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Greg Morgan


November 11, 2021

Spring Cleaning

Cleans are an Olympic movement we practice quite a lot at Pittsburgh FIT. Personally, it’s one of my favorite lifts. The clean is a magnificent display of explosive power combined with appendage coordination and quick motion under the bar. It’s a great movement for athletes to become stronger jumpers and faster runners, it’s also great for office workers who spend long periods sitting in chairs, to help retain glute and hamstring strength. But my favorite part is the practicality of being able to pick up something from the floor to your shoulder. Like that 50 lb bag of dog food for Sergeant Wiggles, your 240 lb English Mastiff. (Screen fades to black, then slowly fades back in to you… in a spot light)You step up to the barbell. Place your feet shoulder width apart. Pull the bar back to your shins. Knees just in front of the bar, your shoulders right above them. You look up. There’s Anthony with that bright-eyed, big cheesing grin (you all know the one). You jerk your head to the side, signaling him to scram! He crab-walks into the darkness. You grab the bar firmly. Driving with your legs the bar lifts from the ground. (It’s the heaviest bar you’ve ever picked up!) As it passes your knee you begins to scoop your hips forward. The bar is accelerating as you prepare to launch…. Lift off.You’re in full extension. You’ve shrugged the bar into weightlessness. Time slows down. You take a moment to reflect on the days past and future events. Wonder if you left the light on in the basement again? How many cushions Sergeant Wiggles has unstuffed in the living room? All of a sudden! Simultaneously the bar lands just behind your deltoids, your elbows are like lasers trained on the wall in front of you, and you hear a loud BANG as your feet plant firmly on the ground. You’re in the bottom of your squat!The pet store clerk asks “Hey, you doing ok over there?” *cough* “Erm yeah. Totally fine!” You stand up with that bag of dog food on your shoulder and strut to the checkout counter.Sergeant Wiggles would be proud.Greg Morgan

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