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Old 01-19-2013, 05:06 AM   #1
Kid Jansen
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Upside down on my clean and snatch numbers

I was wondering if you guys could give me some advice on how to boost my squat cleans. For some reason I have a lot of trouble with the clean catch and recovery when I go deep.

Therefore my clean PR's are upside down:

Power clean: 100 kg
Hang power clean: 92.5 kg
Squat clean: 75 kg
Hang squat clean 70 kg

With the hang I start with the bar around half way of my thighs. I don't think it's because of my front squat, because I can front squat 107,5 kg with clean grip and ATG. Probably not the pulls either, since I can get it up there easily when doing a power clean. Not very surprising, since my deadlift is much higher with 205 kg.

But for some reason when I try to catch my cleans deep I either miss the catch completely or it falls of my shoulders during the recovery (mostly the latter). It might be that I don't push my elbows up enough, but when I do try to push them up as high as I can I get trouble with the jerk. It makes the jerk feel way to much like a french press.

I have the same problem by the way when I try to jerk the bar from a rack. For some reason I'm really bad at that. I can jerk 100 kg when I power clean the bar, but only 87.5 kg from rack.

Is it just a matter of practicing squat cleans until you're completely wiped out and then some more?


By the way, the same goes for the snatch. But I think that with the snatch my problem is quite obvious, I can't overhead squat enough weight to catch it deep:

Power snatch: 75 kg
Hang power snatch: 65 kg
Overhead squat: 45 kg

Didn't seem like much use to snatch as much as I can while catching it deep before I get my overhead squat up to at least 65 kg. So I don't know how high that is, probably around 40 kg.

Right now I'm doing overhead squat three times a week. I think it's mostly a stability, flexibility and recruitment problem, because based on my front squat, back squat and deadlift I think the raw power is definitely there. So I hope to get it to 65+ kg in about a month.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:25 AM   #2
David Meverden
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Re: Upside down on my clean and snatch numbers

Do you have a video of you cleaning? A video of a heavy squat clean completion, heavy squat clean failure, and heavy power clean would help. Same for snatch. Without that, I will say the following regarding cleans:

1) Work your front squat and core more. I know you don't think this is part of your problem but compared to your deadlift your FS is relatively low and can't help but make your squat catch harder. For comparison my deadlift/front squat/ power clean numbers (in KG) are as follows: 215 / 150 / 129 to your 205 / 107 / 100. The last 15 kg of improvement in my front squat was largely a matter of adding more ab/core work as that was the weak point in my lift. I'd guess that would be your weak point as well, though can't tell without a video. How's your back squat?

2) Get those elbows up! You've got to get the elbows up fast into a full rack position. The trick is to adjust your hands as you finish standing up out of your clean, positioning them for a better jerk. You can see the woman in this video do this, she stands up powerfully, popping the bar a little off her shoulders and then adjusting her hands: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MIEZnrKRgg (WFS).

Practice is also going to be huge (video would help us assess your technique) but you shouldn't need to train full time like an o-lifter just to get an OK squat clean. I squat clean about what I power clean but don't really work my squat clean. You should be able to do the same without a ton of specialized work.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:34 AM   #3
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Re: Upside down on my clean and snatch numbers

Have you considered simply not power cleaning for a year, work on only catching at the bottom and increasing confidence/technique and then re-evaluating your numbers...I often find that to be the simplest answer, don't worry about the comparison just stop the power version of the lifts for about a year.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:12 AM   #4
Kid Jansen
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Re: Upside down on my clean and snatch numbers

I'll try to get some videos up, but that will probably be next week. I can only do it early in the morning, otherwise the gym will be too crowded. I'll try shooting it in 720p60 with my Canon 600D and convert it to 720p24 with 2.5x slow motion factor in Adobe Premiere.

Also I'll probably get my olympic lifting shoes next week, which will probably provide a lot more stability then the shoes I've been lifting in up till now: Asics Gel Tactic BN603 indoor shoe and Asics Gel Cumulus 9 running shoe.

With both shoes I have the problem that when I try to balance my weight mid foot it shifts to my toes because of the curvature of the sole. This is the worst with the running shoe, because the sole is far more curved. But it also has a bigger height difference between the heel and the forefoot, which does help. Therefore I still like it better for lifting than my indoor shoes.

