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  1. #1
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    Default The eternal power clean question

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    I went through several pages of search results and couldn't find a question similar enough to mine to really help, so I thought I'd ask my (several, related) questions here.

    Some stats about me: 47, 283 pounds, my current work weights are SQ: 185, BE: 130; DL: 275; PR: 110, so I'm a fat piece of shit. Still doing 10 pound jumps on the SQ and DL, and 5 on the presses.

    I'm in the older demographic that Rip has mentioned "might" not want to do PCs. I've done a big chunk of kettlebell clean and presses during the pandemic when I didn't have a rack, so I'd like to give them a try, but I definitely don't want to get injured.

    Does it really matter which workout the cleans go in? In the blue book it includes them on the same day as the bench, but if my memory of the barbell Rx (which I'm using as my main programming source since I'm in that demographic) is good, I thought they had them on the same day with the press (it looks like they reversed the order of the A and B workouts).

    Does it make sense to start PCs on a Friday session? I had my first miss on the DL on Monday (there were some other confounders involved here...weekend sleep and diet were NOT where they should have been). I got the weight on Wednesday, but it was brutally hard, and I'm not sure I'll make 285 on Friday, or even 280 if I switch to 5 pound jumps.

    Hope these make sense and that my thinking is at least somewhat logical on this.

  2. #2
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    Jun 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by patterner View Post
    I went through several pages of search results and couldn't find a question similar enough to mine to really help, so I thought I'd ask my (several, related) questions here.

    Some stats about me: 47, 283 pounds, my current work weights are SQ: 185, BE: 130; DL: 275; PR: 110, so I'm a fat piece of shit. Still doing 10 pound jumps on the SQ and DL, and 5 on the presses.

    I'm in the older demographic that Rip has mentioned "might" not want to do PCs. I've done a big chunk of kettlebell clean and presses during the pandemic when I didn't have a rack, so I'd like to give them a try, but I definitely don't want to get injured.

    Does it really matter which workout the cleans go in? In the blue book it includes them on the same day as the bench, but if my memory of the barbell Rx (which I'm using as my main programming source since I'm in that demographic) is good, I thought they had them on the same day with the press (it looks like they reversed the order of the A and B workouts).
    You've identified, but not internalized, that the program examples in the books are descriptive, not prescriptive. Calling the bench day "A" or "B" doesn't matter. Following BBRx, you're shifting from Program 1A: Rank Novice Program to Program 1B: Early Novice Program, which does have the cleans on the same day as the press, as an example. After 2-4 weeks of Program 1B, you'll then progress to Program 1C: Novice Program, where you'll do either Deadlifts or Power Cleans on one day (alternating each "A" day) and Back Extensions/Chins on the other. Each progression in the program extends your recovery window from your heavy deadlifts.

    As described in BBRx, you're shifting from 1A, where Deadlifts are performed every session, to 1B, where they are performed every other session, to 1C, where the Deadlift will be every 4th sessions, since you're alternating with Power Cleans on that "A" day.

    Quote Originally Posted by patterner View Post
    Does it make sense to start PCs on a Friday session? I had my first miss on the DL on Monday (there were some other confounders involved here...weekend sleep and diet were NOT where they should have been). I got the weight on Wednesday, but it was brutally hard, and I'm not sure I'll make 285 on Friday, or even 280 if I switch to 5 pound jumps.
    Following above, Friday (or any other day of the week) doesn't matter for you right now. It's either an "A" day or a "B" day. Don't limit your understanding of your progression to how a calendar is designed, e.g., your A/B/A progression could be the standard M/W/F, or it could be W/F/Su, or F/Su/Tu, or any combination, as long as it works for you. That understanding will help later once you're getting to be an intermediate lifter, as recovery and progression periods will last longer than the arbitrary 7-day period of a calendar design, which is exactly what progression into Program 1C addresses.

    You can start working in the cleans, or you can start dropping your progression to +5lbs each deadlift, although you'll still need to work your cleans in soon. If you find that the cleans don't work for you, consider light deadlifts (80-85% of your heavy deadlift day).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Anders View Post
    You've identified, but not internalized, that the program examples in the books are descriptive, not prescriptive. Calling the bench day "A" or "B" doesn't matter. Following BBRx, you're shifting from Program 1A: Rank Novice Program to Program 1B: Early Novice Program, which does have the cleans on the same day as the press, as an example. After 2-4 weeks of Program 1B, you'll then progress to Program 1C: Novice Program, where you'll do either Deadlifts or Power Cleans on one day (alternating each "A" day) and Back Extensions/Chins on the other. Each progression in the program extends your recovery window from your heavy deadlifts.

    As described in BBRx, you're shifting from 1A, where Deadlifts are performed every session, to 1B, where they are performed every other session, to 1C, where the Deadlift will be every 4th sessions, since you're alternating with Power Cleans on that "A" day.



    Following above, Friday (or any other day of the week) doesn't matter for you right now. It's either an "A" day or a "B" day. Don't limit your understanding of your progression to how a calendar is designed, e.g., your A/B/A progression could be the standard M/W/F, or it could be W/F/Su, or F/Su/Tu, or any combination, as long as it works for you. That understanding will help later once you're getting to be an intermediate lifter, as recovery and progression periods will last longer than the arbitrary 7-day period of a calendar design, which is exactly what progression into Program 1C addresses.

    You can start working in the cleans, or you can start dropping your progression to +5lbs each deadlift, although you'll still need to work your cleans in soon. If you find that the cleans don't work for you, consider light deadlifts (80-85% of your heavy deadlift day).
    Hi there, thank you for your very detailed responses here and on my training log thread.

    Let me make sure I'm following you here. The session (either A or B) doesn't really matter with regard to bringing in the cleans, as long as I'm consistent, and alternating the sessions (ABA|BAB|ABA|etc) appropriately. You suggest, sliding my progression on the DL to 5lb/ session *before* working in the cleans but that I'll still likely need to start working those in soon anyway.

    After that, I'll then start alternating heavy deads and cleans on the same A or B day, but the OTHER day will then be chins/back extensions. So I'll go from heavy deads 3x/week, to 1-2x/week (depending), to 1-2x/every other week (if I did the math correctly).

    Did I follow that correctly?

  4. #4
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    Glad to help. The bonus is, every time I type this stuff out, the more it makes sense to me, even if I'm beyond that portion of my training.

    Here's the article that covers this - Programs.

    You followed my ramblings quite well.

    To summarize:
    - drop your deadlift progression to +5lbs 3x/week for another week or two
    - Substitute cleans into your B day (I'm sticking with the convention in PPST3), and run this for a few weeks
    - Start alternating deadlifts/cleans on your A day; introduce back extensions & chin-ups to your B day. Your programming (for just deadlift/cleans/back extensions&chins) will look like this:

    Monday Wednesday Friday
    DL BE/CH PC
    BE/CH DL BE/CH
    PD BE/CH DL

  5. #5
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    It has been my experience that Power Cleans do very little to increase your Deadlift. YMMV...

  6. #6
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    starting strength coach development program
    That's not what they are for.

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