This was from the Supertraining forum, nothing new but I thought it was an interesting opinion from Pfaff.
“Why must track athletes do full cleans when it seems just as effective to just do the pull from the ground. I’ve always dreamt of the day that I had enough room to just throw the bar over my head and not have to catch it. I do see how balance, coordination, stabilizing muscles are positively effected by this but it still seems that just a pull would suffice. Could you set me straight please.
Here was his answer:
Early in my career I was fortunate enough to be turned on to a guy by
the name of Roger Enoka,a motor learning researcher at the U of Az.Buried in one of his abstracts was a totally unique classification of motor-strength parameters.They included things such as punching strength,throwing strength,amortization strength,inertial starting strength,planar str.,rotational str.,directional str. and its related values as speed changes,etc…He had very good confirmational statistics,EMG data,Brain wave data, and so on….This really changed my paradigm and caused me to be more critical when evaluating athletes and their problems.Using this format, I see the complete Olympic lift challenging many of the aforementioned sub-class parameters.I have had sprinters and jumpers who could pull the weight room but snatch very little when doing the whole lift.You hit on some key reasons and in addition I feel that the no. one feature is the ability to change directions under extreme loading.The inertial factors are hit on several fronts and at a huge variance in lever moment velocities.It is no accident that the worlds fastest folks know how to change directions of the femur at blinding recruitment speeds and with a coordination the leaves fans saying how effortless they look.I have now had the good fortune to coach seven guys under 10 sec. and two ladies under 11.To a person their sprint times improved in direct correlation to their skill with the full lift.We currently have 3 sub 10 folks over 130 kilos,2 others at 120 kilos, and a female hurdler who weighs in at 109 lbs. who just did 98 kilos for a double.It is also no accident that world class Olympic lifters are very fast sprinters.Mikael Olander,NCAA deca champ in 87,trained with the Swedish Natn.Lift team on many occassions and their big guys often waxed him in 30m runs with most excellent mechanics.In summary learning how to place joints under duress in a position to extend,flex,extend is the basis of running fast.”
In addition I believe he mentioned during a recent seminar that EMG analysis showed similar recruitment patterns between OL’s and block starts.
A valuable tool for those proficient enough to exploit the advantages, in my opinion.