I’m not a coach or very experienced in the olympic lifts yet, only been doing them for about 4 months now, but I currently lift in a commerical gym and do the full lifts (but start off “blocks”). So far i haven’t found lowering the bar to be a problem and I don’t believe it will be until the weights start to get really heavy.
My best snatch is only 135lbs x 2 and c & j 175lbs x 2 in this environment. So the weights aren’t so heavy that I have a problem lowering them, and I’ve read that before bumpers a lot of lifters used to lower by catching the bar on their thighs…Eventaully I will switch to a gym that has bumpers as there are a few near me.
What I’ve found to be helpful is a stack up a bunch of those purple plastic square stepper supports that they use in step classes and most commercial gyms will have these. I used these as my blocks and also when lowering I let the bar fall, but under control and guideance, to land on these plastic supports that help absorb the force and don’t make a lot of noise. I’m 5’8" so depending on the plate size I’m using (25lb, 35lb, 45lb) I find stacking them between 7 - 10 squares high keeps the bar about lower-mid thigh and then you don’t have so far to bring it down either.
Being in a commercial gym though does slow your progress as you really can’t go all out since, without bumpers, I only usually attempt weights I’m pretty positive I can get. It’s one thing to lower a good lift and another to fail in mid-lift and have the bar come back down on you or lose control and have it bang to the ground or hit another piece of equipment (I have fallen over a few times (forward in the snatch, backwards in the clean) and had this happen, thus I don’t go for true maxes at the moment but work up slowly attempting only 5-10lbs more than my last best effort every other session or so). Definitely go for very conservative max’s when in a commercial gym setting.
But that aside this is the best way I’ve found to make it work in a commercial setting.