Taken from ‘The System’
When an athlete lifts a maximum load he activates the maximum possible number of motor units but the slow and intermediate fibres will not adapt since they are more resistant to fatigue. Lifting maximum loads does induce hypertrophy but only in the most powerful motor units. Hypertrophy of intermediate motor units requires greater time under tension, i.e. more repetitions. These fibres contribute to force output but provide less force per unit area.
Obviously athletes with a higher percentages of fast twitch fibres also train a higher percentage of muscle fibres with this type of training. However that does NOT mean it is of no value to athletes with a more intermediate muscle profile (e.g. women). Other adaptations such as increased neural drive, decreased inhibition and a +ve shift in fibre type profile will still occur.
Applying higher repetition ranges causes hypertrophy across a greater range of muscle fibre types. This leads to an increase in body mass WITHOUT proportional increases in strength. Absolutely NOT want you want in a sprinter.
In any case Olympic lifts do not lend themselves well to repetition sets. Those lifters who say they perform triples are in reality performing a ‘cluster’ set with 10 or 15 seconds between repetitions.