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Thread: Mike Boyle says no to squats.

  1. #1
    THUNDER THIGHS! Fuzzy's Avatar
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    Mike Boyle says no to squats.

    Video: http://www.functionalstrengthcoach3.com/squats.html

    http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_a...rcise_gone_bad

    I personally think this is stupid. Not a leg excersise!??! I can't even get my thoughts in order!

    My quads right now beg to differ.

    So, he used alot of freshmen to test his theory. Judging from what he said I dont think a single one of those athletes was hitting a full depth atg squat. Maybe for inflexible kids that are squatting with bad technique, this makes sense. But to make a statement as bold as that when my legs, anf the legs of many others beg to differ seems more like a cheap publicity stunt to set him apart from the other trainers.


    Thoughts?


    Imma go do some squats right now.
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  2. #2
    Do that voodoo that he do
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    I'll preface this by saying that I absolutely respect Mike Boyle and think that he's one of the great minds of our field.

    Now I get to disagree. I can see where he's coming from when it comes to a risk/reward standpoint on squats. Remember that he trains athletes, not power/weightlifters, and not bodybuilders. His only goal is to make his athletes better on the field (or ice, for most of them). So he doesn't care about squatting in and of itself. Squatting is merely a means of stimulating the organism. Period. He believes that it causes more issues than its worth. Maybe he's right.

    I know that for a lot of my people I end up doing more front squatting than back squatting (although he's apparently given up on front squatting now, too). We do a lot of back box squats, though.

    To me the benefits of squatting (front, back, or overhead) are:

    -Mental edge: Athletes just seem to respond when they're getting ready to do a heavy 3-rep squat. Nobody does a "heavy 3" with a unilateral movement. If they do... NOW we're debating risk/reward!

    -Overall driving power: Again, this is born from weight on the bar. Even though athletes spend most of their time in unilateral positions, big squats seem to really develop that transfer of power (from any position) from the lower body through the upper body.

    -It's a natural motion. I'm sorry, it is. Squatting is part of humanity's hard-wired movement patterns. When you see somebody with a messed-up squat, even with weight, then it's starting to point out something flawed with their athletic movement patterns. That gives you something to work on to improve them as an athlete. Should 7-footers be doing ATG squats? Probably not, but they can still do some sort of squatting movement.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member DMedley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy View Post
    I dont think a single one of those athletes was hitting a full depth atg squat. Maybe for inflexible kids that are squatting with bad technique, this makes sense.
    I would have to agree with you "I don't think one of them was doing an atg squat". I know I would find it very hard to do a one legged squat Arse to grass.

  4. #4
    Twin Cities Barbell dammstrate's Avatar
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    What a bunch of crap. Just another gimmick to be provacative so as to
    SELL SOMETHING. You notice these kind of guys are NEVER at a big time
    organization position: college, pro, olympic, etc. Always a free-lancer.

    "We do rear-elevated split squats, unsupported single-leg squats, trap bar deadlifts and single-leg straight-leg deadlifts. We hit it hard, so don't think we're slacking."

    Sorry, by definition you are.

    OK, you take the sport athalete who needs explosion, speed and power, I will take the one who has been squatting and deadlifting. EVERY TIME.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dammstrate View Post
    What a bunch of crap. Just another gimmick to be provacative so as to
    SELL SOMETHING. You notice these kind of guys are NEVER at a big time
    organization position: college, pro, olympic, etc. Always a free-lancer.

    "We do rear-elevated split squats, unsupported single-leg squats, trap bar deadlifts and single-leg straight-leg deadlifts. We hit it hard, so don't think we're slacking."

    Sorry, by definition you are.

    OK, you take the sport athalete who needs explosion, speed and power, I will take the one who has been squatting and deadlifting. EVERY TIME.
    He is the strength coach at Boston University, I'm not defending the guy I think hes a terd but a lot of guys even in those positions don't have a clue.
    "I PLAY BY MY OWN RULES"

  6. #6
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    He's simply looking for a differentiator as already suggested and it IS possible he believes what he is saying.

    A couple of problems:

    1) Yes, the lower back is involved in squatting to varying degrees. So what? Should his athletes not have strong lower backs?

    2) He talks about using a greater relative load on a totally different exercise as though you are really somehow doubling the stress on the involved musculature. That is simply stupid... Different movement, different load pattern, hence the ability to use a relatively higher load.

    3) The biggest and strongest legs ever have been developed using squats. They work. They are efficient at stimulating a lot of musculature, and efficiency should be a prime target for any resistance training relative to supporting athletic activities. Resistance training for athletics has only two real uses, increased force production capability and or increased total body mass. Sport specific activities should be the majority of one's training and only enough resistance training to get the job done should be employed, hence the importance of efficiency. Why? There is no sense wasting the body's recovery ability etc. via excessive resistance training with excessive being defined as more than that needed to get the job done with respect to supporting the sport related activities.


