I went through a phase of Olympic lifting in high school/college.
I loved it.
Here's an old vid of me in our gritty weight room...
I haven't touched a snatch or clean since probably 2017.
Olympic Lifts are NOT Bad.
I would be totally fine if my athletes Olympic lifted. If that was something they were interested in learning, experiencing and progressing, by all means, let's do it.
However, if it is my choice, I generally would NOT have my athletes touch the Olympic lifts.
First, they're VERY COMPLEX.
I'll be the first to tell you that some complexity in training is great.
But oly lifts aren't complex in regards to the environment or information being given to the athlete, they're complex in a coordination and technique way.
Because of this, it takes a LONG time to get to the point where adaptations can truly be created from the lift.
And while the learning process in itself can be beneficial, it's more a question of: What else could we have accomplished in that time?
And, in my opinion, the value just isn't there. The opportunity cost is too large.
Some coaches love them and will go through this long process of teaching them... not me.
Not worth the time commitment.
Secondly, TONS of substitutes.
In general, proponents of the Olympic lifts will say that they do the following:
+ Create massive power outputs
+ Teach force absorption
+ Improve Strength and Muscle Mass
+ Total body coordination
Well here's the deal...
We can create massive power outputs with MANY other exercises, to name a few..
We can teach force absorption with MANY other exercises...
- Medicine ball catches
- Squats, jumps, yada, yada...
Olympic lifts do NOT improve strength or muscle mass near as much as other training methods because the muscular tension, force, and strain created is pretty minimal due to the speed of movement completion.
Total body coordination, while important, could quite literally be said about ANY EXERCISE (except probably isolated body builder-esque exercises like curls).
Squats. Med Ball Throws. Plyometrics. RFE Squats. Push Press. Deadlifts. The list goes on FOREVER and they all require "total body coordination."
To take it one step further, I would argue that every exercise I have listed probably does a BETTER JOB in it's respected category than oly lifts due to the fact that athlete comfortability will be higher and therefore intent as well, which we know is critical to creating adaptations.
One last time, they aren't bad... other things are just better in my opinion.
Here's a bunch of substitutes that I tend to reach for BEFORE oly lifts...
Rotational Medicine Ball Throws and Slams
Broad Jumps and Plyometrics
Carter Schmitz, CSCS, TPI