3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by FarAwayFalcon » Fri May 30, 2008 12:14 am

gymratt wrote:Cleans are the single mos important exercise a football player (or many explosive-type athletes) can do. No one exercise is the end all be all of strength but If I could only do one exercise that would be it. What do tackling, blocking, and running all have in common...EXPLOSION. Who cares if a player can Bench 300 Lbs. if his lower body doesn't have the explosion to put a force behind it. Cleans and PARELLEL squats are the 2 most important exercixes for football players with everything else WAY WAY behind. Also, IMO, Deadlift probably hurts more highschool athletes than any other exercise. That is one lift I would get rid of if I were a strength coach or Head coach at a High School.


I agree completely with this, as one of my coaches used to say, "Bench Press can't really be used until you're flat on your back, and then it's kinda too late".



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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by madpolecat » Fri May 30, 2008 7:30 am

Maybe it just has to do with the way I am built (wingspan is 6-4 and I am only 6-0, kinda long-armed), but I stopped messing around with heavy benches and went over to dumbells and push-ups, and my shoulders stopped hurting.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by cadmus sasquatch » Fri May 30, 2008 8:27 am

power cleans

they may have there place as another compound lift for conditioning, I do not think they are the best thing to do.

"To all strength coaches: the next time you have your athletes do Olympic squats, ask yourself why. The joint angles are not advantageous for the stretch reflex. If a lineman were to use that position on the field, he would easily be pushed backward. The Olympic lifts require flexibility. Everyone thinks the Olympic lifts are so quick. While your cleans at 60% look fast, so does box squats at 60%. The Athlete who can clean 400 uses 240 lbs (60%). The lifter who can Squat 800 uses 480(60%) Who do you really think would be faster and stronger? Compared to a Powerlifter, an Olympic lifter can't squat with the Sunday paper. A kid that can hang clean 400 would look frail to an 800 squatter, and don't forget in Olympic lifting, as the bar is raising, the lifter is lowering himself, making it appear that they are moving the bar at great speed. OLYMPIC LIFTING IS THE BIGGEST BUST IN THE THE UNITED STATES. we have not placed a single lifter on the "A" list, yet alot of strength coaches still advocate the Olympic lifts."

and for the person who said, that the Bench Press is only good if you are on your back, WOW! what a statement, I do not know about everyone else but when I played I would punch, and as a coach I teach players to punch. I think a bench Press helps in that area, close grips even better.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by jiveturkey » Fri May 30, 2008 8:43 am

OK, enough of my clowning around. Here is what I think (Remember: With my opinion and a quarter you cant even make a phone call!)

1. Strength Training demands close supervision from the coach. Athletes should not be allowed to sacrifice technique for pounds.
2. Cleans, done well, are an excellent lift.
3. I prefer the incline bench over the flat bench. I think the incline more closely replicates movements made in the game and they seem to stress the shoulder capsule less.
4. Deadlifts are a waste of time in the strength room due to the potential of serious injury.
5. If you are gonna squat, be parallel! No higher, no lower! This takes work on the part of the athlete and the coach in the perfection of technique.

Just my thought, guys!

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by boogerred » Fri May 30, 2008 8:54 am

I doubt the 800lb squatter can reach his backside after taking a crap to wipe himself!
I would definitely say a guy with a 400 lb clean is faster and more athletic than an 800lb squatter.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by cadmus sasquatch » Fri May 30, 2008 9:07 am

The best 3 U.S.A. Olympic Lifters ever, started as Powerlifters simple Fact

Paul Anderson, Mark Henry, Shane Hammon,


That says it all
Last edited by cadmus sasquatch on Fri May 30, 2008 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by jiveturkey » Fri May 30, 2008 9:19 am

And how many years were those guys in the pro bowl?

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by MTSWNGRVSG » Fri May 30, 2008 9:28 am

Interesting, according to a majority of you a guy, Dan Riley, is an NFL Strength Coach for 27 years and does not know anything. A person does not stay at that leval that long and be ignorant of what he is talking about. How many Hall of Famers played for the Redskins while he was there? Was that not that the Era of the "Hogs"?

As Forrest Gump would say, "that is all I have to say about that!"

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by boogerred » Fri May 30, 2008 9:41 am

Are we talking about powerlifting vs. olympic lifting or are we talking about one lift and whether or not it is good for football players?

So, hooray for powerlifting!! I don't care; powerlift all you want, but that is not the topic of this debate.

