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chaos
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« on: November 03, 2011, 07:07:16 PM »

Any good videos or online pictures to help with form on cleans? I'm specifically struggling with the sit down part, so basically I end up doing 250# upright rows, LOL!
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2011, 08:56:35 AM »

Really can't suggest any video's or pictures myself but you might want to do a search on Olympic lifting training sites yourself. I've been out of the loop (Olympic lifting) for way too long to be familiar with any.  I learned and lifted with Olympic lifters, so had first hand experience with the basic's of the lifts.  

Just offering the following, for what it may be worth. GB has a PL'ing thread, but there is a quite bit of difference between the two sports.

General rule of thumb, for the clean, is that the higher you pull, the deeper you go in the front squat and both together  at the same time.  A question of timing, quickness & flexibility. If new to that lift, it may take many reps of practice before doing it correctly. But worth the effort because, once mastered, it will seem natural and smooth. Remembering also, as you catch the bar , on the shoulders, the elbows are raised as high a possible.

Would practice with an empty bar for awhile, just to get the mechanic (motor skills/nerve impulse/groove, etc) of the exercise down. Than add a couple of plates, to progress just a little more. That 250+ will seem like baby stuff after taking  serious time to learn to clean the proper way.  I've seem a couple of women lifters handle 250 rather easily.

If going into BB'ing style reps & sets, than the clean will produce a thickness to the shoulder girdle (including traps of course), upper and lower back which may comes as a pleasant surprise to you. The impression is one of power.  Good Luck.
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2011, 12:20:45 PM »

Very few women can clean 250lbs. I bet nation wide you couldn't find 20.  Most gyms you can find a couple 400lbs plus bench pressors but it's actually rare to find a guy with enough power to clean 250lbs.
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2011, 06:42:10 PM »

Actually....I've seen many women, from teenagers to women in their early forty's, preform cleans of 250+.  Done as PR's (Personal Records) or in regular training workouts. Have also seem women use 250+ in the two handed Olympic snatch. The modern women athlete, with modern training protocols/diet, is pretty strong, even compared to some men athletes.

Their only lifting disadvantage is pushing or pulling power, which, when approached correctly, can be improved greatly. Their hip/glute/thigh strength ratio helps give a bases to lifting abilities & all around strength.There is also the confidence factor at first, when starting a new lifting program. But that will usually be overcome in fast order. Have seen 3 women, over the years, lockout 400+ in the bench also.

Most men could easily handle 250 in the clean (floor, hang or from supports) but they rarely (or never) do that exercise. Spend way too much time on exercises like the bench or arm work.
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2011, 11:02:13 AM »

Actually....I've seen many women, from teenagers to women in their early forty's, preform cleans of 250+.  Done as PR's (Personal Records) or in regular training workouts. Have also seem women use 250+ in the two handed Olympic snatch. The modern women athlete, with modern training protocols/diet, is pretty strong, even compared to some men athletes.

Their only lifting disadvantage is pushing or pulling power, which, when approached correctly, can be improved greatly. Their hip/glute/thigh strength ratio helps give a bases to lifting abilities & all around strength.There is also the confidence factor at first, when starting a new lifting program. But that will usually be overcome in fast order. Have seen 3 women, over the years, lockout 400+ in the bench also.

Most men could easily handle 250 in the clean (floor, hang or from supports) but they rarely (or never) do that exercise. Spend way too much time on exercises like the bench or arm work.
It's not the weight, it's the technique. If you don't practice it, you can't be good at it.  I'm still trying and sometimes it "feels" right, but mostly it feels like shit and I only squat to 90deg, not fully seated like the videos I watch. Sad
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2011, 07:06:20 PM »

Actually....I've seen many women, from teenagers to women in their early forty's, preform cleans of 250+.  Done as PR's (Personal Records) or in regular training workouts. Have also seem women use 250+ in the two handed Olympic snatch. The modern women athlete, with modern training protocols/diet, is pretty strong, even compared to some men athletes.

Their only lifting disadvantage is pushing or pulling power, which, when approached correctly, can be improved greatly. Their hip/glute/thigh strength ratio helps give a bases to lifting abilities & all around strength.There is also the confidence factor at first, when starting a new lifting program. But that will usually be overcome in fast order. Have seen 3 women, over the years, lockout 400+ in the bench also.




Most men could easily handle 250 in the clean (floor, hang or from supports) but they rarely (or never) do that exercise. Spend way too much time on exercises like the bench or arm work.


