Influence of Power Clean Ability and Training Age on Adaptations to Weightlifting-Style Training

J Strength Cond Res. 2019 Nov;33(11):2936-2944. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002534.


James, LP, Comfort, P, Suchomel, TJ, Kelly, VG, Beckman, EM, and Haff, GG. Influence of power clean ability and training age on adaptations to weightlifting-style training. J Strength Cond Res 33(11): 2936-2944, 2019-The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether weightlifting actions are a viable method for improving athletic performance among weaker, inexperienced lifters when compared with individuals with a greater power clean (PC) result, and hence weightlifting ability and experience. Two groups of males with distinctly different PC performances (higher performance [HP]: N = 8; body mass [BM] = 78.1 ± 4.0 kg; 1 repetition maximum [1RM] PC = 1.08 ± 0.09 kg·BM; lower performance [LP]: N = 8; BM = 82.6 ± 14.0 kg; 1RM PC = 0.78 ± 0.1 kg·BM) and resistance training age (HP: resistance training experience = 3.5 ± 1.2 years; LP: resistance training experience = 1.44 ± 1.50 years) undertook 10 weeks of training involving weightlifting derivatives, in addition to supplemental ballistic and plyometric exercises. Testing of athletic performance (represented by measures derived from the countermovement jump) occurred at baseline, after 5 weeks of training, and after 10 weeks of training. Both groups significantly improved across the majority of outcome variables after training (Hedges' g = 0.98-2.55, p ≤ 0.01-0.05). Only the HP participants experienced significant changes at midtest (g = 0.99-1.27, p ≤ 0.01-0.05), whereas no significant changes were revealed between midtest and posttest in this group. In contrast to this, the LP participants displayed a significant improvement in relative impulse (g = 1.39, p < 0.01) and rate of force development (g = 1.91, p < 0.01) during this final period (p < 0.01). As weaker, inexperienced lifters underwent a significant and meaningful enhancement in maximal neuromuscular measures after weightlifting derivative-focused training, practitioners should consider early implementation of such exercises. However, it is important for coaches to note that a delayed training effect might be present in weaker, less experienced lifters.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors*
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Plyometric Exercise
  • Research Design
  • Resistance Training / methods
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*
  • Young Adult