Assessment: Clean 1 Rep Max
Of all the assessments we do the clean is only one that requires a certain level of technical ability for it to be a useful measure of strength.
What do I mean by this?
It means that if you are not at least moderately proficient at this lift then your 1 rep max will not be indicative of your strength, or power.
We’ve seen more than one strong athlete come in and struggle with getting a decent 1 Rep max due to lack of proficiency.
For the majority, and I mean like 99.9% of you, your clean 1RM will never make or break you as an athlete.
That being said, we love this exercise and find that spending some time learning how to do it correctly is a worthwhile investment of training time.
WHY DO WE DO IT?
It assesses and trains not only maximal strength but power, which is the ability to move the bar quickly. Building momentum is the key to getting under a heavy barbell.
It teaches proprioception, which is simply body awareness, or knowing what your body is doing without looking at it.
It trains mobility, hitting that bottom position under load with some momentum makes athletes more comfortable in the bottom of the squat.
The clean, along with its variations, seem to be safer for new athletes than training heavy deadlifts.
It’s pretty damn fun once you get the hang of it.
RESULTS IN OUR GYM
We recently assessed 100 of our athletes in the gym and got some data from them. Keep in mind that although our athletes are fitter than most, they are just normal people like you and me.
Your 1 Rep max is important and a great way to measure improvements in strength, but to expect a 150 lb male to clean the same as a 225 lb male is just absurd. So what we did was take their body weight into consideration. This gives them a measure of relative strength and power.
1 rep max / Bodyweight = Clean Coefficient
So, an example is that I weigh 172 lbs and cleaned 265 lbs.That would give me a Clean Coefficient of 1.54.
Along with their bodyweight, we took into consideration age, training experience, and body types. Below is what we found:
HEAVIEST CLEAN – MALE: 325lbs
HEAVIEST CLEAN – FEMALE: 180lbs
BEST CLEAN COEFFICIENT – MALE: 1.56
BEST CLEAN COEFFICIENT – FEMALE: 1.38
Along with the numbers above we found out that…
Athletes in their 30’s were stronger, both M/F. This was interesting, but we have more athletes in their 30’s than other age groups. Normally younger athletes would have a higher coefficient, but lack of experience seemed to hold our younger athletes back.
Athletes with an average build had higher coefficient, both M/F. This was most likely due to excess body fat that stocky builds have with no additional strength. This is nothing new as when comparing competitive lifters in different weight classes you use a formula to compare them fairly as lighter athletes have higher coefficients.
Experienced athletes had higher coefficients. This is also pretty obvious, they have more experience and are more proficient at the lift.
HOW TO FIND YOUR 1RM
Do 5 rounds of:
4x Jump Squats
Start light (65-95 lbs) then increase 10-20 lbs each round.
After the warm-up is complete add 10-20 lbs and do a single clean, rest about 60 seconds, add 10-20lbs then do a single clean.
Repeat this process until you hit failure or complete a rep that is so hard that you are confident you cannot do it again.
If you hit failure don’t be afraid to try again, I missed my first time but hit it on the second attempt. If you fail 3 times then we suggest calling it a day.
Weigh yourself without shoes, then do the math to find your coefficient.
If you’re the kind of person that likes to film yourself doing epic shit then don’t be afraid to post it on instagram and tag us, make sure to include your weight, 1 RM, and Clean Coefficient.
Don’t know how to do cleans?
HERE IS A VIDEO