I include a high amount of power snatches and power cleans (from floor, hang, and blocks) in my training currently but am not allowed to throw weights down at the gym I train at (my agency’s gym; I’m a LEO). This means I am forced to lower all my lifts.
-Is this continuous lowering going to lead to injury? [/quote]
If that were the case, no olympic lifter would have survived the 40s, 50s and 60s (they started using bumper plates only in the 70s).
In fact Alexeyev (the great Soviet Superheavyweight from the 70s) never dropped the weight in training. Even when he did sets of 3-5 reps of snatches or clean & jerks from the floor he would lower the weight back down without dropping them. In fact he attributed a lot of his success to that way of lifting.
Despite the advances in training methodology and better selection, olympic lifters from the “pre-bumper era” were more muscular, especially in the upper body than modern lifters. In part because of the eccentric loading and also because they trained hard on the press, not only the quick lifts.
Here is an old lifting video of lifters from Poland. Even though they have bumpers, they still do not drop the weight. Good examples of correct lowering techniques.
I believe that if someone snatches and cleans heavy everyday, not being able to drop the weight might eventually takes it’s toll. But not because it is dangerous, rather due to the increase in wear and tear from doing a lot of eccentric work. But if you keep your frequency to 4 days a week and do not go overboard with loading you should not have a problem.
-If so, any suggestions on how to minimize these risks (lift from blocks only, etc)?[/quote]
Only make sure to lower the weight the right way. The biggest mistake is people loweing a start in one motion… basically letting the weight free-fall from overhead. Keep the bar close to the body at all times, and absorb it with the thighs when you lower it back down.
I am trying to avoid going to the crossfit affiliate down the road because they are going to force me to take classes instead of just let me use their equipment (not hating on crossfit, just not my thing). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. [/quote]
Yeah, many crossfit gyms seem to be that way. One of my female olympic lifter is going on vacationin Florida and was looking for a place to train and all crossfit affiliates told her that she would have to do the WOD class and that she couldn’t do her own thing.