The Power of a Heavy Power Clean
Testing Your Limits with the Power Clean
On Tuesday this week, the workout format was a little different than normal. Following our power clean build-up, we completed 10 rounds of 1 power clean every 30 seconds. It was only 5 minutes but what happened during that 5 minutes was interesting.
I “borrowed” this workout from a football player that lifted in my gym this summer. While he was doing the same format of the workout, he actually had to do this for 10 minutes and his power clean weight was about 90% of his max. I wrote this for only 10 reps because it is a different format than we are used to at CPM and I was also hoping we could push people on the weight of their power clean if the reps were lower. While we said it was supposed to be 75% of your max, I was actually hoping for numbers closer to 85%-90%.
Performing the Workout
I started the workout at 145 pounds but finished at 150. In hindsight, I wish I had done 155 the entire time. What happened that made me want to move up in weight? My power cleans continued to get better and better. All of the sudden I was very comfortable power cleaning 150 pounds and it wasn’t a big deal for me to do it every 30 seconds.
Coaching the Workout
Not surprisingly, as I coached the workout, I found the same thing happening to the members. As they got a few reps into their power cleans, they started to find that the bar was flying up to their chin and the clean was getting easier. What made the difference? Confidence. Recognizing faults. Coaching. Reps. Time. So many pieces come into play and we don’t always have the time or the option to give ourselves the chance to correct our power clean. Instead we add more weight and try another set to reach our max before we run out of time.
Purpose of the Workout
Last, let’s discuss the purpose of a workout like this. Why is it so common for football players to do a workout like this? Power cleans develop powerful grip strength, explosive power, speed and coordination. They are a compound lift using almost every joint in your body. They force you to think and tax your body in ways an isolated lift cannot. Then we add heavy weight and a time constraint to the mix. You are forced to focus, perform the lift correctly and repeat.
I hope you enjoyed the workouts this week. Get ready for another great week including a Halloween surprise!
20 sec press; 10 sec hold in front rack
5 Rounds for Time:
1 Round DT
2 Round Cindy