I’ve Never Power CleanedDecember 29th, 2011
I’ve never done a power clean. Never. Fortunately, none of the exercise gurus I’ve taken advice from have promoted power cleans. I say, “fortunately,” because none of these gurus have given proper instruction on how to do the exercises they do promote. Thus, if they had promoted the power clean, I’d definitely do it wrong and would get injured.
I’ve spent the biggest chunk of my training years following the HIT philosophy, and it seems that HIT jedis think power cleans are dangerous, as are the olympic lifts. There is some truth in this. If you tried to do power cleans with the HIT philosophy, you would get hurt.
It’s tough to shake of a philosophy once you’ve completely bought into it, especially if you’ve followed it for a number of years. Even though I’ve come to the realization that the HIT philosophy is erroneous, I’ve still been very slow to accept that power cleans are safe. Even if they were safe, in the back of my mind, I think I was scared of them.
When I started Reading Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe, I planned to skip the power clean chapter. However, by the time I got to that chapter, I had heard and read how beneficial the power clean is, particularly for the deadlift. My deadlift is way too slow, as are my other lifts. This is a result of a decade of HIT. I’m trying to lift more explosively, which the power clean is supposed to help. So when I did get to the power clean chapter in Starting Strength, I read it.
Last night I watched the power clean section of the Starting Strength DVD, and today I tried it out at the gym. I still haven’t done a power clean. I’ve racked the air, racked an empty bar from the hang position, and jumped while holding an empty bar. I’m really not ready to attempt an actual power clean.
Half the time I racked the empty bar I caught it with my fingers and moved it to my shoulders. A quarter of the time I hit my collar bone. And, a quarter of the time I did it almost right. I’ve found that I’m really inflexible in this area.
I used the rack at the gym that has the bumper plates so I could drop the bar. What a joke! It will be a little while before I put any weight on the bar.