It’s not enough to say that because high rep Olympic lifting is not done at the highest competitive levels of the sport, that therefore it is a bad idea. That would only be a case of phenomenology.
If you are going to make a critique of a methodology then by definition it can’t just be contradiction.
The sport of Olympic Weightlifting is contested as a totalization sport of restricted efforts and time. You get three attempts to successfully lift the most amount of weight according to the motion rules.
The training for this has evolved in order to create the greatest competitive advantage and result. A precise sequencing of the skeleton, connective tissue and musculature is needed for the best use of leverage and most efficient recruitment of contractile potential to move and fix the greatest amount of weight overhead.
Of all the capacities of fitness, energy system development is a long way down the list of importance in Olympic Weightlifting. Alactic development is enhanced as training volume and frequency are increased. Aerobic and lactic capacity are after-thoughts, in fact not thought of at all. They’re just not needed.
So, if you are going to make a case for high rep Olympic Lifting then the ‘Why?’, has to be addressed. A high tempo and locomotive style of lifting is going to do nothing to enhance your competition (if you compete) or 1 rep max lifting. In fact it will put it at a deficit, the skill has such fine detail and precision, as do all sport of such a small magnitude of time; locomotive efforts in lifting will miss the little details of the maximal effort. In fact, its a heck of a lot faster to move a light bar in different ways than is necessary for maximal effort lifts. You just dont need any conservation of pendulum momentum when throwing up 50 muscle snatches of 40kg the way you do when snatching 110kg for a single.
If you make the claim that it is for energy system development, then you have crossed over into a complex solution to a simple problem…… aerobic capacity/power, or left ventricle strength, does not need to be trained using the same movement pathway as the competitive task. It can be trained using any modality. The development of oxidative fibers is not necessary to Olympic Lifting. Lactic energy system development DOES need to be trained using the same modalities, BUT, we don’t need lactic development in Olympic Weightlifting and alactic development is already being done with regular training systems.
So, quick summary.
* Olympic Weightlifting has already evolved its training to prepare the lifter for the best competition results. This does not include aerobic or lactic energy system development.
* High rep lifting is deleterious to those competition maximal results.
* If the reason for high rep lifting is energy system development, then that can be achieved in other ways that do not negatively impact on Olympic Weightlifting.
**Oh, and one more thing. Don’t call it “Oly Lifting”. I shouldn’t have to explain why.**