In the 2011 American Weightlifting Open Championship the heaviest clean and jerk by a woman in the whole competition was by Holley Mangold who clean and jerked 297lbs. The second highest of the competition was Shelble Serpan was 250lbs. I stand by what I said that there are very few women in the USA that could clean 250lbs. 
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2011, 07:08:36 PM »

It's not the weight, it's the technique. If you don't practice it, you can't be good at it.  I'm still trying and sometimes it "feels" right, but mostly it feels like shit and I only squat to 90deg, not fully seated like the videos I watch. Sad


You need power to Olympic lift.  Don't think it's all technique.  No amount of technique will make up for not having power.
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 08:54:09 PM »


You need power to Olympic lift.  Don't think it's all technique.  No amount of technique will make up for not having power.
I think I have the power part down since I'm basically upright rowing 250lbs to my shoulders. Cheesy Again, the part of squatting down is hardest for me to grasp, I only bend my legs to 90deg at max and when I watch videos those guys are squatting all the way down.
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2011, 10:26:57 PM »

Oldtimer1:  Don't make the mistake thinking that all the strongest women in America only appear in Olympic lifting meets. And going by the numbers they put up, they represent the max strength of the top women strength athletes in the country. Not true. Check out some of the colleges, serious Pro type training centers, etc

Using Olympic class lifters as an example, if I remember correctly a record C&J of over 400+lbs was preformed by a women. Even the lower classes had 300 or over in cleans. As noted before, in America, there are lots of women within, and over, the 250lb clean class.

If a man can do 300lbs in the DL, for easy reps of 6-8 rep, than a 250 clean is well withing his reach.

Olympic lifting takes much more athletic abilities, with regards to quickness, speed (speed not being the same thing as quickness) and timing than PL'ing does. Distance of weight travel is one of the more important elements when moving the bar from floor to directly overhead. A PL'er does nothing to compare to that length or distance of the bar moved. . This is where technique comes into play. First  learn the technique in the clean (and jerk) and every thing else will seem to fall into place. And of course the strength factor goes hand in hand with technique. Technique is form applied with quickness and timing. Try using  just the bar for awhile to get thing started.

Quite the puzzle why Chaos can't seem to squat all the way down, unless there is a bit of a fear factor involved. That some how he will be trapped under the bar...like forever. Olympic lifters have special built heels in their boots/shoes for better blance when getting down to rock bottom. Perhaps Chaos could have his heels placed on a 2X4 for better balance when trying cleans.  Good Luck.
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2011, 07:00:50 AM »

Jpm I'm well into the 500's for reps on deads...but I can't properly clean 250.

Maybe I should just stick at 135 until I can do it correct?
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2011, 08:51:11 AM »

Oldtimer1:  Don't make the mistake thinking that all the strongest women in America only appear in Olympic lifting meets. And going by the numbers they put up, they represent the max strength of the top women strength athletes in the country. Not true. Check out some of the colleges, serious Pro type training centers, etc

Using Olympic class lifters as an example, if I remember correctly a record C&J of over 400+lbs was preformed by a women. Even the lower classes had 300 or over in cleans. As noted before, in America, there are lots of women within, and over, the 250lb clean class.

If a man can do 300lbs in the DL, for easy reps of 6-8 rep, than a 250 clean is well withing his reach.

Olympic lifting takes much more athletic abilities, with regards to quickness, speed (speed not being the same thing as quickness) and timing than PL'ing does. Distance of weight travel is one of the more important elements when moving the bar from floor to directly overhead. A PL'er does nothing to compare to that length or distance of the bar moved. . This is where technique comes into play. First  learn the technique in the clean (and jerk) and every thing else will seem to fall into place. And of course the strength factor goes hand in hand with technique. Technique is form applied with quickness and timing. Try using  just the bar for awhile to get thing started.

Quite the puzzle why Chaos can't seem to squat all the way down, unless there is a bit of a fear factor involved. That some how he will be trapped under the bar...like forever. Olympic lifters have special built heels in their boots/shoes for better blance when getting down to rock bottom. Perhaps Chaos could have his heels placed on a 2X4 for better balance when trying cleans.  Good Luck

I guess we just have to disagree.  Sure elite women Olympic lifters in the entire world can put up some big numbers. I still say there are very few women in the US who can do 250lbs.  That was not just some meet but the National USA championship.  Sure there might be a few female field athletes who can clean 250lbs plus in the US.

If you can deadlift 300 for reps doesn't mean a 250 clean is within reach.  Most people who can power clean 250lbs have an over 450lbs deadlift. Cleaning a weight takes serious power. I doubt someone that could only do 8 reps with 300lbs on the deadlift could power clean 225lbs.

Put his heels on a 2 by 4 while cleaning? Do you want him to get injured?  Static squatting okay but a dynamic clean with heels on a board is insane.
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2011, 10:13:42 AM »

Chaos: If you can muscle up or upright row 250 (excellent weight) and into the 500's (also excellent) in the DL, than you have the potential power to clean 250. With technique (for you) focus on the quickness and speed of the starting pull from the floor. It is like a turbo charged pull over. Also focus on the revolving grip and the thrust of the elbows out as you "catch" the bar on the shoulders. Starting with even a empty is how a lot of Olympic lifters perfect their speed, timing and form. But if you feel confidence with the 135, than you might try that.

