts) then do those.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Meat_Head's Avatar
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    They're very different, but they both build up power in the posterior chain so there's a definate carry over.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bizatch
    For those that read the Westside articles, you've probably seen Dave or Louie or whoever else give reasons why they thing powercleans aren't that great for any athlete. They suggest that you can squat a hell of a lot more, and you can even speed squat more than you can powerclean. Well, outside of Westside, what is the consensus on this? I am going to try to train for explosiveness again, and so I need to do some kind of RFD movements. Should I do power cleans or no?
    Thanks.
    Let me just say that I love WS. But, just about every D1 FB program does cleans of some sort - I don't think they'd be doing them if they didn't think they were beneficial.

    I totally agree w. Borris about high pulls.
    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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  5. #5
    Iced Earth - Stormrider ArchAngel777's Avatar
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    Once the form is learned (it does not take long) then the Power Clean is quite easy. It becomes second nature, like riding a bike.

    A lot of sprinters, in fact, most of them IRRC do the Power Snatch and Power Clean to built up their power levels. They of course, still squat and do many other lifts as well.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Drechsler
    1. The mere practice of the (Olympic) lifts [the snatch and the clean & jerk as well as related lifting techniques] teaches an athlete how to explode.

    2. The practice of proper technique in the Olympic lifts teaches an athlete to apply force with his or her muscle groups in the proper sequences.

    3. In mastering the Olympic lifts, the athlete learns how to accelerate objects under varying degrees of resistance.

    4. The athlete learns to receive force from another moving body effectively and becomes conditioned to accept such forces.

    5. The athlete learns to move effectively from an eccentric contraction to a concentric one.

    6. The actual movements performed while executing the Olympic lifts are among the most common and fundamental in sports.

    7. Practicing the Olympic lifts trains an athlete's explosive capabilities, and the lifts themselves measure the effectiveness of the athlete in generating explosive power to a greater degree than most other exercises they can practice.

    8. The Olympic lifts are simply fun to do.
    The olympic lifts may be difficult to master, but they are not difficult to learn. My 110lbs girlfriend is closing in on a bodyweight c&j after a handful of training sessions. She dumbbell snatches 50lbs each side after 3-4 training sessions. The patterns she has learned in these lifts have SIGNIFICANTLY helped almost all of her other lifts - either in power, strength, or proper form.

    I've done speed squats. I've done cleans. IMO, speed squats don't even come close to teaching you explosive power like a clean. But I guess it depends on your sport and your weakness. If you're a powerlifter, everything you do should help your squat/bench/deadlift. Cleans may or may not do this for you. If you're an athlete on the field, there's a very high chance that cleans will help.
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  7. #7
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Box squats build more at the strength-speed (emphasizing heavy loads moreso than speed) end of things. OL quick lifts will build more on the speed-strength (emphasizing speed/power moreso than load) side.
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  8. #8
    Player Hater PowerManDL's Avatar
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    Box squats build more at the strength-speed (emphasizing heavy loads moreso than speed) end of things. OL quick lifts will build more on the speed-strength (emphasizing speed/power moreso than load) side.
    Vin Diesel has a fever.. and the only prescription is more cowbell.

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  9. #9
    Iced Earth - Stormrider ArchAngel777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PowerManDL
    Box squats build more at the strength-speed (emphasizing heavy loads moreso than speed) end of things. OL quick lifts will build more on the speed-strength (emphasizing speed/power moreso than load) side.
    Not sure I agree with this.

    Olympic Lifts require more than just your legs for explosive power. To me, speed squats cannot even be compared to a power clean. Power Cleans hit more muscle groups and require a greater range of motion. As for the snatch, nothing can match that in my opinion. Not only that, but the explosive moves require that the different muscle groups work together in a chain reaction explosive type manner.

    I can see where you would say the olympic lifts focus more on speed than on strength, but I don't feel that is the case. You have a much great range of motion. The force required to snatch 400 pounds is ridiculous... Way up there... The force would probably hit somewhere in the 700 pound range to squat snatch 400 pounds. Whatever way you work it, Power Cleans can only make you stronger and definately better than Speed Squats for just about every situation, besides Power Lifting, for the most part. My opinion on that.
    Last edited by ArchAngel777; 04-09-2006 at 12:15 PM.

  10. #10
    eater of food dw06wu's Avatar
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    I've been doing power cleans recently. After 2-3 weeks of 2-3 sessons/week I am finally starting to get pretty good at the movement. I've never felt explosiveness like that in a workout. I think that they are great for developing speed, it's just that initial ~1 month hump you have to get over while learning it. Of course, this is just for power cleans; God knows how long before I get good at snatching or full cleaning.
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