Main site just had an article high rep Olympic Lifting. This topic is near and dear to my heart as I have debated the merits and pitfalls over and over in my head.
My personal experience is mixed and cursed with the fact that my form is passable at best in an unfatigued state and dangerous when fatigued. I enjoy Olympic Lifting and feel that it is a cornerstone of general physical preparedness (GPP) along with Gymnastics, Powerlifting and Monostructural Endurance. When I want to develop technique when fatigued, I typically tend towards EMOM style rather than For Time style metabolic conditioning.
During programmed Crossfit workouts that doe require "cycling" a barbell, I will nearly always scale the weight to the point that poor technique will not be dangerous to my back, shoulders, etc.
Myth 1. Olympic lifts are dangerous at higher rep ranges because of the inevitable technical breakdown
Myth 2. High-rep Olympic lifting is a poor method of conditioning
Myth 3. High-rep Olympic lifting doesn't build strength in the lifts
Myth 4. High-rep Olympic lifts erode an athlete's technique in the classic lifts
I agree with the counterpoint to all of these myths.
Technique is king and until my technique is 8 out of 10, I have no business increasing intensity, volume, etc.
Technical movements are an excellent form of conditioning. Mentally switching the next pedal stroke, next swim hip pivot, triple extension, pulling under the bar, continue ad infinitum is essential for neurological conditioning and GPP. Rarely will my personal life call for exertion under ideal conditions.
Strength in the lifts is harder to wrap my head around. Indeed when fatigued, technique becomes more important. Why squat snatch when you can muscle snatch? That being said, I do not have enough experience to address this one.
Finally, erosion of technique is only possible if the intensity, volume, etc is too high for the athlete in question. Swinging my back during a hang power clean is stupid and I should not practice it during High-Rep or Max Effort lifts.