One of my favorite movements is the power clean and press.

If the power clean and press is one of your favorite movements too, go ahead and click the LIKE button up on the left hand side of this post…

barbell power clean and pressIt doesn’t matter what variation I use when it comes to the power clean and press, I just love this movement.

It’s one of the most complete exercises out there as you’re basically taking a weight from the ground and pressing it over your head.

There are a  ton of variations for the power clean and press…

  • Barbell clean and press
  • Dumbbell clean and press
  • Kettlebell clean and press
  • Sandbag clean and press
  • Keg clean and press
  • Axle / fat bar clean and press
  • Strongman log clean and press
  • many, many more


This video was shot just about a year ago!  Crazy how times flies!  Since that time I’ve built up some serious power and strength.

For this week’s Thursday Throwdown, I went old school and went with your basic barbell power clean and press.

There’s nothing like ripping a heavily loaded barbell off the ground and pressing it overhead as that just gets me fired up beyond belief.  The power clean and press just feels good as it’s a great combination of both power and strength.

For this throwdown, while being brutal and challenging was also a lot of fun.  I had another strength coach from across town roll into The Forged Athlete Gym and join me on this one so it added to the intensity.  It’s always good to have another person around pushing you further and harder.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my flip cam with me as I left it at home…  BIG mistake as I wish I could have gotten this on film!

But, here’s how the throwdown goes…

You’ll set up a weight on the barbell, I started with 225.  You get 1 minute to do 2 power clean and presses.  If you don’t know, a power clean means you’re starting from the ground each rep, power cleaning it up then pressing it over head.

Here’s a awesome video of one of the best…

You can use whatever method you like for the clean portion and press portion.  For most Olympians, they catch the bar in a low position.  When you get fairly heavy (like above 300 lbs) you’ll start to catch the bar in a low position, such as in a front squat.  For me, I caught in up right with a slight bend in the knees.  I’m not upthe power clean and press - lockout to that level yet…

Then, to power the weight overhead, I used a push press, which is a fast and quick dip with the hips to help accelerate the weight overhead.  You can do a jerk (as seen by Kenny in the video above), split jerk, or if you’re a true beast, strict press it up.  NOTE – you’re strict pressing, you’re probably not using enough weight.

Either way, you’ve got to lock the weight out overhead for it to count.  Notice in the pic how the shoulder blades are squeezed tightly together, hands are slightly behind the ears and elbows are locked out…  This is the true lockout position.

As soon as the minute is up, you’ll repeat 2 more reps of the power clean and press for a total 10 rounds.

So basically, you’re doing 2 reps of power clean and press every minute on the minute for 10 total minutes.  You’ll get in 20 tough reps over the course of the 10 mins.

This power clean and press is no doubt challenging your power and strength endurance as 20 solid reps is a lot of power cleans and presses in a matter of 10 mins.

I was getting fatigued at round 6 and at that point, I had to really focus in on my technique.

Bottom Line – You want to select a weight that’s pretty challenging.  Something within your 4-5 rep max range would be a good start.  As the sets go on, you can add weight as you see fit but, you must complete all 2 reps of each round within the 1 minute time frame the the score to count.

Sounds easy huh???

Well, here’s how my results went down:

225 + 225 + 225 + 225 + 225 + 225 + 225 + 225 + 225 + 245 = 2270

To get your score for this week’s throwdown, add up all the weights you successfully used in each round and you’ll get you score…


I finished with 2270 using a barbell.  You can choose to use anything…  Sandbag, Kettlebell’s, DB’s, anything…

Go ahead and post up your RESULTS in the comments or my Facebook Fan Page. I’m anxious to see how you can do.

I’m pretty pissed I didn’t get this on film but, what are you going to do?  When it’s time to train, it’s time to train!   Especially when you’re about to hit up a ton of barbell power clean and presses!

Live Aggressive and Get Strong!  Barbell power clean and press

PS – For those of you out there that have a passion for barbell training and want to take it to the next level…  Check out Barbell Battlefield…  I got well over 30 BRUTAL Barbell complexes just waiting to be attacked!