Journell, T. W., Pata, C. R., & Barrett, B. S. (2004). Optimal power clean resistance for producing maximal power output. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 1434.

Traditional resistance training studies indicate that to increase maximal power output athletes should train at the velocity and resistance that maximizes power output. Research demonstrates that maximal mechanical power is produced at a resistance of 30% of maximum isometric strength which corresponds to a velocity of muscle shortening of approximately 30% of maximum. There has been little research on the optimal resistance for producing maximal power when executing Olympic lifts (e.g., power clean, snatch). This study determined the optimal resistance for producing maximal poser output when executing the power clean. College-age, resistance trained males (N = 10) performed a 1 RM power clean. Power output was measured. One week later, subjects performed power clean repetitions at 25, 40, 55, 70, and 85% RM.

With the exception of the 85% and 70% RM interval, all mean power outputs were significantly different from each other.

Implication. In contrast to research on traditional resistance training that demonstrates that maximum PO is produced at a resistance around 30% of maximum, results from this study indicated that power output for the Olympic power clean was highest at or near 1 RM load.

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