@the comments on OL aging peak. Yes, Stephen is correct, you're going to peak early in that sport, whereas you won't peak until much later in PL.Kenny is living proof of that, hitting PR's in his late 50's/early 60's.
Tim,Bashing old people, again. :)
Don't kids like you have anything better to do? "If I'd have know then what I know now."
From what I've seen, powerlifters usually peak in their 30s. With that said, my success in my 50s came more from what I learned.
If I'd have applied what I know now when I was in my 30s, I'd have performed even better than I did.
However, if you're not competing, then OL can be very useful in keeping that speed/power. I'm 61, and still like to do it, not with weights I used in the bad ole days, but it does keep me fresh and feeling "zippy" for lack of a better word. Just a side tip for the oldsters that want to try OL, you'd probably be better off doing the split versions; don't have to get as low, easier to control the bar, etc.
"Use is or lose it."
Tim's right. Using the Olymipic movements is an effective method of maintaining speed/power, perhaps even improving it.
I began my training at 19 with an Olympic lifter. Our program centered about squats, bench press and then Olympic movmenys: Power Clean, Power Snatch, Push Press, Behind The Neck Jerk, etc.
I've continued to utilize Olympic pulls, which helped improve my deadlift.
The Poster Children For Power Output. http://www.liftinglarge.com/kennynodeadlift.aspx
The greatest power outputs measured are those of Olympic lifters.
"The power output of clean pulls is 2.85 time greater than a deadlift. Second pulls are even higher with power outputs 4.38 times larger than deadlifts.
100-kilo Lifter Power Output
Second Pull----5260 watts
...even when dropping the training poundage down to lower percentages for Olympic pulls and deadlifts, outputs for Olympic pulls were still almost twice as great."
Thus, to maximize power output development or as Tim noted, to maintain it...employ Olympic movements in your program!