HUH? You lost me on this one. If you load the lift maximally, how could the load not be maximal?
Its not maximal in terms of intensity…percentage of 1RM. As I mentioned, Olympic caliber athletes pull a load that they can barely get to belly button height. This is where the explosive element of the lift occurs. The vast majority of lifters I observe in gyms use a weight that they can move well above that height, even if it is a “1RM”. They can’t use the weight that would actually be considered their one 1RM in the explosive pull from the floor, because they don’t have the proper technique to get under the weight that deep. Instead, I see them using a lighter weight, allowing them to pull to higher level, which then allows them to get under it and squat it up. Since, IMHO, the beneficial element of the lift is the explosive pull, and that phase is not actually what is limiting their 1RM (their inability to get under the bar that deeply is) I don’t consider it a maximum intensity lift. Max percieved effort, yes. Max intensity, no.
If it takes 3 weeks as opposed to 3 sessions isn’t that still worth it if you’ll be able to use the lift for years to come?
I would agree with you on this, however as you will note in my earlier post, if and only if a qualified coach, such as yourself, is doing the training. Three weeks, or even three years, of inadequate instruction will never amount to anything more than inadequate training. I think there are not that many coaches at any level who can properly teach the Olympic lifts in a way to extract the benefits that elite Olympic lifters receive from these movements.
So even if we err on the ultra-conservative side and say that OLs add 2-3% benefit over just doing deadlifts, isn’t that worth it when winners in our sport are decided by much less than that.
I would agree with this, but I personally haven’t really been convinced that the case exists for this argument. I would love to see a comprehensive study comparing Oly lifts to a complex of squat and ply jumps.
You’re stuck in power lift thinking with this one and using a one factor model for ‘maximal.’ You can’t compare loads used in one exercise and say that because you can’t lift the same in another exercise that it’s not of maximal load. Are front squats sub maximal because you can’t lift as much as in a back squat?
If your goal is a maximum intensity squat affecting the posterior chain and CNS, then yes, the technique of a front squat limits the impact on the posterior chain and CNS, just as an overhead squat would. Most lifters can’t do 50% of their back squat when doing an overhead squat. Does anyone think that ME overhead squats, even if done at 1RM, work the posterior chain, and impact the CNS, as much as back squats? No way. Neither do front squats. Not only the style or technique of the lift, but the form in the specific lift, can limit the intensity applied to the muscles, and CNS, being stressed in the lift. Its not the perceived effort that one should focus on, but the intensity as we have defined it here in the past. This is the same logic applied to sprinting. High perceived effort does not necessarily equal high intensity.
Remember, maximal can be maximal speed, maximal load, maximal force output, maximal power output, etc. Note that OLs easily beat out heavy deadlifts on all of those except load (remember load does not equal [url=https://elitetrack.com/blogs-details-3090/]force or power[/url]). This thinking is really WAAAAAAY off base in my opinion. In fact, the force, RFD, and power output of all the OLs is several magnitudes greater than what we see in the power lifts.
I would respectfully disagree. You don’t get stronger by moving lighter weights faster. You get stronger by lifting heavier and heavier weights. My definition of maximum intensity is % of 1RM. As far as force output, yes the oly pull is greater than the squat, but this doesn’t really mean anything. A 40yd dash has much higher power output than an oly lift, but will it make you stronger than lifting weights? No. Higher power ouput during a lift does not necessarily equate to a greater positive impact on the lifter. There have been studies that quantified this.
Mike, you know I certainly respect your opinion, and of course I wish we had well designed studies that compared oly lifts to a complex of squats and jumps or squats and med ball, but until then, we can only theorize.