I spent 3-4 yes focused on OL in the past, def more than I ever did on any other training; I'm not naturally strong, at all, so the best I managed was 91/112 at 72kg BW. Then I got divorced and she got the gym (literally!) and I just didn't touch a weight for 4 years. Came back in April, weak as hell, and decided to give SS a go. I'm still quite weak, hitting 3x5's at 205 on squats, 275 on DL (1x5), 125 on Press, 175 on bench, 165 on Power cleans.
As the squats got harder, I tinkered w switching to low bar, as rip suggests, and I HATE it. I don't get it, and I naturally squat super vertical (used to FS more than I BS). I also dropped in to lift on vacation at an Oly gym in Savannah, GA, and I got the itch.
My questions are: 1) Am I still "too weak" to start meaningfully training OL again? Do I need to build up more strength first, or is this a BS idea that PLifters throw around? 2) Would the 70s big transition to OL be appropriate? I like the inclusion of Bench on it, as I know I'm never competing meaningfully, and I just like benching (and DLing) again. I also like the relatively lower volume compared to Pendlay, Catalyst, etc, as I am 30, naturally weaker, and coming off a college athletic career which left me wonky all over. SS has even been a grind. 3) If so, would it be appropriate to keep the back squats on that program in a 3x5 linear progression, adding weight weekly? Would it be ok to conventional DL instead of RDL?
I'm no strength and conditioning coach, but let me offer a couple suggestions. I've read 70sbig but I don't remember it.
For your current strength levels, you can make gains probably for 3-6 months from the simplest Olympic training program for example, a snatch or snatch movement, a clean or clean movement, a pull, a squat. 3 times a week. Whatever reps you "feel like".
If you want to make the most progress over 6 months to a year, 80% of your workouts need to be volume based, triples as a primary scheme. Doubles. Not very many singles. Glenn Pendlay and Greg Everett are right-- need to hit 20-25 moderately intense full clean OR full snatch movements a workout twice a week and the same number of variations (hangs and powers) of the lifts another two workouts. Your bench and DL movements will fall on your power days.
Don't focus on the total for a while. Your strength will come slowly if you can reinforce the movement patterns.
The 70's Big Transition program could be very good for you. That's what I'm doing now at 42 and trying to get stronger. Squats are finally moving up again along with pulls. It's starting to transition into the lifts, so we'll see where it goes!!