As far as the ass to the grass bottom position problem, try just squatting all the way down without any weight involved. That would be bwt squats. At the total bottom position, hold it there for a 10  second count and than come back up to the full standing position. This is learning to begin a full squat from a dead stop position. A whole different firing of muscle impulses is programed by the body that way. Try that for 12 to 15 reps, holding the bottom position for that ten seconds, each time. After a few workout doing free squats (all worked in with your regular leg plans) , begin using an empty bar, doing the same protocol. Keep adding weight to the bar as technique improves and you should be pretty near or equal to the 3/4 squats that most guy's do.

OldTimer#1: You say there are a only a few women (believe your original concept was 20 females), in this county who can clean 250, than that's what you believe. And as I had noted before, quite a few American women aren't interested in entering any Olympic meets, local or national. They are training for their selected sport(s) only. Go to any serious athletic training center and you will find some impressive women's gym lifts (cleans, jerks, benches, snatches, squats, etc) posted on the blackboards, usually hanging on the walls.  And these lifts are changing all the time.

Having said that if a man can DL  300 for easy rep than a 250 clean is well withing his reach. Meaning the potential is clearly present, if the practice and learning of technique is applied. And in a somewhat short period of time, given all thing being equal. Like time to learn and practice and the total workout protocol, etc.

Being insane must be running wild among Olympic lifters, because, for the most part, their boots/shoes (different styes in lifting wear, as in lifting belts) have raised heels. Some quite high actually. Reason being that a raised heel tends to give better leverage and balance when doing cleans and snatches. All the while releasing some of the tension on the lower back. Which allows less danger of any serious injury to the lifter. So not believing that Chaos would want to invest in this style of very expensive foot gear, I suggested a common 2X4. Also believing that Chaos will not be dancing around the gym, but keeping both heels on the 2X4,  when cleaning ,I though it might be a helpful suggestion.

So I guess you have your view and I have mine. No big deal. Good Luck.
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2011, 10:16:19 AM »

I won't be putting my heels on a 2x4 while cleaning any time soon.
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2011, 10:47:20 AM »

Chaos: Just a suggest Bud, whatever works for you and your goals. Good Luck.
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2011, 10:52:19 AM »

Jpm you always have solid advice, but my balance and technique aren't good enough to expect my feet to follow the same plane as a 2x4 and I'd fall on my ass.....again. Grin
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« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2011, 03:32:59 PM »

Chaos: Of course there are DB cleans, but that's a whole different road to go down. I've done them sitting off the end of a bench (good for guy's who have problems getting the DB's up for DB benches or even inclines) for sets of 6-8 reps.. Also have had good success while doing the DB cleans while on the knees. Tends to focus all the effort of the pull on the upper body as opposed to more body English while sitting or standing.

Might just experiment, if you have a mind, with BB Hi-Pulls if cleans seem too much of a problem. Excellent upper body (traps/delts/biceps) also.  Prefer doing them from a PR, supports, etc.. Good Luck.
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« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2011, 03:42:02 PM »

Believe it or not I've used DB cleans as a mimic for log cleans except at the top I roll the dbs on to the delt.
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« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2011, 02:38:43 PM »

Practice power cleans at first. That's cleaning with a shallow dip of the knees.  This is a major power movement.  Also try to get the racking of the bar in the correct position.  Some can rest the bar on the upper chest top of shoulders with a closed hand but many have to open the hand when racked. You can practice the rack position at the squat rack getting your elbow up high on a bar.  Use a hook grip. That is wrapping the other fingers around your thumb to make a solid lock on the bar. It will feel uncomfortable at first then you will get use to it. Use sets of low reps like three.  

Once you get comfortable using the power clean you can get start to go lower in your squat with the weight. See if  you can find an experienced Olympic lifter for help and watch videos for form.  When you eventually get pretty low catching the weight in the squat it will be time to invest in Olympic lifting shoes for squatting and Olympic lifting.  The raised heel helps keep your back vertical into the squat. You won't be able to clean a heavy weight if you bend over while squatting  into the clean.  

When you do normal back squats with Olympic shoes squat all the way down.  When you clean a weight with a squat technique you will eventually go really low.  Also practice front squats. They will also help with the catch position of keeping your elbows up.  

Olympic lifting will increase your power. Many after adding power cleans find a quick increase in vertical leap and sprinting speed.  Good Olympic lifters are known for their vertical leaps which is a good indicator of explosive sprinting speed.

