I feel in the US, we have a tendency to overlook strength and get caught up with the speed and technique aspect of olympic lifting too early. Of course technique is everything in whatever you do however strength in my opinion especially for olympic lifting is just as important (truth is IF YOUR STRONG, YOU CAN BE WRONG). If we focused on strength more, we would be doing much better at the olympics. The article that sparked the motivation for me to write this was this: http://www.allthingsgym.com/larrys-c...n-jerks-pulls/
(wfs). Chinese Olympic Weightlifting Coach Fang states "BEGINNERS MUST FOCUS ON ABSOLUTE STRENGTH FOR MANY YEARS". For a sport of speed strength and technical precision like olympic weightlifting, absolute strength must be damn important for an awarded oly coach to say it. Look at lifters like Klokov who can high bar squat over 700 pounds or Lü Xiaojun who squats in the mid 600s+. Even Crossfit Games champion Rich Froning spends 8 months out of the year predominantly focusing on getting his squat, press and deadlift numbers up. Have you noticed the majority of successful strongmen who compete in events that require a huge power output are/were powerlifters who compete in the slow lifts.
In other words if your a novice/beginner (including myself here), you shouldn't worry about your snatch, clean and jerk until your squatting at least 400 pounds.
"Who can clean more, someone with a 200lb deadlift or someone with a 500lb deadlift." - Rip