Learning the Squat Clean | Josh Wells Learning the Squat Clean | Josh Wells

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Thread: Learning the Squat Clean | Josh Wells

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    Default Learning the Squat Clean | Josh Wells

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    Starting Strength Coach Josh Wells demonstrates how to learn to squat clean after gaining proficiency with the power clean.


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    Most folks would call this a power clean into a front squat, no? Is there an advantage from a strength development perspective to do it this way? Or is this more for folks who want to work on Oly lifts? Why isn't the lifter in the video being cued to fully extend the hips and knees? I'm pretty bad with watching others form but it didn't look like he was really extending all the way. I understand you guys teach the "jump and catch," but I had always thought that entailed a full extension of the hips and knees. Sorry if these are dumb questions. I've dabbled in Oly lifts but I'm no expert. Was just curious. Thanks for the video in any case!

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    Josh Wells is offline Starting Strength Coach
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Z View Post
    Most folks would call this a power clean into a front squat, no? Is there an advantage from a strength development perspective to do it this way? Or is this more for folks who want to work on Oly lifts? Why isn't the lifter in the video being cued to fully extend the hips and knees? I'm pretty bad with watching others form but it didn't look like he was really extending all the way. I understand you guys teach the "jump and catch," but I had always thought that entailed a full extension of the hips and knees. Sorry if these are dumb questions. I've dabbled in Oly lifts but I'm no expert. Was just curious. Thanks for the video in any case!
    Yes, we teach a power clean into a front squat initially because we want the lifter to catch the bar high. The lifter will gradually catch the bar lower and lower into a front squat position as the weight gets heavier.

    This is to work on the Olympic Lifts.

    No, he was not getting full extension on all the reps. This was cued at 5:07 when I said for him to "Jump with the same intensity". Reminding him to jump harder translates to the full extension you are referring to.

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    Cool! So it's part of the progression. I actually think that makes a lot more sense than trying to teach folks how to catch it at the bottom.

    It probably wouldn't make sense for a novice, but do you think there is any advantage to at some point switching in full cleans to a TM or HLM intermediate program? You're going to be pulling more weight so I would think that it would be better to train power production. Maybe it's in the gray book somewhere or there is a thread on it but I can't remember reading about it. Or are power cleans all you ever need to worry about if strength is the main focus?

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    If you teach the catch at the bottom, you are teaching an unfinished pull.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    If you teach the catch at the bottom, you are teaching an unfinished pull.
    And a finished pull is the difference between a near-limit lift you make and one you miss.

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    I'm sorry I think I worded that incorrectly. My understanding is that when you're doing a very heavy clean that is either near-limit or at your limit the bar is only going to travel a short distance after a finished pull. You would catch the bar at the apex of it's ascent after the pull is complete but if the bar doesn't go very high you would be catching it at or below parallel correct? That was what I meant to say by catching it at the bottom. We can clean a heavier weight than we can power clean because the weight doesn't have to travel as high. So my question was, is there a compelling reason to at some point switch from power cleans to cleans? If not, why not?

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    starting strength coach development program
    Doh, I just found the answer. It's the longer range of motion that makes the power clean the better choice. I get it. Sorry.

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