June 16, 2010
Many strong athletes eventually hit a wall when training the Olympic lifts. Bill Starr explains how to get back on track when your clean stalls and PRs cease to come.
I’m assuming that you’re using at least decent form and have advanced to the point where you’re handling some testy poundages in the lift. You’re gaining confidence in your technique. Your routine typically has you doing 6 sets of 3 twice a week. One time you go to max and the other you simply drill with moderate weights on form. Every so often, when everything is clicking, you go after a PR. All is coming up roses for a long time—then you hit a sticking point.
While this is extremely frustrating to any motivated athlete, it’s simply a part of the overall process of getting stronger. If it wasn’t, every person who ever did full cleans would eventually handle 500-plus. Of course, we know this isn’t the case. Those who have been successful in knowing how to break through the inevitable sticking points and moving big numbers are few and far between. Why? It requires a hell of a lot of work, and most who say they really want to clean more aren’t willing to put in the necessary effort.