No, mom, this isn’t a joke – I cleaned! But actually, I’m talking about the olympic lift, not cleaning my apartment. (Aha, misleading title!) This type of cleaning is one I can definitely get behind; the apartment cleaning, not so much. That happens sporadically and begrudgingly, and I honestly don’t know how long I’ve had a pile of clean workout clothes on my sofa that dwindles weekly only to be restocked periodically.
But back to the olympic lift. I have started trying to add in different types of lifts to my routine, as I get bored with just squats/lunges/press etc. Plus, full-body, compound movements are incredible at highlighting weaknesses and pushing your fitness to the next level. I know my hamstrings are consistently tight, and doing cleans really, really brings that to light (unfortunately). If something isn’t right, you’ll notice it.
Yesterday I threw together a HIIT lifting routine that almost made me throw up in the gym.
One clean into five full front squats
Alternating front/side raises for delts
Five cleans, last round 10 cleans
Overhead dumbbell press
Three cleans into overhead press
Maximum rest time between sets: 1 minute
This workout kicked my butt! Cleans really help develop muscular power, which I’m looking to improve to help on the bike. Also, by performing such high repetitions, I really pushed my muscular endurance.
If you’re interested in implementing cleans and other olympic-type lifts into your routine, I would advise you to work with a personal trainer or someone at your gym who clearly knows what they’re doing. I hadn’t the faintest idea of my form for cleans, and so recruited my boyfriend to give me pointers, watch my form, and correct me where necessary. Although it’s not his job, he’s a certified personal trainer who is obsessed with olympic lifts. He really helped me get the basic understanding of the lift so I know what feels right. Getting the proper form is key; if you continue to use bad form, once you’re lifting heavier weights, you’re at a greater risk for injury. If you want to fool around with cleans, here’s a great article by Breaking Muscle that addresses common clean mistakes and proper form.