How much should I Power Clean

In this video answers the questions:

  • how much should you Power Clean
  • what is the right frequency session per week
  • what is the right loading pattern
  • how many sets and reps to do in Power Clean

The Power Clean is one of the exercises of our choice to develop strength and Power in our athletes. Once the athletes learned to dominate the Power Clean technique, the Power Clean allows to use high loads in combination with applying high speed to the bar.
A few of the recurring questions regarding the use of the Power Clean are discussed below.

How often should I do Power Cleans a week?

How often you should do Power Cleans in the week or what is the right training frequency depends on a few factors.
In my cases the athletes I train are not Olympic Weightlifters and they compete in a sport that is not weight lifting, so we use the strength training and the exercises from Olympic weightlifting to improve their sport performance.
The training frequency of our strength training is 2 – 3 times per week depending on the season and emphasis of the period (whether it is pre-season with a strong emphasis on developing physical qualities, such as strength or whether it’s the competitive season with focus on optimal results in competition and maintaining physical qualities).
Usually I the pre-season we have 3 dedicated strength training sessions in a week and in the competitive period we have 2 dedicated strength training sessions in a week.
Very rarely we do Power Cleans in all sessions, we mix it up.
If we train 3 times a week, that could mean we do Power Cleans in the first session, Power Snatches in the second session and Hang Power Cleans in the third session. But exercises can vary, we might also do Clean Pulls from the ground instead of Hang Power Cleans.
If we train 2 times a week, that could mean we do Power Cleans in the first session, Power Snatches in the second session, or we do Power Cleans in the first session and a combination (some people call it hybrid lift) of Power Clean and Front Squats. That all depends on the overall goal of the period and changes in every period.

How many repetitions should I do in the Power Clean?

The Power Clean is a technical demanding exercise and the Power Clean technique breaks down quickly. Therefore the Power Clean is not made for a lot of repetitions, I would not recommend to go above 3 repetitions.
If I want to increase the training volume on the Power Clean, there are two options I use.
The first option is doing more sets of Power Cleans with lower repetitions. Instead of doing 3 sets of 6 repetitions or 3 sets of 8 repetitions, you can as well do 6 sets of 3 repetitions or 8 sets of 3 repetitions, this way the overall training volume remains the same.
The second option is to break down the set into so-called clusters or cluster set. A cluster set is a set broke down in clusters and each cluster is interspersed with short breaks or rest periods. A set of 6 repetitions would look like 3 times 2 repetitions with 20, 30 or 40 seconds rest in between rep 2 & 3 and 4 & 5.
The advantage of these two options is, that it also allows you to work on a higher intensity, as opposed to perform all repetitions after each other.
The disadvantage is you won’t get the accumulated fatigue and metabolic stimulus for muscular hypertrophy, but you wouldn’t do Power Cleans as an exercise to maximize muscular hypertrophy, right?

How many sets should I do in the Power Clean?

Repetitions and sets are closely related, as you could see in the examples above (3 sets of 6 repetitions versus 6 sets of 3 repetitions or 3 sets of 8 repetitions versus 8 sets of 3 repetitions).
The missing link in this equation is now the training intensity.
Training volume ( sets and reps) are inversely related to training intensity, which means the higher the training intensity the lower the training volume can be and needs to be and vice-versa. If you are training with a higher training intensity you should limit your training sets.
Another consideration is also if you are in the pre-season or competitive season, as discussed above. If you are in the pre-season you will most likely do more sets, as opposed to the competitive season.

How much weight should I Power Clean?

I have outlined the relation between the weight you can lift in a Power Clean or should lift in a Power Clean in the article The Ultimate Guide to Power Cleans

In a nutshell it describes what is an acceptable result, a good result, a very good result and an excellent result.

Have a look at the table from the article The Ultimate Guide to Power Cleans

 

Women

Men

Achievable

0.7 – 0.8 times bodyweightbodyweight

Good

0.8 – 1 time bodyweight1.2 – 1.5 times bodyweight

Very good

1 – 1.2 times bodyweight1.5 – 1.8 times bodyweight

Excellent

More than 1.2 times bodyweightMore than 1.8 times bodyweight

 

As I mentioned in the article, please treat the numbers with care. These numbers are guidelines and meant for athletes that have consolidated the Power Clean technique.

If you haven’t consolidated the Power Clean technique yet, please spend your efforts on perfecting the technique before attempting to find out, what your 1 RM is.

More information about Power Cleans

The Ultimate Guide to Power Cleans

The Importance of Power Cleans

How to do a Power Clean

What Power Cleans do for you

What are Power Cleans?

Why are Power Cleans Important?

or the Power Clean video library