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    Senior Member mikesbench's Avatar
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    Wow, after watching that I'm speachless! If I was in that seminar I'd just be twitching in my seat cause of all the problems I had with what he was saying. ESPECIALLY comparing breaking the 4 minute mile to some weak kid trying to squat 2 plates! How sheltered are his athletes if they didn't think it was possible to load 2 or more plates on the bar?!
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    Well, I have no idea who Mike Boyle is, but he looks like just another guy who doesn't squat telling me not to squat. It's clear what squatting has done for my body and strength, I'll never not squat, ever, no matter what any "expert" says.

  9. #9
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    I'll agree that most beginners lack the lower back strength to squat. That doesn't mean the squat should be avoided. It means the lower back must be strengthened. I'd be very curious how much lower back training he does with athletes and how many lower back injuries they get. He sounds like one of those guys that'll have his athletes do tons of ab training, no lower back training, then wonder why the athletes get injured.
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  10. #10
    Wannabebig Member C-Sobrino's Avatar
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    Jesus people! We all know Squats are bull****, I can do like 400 more pounds on the leg press than on squats! Thanks Coach Boyle for reinventing the wheel, as if squats were popular anyway...
    "Test all things; hold fast what is good." - 1 Thessalonians 5:21

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  11. #11
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    The problem is how many strength coaches actually teach their pupils the CORRECT way to squat? From the ones I know, not very many at all. (Its the same way with the bench press, but thats a whole different argument). If a coach is trying to train his athletes incorrectly, he's going to see less than stellar results.

    The other thing to consider is the population of individuals who's being trained. All athletes need to improve their strength, but face it, a powerlifter is not an olympic lifter is not a football player is not a baseball player is not a hockeyplayer. A good coach is going to develop a training system that maximizes the strengths of his athletes for the sport at hand and from there is going to individualize that program for the individual strengths and weaknesses of the individual athletes. Unilateral training has its benefits, but the biggest problem is its going to set an athlete up for injury if there is a major strength difference from one side to the other. He's also pretty much ignoring the unilateral advantage phenomenon (as was stated in the T-nation article) and other things with the way he's presenting his information.

    Bottom line? He's more or less stating an opinion. Opinions are like *******s, they are generally little things that everyone has that at some point every day are generally full of ****. I don't really care, he's not my strength coach and he doesn't own my gym. We've all seen the article and online discussion about the journal article that came out recently that suggested that the use of resistance bands will improve your bench press. WOW now thats a revelation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusWild View Post
    I'll agree that most beginners lack the lower back strength to squat. That doesn't mean the squat should be avoided. It means the lower back must be strengthened. I'd be very curious how much lower back training he does with athletes and how many lower back injuries they get. He sounds like one of those guys that'll have his athletes do tons of ab training, no lower back training, then wonder why the athletes get injured.
    Is it lower back strength or is it general balance? I've wondered this for a while. You have beginners with relatively strong lower back strength demonstrated by deadlifts/stiff deadlifts, etc, but still aren't good squatters. Squatting is somewhat weird to me becuase its a "natural" movement, but it really seems as if there is a fundamental degree of balance that has to be acquired before someone becomes a good squatter.
    Finally ELITE @ SHW..

    Single ply: 931 squat, 760 bench, 530 deadlift and 2180 total
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    As an athlete myself playing football up to and currently at a high level I can definately say that full back squats gave me more on the field than any other type of squat. I have trained at some of the best places for football players to train in the country (Parisi's and Defranco's) and like I said out of all the different types of squats nothing was better than the normal back squat. So take it for what it's worth I squat and am still a high level athlete that gets more out of squats than anything else. As far as people not having strong enough lower backs or balance issues or whatever else it may be, everyone starts somewhere but you need to do it you can't work around it.

  14. #14
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    I could see having an athlete do lots of Goodmorning and the leg work he has talked about. I don't see how the squat is an end all exericise, but i am not sure if abandoning it completely is more of a like was said above, just trying to differentiate yoruself from the crowd for the single purpose of differentiating yourself from the crowd.

  15. #15
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    You can train without the squat (and get big and strong, or just strong etc.), but it really doesn't make sense for the aforementioned efficiency factor.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigTallOx View Post
    Well, I have no idea who Mike Boyle is, but he looks like just another guy who doesn't squat telling me not to squat. It's clear what squatting has done for my body and strength, I'll never not squat, ever, no matter what any "expert" says.
    You're not his target audience. In fact, almost none of us here are -- he was speaking to athletes specifically looking to get better at their sport the fastest with the lowest risk.

