I used this picture for a magazine article about using the power clean for athletes outside Olympic weightlifting. The point of the article was that the competitive lifts and their variations are great builders of the back muscles. That even those outside of weightlifting might want to look into some of the simpler variations like power cleans to aid in their development and strength goals.
I have had a questioning response from a couple of people who have looked at the article and picture. The question revolves around the fact that not all weightlifters backs look like this. It’s true, they don’t. Some don’t have this level hypertrophy. On the other hand, some are even more impressive. But, can this not also be said about the use of the barbell row and the chin-up? Both accepted in the mainstream circle of strength training as the best or at least among the best builders of muscle and strength in the back. Yet does everyone who uses these exercises have an exceptionally developed back? Certainly not. Fact is that genetics, work ethic, and a reasonable training plan all play a part.
But, certainly the fact that it is not abnormal for a weightlifter to have a very visually impressive, thick, and dense back with said back developed by nothing more than the normal weightlifting exercises of pulling weights off the floor and putting them overhead or on the shoulders tells me that if you have the necessary qualities to allow it to happen, cleans and snatches can certainly give you one hell of a back.