Prior to squat cleans and squat snatches the split technique was used. To go low to catch the weight lifters jumped into a lunge.  The squat technique is more efficient for lifting heavy weights but the split clean and snatch are an excellent movement for athletes. In my opinion it's even better for explosive transfer to athletics than the squat method.
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2011, 05:45:29 AM »

Practice power cleans at first. That's cleaning with a shallow dip of the knees.  This is a major power movement.  Also try to get the racking of the bar in the correct position.  Some can rest the bar on the upper chest top of shoulders with a closed hand but many have to open the hand when racked. You can practice the rack position at the squat rack getting your elbow up high on a bar.  Use a hook grip. That is wrapping the other fingers around your thumb to make a solid lock on the bar. It will feel uncomfortable at first then you will get use to it. Use sets of low reps like three.  

Once you get comfortable using the power clean you can get start to go lower in your squat with the weight. See if  you can find an experienced Olympic lifter for help and watch videos for form.  When you eventually get pretty low catching the weight in the squat it will be time to invest in Olympic lifting shoes for squatting and Olympic lifting.  The raised heel helps keep your back vertical into the squat. You won't be able to clean a heavy weight if you bend over while squatting  into the clean.  

When you do normal back squats with Olympic shoes squat all the way down.  When you clean a weight with a squat technique you will eventually go really low.  Also practice front squats. They will also help with the catch position of keeping your elbows up.  

Olympic lifting will increase your power. Many after adding power cleans find a quick increase in vertical leap and sprinting speed.  Good Olympic lifters are known for their vertical leaps which is a good indicator of explosive sprinting speed.

Prior to squat cleans and squat snatches the split technique was used. To go low to catch the weight lifters jumped into a lunge.  The squat technique is more efficient for lifting heavy weights but the split clean and snatch are an excellent movement for athletes. In my opinion it's even better for explosive transfer to athletics than the squat method.

Ace info.
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« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2011, 06:18:16 AM »

I forgot another point. Pull with straight arms. Really concentrate on pulling with your arms straight. You cannot pull like you are doing an upright row.
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« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2011, 10:03:45 AM »

Think we are all forgetting one very important element in the clean (also include the snatch) and that is the influence of the traps in that lift. As you pull you are  also contracting the traps very strongly. The importance of muscle synergy (coordination) of that lift is very hard pressed without the involvement of the powerful, short range traps. One of the reasons that some Olympic lifters include shrugs (and versions of) in training. Many  of these lifters have some of the thickest traps on the planet.

All this is why it is very important to learn the proper technique of the clean, or any other exercise. The quickness and timing of any lift is vital to get the most out of and to avoid injury. Another reason to learn with just the bar and to get in a lot of reps while learning. Only than you can begin adding respectable weight to the bar.

If only into BB'ing you might be advised that heavy traps may take away the illusion of shoulder width for some men. But if you don't give a crap about that, than heavy traps give the look of power and toughness. Good Luck.
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« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2011, 11:50:48 AM »

I shrug properly and large amounts. I think what I'm doing now would be considered a power clean vs what I think I need to do which is a squat clean.
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« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2011, 02:37:50 PM »

Using Olympic weightlifting shoes helps a lot.  Make sure your toes are pointed out in line with the travel of your knees.  Start with power cleans or hang cleans at first as stated.  Always keep the bar as close to your body as possible.  Always keep your head up and don't lean forward.  Once you feel comfortable try to lift your heels off the ground for more power on the top of the movement right before your elbows get under the bar level.  Try not to hit yourself in the chin.  Grin

I would use 135 for a few weeks to get the technique down.  I never "squatted" down with the weight, i used the rebound of my knees as a spring to catch me on the way down, but this can lead to injuries.  It took me a good 3 months before i got the technique down but after that i was adding weight quite rapidly.  Someone with your strength should be able to get up to 300 pounds pretty quickly.

Remember this lift is about SPEED and explosive strength, don't try to manhandle the weight to your shoulders like a strongman.


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« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2011, 05:32:44 PM »

Using Olympic weightlifting shoes helps a lot.  Make sure your toes are pointed out in line with the travel of your knees.  Start with power cleans or hang cleans at first as stated.  Always keep the bar as close to your body as possible.  Always keep your head up and don't lean forward.  Once you feel comfortable try to lift your heels off the ground for more power on the top of the movement right before your elbows get under the bar level.  Try not to hit yourself in the chin.  Grin

I would use 135 for a few weeks to get the technique down.  I never "squatted" down with the weight, i used the rebound of my knees as a spring to catch me on the way down, but this can lead to injuries.  It took me a good 3 months before i got the technique down but after that i was adding weight quite rapidly.  Someone with your strength should be able to get up to 300 pounds pretty quickly.

Remember this lift is about SPEED and explosive strength, don't try to manhandle the weight to your shoulders like a strongman.


Cool
awesome advice right here, the two things to remember, keep your elbows driving towards the ceiling and get up on your toes as much as possible.
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