    To some extent, I agree with him. I think the squat is a great exercise but about everyone here has this mentality that if you don't squat, you're wasting your time. I was having a conversation with a kid on our track team abuot this (mind you, this is a kid whose around 189 and benches 345, squats 400+, and deadlifts 500+. I've seen it. He's mostly an olympic weightlifter though). He quotes LSU's combine they hold for the track team every year, where they test your 100M, 400M times, long jump, etc. and use things like your squat, your bench, verticle leap, etc. as "predictors." You know what was the number one predictor of your 400 M time was? Keep in mind they were able to get within tenths of a second of the actual time. It was your standing overhead medicine ball throw (for distance I believe). Not your squat or even your best power clean.

    Now, I was always under the impression that the single best way to increase your speed/power/athletic performance or whatever, in the weight room (that is, besides just playing your sport!) is to increase your relative body weight to strength ratio - maximal effort development. Increase your squat/deadlift/bench numbers relative to your body weight,a nd everything else will follow.

    Of course there is a law of diminishing returns on this. Once your squatting 3x your bodyweight or whatever, adding another 20 lbs isn't going to help your 40 time. But he was able to name NUMEROUS world record and olympic record holders with straight up AWFUL squat numbers, guys running world record times who could not squat more than 300 lbs at around 180.

    So I can see where this guy is coming from. The squat is great, but following the philosophy of "everyone should squat, all the time, no matter the circumstance, its the only method to get you faster" is just narrow minded. There's more than one way to skin a cat, and if this guy believes squatting isn't in his repertoire, so be it.

    that being said, I would still have my athletes squat XD
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dammstrate View Post
    What a bunch of crap. Just another gimmick to be provacative so as to
    SELL SOMETHING. You notice these kind of guys are NEVER at a big time
    organization position: college, pro, olympic, etc. Always a free-lancer.
    While I agree that the way he highlights this particular point in promotion for his DVD is a bit of sensationalist marketing, he is still one of the most reputable names in the field.

    I can understand both sides of the argument. I can't think of many sports that would require an athlete to have a 500 lb back squat in order to be successful. Despite squatting religiously myself (a shock on the PL/Oly forum), I don't subscribe to the T-Nation-esque "squat or you're a pussy" mentality. However, as has been mentioned before, I think that the experience of grinding out a brutal 3RM squat can build immense mental toughness.

    Then again, the fact that squatting works is pretty indisputable. There are many strength coaches who employ them and get great results. Joe Defranco, for example, has obviously had great success. That being said, the form shown in some of his videos can be a little cringe-worthy, and I'm not sure I'd let an 'expensive' athlete be push him/herself at the expense of form.

    The bottom line is that not everyone is made to squat. Mike has a bias from training a lot of ****ed up hockey players, and thus, has gone to the extreme on this point. Contraindicating the exercise instead of the athlete is very short-sighted, but I understand that it comes down to risk vs. reward with these valuable athletes.

    Time to go squat!

  18. #18
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    I could care less what Boyle says, unless he starts talking smack about benching. Then there will be a problem.


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  19. #19
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    Hmmm... Interesting vid. I'm glad fuzzy posted!

    Hey, the guys entitled to his opinion... As for us PL'ers, "Sqaut & DL heavy or go home!"
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  20. #20
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    He's a dumb$hit. If anyone listens to this, you should really consider taking up a different hobby. He's a joke.

    His kids can't squat because he can't teach it. That's why he has to come up with BS about why squatting isn't a lower body exercise, it's a low back exercise.

    He's all that is wrong with the Strength and Conditioning field. It makes me sick that people actually listen to this and will stop squatting.

  21. #21
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    He's a dumb$hit. If anyone listens to this, you should really consider taking up a different hobby. He's a joke.

    His kids can't squat because he can't teach it. That's why he has to come up with BS about why squatting isn't a lower body exercise, it's a low back exercise.

    He's all that is wrong with the Strength and Conditioning field. It makes me sick that people actually listen to this and will stop squatting.
    Welcome back Matt.

  22. #22
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    I could care less what Boyle says, unless he starts talking smack about benching. Then there will be a problem.
    This is the exact answer I expected. Nice!

  23. #23
    The Project KarstenDD's Avatar
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    Mike Boyle can get ****ed.
    Roll Tide.

  24. #24
    Senior Member skinny99's Avatar
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    See ya later! I will be the one squatting!
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  25. #25
    Tony BodyByGamma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    He's a dumb$hit. If anyone listens to this, you should really consider taking up a different hobby. He's a joke.

    His kids can't squat because he can't teach it. That's why he has to come up with BS about why squatting isn't a lower body exercise, it's a low back exercise.

    He's all that is wrong with the Strength and Conditioning field. It makes me sick that people actually listen to this and will stop squatting.
    Great post!

    On a side note Squats cure cancer.

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