Can you measure power in Power Cleans and Olympic lifts?

"The power clean is the best lift for power and explosiveness, and should be included in all strength and conditioning programs"

Says Ramond Tucker is his blog at the American Sports Academy When using Olympic lifts for sports power training you will want to measure the mean power in the concentric lift phase and the peak velocity achieved so that you can track performance improvements in your athlete.

But to reliably and accurately measuring power and velocity in these lifts poses a challenge, partly due to the non-vertical movement components within the lift and especially due to the fact the most important part of the lift occurs before the catch. You can see these in the video below.

 Note the path of the bar with the dip near the top. The concentric lift phase (the bit we are most interested in) does not line up with the top of the lift, it actually ends at the smaller first peak as shown in the trace below. This makes simple peak detection invalid for determining mean power.

Lift profile of a Power Clean - note the concentric phase ends at the first peak.

As we have said before, mean power is a better measure of lift performance as it measures the full lift phase. But if you are doing interesting lifts like power cleans than you need a rep detection system that can reliably detect the concentric component of the lift. GymAware does this automatically for every lift. No doubt that as a professional S&C practitioner you will be using power cleans and other Olympic lifts when preparing athletes for competitive sport. With GymAware you now have a tool that can work with you to measure, motivate and improve your athletes.