I just read an article on EliteFTS with Mark Rippetoe and he talked about this exact thing(which is probably where the TC heard it). I’ll show you guys his exact words on them:
"Why do Olympic lifters never do deadlifts? They donï¿½??t do them just because they never have. That doesnï¿½??t mean they shouldnï¿½??t do them! They did do deadlifts at one time though. Do you know when? In the 60s at York when we were actually winning shit. It seems to me that if you have a 600 lb deadlift, your 400 lb clean coming off the floor is going to feel lighter than if you only had a 475 lb deadlift. I only have my Olympic lifters deadlift once every two weeks. If youï¿½??re not strong enough to deadlift quite a bit more than you clean, then you are not strong enough. Period.
Iï¿½??ll tell you what I think the deal is. I think that most Olympic lifting coaches fall in love with being able to technically coach the snatch and clean. They forget that at some level the whole thing must involve you being strong too! If youï¿½??re going to be an Olympic lifting coach and you are in love with coaching the snatch and clean and jerk, thatï¿½??s real good. But you also need to be able to coach the squat because that is what makes your people stronger. You must also be able to coach the deadlift and have them do the deadlift.
You must also be smart enough to understand that the deadlift is different enough from a clean to where the two movements do not interfere with one another. You pull the deadlift off the floor slowly because the weight is real, real heavy. If you are pulling your clean off the floor as slowly as a heavy deadlift then you are not strong enough. The fact that youï¿½??re pulling the deadlift off the floor slowly is because it is heavy. It also means that if you get good at deadlifting then your clean can come off of the floor faster and easier because it is relatively lighter. "
His argumentation doesn’t look very good, IMO.
He implies that specific training couldn’t suffice your strength needs for the two movements. This is not true, as you can see by the training regimes of the leading teams.
I think that because of the different firing patterns of the first pulls for the snatch and clean and DL, deads can lead to wasting of the body’s valuable adaptation resources.
“It also means that if you get good at deadlifting then your clean can come off of the floor faster and easier because it is relatively lighter.”
is way too simplified. And for the very specific sport of weightlifting, it could be wrong.
The specifity to CNS exhaustion coefficient of deads is way lower than that of every traditional exercise used by Oly lifters.
Random thought of mine:
Last two times I broke my power clean PR, it was after sets of heavy squats, but after deads I can’t execute with even 90% of 1RM.
Deadlifting will surely improve the numbers in the two movements for a novice, and maybe for an intermediate, but I don’t think the guys on the top have the luxury of including deads in their training program.