High school and college coaches have had their athletes doing Olympic style lifts such as the power clean forever it seems. Most coaches have their athletes do them because they say it makes their athletes “explosive.” But are Olympic style lifts such as the power clean necessary for athletes?
The snatch, clean, and jerk is a sport in itself in the Olympics and takes a great deal of time to master. The people you see on television train specifically to improve those three areas so their training each time is aided to help up the snatch, clean, and jerk. If your sport is football you can’t just do power cleans once a week and expect to master the technique. It’s just like if an Olympic lifter were to throw the pig skin around once a week? Would it help him become better at the snatch, clean, and jerk? NO!
Most coaches who have their athletes do Olympic style lifts have them do them because they make their athletes “explosive.” The problem with this is that you can turn any lift into an “explosive” lift if you use 50% of the athletes 1 rep max (maximum amount of weight a person can do one time).
The problem with having athletes do power cleans to get explosive is most if not all the athletes can NOT master the form. Sure they will make you more explosive but why waste so much time with your athletes trying to get their form down when you can have them do simple but effective movements such as box jumps, broad jumps, and sprints. These simple but effective exercises will build up just as much explosion in athletes than the power clean.