My Power Clean is the Same as My Clean! Help!!!

I get the privilege to travel around and coach some very strong, energetic people in weightlifting. I teach a very basic style of hip extension applying physics you know the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter (the loaded bar) and energy (the lifter). Some coaches teach a "hip bang or bounce" but the differences are for another post. I teach a very straight pull which results in a straight bar path. What gets me is once the coaching session is underway i almost always hear "wow I need help my power clean is 225 but my squat clean is 230!" First off I shutter every time I hear the term squat clean and my weightlifting friends / snobs will agree. THERE IS NO REASON TO SAY SQUAT CLEAN! But the bigger question is why on earth would it be acceptable for your power clean to be more than your clean or even close?

There are three main culprits that cause this to be the norm in a lot of gyms and we will briefly look at each. First off many lifters especially newbies don't have the flexibility or mobility to do a full squat. Secondly in addition to not having the mobility many don't know how to squat. A lifter with poor mobility will tend to squat by 1st pushing their butt back and try to get depth by leaning forward and rounding the lower back. With this lethal cocktail of poor mobility and poor technique it's no wonder why many can't squat under a weight with it in a front rack.

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What I Would do as a Strength Coach Building an Anerobic Demon

I get the opportunity to see a lot of horrible crap in a lot of gyms across my area. You name it from jumping split squats for clients that can't do a jumping jack, to overhead squat long jumps, quarter squats with knees caved in, to "weight loss" clients first exercise being bicep curls, to large groups of people sacrificing healthy joint saving technique to get a better time or an RX weight. There's so much more that's too numerous to mention and people blindly throw money away as a "professional" with an under armor shirt and cut arms looks on. But what really gets me is the local high school, collegiate and travel team coaches that have young men and women do tremendously stupid exercises for reasons that they can't explain. These people should know better. I have seen football players, soccer players, basketball players, softball and baseball players running miles as warmups, as conditioning, and worse of all because of poor performance.

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"SHOULD I CROSSFIT?"

I get asked all the time "What do you think of crossfit?" "Do you do Crossfit?" "Should I Crossfit?"

Here's the low down on what I think. I am a fan of anything that gets people up and moving. If programmed and coached properly with proper regressions and progressions I think crossfit can be a very productive regime. I do believe that it needs to satisfy a few requirements before you "drink the kool-aide" so to speak. I think you should look for a box that has an on-ramp program not just a few skill sessions so you kind of know what the prescribed exercise is. Hey you're a newbie take the time to learn the movements you will last longer and have better gains. Secondly, how long has the coaches been.... well coaching? I know that all my crossfit friends will agree with my next statement. Just because you have been doing crossfit for 6 months doesn't mean you should and open your own box! Third requirement, how much time is spent working on mobility? Since much of crossfit is gymnastic type movements and olympic weightlifting mobility is key.

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Clean Eating ?!?

For me nutrition has always been eat as much as possible and lift as heavy as possible. Recently I decided that I would try to go completely grain less. I've never been a big bread or pasta guy and I despise rice, well unless its around sushi, but my philosophy has been at the end of the day if I'm short on calories then a calorie is a calorie. This may mean grabbing 5 cheeseburgers or whatever I can get my hands on. Now going grain less doesn't mean I went "Paleo". I feel "Paleo" is a fad, which may have started out as great idea but has been bastardized. I mean come on a quick google search yields paleo cupcakes, cookie dough... I bet there is even paleo socks for your paleo feet.

So what did I eat? Basically I ate a high fat diet consisting of meat (beef, venison, pork, chicken, fish) and green vegetables (cabbages, kale, zucchini, avocados....) and some starches (butternut squash, spaghetti squash...). Timing wise I started basically everyday with a keto coffee (tablespoon butter + 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream or coconut oil and a little cinnamon). I didn't intentionally intermittent fast but just ate when I was hungry or when my schedule allowed. My goals were to get a minimum of 4,000 calories and to remain grain free. I managed to keep my calories high by the addition of whole milk to my diet (almost 3/4 to 1 gallon a day). I know some people scoff at this especially you "paleo" people, but answer me this back in the day wasn't everyone breast fed at one time? It's my right as a mammal HAHA!!!

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Fast Lane to That Summer Bod

Ok, summer is right around the corner and with that means swimsuit season. The problem is we may have lost some steam from that New Year's Resolution we started back in January but is it too late??? How can we fast track ourselves to that swimsuit ready body? At Underground Athletic Development we use a very simple "formula" to get that swimsuit body back.

First off we only use compound movements. Well whats a compound movement? We define a compound movement as an exercise that uses multiple joints, like a squat, deadlift, or an overhead press and generally incorporates free weights if the client is ready.

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