“Axle Clean and Press”

In this third installment of 8weeksout.com videos focusing on strongman techniques, Zack McCarley and Patrick Castelli present one of the techniques used for the Apollon axle clean and press. This particular technique presented is primarily used by strongman competitors. It is decidedly different from the clean/power clean technique used in weightlifting competitions and fitness/sport performance training.

One difference is the use of a mixed grip at the start of the lift, which then necessitates that one hand be released so that the strongman competitor can get both hands in an overhand or pronated grip which sets up the competitor for the press. I recommend a mixed grip for heavy deadlifts, as it helps the athlete/client hold onto the barbell. Weightlifters and fitness/sports performance trainees use an overhand or pronated grip, even with heavy cleans/power cleans. The rationale for using the mixed grip on the Apollon axle clean and press is that the axle’s diameter is significantly larger than an Olympic barbell and the axle does not rotate as an Olympic barbell does. Another difference between the presented strongman technique and the technique used for a clean/power clean is the hips-forward catch position used with the presented technique. The barbell briefly rests at the top of the abdomen before being rapidly bumped to the shoulders.

Having no experience with the Apollon axle clean and press, I must defer to the strongman community’s expertise when training specifically for a strongman competition. However, if I wanted an athlete/client not competing in strongman to train for explosive strength/power, I feel that the traditional clean/power clean technique is a much better and safer option.

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