That may be Riley's position now; what was his stance on the issue before?

I think it basically comes down to what the coaches want the kids to do. It is kind of like one coach using the spread to win versus another using the west coast offense to win.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by cadmus sasquatch » Fri May 30, 2008 9:48 am

Did you read all my first post it covers cleans?

everyone was talking about cleans being the greatest thing for football, and this is why I posted.

can cleans be helpful in some ways, sure, but there is others, when people got on here calling coaches lazy for not teaching it, than yes I will post my thoughts.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by boogerred » Fri May 30, 2008 10:09 am

This is off topic , but what the heck....

I think there is a major misconception that squatting equals speed.

I love squats. Squatting does help with speed, but there are numerous other factors involved. Although squatting does help with the strength required to be fast, squatting doesn't require the lifter to move his feet (except to pick up the weight and to rack it).

I was told to get better at something, you have to do it! It is not rocket science. If you want to get faster, run sprints, starts, and legouts (to work on stride) - along with weight training and plyos.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by cadmus sasquatch » Fri May 30, 2008 10:11 am

I have to agree if you want to get faster Run.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by cadmus sasquatch » Fri May 30, 2008 10:54 am

jiveturkey wrote:And how many years were those guys in the pro bowl?


How about the superbowl is that good enough for you?

Patriots vs Packers

the owner of westside barbell was consultant for both teams.
the article on page 1, is a product of westside barbell

People come world wide and I do mean World wide to study his methods.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by madpolecat » Fri May 30, 2008 11:56 am

Let us not debate whether or not Dan RIley knows anything about training NFL players.

Note, however, that he trains only guys who are superior athletes to begin with. Is the risk worth it to train a guy who is already 1 in 10,000? prolly not.

Is it worth the effort to supervise a kid in high school so he can be a better athlete? I believe so.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by cadmus sasquatch » Fri May 30, 2008 12:11 pm

I think if a kid hits the weights he is going to get some what better no matter what he is doing, if he is new to it, and he is being helped by someone that knows a little.

not taking a risk doing the power clean because they are great athletes, they have to still be squating, benching plyos or something, to maintain some of that ability

so did they power clain to get strong and fast to become great athletes, and than stop because the risk was to great. If they stopped than they would have lost some of that explosiveness that everyone talks about .

once you stop doing a movement you lose a great amount of your gains in as little as 3 wks.

Karl let me know if I misunderstood you post, I may have.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by MTSWNGRVSG » Fri May 30, 2008 12:15 pm

KarlAgathon-so you are saying that I did not supervise, that is interesting!

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by Boonedawg » Fri May 30, 2008 5:02 pm

I don't know this Reiley dude But I trust Dr. Greg Sheppard. ;-)

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by cadmus sasquatch » Fri May 30, 2008 6:15 pm

Boonedawg, I am glad you trust BFS.

Have you ever looked around at other things or is this what your coach used for you, and you have stuck with it?

either way you have your opinion and I have mine.

I simply believe there are better ways to coach explosiveness.

and I trust Louie Simmons, and many other strength coaches

has Dr. Shepard(sp?)
Ever been to Russia to watch there Olympic team train?

Has people came to stay with him for months from Europe to study bfs?

has lifters left school so they could come train bfs some place else?


good luck with your lifting

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by gymratt » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:54 pm

Who cares what country does powerlifting or how good team USA is at Olympic lifting. NONE OF THEM ARE FOOTBALL PLAYERS. If you surveyed every NFL Coach and Player and asked what they would do if they were only allowed to do one "lift" I would bet my house that they would overwhelmingly choose some type of cleans. Squat would be the only competition. That's point blank and period.

And whoever said olympic leifts are bad cuz they emphasize flexibility is an IDIOT.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by boogerred » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:15 am

I saw something kind of funny last night when I was watching an old UFC PPV.

Randy Couture was power cleaning!!!!

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by boogerred » Tue Jun 17, 2008 8:17 am

Does Louie Simmons play football????
I know his brother Ron Simmons played for the Browns. (Just kidding, Ron is not related to Louie)

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by sandman » Tue Jun 17, 2008 10:45 am

The important thing is to lift. When most of us were "younger", we put in hay, tobacco, did farm work, dug ditches, etc. Many of the great high school athletes we knew never darkened the door of the weight room because their parents needed them to work at home or they needed the money. Unfortunately, for the most part, those jobs are no longer there and the natural strength that resulted is gone. I once read that chopping or splitting wood, for example, was one of the most effective strength building exercises available and that it absolutely could not be duplicated in the weightroom (remember the Rocky movie?).

