I agree with the original author. I think the olympic lifts are a myth.
Olympic lifts are not a myth. I have actually witnessed them before. Unlike unicorns and mermaids they do exist.
There’s no skill transfer, and if cleans help a person jump better, then jumping should help cleans.
As already pointed out, most of the top Olympic weightlifitng coaches in the world do a considerable amount of plyometric work because of the transfer. There are also numerous studies (some of which are available on this very site) which show that Olympic lifting will generally produce better vertical jump performances than other lifts.
TRack runners are supposed to use cleans to enhance their jumping and running. Well, then what do Olympic lifters do to enhance their explosiveness? Cleans? Why is it that Olympic lifting is the only sport that helps itself, where you can train the actual sport to improve yourself in it — with no other options for improving with alternate exercise — yet a triple jumper can’t just hop and bound to improve his ability? And if you can find competitive lifters who do bounding and jumping to better their lifting, then that means bounding works. If bounding works, then why shouldn’t jumpers BOUND instead of doing clean and jerks?
Why should we have to be exclusionary. I’m having a hard time grasping this viewpoint. If two things help why not do both. Even if there’s crossover of training stimulus why not still use both for the sake of variety. I just don’t understand the viewpoint.
Even the idea of muscle fiber recruitment is skewed. Fibers are recruited according to amount of resistance, not on speed of movement. The type I fibers can move limbs at higher speeds than anyone seems to want to acknowledge. Type II b fibers are usually used when resistance is high-and therefore movement is slow. You can’t throw your max in the bench press up and down in rapid motion, because the resistance is high. You are only able to push it slowly, and barely make it. You also can only push a near max maybe twice or three times, since the fibers you are predominantly using are low on oxygen (type II), hence low on endurance. Put lighter weight on the bar, and you will be able to throw it up for a much longer set — because you are using smaller fibers with more endurance capacities.
As mentioned, load is not the only factor in muscle recruitment. In fact, you can produce greater power outputs and see greater motor unit recruitment with lower loads that are moved for speed. In fact, at intermediate loads (80%) that are moved as fast as possible you’ll actually get higher force output as well.
I’m still trying to figure out how a clean is supposed to make a person better at things that have no similarities. I think there are something like six factors for motor learning transferability that have to be met in order for a SKILL benefit to occur from one activity to another. The clean has none of them when compared to track events.
I think if we use SKILL transfer in the strictest meaning of the word then you may be correct. But in that case, what are we to do? Just bound and sprint? How do we address training on the entire spectrum of the force-velocity curve? How do we address work-capacity or general strength qualities?