Wow. This is turning out to be a great thread. I’m sorry I’ve been M.I.A for a couple days and am only just now jumping in. I’ll give a more detailed explanation later but three immediate things come to mind:
*Why do people think that teaching the Olympic lifts to a point of proficiency is SOOOOO hard? Hell, I have never had a problem teaching groups of 40+ athletes the OLs very good technique within 3 weeks. And in the time period leading up to that we’re doing things like clean pulls and sometimes partial movement work which tends to fit in to the training plan very well as a lead in. By 5 weeks, I can have everyone doing a 2 stage pull complete with a double knee bend. I don’t think I’m doing anything special…just teaching and correcting. In fact, I just started working with a 40 year old client who’s never done OLs before (he was a bodybuilder) and within 3 weeks he power cleaned 200 lbs with decent technique.
*Specificity is not just movement or muscle related. Specificity can be motor recruitment related, contractile speed, coordination related, metabolic, etc. It’s very easy to get too caught up in the external appearance of something and associate that with specificity and not examine these other factors.
*Specificity isn’t everything. In fact, I think it’s equally important to work AROUND (+/-) the point of interest because the transfer of training affect and additional variety will provide a beneficial training stimulus that cannot be had when you get overly specific.
*There actually is quite a bit of research on the benefits of OLs for sporting performance. I don’t have the time to cite them all right now but I made a shell topic on the new wiki[/url] regarding the benefits of Olympic lifting. If you have an argument or research paper in support of doing them please contribute to the wiki entry.