Any program today that is not lifting in a balanced fashion year-round is behind the curve on Friday night. Supervision is key, not only to insure proper form and safety but to make sure it is being done at all. The debate about cleans will rage on, thus the 3rd annual title given to this post. As I said, i think the key is consistancy in well balanced lifting. The team that lifts and conditions the most is the one that will most likely succeed. I think that the greater issue is a school system's willingness to allow lifting to become a part of the cirrulum, particularly in today's fuel based economy. What harm would it do to incorporate this type of strength and conditioning as a physical education option. It would be a wonderful in-school recruiting tool for the coaching staffs in all sports. I know that many of the programs out there do this but I do not know how many area districts allow it. Good luck to all of the progams in the upcoming year.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by boogerred » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:21 am

We did it at RV

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by Boonedawg » Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:45 pm

I've got my kid out flopping a tractor tire over and over and tossing a couple hay bales everyday. He's deffinatley getting stronger while the rest of the boys are on their butts playing xbox.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by madpolecat » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:27 pm

Where did I say that, mtswngrvsg?

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by whspirate » Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:11 am

Power cleans are better period. It is like anything else however, if not tought properly then the risks could be greater than the benefits. That is why a lot of high school coaches do not teach the technique. Plus they just do not know how to teach it.

From personal experiance I can say that platform lifts which include power cleans, did the most for my speed and vertical vs anything else.

The key is making sure that Platform lifts start very basic and make sure that regular squats both front and back are a part of the teaching process. Then you continue to build off the basics towards growth of full platform lifts.

It all has to run together or you will not maximize full benefits!

That is how it is done at the college level.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by boogerred » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:11 am

Let's change it up here a little.

What about hanging cleans?

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by boogerred » Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:43 am

If done correctly cleans are like a modified high pull and a deep front squat - two lifts at once. The reason people say cleans are 'dangerous' is that many kids lack the flexibility to drop down into the low front squat position.

I watched the US Collegiate Nationals this weekend and saw a guy clean 210 kilos (he missed the jerk part)!!!
The guy didn't look freakish; rather, he looked like an athletic heavyweight wrestler.

Cleans are great!

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by miltard52 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:28 pm

[quote="boogerred"]If done correctly cleans are like a modified high pull and a deep front squat - two lifts at once. The reason people say cleans are 'dangerous' is that many kids lack the flexibility to drop down into the low front squat position.

I watched the US Collegiate Nationals this weekend and saw a guy clean 210 kilos (he missed the jerk part)!!!
The guy didn't look freakish; rather, he looked like an athletic heavyweight wrestler.

boogerred i agree with you 100% b/c in football power cleans work on your speed coming off the line...and bench is good for you too but ppl don't understand what does bench help with? Im a logan high school student and been lifting for years and realized that bench is only to brag bout...ppl don't ask other ppl how much that they squat or anything. like u said power cleans are good for you and great for football :122245

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by boogerred » Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:12 am

When I was taught how to clean, there was no emphasis on dropping your butt down below the weight. I was basically taught a reverse barbell swing curl.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by madpolecat » Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:40 pm

One of the things that seems to happen a lot with cleaning is that most people teach the POWER CLEAN because it is easier with a faster learning curve than the CLEAN AND JERK.

Of course, in a football weightroom setting with many athletes lifting at once, it is easier to teach the power clean rather than emphasizing taking the lift deep and doing the full front squat with the weight. Teaching olympic-style cleaning takes a lot of time and supervision, and I am not sure how realistic it is for high school weight rooms to pull off that level of individual coaching.

The HANG CLEAN is also easier to teach, I think, so football coaches like it too.

A coaching colleague of mine said that he wouldn't use power cleans for his high school program because when he was in college, they had a strength coach who absolutely crammed olympic-style lifting down their throats and that it caused many guys to have shoulder problems.

Fair enough; one goes and learns from one's experiences, but to limit your learning by what has been your immediate experience is a mistake; looking without further analysis is a mistake.

I never did get to look at the program design that was "causing" these injuries, so it is hard to say whether the cleans, the programs, or something else was causing those shoulder injuries. My colleague did tell me that there was A LOT OF STEROID USAGE in that program. Could the belief that cleans are bad (a notion carried in from previous experience) have been reinforced by all those injuries, problems that may have been caused by other issues OR the interaction of those issues and cleans.

