clean and press?

Is it possible to learn to clean and press at home, without personal instruction?

I as i only have a bar and weights (only about 100lbs) and was looking for something i can do, combined with chins, that will hit most of my important muscles.


Possible - yes

Optimal - no

I've learned both cleans and snatches on my own (with a lot of help from guys on this forum). I couldn't compete with trained lifters but I can do the excersises good enough to benefit from them. Just read some articles about it and start out slow.

Try the Barbell Thrusters on (under exercises.)

I tried doing cleans at home, self instruction, and I realized something: If I screw this exercise up with a decent amount of weight, I could do serious, lasting damage to my body. Cleans are a finely tuned movement where the barbell thrusters are a comparatively basic movement, not as sophisticated a movement as a clean.

And if you want to hit the back more, supplement the thrusters with dumbell swings ( you can get hex dumbells at a decent price.

Come to think of it you may be able to do swings effectively with a plate, I’d recommend holding the plate with both hands!

Mike Boyle puts out a video i got awhile ago that helped me. That and video taping myself doing them.

Having said that i've been lifting with a friend who was NC State's decathalete in the late 80s (lots of formal training). I've made more progress with his help in my form and it almost feels like a different excersize now than before.

I agree with Androushka though, don't go crazy, approach it slow and play with the form. I usually do reps of 5 so this keeps the weight down. I'm still learning though after doing them for over a year.

Look for my bestseller..."The TAO of Cleans, One Man's Spiritual Journey" at a bookstore near you. ;-)

I learnt myself, but it took me a REALLY long time, and I had some (temporary) upper back strain because of it.


there are plenty of explanations on the internet. Print them out and bring it to the gym with you. Start with low very weights and practice the excersise every day. When you got the form down slowly start increasing the weights.

Thanks for the input so far guys, ill have a look around on the internet and see if i can find any decent instructionals.

SquirrelStyle, thanks for the suggestion. Looking at the exercise though, it looks like momentum would be doing most of the work, ie, more full bodied cardio than strength training?

On there is an article by Coach Davies of Renegade Training that helps a person prepare for the clean, look in the 2004 archives or search under Davies or Power Clean.

Other basics to work on if you are hell bent on learning the clean are bottom squats, front squats, deadlifts, high pulls, overhead presses, and push jerks. I think that without working those exercises, which are good ones overall, someone might not be able to excel in their attempt at a weighted clean & press since those are like the step by step breakdown of a clean & press. Once you get the hang of the clean & press then try "The Bear" complex from an article by Coach Davies.

Now even if you can't around to doing a good clean & press, doing exercises mentioned in the above paragraph are just as good. I forget what strength coach said this- doing squats and deadlifts takes shorter time to learn than cleans, and those will increase your cleans, but cleans won't increase your squats and deadlifts.

Ah personal learning advice on the clean & press, I spent a month using a broomstick to get the technique down. I don't think there's any shame in that, 'cause it beats being all messed up.

Brooks Kubik, advice from the forum and time.

Good advice. I saw a pretty good article called "How to Clean a Barbell" a while back, maybe Google it?

You definitely want to be learning the power clean, not the squat clean (which probably goes without saying for most people, but if you don't know what you're looking for...)

Yeah I might add that I too had some strains in my back. Once I had lower back pain from being knocked backwards, and one time I damn near dropped the bar on my head. Broomstick and empty bar are your friends.

Momentum does play a role but, believe me - you will gain more than just cardio from it, just use a more weight (never some much you sacrifice form though!.)

Here is a very good sight

My O-lift knows Tom. I think he was at one time a coach of the USA weightlifting team or associated with the team.

His sight is very good. I particularly liked the section on assisted lifts.

I learned the clean myself from reading and looking at descriptions, using a light bar. It sucks using an empty or very light bar to learn, since it takes awhile and meantime people are staring at the semi-big/buff guy doing cleans with 75#.