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Old 12-16-2008, 04:17 PM   #1
Gusten Nyberg
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Location: Linköping  Sweden
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I'm not very good at cleaning weight.

This is my first attempt at any kind of coaching except reading, watching videos and trying to apply it myself. I'm following the mainsite program, scaled to brandx "pack", but trailing by a month or so. Today was 1+1+1+1+1+1+1 squat cleans, and I ran into some problems.

Before I started out I read starting strength and tried to work on those exercises, but not for more than perhaps two weeks. I've been taking some time during warmups and cooldowns to work on my form for cleans and a lot of other stuff, and I thought I had ok technique. Today showed me wrong though, I definitely got more humble.

Here's a video of three of my attempts. I've got a bunch of thoughts on what I'm doing wrong and what I can try to think about doing differently, but I'll keep those to myself for a bit and see if you guys see the same things.

The quality might be a bit better if you download this file:

What errors do I make, and what can I do to correct them? Anything I'm doing right?

For future video-attempts:
* What angle should I choose?
* Is the quality good enough, or do I need a proper video camera?
* Anything else?

Thanks a lot!
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Old 12-16-2008, 07:10 PM   #2
Tom Ellison
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Re: I'm not very good at cleaning weight.

I'm certainly no expert, so take this with a grain of salt. That said, the biggest things I noticed were:

Good: you seem to be getting decent triple extension, maybe needs more of a shrug at the top but overall pretty good.

Bad: you need to pull yourself down into the front squat position faster and more aggressively. And most importantly, think about driving your elbows UP. Your arms should be parallel to the ground after the catch.

I'm sure someone more qualified can give you more nuanced advice, that's just my first impression, Cliffs Notes take on it.
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Old 12-16-2008, 08:48 PM   #3
Shawn Bailey
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Re: I'm not very good at cleaning weight.

No expert here either, but I from what I saw I would agree with the above, it looks like you need to get your elbows through quicker and in a more "racked" position (elbows up).
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:53 PM   #4
Tim Luby
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Re: I'm not very good at cleaning weight.

I think you need to stop what you're doing and get some pro help immediately.
The log
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Old 12-16-2008, 10:12 PM   #5
Kevin Perry
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Re: I'm not very good at cleaning weight.

Looks to me like your starting position is not very good.... Hips are too high which is pushing your center of gravity further over the bar... lower your hips more and and stick your chest out. You also need to work on full extension but it would be better to practice with just the bar or pvc pipe and get the 1st pos down and then work on the 2nd and 3rd because it looks like as soon as you bring the bar up you jump right away.

Do you have access to a coach? Perhaps post this video to the performance menu and see what some over there have to say.
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Old 12-17-2008, 12:59 PM   #6
Glenn Pendlay
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Re: I'm not very good at cleaning weight.


First of all, congrats on beginning the Olympic lifts!

As far as those vids go, they are NOT terrible, you are doing quite a few things right, so dont get frustrated.

Changing two things will, I think, lead to some dramatic improvements. First, get your back set better before you start, shoulders back, not drooping forward, and a good tight arch in the lower and middle back. Next, MOVE YOUR ELBOWS!!! This cant be stressed enough... cleaning like you are doing it, with the elbows pointing down at the catch, IS going to eventually lead to an injury!!! Your elbow is going to hit your knee, and your wrist is going to get strained, sprained, or broken. It IS going to happen if you dont shoot those elbows through. So dont try, JUST DO IT... get those elbows all the way through, immedietly, so that your upper arm is parallel to the ground when the bar hits the shoulders.

And one other thing... you are taking way too much time between approaching the bar and actually lifting it. Think about what you are going to do, walk up to the bar, take your position, and pull. You are thinking too much immedietly prior to lifting.

Good luck! If you make those changes, I believe you will find some of the other more minor stuff will clear itself up automatically.

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Old 12-18-2008, 03:47 PM   #7
Nick Maisonet
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Re: I'm not very good at cleaning weight.

I think that you are very brave in posting your video and shows that you are really looking to improve yourself by asking for help.

My .02- Aside from some of the other things mentioned, I noticed that you were a little soft on the bottom of the clean. You want the weight to push you down a little but you also need to control the weight. The bottom of the clean should be your front squat position. Controlled and rigid at the bottom and ready to explode out of the hole. I think if you work on your front squat( elbow position included) you will feel much more solid at the bottom of your clean transferring into more confidence in your abilities. I also second the recommendation of practicing with the PVC and working yourself up from there. There is no shame in perfecting your technique at lower weights.
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Old 12-18-2008, 04:16 PM   #8
Robert Callahan
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Re: I'm not very good at cleaning weight.

on top of what is already post above, GET SOME LIFTING SHOES!!!!!

"I swear by my life and by my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine"
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Old 12-18-2008, 06:08 PM   #9
Robert Laken
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Re: I'm not very good at cleaning weight.

The "F bomb" at the end of the video was well executed!!
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Old 12-19-2008, 08:06 AM   #10
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: I'm not very good at cleaning weight.

Glenn's point about preparing before you get to the bar helped me alot. I was at the bar for almost 20 seconds sometimes and my coach put me on a 5 second timer from when I walked up to the bar and lifted it. Made a huge difference.
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