If you think about it that way, no wonder an NFL strength coach (Dan Riley was mentioned) would say cleans were bad for his players, considering what the anecdotal evidence about NFL steroid usage tells us? (An aside -- I would be interested in knowing if Dan Riley has his players deadlift, though.)

Of course, Gary Wrobeleski was the strength coach for Marty Schottenheimer with the Browns in the 1980s (the Drive, the Fumble era). I know Gary personally, and he SWEARS by cleans.

Another knock against cleans on this forum was that they are not safe. I guess that it is my belief that anything in this world can be safe or unsafe depending on how it is handled. I know of one fairly serious injury involving cleans (a broken wrist/arm).

If I remember correctly, the kid tried to lean the weight back at the top. He was in a lousy position for executing the lift. He was in a position I KNOW that he had never been shown as a way to execute the lift. If he were in the correct position, he would have dumped the weight forward, not back on himself. We have all seeen lousy squats that have resulted in injured kids, yet we still work the squat.

One striking example does not the truth of the matter define, unless it is a truth in which you are already firmly entrenched. I think that social scientists call that “confirmation bias.”

As far as the Louie Simmons vs. Greg Shepard debate goes, these two men are going to have radically different opinions on the issue. Simmons has a very serious powerlifting background; he may be the absolute best powerlifting coach in the world. Shepard’s background is more with track and field. Track people, throwing people especially, swear by cleans because they see the use of the entire body to generate maximum force as being well-trained by the olympic lifts. Many would say that this also applies to football, which is a game of POWER (the ability to express strength quickly) rather than strength. Boyd Epley and his people have written extensively about this topic.

Can you train to squat and deadlift explosively? Of course you can. Nobody doubts this fact. But when it comes to powerlifting competition time, without the time factor as part of the competitive yardstick, explosiveness is immaterial. It can be argued that powerlifting is mis-named, anyway, because there are no bonus points for lifting 700 pounds in 1.0 seconds as opposed to 1.7.

I think Shepard actually did coach high school football at one point in his career; I don’t know if Simmons did coach football. These two guys are in completely different businesses (except for the fact that they both sell a LOT of gym equipment). Shepard is trying to develop athletic skills in young people. Simmons is training the biggest, baddest powerlifters on the planet, and people want to know if that knowledge can help their football players be successful.

Simmons’ techniques can make kids stronger, yes. And is a stronger individual better than he was when he was weaker? Of course. Simmons’ stuff is probably good for training high school football players.

Most of the arguments against cleans are based in safety issues. I don’t see how those arguments hold water, especially when it is clear that coaching and supervision are the keys to doing cleans safely. I am sure that folks on BOTH sides of the debate want their kids well-supervised and well-coached in the weightroom.

I love how this topic always turns into the sports equivalent of the abortion debate LOL

I think that it would be great if somebody around this region could get a private gym started and maybe put together an olympic-style weightlifting team to compete.

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Re: 3rd annual "Are Power Cleans Good for Football" Debate

Post by cadmus sasquatch » Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:32 pm

Karl, there is a Olympic lifting team in Columbus Oh, and Wheeling Wv I am Pretty sure.

Not in our area but you can check it out still pretty close I know you do not mind to travel, they have a meet at the Ohio state fair. every year.

On another note, you talk about shepard and Lou, training differant things one young football players and the other Powerlifters.

Lou coaches or helps alot more than PowerLifters
I have a great friend, you met him before Jerry Pain who started going there some. he is just or was an average lifter until his last meet his numbers changed BIG TIME.

Lou also coaches many High school football player that are on there way to college, I have some great articles about this kid who went to more head his 40 time was dropped dramaticlly in just I think 3 months you may be able to find the article on there site or eltefs.

Than we got many nfl football teams he has worked with, and college football teams. mma fighters, soccer players,

Now there is this thing wich is a money maker called westside certification.
a bunch of major universities are making there strength coaches and interns get this certification, so it must be pretty good for football other than just Powerlifting. All kinds of sports have got major bennifits from westside and I am sure alot have from bfs as well.

as for a max lift You have to be very explosve to move absolute weight.
if you are moving 135 as fast as you can, you are pushing 300 with the same amount of force, the bar might not be moving as fast but you are still pushing as hard and as quick as you can think about it.

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