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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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    "You can't fix stupid."

    Ron White

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    The guy has been saying controversial things in order to get noticed for over a decade.

    It used to be that bilateral squatting was bad, then weightlifting for women was bad because of pelvic floor control, there have probably been a lot more instances.

    Heck, I stopped listening to him more than 10 years ago when he kept repeating the BS about the 4min mile.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bq_HXqyBp1b/
    Last edited by Hawkpeter; 06-03-2019 at 12:38 AM.

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    First off, who? Never heard ov her.

    Second, dont listen to morons. Its like spending time around people with the flu. Sooner or later...

    Third, the entire fitness industry is built upon squeezing gullible and weak people for their money. Nothing you or i do is going to change that. You might as well try and make politicians honest.

    Let them bleat.

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    "Functional fitness"... Hahahahahaha. Yeah, this is probably one ov those guys perpetuating the whole 'if women lift they'll turn into Arnold Schwartzenegger' bullshit...

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    IMO there a whole network of like minded s&c coaches who propagate misinformation; not surprisingly most in the USA. Charniga has called many of them out, in his section on “misinformation”. But in our dumbed down society they are able to propagate. For the most part it is the uninitiated in strength-power sports who follow them like leemings. Beware the testimonial, the trainer of 1000’s. These days it is ALL about marketing and information for sale with little substance. The snake oil hucksters are alive and well and doing booming business. Their training ideologies are a house of cards built on quicksand. I commend you Kim for calling him out. The dead giveaway is him banning you from public discourse and debating. Good on ya.

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    he seems to mix and match what populations he is talking about.

    "7' tall people shouldn't clean from the floor ... plates are standard size, bar only 9" off the floor
    I'd agree with this in case of a 7' basket baller.
    But you could just go from the blocks, instead of hang.
    Hangs are fine tho.

    "(old) people who can't put arms over their head".
    Yep, probably a waste of time to teach general population middle aged people classic lifts.
    There just need to OHP well first; then if they can OHS; then we can talk about learning classic lifts.
    But why?
    Who is gonna teach them? Mike Boyle? no thank you.

    Most average-joe-lifter-sport-field-court-athlete clean-pull (pull only) and snatch pull (only) look like total dog shit.
    ...so yes, he kinda has a point there. Those should be easier to teach the the full lift, or a hang with the turnover/catch. But I digress: who is gonna teach these lifts? Boyle and his flunkies?

    If I were a S&C Coach, I would probably shy away from wasting time teaching the classic lifts to an school athlete.
    (most of "those people" are going to be long limbed BTW ; good luck with that)

    If I were a general rando personal trainer dude .... ditto for old gen pop.

    The knee-over-toes squats thing and the single leg variant stuff? .... yeah, he probably can't teach the squat either so....

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    Cluster B antics. Boyle seems to be part of that strength-power sports circle jerk of incestuous knowlege. Partly because of the proclivity to pedestal 'guru' personalities. I stopped listening a while ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbasic View Post
    he seems to mix and match what populations he is talking about.

    "7' tall people shouldn't clean from the floor ... plates are standard size, bar only 9" off the floor
    I'd agree with this in case of a 7' basket baller.
    But you could just go from the blocks, instead of hang.
    Hangs are fine tho.

    "(old) people who can't put arms over their head".
    Yep, probably a waste of time to teach general population middle aged people classic lifts.
    There just need to OHP well first; then if they can OHS; then we can talk about learning classic lifts.
    But why?
    Who is gonna teach them? Mike Boyle? no thank you.

    Most average-joe-lifter-sport-field-court-athlete clean-pull (pull only) and snatch pull (only) look like total dog shit.
    ...so yes, he kinda has a point there. Those should be easier to teach the the full lift, or a hang with the turnover/catch. But I digress: who is gonna teach these lifts? Boyle and his flunkies?

    If I were a S&C Coach, I would probably shy away from wasting time teaching the classic lifts to an school athlete.
    (most of "those people" are going to be long limbed BTW ; good luck with that)

    If I were a general rando personal trainer dude .... ditto for old gen pop.

    The knee-over-toes squats thing and the single leg variant stuff? .... yeah, he probably can't teach the squat either so....
    So he identifies a problem such as not being able to fully extend the arms overhead or squat low because of ankle flexibility, and the solution is to avoid addressing these flexibility problems by not doing overhead work and by only squatting on high wedge boards. I have a bar path analysis of one of his lifters who he trained for three years, and it's a wide, looping path that resembles a cheat curl -- a better name for this is a standing hip thrust. His athletes start by leaning back, then leaning way forward, and then kicking the bar up and around -- it's funny, because you can hear one coach saying, "Keep it close!" (can't remember the exact words, as I was distracted by the athlete in the background doing one-leg snatches). If he's not comfortable coaching the lifts from the floor, perhaps he could look up the directory of coaches on the USA Weightlifting website and find a coach who can come in and teach him how to teach the lifts properly -- or go to the local weightlifting clubs and ask to watch. Or maybe take the new USA Club Coaches course again?
    Last edited by Kim Goss; 06-04-2019 at 08:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robo View Post
    IMO there a whole network of like minded s&c coaches who propagate misinformation; not surprisingly most in the USA. Charniga has called many of them out, in his section on “misinformation”. But in our dumbed down society they are able to propagate. For the most part it is the uninitiated in strength-power sports who follow them like leemings. Beware the testimonial, the trainer of 1000’s. These days it is ALL about marketing and information for sale with little substance. The snake oil hucksters are alive and well and doing booming business. Their training ideologies are a house of cards built on quicksand. I commend you Kim for calling him out. The dead giveaway is him banning you from public discourse and debating. Good on ya.

    Thanks robo -- the sad thing is that it's hard for the public to determine who is giving out good advice.

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