T Nation

Oly Lifts for Muscle

Anybody. It is a constant with muscular and strong people to train these lifts. How much volume is needed to stimulate growth taking into account the technical aspects of these exercises?

There are many, many more efficient ways to build muscle than the olympic lifts.

I love olympic lifts. In fact right now they are a huge part of my training. But I do not believe that they are your best options to optimally build muscle mass. The olympic lifters that are “jacked” normally use a system that also include a lot of basic strength work like high pulls and various forms of presses (push press, military press, behind the neck press and push press, etc.) as well as some rowing and pull-ups/dips. The athletes using systems that are limited to the actual olympic lift variations and squats tend to be much less muscular.

So I do not think that it’s the olympic lifts that will build a ton of muscle but rather the assistance work. I really love snatch-grip high pulls (from the hang) to build the traps, back and posterior chain but the snatch itself will not build a ton of muscle.

That having been said if we are talking about power, explosiveness and overall athleticism, then yeah, olympic lifting variations will be very effective.

BTW, even though I’m a proponent of the olympic lifts, it simply is not true that it is a “constant” for strong and muscular people to use these lifts. Maybe 0.1% of bodybuilders use them and I would say 5-10% of powerlifters do to… certainly not representing a constant! Strongmen competitors use them a little more, but from having trained with a WSM competitor they do not represent a significant part of their training. The exception is probably football players since a good number of them use these lifts… but they also use tons of basic strength movements so it’s probably not the power cleans they are doing that is getting them jacked.

How important is some kind of explosive movement like jumps or throws to developing strength performance, and to developing muscle in the long term? If you take someone who is training for strength/muscle say 5 x 3 to 5 x 5 range, and add in throws and jumps is it going to be worth it versus more of the same?

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:
I love olympic lifts. In fact right now they are a huge part of my training. But I do not believe that they are your best options to optimally build muscle mass. The olympic lifters that are “jacked” normally use a system that also include a lot of basic strength work like high pulls and various forms of presses (push press, military press, behind the neck press and push press, etc.) as well as some rowing and pull-ups/dips. The athletes using systems that are limited to the actual olympic lift variations and squats tend to be much less muscular.

So I do not think that it’s the olympic lifts that will build a ton of muscle but rather the assistance work. I really love snatch-grip high pulls (from the hang) to build the traps, back and posterior chain but the snatch itself will not build a ton of muscle.

That having been said if we are talking about power, explosiveness and overall athleticism, then yeah, olympic lifting variations will be very effective.

BTW, even though I’m a proponent of the olympic lifts, it simply is not true that it is a “constant” for strong and muscular people to use these lifts. Maybe 0.1% of bodybuilders use them and I would say 5-10% of powerlifters do to… certainly not representing a constant! Strongmen competitors use them a little more, but from having trained with a WSM competitor they do not represent a significant part of their training. The exception is probably football players since a good number of them use these lifts… but they also use tons of basic strength movements so it’s probably not the power cleans they are doing that is getting them jacked.[/quote]
Thanks for clearing that up, I probably confused myself because I related high pulls to be the same as any other ol lift.
For instance, right now I want to incorporate high pulls into my training: is it mostly a power builder or will it get my back to grow? Also right now I’m doing strict shoulder presses and thinking of incorporating push presses. Is it ok to do both or should I choose between one of them?

[quote]Salpinx wrote:
For instance, right now I want to incorporate high pulls into my training: is it mostly a power builder or will it get my back to grow? Also right now I’m doing strict shoulder presses and thinking of incorporating push presses. Is it ok to do both or should I choose between one of them?[/quote]

Try things out for awhile, see how you you respond to them, and make your own decisions.

Whenever you find yourself asking “should I do…” or “is it ok if I do…”, you should probably take the time to find the answers for yourself. Sometimes that means reading and learning more, sometimes that means just trying it out and seeing first hand.

For me, most of the impact from the high pulls is in my upper back (upper and middle traps), some in the spinal erectors, some calf development, some hamstring and glute development, not much in my lats or delts. May not be the same for you.

