Power Cleans and 5/3/1
First of all, power cleans aren’t that hard to learn. It seems like everyone believes they’re as complicated and difficult to do as organic chemistry. If that were the case, people who stock shelves at Home Depot and Lowe’s would be the most amazing athletes ever. Picking something up and racking it across the shoulders is a natural movement, so don’t let these experts ruin a fun exercise. To those that say “I don’t think I can learn the Power Clean and want to do something else.” My official response is this: Expect more of yourself. What happens when adversity happens in your life or you are confronted with a challenge? Apparently you fucking wilt and cower because you don’t even have the balls/confidence to pick up a barbell and put it on your shoulders. So change your attitude and expect to be great, expect to do well. Too many “men” tiptoe when they should be kicking with steel toed boots.
Now if you’re going to be a competitive Olympic lifter it might be different, but you don’t need to hire a quarterback coach in order to throw a football around with your friends, do you?
These aren’t going to hurt your squat or deadlift in the least bit; for some this might actually increase their deadlift due to the extra upper back work. I usually have people do these as the first exercise of the day, right before they squat or deadlift.
Most of the time people get a good boost to their second exercise due to the explosive nature of the power clean. For sets and reps, I highly recommend people use my 5/3/1 set up; it’s easy to follow and you might actually get stronger.
Here are some easy ways to teach yourself how to power clean:
1. First, be sure you can walk and chew Red Man at the same time.
2. Please be able to show me you have some kind of muscle development and coordination and can do pushups, sit-ups, dips, and lunges (without falling).
3. Pick the bar up with good form (i.e. deadlift).
4. Once the bar passes the knees, jump like you mean it.
5. Rack the barbell across shoulders and stand up.
6. Put the bar back down again.
7. Don’t be a fucking pussy with this exercise or wimp it up.