With the olympic lifting shoes this should no longer be a problem, since it has a heel that's 20 mm higher than the forefoot and also a perfectly flat sole.


EDIT: I'm currently not power cleaning, just squat cleans and hang squat cleans. But I only started with weightlifting again since November 21st after a hiatus of more than three years. I've done olympic weightlifting before for about half a year in 2009 from February till August, but back then I wasn't any good with full depth cleans either.
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Last edited by Kid Jansen : 01-19-2013 at 10:16 AM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:02 PM   #5
Kid Jansen
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Re: Upside down on my clean and snatch numbers

Watching http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEyoH5FV03s (WFS) I noticed that my clean catch position as for the shoulders is too much like at 0:57. Looking at that video I don't think my problem is with not pushing my elbows up enough, but with not pushing my shoulders forward and up enough. After a lot of cleaning I do have some bruising and scraping on my shoulders where the barbell should rest, but also on my clavicles.
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Last edited by Kid Jansen : 01-19-2013 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:27 PM   #6
Sean M Hutchinson
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Re: Upside down on my clean and snatch numbers

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Originally Posted by Kid Jansen View Post
I was wondering if you guys could give me some advice on how to boost my squat cleans. For some reason I have a lot of trouble with the clean catch and recovery when I go deep.

Therefore my clean PR's are upside down:

Power clean: 100 kg
Hang power clean: 92.5 kg
Squat clean: 75 kg
Hang squat clean 70 kg

With the hang I start with the bar around half way of my thighs. I don't think it's because of my front squat, because I can front squat 107,5 kg with clean grip and ATG. Probably not the pulls either, since I can get it up there easily when doing a power clean. Not very surprising, since my deadlift is much higher with 205 kg.

But for some reason when I try to catch my cleans deep I either miss the catch completely or it falls of my shoulders during the recovery (mostly the latter). It might be that I don't push my elbows up enough, but when I do try to push them up as high as I can I get trouble with the jerk. It makes the jerk feel way to much like a french press.

I have the same problem by the way when I try to jerk the bar from a rack. For some reason I'm really bad at that. I can jerk 100 kg when I power clean the bar, but only 87.5 kg from rack.

Is it just a matter of practicing squat cleans until you're completely wiped out and then some more?


By the way, the same goes for the snatch. But I think that with the snatch my problem is quite obvious, I can't overhead squat enough weight to catch it deep:

Power snatch: 75 kg
Hang power snatch: 65 kg
Overhead squat: 45 kg

Didn't seem like much use to snatch as much as I can while catching it deep before I get my overhead squat up to at least 65 kg. So I don't know how high that is, probably around 40 kg.

Right now I'm doing overhead squat three times a week. I think it's mostly a stability, flexibility and recruitment problem, because based on my front squat, back squat and deadlift I think the raw power is definitely there. So I hope to get it to 65+ kg in about a month.
This is usually the outcome of learning to power clean before learning how to do a real clean aka full squat clean.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:46 PM   #7
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Re: Upside down on my clean and snatch numbers

My opinion without any video.

No power, you said you are doing that, keep it going.

Snatch. I don't understand why you want to wait for your overhead squat to be heavier to work on the snatch, keep it light if you want to, but there's no reason to not at least drill with an empty or lightly weighted bar.

Get your core strength up. OHS will help but I think you should mix in L-sits and hanging leg lifts (no kip)

Work on mobility especially thoracic, hip, and ankle
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Old 01-20-2013, 04:45 AM   #8
Kid Jansen
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Re: Upside down on my clean and snatch numbers

I'm not saying I'm not doing snatches at the moment, I just said that I'm not trying to go as high as I can. Right now I mostly do snatches with 20-35 kg.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:35 AM   #9
Alex Novak
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Re: Upside down on my clean and snatch numbers

Stop doing power clean for some time. Do only squat clean and squats. Its probably beacouse of bad technique and weak legs.
You should learn squat variations of olympic lifts first
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:10 AM   #10
Sean M Hutchinson
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Re: Upside down on my clean and snatch numbers

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Stop doing power clean for some time. Do only squat clean and squats. Its probably beacouse of bad technique and weak legs.
You should learn squat variations of olympic lifts first
This guy knows!
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