@LoRez
That’s probably the advice I needed. I was just worried my shoulders would get overloaded by two similar movements but I guess I’ll try things out, thanks man.

Are you seriously saying that Olympic Lifts are not going to build muscle like a ‘high pull’ will? What an absolute joke!

[quote]Big Damo wrote:
Are you seriously saying that Olympic Lifts are not going to build muscle like a ‘high pull’ will? What an absolute joke! [/quote]

the snatch and clean and jerk require a much greater technical proficiency to master, plus the amount of work that is required to build any sort of of hypertrophy from those lifts is unreal.

High pulls, push presses, squats, etc, all allow for a better “bang for you buck.” You can use more weight, for more reps, more often, without the need for any real technical proficiency. Thus, those types of exercises are better for building muscle and strength. If this weren’t true, the chinese wouldn’t pull and squat every session and they wouldn’t spend 15-30min a session on bodybuilding work. It would be pointless and a waste of recovery resources.

[quote]nkklllll wrote:

[quote]Big Damo wrote:
Are you seriously saying that Olympic Lifts are not going to build muscle like a ‘high pull’ will? What an absolute joke! [/quote]

the snatch and clean and jerk require a much greater technical proficiency to master, plus the amount of work that is required to build any sort of of hypertrophy from those lifts is unreal.

High pulls, push presses, squats, etc, all allow for a better “bang for you buck.” You can use more weight, for more reps, more often, without the need for any real technical proficiency. Thus, those types of exercises are better for building muscle and strength. If this weren’t true, the chinese wouldn’t pull and squat every session and they wouldn’t spend 15-30min a session on bodybuilding work. It would be pointless and a waste of recovery resources.[/quote]

If you can high pull with a decent amount of weight I really think you could go that little bit further and ‘jump under the bar’, and hey you’ve come that far why not throw it over your head since your there. My point being that the high pull really isn’t that much different to a clean or even a snatch for that matter. To say that you need to do more work with Olympic lifts for hypertrophy is far from the truth. Why must we make this so much more confusing than it needs to be. Train hard, train heavy, and you will grow, no matter what the exercise!!!

[quote]Big Damo wrote:
Are you seriously saying that Olympic Lifts are not going to build muscle like a ‘high pull’ will? What an absolute joke! [/quote]

Well, simple anecdotal evidence: the olympic lifters who look jacked (with some exceptions of course) are those who supplement their training with a lot of pulls (Chinese and Russian lifters) while those who stick to the competitive lifts and their variations and Bulgarian school for example) tend to me much less muscular, especially in the upper body (there are exceptions of course e.g. Ivan Markov).

Also I competed and trained as an olympic lifter for 7 years and I can tell you that except for a quick adaptation phase to the new type of work, you don’t gain a lot of muscle from doing only the olympic lifts… BUT explosive pulls will give you hypertrophy to a greater extent.

Why?

  1. The movement is less technical, so unless you become very efficient in the olympic lifts you wont be able to use a weight that constitute a true overload on the muscles… with the high pull you can become efficient much easier and rapidly, allowing you to create that overload.

  2. The actual olympic lifts have a big drop-off in performance as the reps are increased. For example doing 5 reps with 80% on the deadlift, bench or squat isn’t that hard… but doing 5 reps at 80% on the snatch and especially clean and jerk is VERY hard if you have a decent qualification and can use a decent amount of weight. Heck, even Ilya Ilyin who is arguably one of the best technician in olympic lifting frequently miss reps when he does triples… why is that important? Because you need a certain amount of volume and set duration to fully activate the muscle-building process. And this is very hard to do with the olympic lifts because technique breakdown due to fatigue will prevent you from using big weights for high reps… on explosive pulls doing sets of 4-6 reps with a big weight is easier.

  3. The “turnover”, going under the bar after the pull is a very complex action especially in the snatch. Just because you can pull a bar high enough doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to go under it efficiently. The bar has to be exactly in the right place and your body position has to be perfect.

