Learning the Power Clean
I'm just starting out on the 3 x 5 program outlined in Starting Strength. I picked the workout up from the thread below:
I've just purchased the book and I'm waiting for delivery to me in the UK. In the mean while I was hoping you could answer this question for me. I've found different sources on the internet stating that you should first learn the Hang Clean and the Clean Pull before advancing to the Power Clean.
What are your thought's on this?
My method starts at the top and works down to the floor, like a hang clean, but we get to the floor the first workout and stay there from then on. I use 3 steps instead of 12, like the first article you linked illustrates, because I like small numbers when learning things (I'm stupid that way). I don't see the point in hang cleans as a primary exercise, because the point of doing cleans for an athlete interested in general strength training is to move the bar through the whole range of motion faster than a deadlift does, working on force production from the power side, and letting the deadlift take care of the heavy weight part.
Clean pulls are another matter. I never use them, because I've never seen anybody do them in a way that sufficiently resembled the same part of that movement in a clean. If you know you are not going to rack the bar when you pull it off the ground, will pull it differently than you do when you know your going to rack it, and it doesn't matter how badly you want to do it the same. So certainly they cannot be a good tool for learning the clean, and in fact weightlifters never use them that way; they are used as an assistance exercise, not a sub.
Thanks for the reply - it suits me not to over complicate things so 3 steps sounds like a good ways to go!
Just so I'm clear the 3 steps would be as follows:
1) Hang clean from just above the knees until feeling comfortable with the movement
2) Low hang clean from just below the knees until comfortable
2) Power Clean
Kinda. I use the positions first -- the hang position, the rack position, and the jumping position (which just happens to be the second pull position). When you can jump and catch the bar in the rack position correctly, then it starts down the legs towards the floor and finally just gets pulled from there without the hang. This process has been extensively rewritten for Basic Barbell Training, which the bastards are now telling us will be ready about Oct.10.
I'll wait for the book in October and just work on my deadlift in the mean while!