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Thread: Adults should not do weightlifting, says Functional Training Guru Michael Boyle

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    Adults should not do weightlifting, says Functional Training Guru Michael Boyle

    Michael Boyle, a functional fitness (whatever that is) guru, has not been doing the weightlifting community any favors. He says he is a fan of "Olympic lifting," but that athletes should only do them from the hang. To be more specific, his core "Olympic lifts" are the power clean and power snatch from the hang, and the single-leg power clean and single-leg power snatch from the hang -- and, of course, the snatch should be performed with a jerk grip, not a snatch grip. Straps are allowed on cleans, of course.

    On his Instagram post on May 28, 2019, Boyle shared this thought on weightlifting: "Yes for kids, no for adults." What other knowledge bombs can you find on his Instagram account? How about answers to these questions: Back squats? Yes, but only to parallel, but consider that Bulgarian split squats are far superior. Goblet squats? Absolutely, especially with your heels on a high board. Deadlifts? OK, but understand that it's much better to do them while standing on one leg.

    Boyle banned me from his Instagram account (so I can't even see what he posts now), but he did respond to me on Twitter (after he banned me) when I pointed out that his chapter on weightlifting in his most popular book didn't contain a single scientific reference to support his controversial ideas (although other chapters have references). His response to me was, "...although I have not done research I have trained 1000's and 1000's of athletes." This is a bizarre statement, as Boyle often talks about how much reading he does to stay current in his profession.

    By the way, there is an odd video of Boyle teaching the clean on Youtube (just Google: "Positioning Athletes in The Hang Clean"). He has a young woman demonstrating. He stresses the importance of having the shoulders well in front of the bar in the hang position, and explains that you may have to "physically teach with our hands" to ensure this optimal technique. So what he does is have this young woman place the bar on her mid-thigh, then he grabs the front of the bar with his right hand, places his left hand on her lower back, and then pushes his left knee into her glutes! Hmmmm...I wonder why this method is not taught in USA Weightlifting courses?

    This discussion may not seem like a big deal, but Boyle is on the seminar circuit with Perform Better and has a large social media following. His influence in my area is big, as several gyms just a few miles from me follow his training methods and many PE instructors are familiar with his methods. In fact, two of my high school athletes were told by their PE instructors in a weightlifting class (as Boyle says in his book) not to allow the knees to go in front of the toes in the squat because having the knee go in front of the toes is harmful to the knee. I asked them to have their instructor show them how to walk without allowing the knee of the trailing leg to travel in front of their toes.

    Thank you,

    Kim Goss, MS
    President, Team BFS Weightlifting Club
    Last edited by Kim Goss; 06-04-2019 at 08:13 AM.

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