  4. You can use a lot more weight in explosive pulls than you can in the actual olympic lifts… between 110 and 140% of the corresponding lift depending on the individual. If your goal is simply to build muscle and gain strength then the exercise allowing you to use the most weight over a full range of motion will be the most effective. Now the argument is that the full lifts have a greater range of motion. That’s not totally true when it comes to building the traps, back, lower back, delts since the “pull” has the full range of motion of the pulling action, it’s just the squat part that’s not in there and that is trained by other movements in any decent program anyway. In fact when doing high pulls the range of motion is often longer than on the corresponding olympic lift because in an effort to go under the bar, the pull is often cut slightly short.

  5. Any lift in which you can use big weight WILL build muscle, there is no denying that. But there are exercises that don’t lend themselves quite as well to maximize muscle growth, and the olympic lifts (although they are my favorite lifts) are in that category.

[quote]Big Damo wrote:

[quote]nkklllll wrote:

[quote]Big Damo wrote:
Are you seriously saying that Olympic Lifts are not going to build muscle like a ‘high pull’ will? What an absolute joke! [/quote]

the snatch and clean and jerk require a much greater technical proficiency to master, plus the amount of work that is required to build any sort of of hypertrophy from those lifts is unreal.

High pulls, push presses, squats, etc, all allow for a better “bang for you buck.” You can use more weight, for more reps, more often, without the need for any real technical proficiency. Thus, those types of exercises are better for building muscle and strength. If this weren’t true, the chinese wouldn’t pull and squat every session and they wouldn’t spend 15-30min a session on bodybuilding work. It would be pointless and a waste of recovery resources.[/quote]

If you can high pull with a decent amount of weight I really think you could go that little bit further and ‘jump under the bar’, and hey you’ve come that far why not throw it over your head since your there. My point being that the high pull really isn’t that much different to a clean or even a snatch for that matter. To say that you need to do more work with Olympic lifts for hypertrophy is far from the truth. Why must we make this so much more confusing than it needs to be. Train hard, train heavy, and you will grow, no matter what the exercise!!!
[/quote]

What is your experience with the olympic lifts? I’m asking because any good lifter knows that you do not “jump under the bar” much less “throw it over your head”… it might just be the wrong formulation to what you mean though.

“Throwing it over your head” (what is called “pull and pray” by lifting coaches) is actually the worst thing to do if you want to be able to do a full snatch. When you pull you are interacting with the barbell even as you squat under it… you arms keep pulling until the bar is fixed overhead. “throwing it over your head” will give you zero consistency is bar positioning and as a results you will miss a lot of lifts.

If it were that easy to just “pull then jump under it” every body would be able to do it without much practice, which is very far from the truth. Heck, how many people can do a full squat with a barbell held overhead at arms length? Not that many, especially not bodybuilders who tend to have limited shoulder mobility. Now imagine pulling a heavy bar, then while it’s still moving up you need to quickly reverse direction and catch the bar in the overhead position stated above. Understand in an overhead squat you have the benefit of placing the bar in the best position overhead before squatting down… but when you do a snatch you can’t do that: you have to pull it at exactly the right spot and receive it while the bar is falling down.

It’s not as simple as pull it and jump under it. If it were, with a 180kg high pull I would be close to the world record in the snatch, which is sadly light years away from the truth.

[quote]Big Damo wrote:

[quote]nkklllll wrote:

[quote]Big Damo wrote:
Are you seriously saying that Olympic Lifts are not going to build muscle like a ‘high pull’ will? What an absolute joke! [/quote]

the snatch and clean and jerk require a much greater technical proficiency to master, plus the amount of work that is required to build any sort of of hypertrophy from those lifts is unreal.

