What is the right training frequency for the Power Clean, or better ‘How many days a week should I Power Clean?’ is a question I get asked frequently.
Whilst there is no one answer, there are a few considerations you need to include into your thought process and decision-making process.
- What is your Training Goal?
- What are your other responsibilities?
- Understanding Effort & Reward and Diminishing Returns
- Avoid the Training Pitfall
- Consider the Loading Pattern and different Power Clean variations
When you ask yourself the question ‘How many days a week should I Power Clean?’ and you want to determine the ideal Power Clean workout routine for you, it’s important to answer a few questions first.
How many Days a Week should I Power Clean? What is your Training Goal?
The first consideration to determine the ideal training frequency for your Power Clean workout routine is to determine, what your training goal is.
Do you want to become stronger?
Do you want to gain muscle mass?
Do you use the Power Clean to improve your sports performance?
Are you starting to learn the Power Clean and your main goal is to improve the Power Clean technique?
The answer to these questions has an influence on the Power Clean training frequency.
I have outlined these examples in more detail in the article
In a nutshell, in this article I proposed the following training frequencies for your Power Clean workout routine, depending on the goal.
How many days a week should I Power Clean …
- For strength & power: 2 – 3 Power Clean workouts per week
- For gaining muscle mass: 1 – 2 Power Clean workouts per week
- For strength endurance: 2 – 3 Power Clean workouts per week
- To improve my Power Clean technique: 4 – 5 Power Clean workouts per week
As in most cases, the answer needs a more nuanced discussion, than just prescribing a certain training frequency, so feel free to check out the article.
I have outlined in another article, how the training frequency changes depending on the training goal and the according to the training method you are choosing on the example of strength training for weight loss.
How many Days a Week should I Power Clean? What are your other responsibilities?
The second question is very closely related to the question of the training goal. What are your other responsibilities next to your training in the gym? The answer to this question influences the determination of your ideal your Power Clean workout routine.
In my case, as a Strength & Conditioning Coach for Olympians, my athletes not only train I the weight room, their main responsibility is another sport, where they compete in.
Even though the sports I am currently working with are high strength and power dependent and therefore require a lot of time, energy, and effort from the athlete in the weight room, most of their training time is spent outside the gym.
I have outlined an example of how often the athletes’ strength train and how our strength training frequency changes throughout the season in the article
How many Days a Week should I Power Clean? Understanding Effort & Reward and Diminishing Returns
It is important is to understand the relation between effort and reward.
What does that mean?
When you start out with your strength training efforts (considering you do it correctly), the time and effort you put into the training will be rewarded with increased strength, size or athleticism (depending on, what you are training for).
However, the more experienced you get, the less progress you make and you need to put in more, then you are (perceiving) to get out.
Check out this great visualization of Sustainable balance from the article The Diminishing Returns of Strength Training
I have outlined the relation between effort and reward, as well as the phenomenon of diminishing returns in the article
What does that mean for your Power Clean training frequency?
How many Days a Week should I Power Clean? Avoid the Training Pitfall
What is the training pitfall?
In my opinion and from what I have seen too often when discussing training frequencies for a week, people tend to be too ambitious.
In the beginning, they are highly motivated and want to do as much as they possibly could and often chose for a high training frequency, as well as a high training intensity.
But once training becomes tough and a routine, motivation starts to drift and training sessions are missed.
One of the most important variable in training is consistency and adherence to training, therefore it’s better to start with a lower training frequency and maintain this training frequency for the entire program, then starting ambitiously and discontinue at some point in time.
By the way, I can see the same phenomenon with some of my athletes as well, that at the beginning of the season, after the holidays, everyone is rested, highly motivated and excited, however, a few weeks down the road of the pre-season, when fatigue accumulates and things become more and more difficult, it is much harder for them to motivate themselves.
Let me be clear here, my athletes don’t miss training sessions, otherwise, they wouldn’t be amongst the best in the world in their sport. But it is very normal, when things become difficult, that you also need to be more disciplined with yourself.
So what does all that mean for your Power Clean workout routine?
I would advise choosing a training frequency you can definitely adhere to and make sure you are consistent with your Power Clean workouts for the length of the Power Clean training program.
Also, check out the article How many times a week should I do Olympic Lifting from No Excuse Crossfit, that emphasizes the idea of deliberate practice done well, can reap the rewards with 2 or 3 Power Clean workouts per week.
How many Days a Week should I Power Clean? Consider the Loading Pattern and different Power Clean variations
One thing I (almost) always advise, if you do Power Cleans more than once a week, you should consider changing the loading pattern, the Power Clean sets, and reps and incorporate different variations of the Power Clean.
A different loading pattern means changing the intensity, as well as the repetitions and sets from one session to the next, a different Power Clean variation refers to doing regular Power Cleans in one training session and a Hang Power Clean, Power Clean from the blocks or Clean Pull in the other training sessions.
I have outlined that approach on the example of the Back Squat in the article How often should I Back Squat and a detailed outline for the Power Clean in the article The Ultimate Guide to Power Cleans.
Concluding How many Days a Week should I Power Clean
In order to determine how many days a week you should Power Clean, you start by setting your strength training goal (strength & power, hypertrophy, strength endurance, technical learning) and your responsibilities next to your strength training workouts.
This will determine how often you should Power Clean and can Power Clean.
If you do more than one Power Clean workout routine per week, it is advisable to manipulate the Power Clean sets and reps, the training intensity and include different Power Clean variations.