High pulls, push presses, squats, etc, all allow for a better “bang for you buck.” You can use more weight, for more reps, more often, without the need for any real technical proficiency. Thus, those types of exercises are better for building muscle and strength. If this weren’t true, the chinese wouldn’t pull and squat every session and they wouldn’t spend 15-30min a session on bodybuilding work. It would be pointless and a waste of recovery resources.[/quote]

If you can high pull with a decent amount of weight I really think you could go that little bit further and ‘jump under the bar’, and hey you’ve come that far why not throw it over your head since your there. My point being that the high pull really isn’t that much different to a clean or even a snatch for that matter. To say that you need to do more work with Olympic lifts for hypertrophy is far from the truth. Why must we make this so much more confusing than it needs to be. Train hard, train heavy, and you will grow, no matter what the exercise!!!
[/quote]

I never said you need to do more work with the olympic lifts to cause hypertrophy, but that the amount was unreal. I can do 5x5 squats with 80% of my max with relative ease. It doesn’t feel that heavy honestly. But a set of 3 at 80% of my max snatch? At the end of that set I’ll be sweaty, tired, and will need quite a bit of rest before I do either another set or move on to my next lift (whether its pulls or cleans). I say this because I did that very thing just yesterday. I did a triple at 80%, and a triple at 85%. There was no way I was getting another technically sound rep in for either set.

You can also watch the chinese do their work with high pulls. Lu Xiaojun has a video of him doing a double (maybe a triple?) with 180kg. I’d bet that he gets more “muscle work” out that than his single 176kg world record.

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Big Damo wrote:
Are you seriously saying that Olympic Lifts are not going to build muscle like a ‘high pull’ will? What an absolute joke! [/quote]

Well, simple anecdotal evidence: the olympic lifters who look jacked (with some exceptions of course) are those who supplement their training with a lot of pulls (Chinese and Russian lifters) while those who stick to the competitive lifts and their variations and Bulgarian school for example) tend to me much less muscular, especially in the upper body (there are exceptions of course e.g. Ivan Markov).

Also I competed and trained as an olympic lifter for 7 years and I can tell you that except for a quick adaptation phase to the new type of work, you don’t gain a lot of muscle from doing only the olympic lifts… BUT explosive pulls will give you hypertrophy to a greater extent.

Why?

  1. The movement is less technical, so unless you become very efficient in the olympic lifts you wont be able to use a weight that constitute a true overload on the muscles… with the high pull you can become efficient much easier and rapidly, allowing you to create that overload.

  2. The actual olympic lifts have a big drop-off in performance as the reps are increased. For example doing 5 reps with 80% on the deadlift, bench or squat isn’t that hard… but doing 5 reps at 80% on the snatch and especially clean and jerk is VERY hard if you have a decent qualification and can use a decent amount of weight. Heck, even Ilya Ilyin who is arguably one of the best technician in olympic lifting frequently miss reps when he does triples… why is that important? Because you need a certain amount of volume and set duration to fully activate the muscle-building process. And this is very hard to do with the olympic lifts because technique breakdown due to fatigue will prevent you from using big weights for high reps… on explosive pulls doing sets of 4-6 reps with a big weight is easier.

  3. The “turnover”, going under the bar after the pull is a very complex action especially in the snatch. Just because you can pull a bar high enough doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to go under it efficiently. The bar has to be exactly in the right place and your body position has to be perfect.

  4. You can use a lot more weight in explosive pulls than you can in the actual olympic lifts… between 110 and 140% of the corresponding lift depending on the individual. If your goal is simply to build muscle and gain strength then the exercise allowing you to use the most weight over a full range of motion will be the most effective. Now the argument is that the full lifts have a greater range of motion. That’s not totally true when it comes to building the traps, back, lower back, delts since the “pull” has the full range of motion of the pulling action, it’s just the squat part that’s not in there and that is trained by other movements in any decent program anyway. In fact when doing high pulls the range of motion is often longer than on the corresponding olympic lift because in an effort to go under the bar, the pull is often cut slightly short.

  5. Any lift in which you can use big weight WILL build muscle, there is no denying that. But there are exercises that don’t lend themselves quite as well to maximize muscle growth, and the olympic lifts (although they are my favorite lifts) are in that category.[/quote]

Wow these High Pulls sound so great I might have to start doing them 5 days a week!! Haha.

[quote]Big Damo wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Big Damo wrote:
Are you seriously saying that Olympic Lifts are not going to build muscle like a ‘high pull’ will? What an absolute joke! [/quote]

Well, simple anecdotal evidence: the olympic lifters who look jacked (with some exceptions of course) are those who supplement their training with a lot of pulls (Chinese and Russian lifters) while those who stick to the competitive lifts and their variations and Bulgarian school for example) tend to me much less muscular, especially in the upper body (there are exceptions of course e.g. Ivan Markov).

Also I competed and trained as an olympic lifter for 7 years and I can tell you that except for a quick adaptation phase to the new type of work, you don’t gain a lot of muscle from doing only the olympic lifts… BUT explosive pulls will give you hypertrophy to a greater extent.

Why?

  1. The movement is less technical, so unless you become very efficient in the olympic lifts you wont be able to use a weight that constitute a true overload on the muscles… with the high pull you can become efficient much easier and rapidly, allowing you to create that overload.

  2. The actual olympic lifts have a big drop-off in performance as the reps are increased. For example doing 5 reps with 80% on the deadlift, bench or squat isn’t that hard… but doing 5 reps at 80% on the snatch and especially clean and jerk is VERY hard if you have a decent qualification and can use a decent amount of weight. Heck, even Ilya Ilyin who is arguably one of the best technician in olympic lifting frequently miss reps when he does triples… why is that important? Because you need a certain amount of volume and set duration to fully activate the muscle-building process. And this is very hard to do with the olympic lifts because technique breakdown due to fatigue will prevent you from using big weights for high reps… on explosive pulls doing sets of 4-6 reps with a big weight is easier.

  3. The “turnover”, going under the bar after the pull is a very complex action especially in the snatch. Just because you can pull a bar high enough doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to go under it efficiently. The bar has to be exactly in the right place and your body position has to be perfect.

  4. You can use a lot more weight in explosive pulls than you can in the actual olympic lifts… between 110 and 140% of the corresponding lift depending on the individual. If your goal is simply to build muscle and gain strength then the exercise allowing you to use the most weight over a full range of motion will be the most effective. Now the argument is that the full lifts have a greater range of motion. That’s not totally true when it comes to building the traps, back, lower back, delts since the “pull” has the full range of motion of the pulling action, it’s just the squat part that’s not in there and that is trained by other movements in any decent program anyway. In fact when doing high pulls the range of motion is often longer than on the corresponding olympic lift because in an effort to go under the bar, the pull is often cut slightly short.

  5. Any lift in which you can use big weight WILL build muscle, there is no denying that. But there are exercises that don’t lend themselves quite as well to maximize muscle growth, and the olympic lifts (although they are my favorite lifts) are in that category.[/quote]

Wow these High Pulls sound so great I might have to start doing them 5 days a week!! Haha.
[/quote]

You don’t have to agree with the use of the movement. I’m not being antagonist. I use it extensively (actually I once did use it 5 days a week for 3 weeks). You have your opinion and I respect it. I present you my logic and my experience, no need to be sarcastic or unpleasant.

[quote]nkklllll wrote:

I never said you need to do more work with the olympic lifts to cause hypertrophy, but that the amount was unreal. I can do 5x5 squats with 80% of my max with relative ease. It doesn’t feel that heavy honestly. But a set of 3 at 80% of my max snatch? At the end of that set I’ll be sweaty, tired, and will need quite a bit of rest before I do either another set or move on to my next lift (whether its pulls or cleans). I say this because I did that very thing just yesterday. I did a triple at 80%, and a triple at 85%. There was no way I was getting another technically sound rep in for either set.

[/quote]

This is strange and interesting. If I can do a high pull to a certain height, I can usually do it 5 times. In fact the second and third are often better and more powerful. I think that is because I am not very proficient (pulling around 200 to shoulder level). But I can go from getting 5 reps at 200 to missing 210 altogether.

Meanwhile, if I can squat a weight 5 times, I know I can add 20-30 pounds for a triple, another 20-30 for a double and another 20-30 for a single.

I have always felt that there are people who tend to be activated by max strength moves, and others who are activated by power moves. For example, if I do fast, explosive, or plyometric work first it does not help my strength work (it hurts) but if I do strength work first it helps my power (heavy squats boost my high pulls).

Others seem to benefit from power first then strength.

I can high pull 80% of max around 30-40 times in 10 minutes, but can only squat 80% 15-20 times in 10 minutes.

CT,
Your high pull argument go me thinking (always dangerous) about volume of the olympic lifts versus other pulls. Simmons talked about his guys never doing deadlifts (except some speed deads) but developing their deadlift though various rack pulls, goodmornings, and squat variations. His theory (as I understood it) was that the body became neurally less efficient when the same lift was done w >95% intensity with frequency.

Obviously the full olympic lifts need to be trained frequently because of the complexity in timing, etc. but I am wondering if the full lifts should be trained frequently but in the range of 70-85%, with perfect form, and use other lifts like pulls and squats to provide the overload for muscle stim. This is probably obvious to most here, but I keep reading about “max attempts every workout” for a lot of training in the Sn/C&J, and wondering how to keep that up without burnout.

[quote]mertdawg wrote:

[quote]nkklllll wrote:

I never said you need to do more work with the olympic lifts to cause hypertrophy, but that the amount was unreal. I can do 5x5 squats with 80% of my max with relative ease. It doesn’t feel that heavy honestly. But a set of 3 at 80% of my max snatch? At the end of that set I’ll be sweaty, tired, and will need quite a bit of rest before I do either another set or move on to my next lift (whether its pulls or cleans). I say this because I did that very thing just yesterday. I did a triple at 80%, and a triple at 85%. There was no way I was getting another technically sound rep in for either set.

[/quote]

This is strange and interesting. If I can do a high pull to a certain height, I can usually do it 5 times. In fact the second and third are often better and more powerful. I think that is because I am not very proficient (pulling around 200 to shoulder level). But I can go from getting 5 reps at 200 to missing 210 altogether.

Meanwhile, if I can squat a weight 5 times, I know I can add 20-30 pounds for a triple, another 20-30 for a double and another 20-30 for a single.

I have always felt that there are people who tend to be activated by max strength moves, and others who are activated by power moves. For example, if I do fast, explosive, or plyometric work first it does not help my strength work (it hurts) but if I do strength work first it helps my power (heavy squats boost my high pulls).

Others seem to benefit from power first then strength.

I can high pull 80% of max around 30-40 times in 10 minutes, but can only squat 80% 15-20 times in 10 minutes. [/quote]

I have the same thing. My 3rm, 2rm, and 1rm pull are pretty much identical. This is really apparent for my low pull. And, like you, my second and third pulls are always more powerful with more “pop” and height then my first pull.

[quote]orcrist wrote:
CT,
Your high pull argument go me thinking (always dangerous) about volume of the olympic lifts versus other pulls. Simmons talked about his guys never doing deadlifts (except some speed deads) but developing their deadlift though various rack pulls, goodmornings, and squat variations. His theory (as I understood it) was that the body became neurally less efficient when the same lift was done w >95% intensity with frequency.

Obviously the full olympic lifts need to be trained frequently because of the complexity in timing, etc. but I am wondering if the full lifts should be trained frequently but in the range of 70-85%, with perfect form, and use other lifts like pulls and squats to provide the overload for muscle stim. This is probably obvious to most here, but I keep reading about “max attempts every workout” for a lot of training in the Sn/C&J, and wondering how to keep that up without burnout.
[/quote]

most people don’t follow a bulgarian approach. However, there’s a reason the coach who came up with the bulgarian method said you have to be taking drugs in order to do it how he intended.

You can also look at programs like the LSUS 10-5-3 peaking program and see that there are in fact some coaches that produce excellent lifters (like kendrick farris and Jared Fleming) who apparently only have their lifters do the classic lifts 2x a week until they get to their peaking cycle (about 3 weeks out of competition)

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Big Damo wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Big Damo wrote:
Are you seriously saying that Olympic Lifts are not going to build muscle like a ‘high pull’ will? What an absolute joke! [/quote]

Well, simple anecdotal evidence: the olympic lifters who look jacked (with some exceptions of course) are those who supplement their training with a lot of pulls (Chinese and Russian lifters) while those who stick to the competitive lifts and their variations and Bulgarian school for example) tend to me much less muscular, especially in the upper body (there are exceptions of course e.g. Ivan Markov).

Also I competed and trained as an olympic lifter for 7 years and I can tell you that except for a quick adaptation phase to the new type of work, you don’t gain a lot of muscle from doing only the olympic lifts… BUT explosive pulls will give you hypertrophy to a greater extent.

Why?

  1. The movement is less technical, so unless you become very efficient in the olympic lifts you wont be able to use a weight that constitute a true overload on the muscles… with the high pull you can become efficient much easier and rapidly, allowing you to create that overload.

  2. The actual olympic lifts have a big drop-off in performance as the reps are increased. For example doing 5 reps with 80% on the deadlift, bench or squat isn’t that hard… but doing 5 reps at 80% on the snatch and especially clean and jerk is VERY hard if you have a decent qualification and can use a decent amount of weight. Heck, even Ilya Ilyin who is arguably one of the best technician in olympic lifting frequently miss reps when he does triples… why is that important? Because you need a certain amount of volume and set duration to fully activate the muscle-building process. And this is very hard to do with the olympic lifts because technique breakdown due to fatigue will prevent you from using big weights for high reps… on explosive pulls doing sets of 4-6 reps with a big weight is easier.

  3. The “turnover”, going under the bar after the pull is a very complex action especially in the snatch. Just because you can pull a bar high enough doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to go under it efficiently. The bar has to be exactly in the right place and your body position has to be perfect.

  4. You can use a lot more weight in explosive pulls than you can in the actual olympic lifts… between 110 and 140% of the corresponding lift depending on the individual. If your goal is simply to build muscle and gain strength then the exercise allowing you to use the most weight over a full range of motion will be the most effective. Now the argument is that the full lifts have a greater range of motion. That’s not totally true when it comes to building the traps, back, lower back, delts since the “pull” has the full range of motion of the pulling action, it’s just the squat part that’s not in there and that is trained by other movements in any decent program anyway. In fact when doing high pulls the range of motion is often longer than on the corresponding olympic lift because in an effort to go under the bar, the pull is often cut slightly short.

  5. Any lift in which you can use big weight WILL build muscle, there is no denying that. But there are exercises that don’t lend themselves quite as well to maximize muscle growth, and the olympic lifts (although they are my favorite lifts) are in that category.[/quote]

Wow these High Pulls sound so great I might have to start doing them 5 days a week!! Haha.
[/quote]

You don’t have to agree with the use of the movement. I’m not being antagonist. I use it extensively (actually I once did use it 5 days a week for 3 weeks). You have your opinion and I respect it. I present you my logic and my experience, no need to be sarcastic or unpleasant.[/quote]

CT I do apologise if I came across sarcastic or unpleasant as this was not my intention. I have a great respect for the information you provide on this site and incorporate some of your training theory into my own programming. On the high pull subject I’d just like to say I think it has it’s place however I believe it has been over emphasised on this site, as a lift which in my opinion is only a partial lift to the full movements (Olympic Lifts). Much like a rack pull for a Deadlift or a partial squat for a full range squat. I do understand why in certain circumstances partial movements are trained however I don’t believe they should be the focal point for a vast majority of people, unless there is a specific need.