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Home » Featured Sports Performance Articles » Just Fly Performance Podcast Episode 65: Mike Boyle: Sage Wisdom on Squats, Deadlifts, Vertical Jump and Single Leg Training

Just Fly Performance Podcast Episode 65: Mike Boyle: Sage Wisdom on Squats, Deadlifts, Vertical Jump and Single Leg Training

Today’s guest is strength and conditioning coach, Mike Boyle.  Mike Boyle has the trifecta of being one of the most well-known, well-loved, and most-hated strength coaches, all at the same time.  He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of Strength and Conditioning, Functional Training and general fitness.  In 1996 Michael co-founded Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, one of the first for-profit strength and conditioning companies in the world.   He is the author of “Functional Training for Sports”, “Advances in Functional Training for Sports”, and “New Functional Training for Sports”.

Mike Boyle is incredibly popular for his work in training revolving around the needs of the athlete, but has become incredibly unpopular due to his dis-use of the bilateral barbell squat exercise.  Many people are familiar with the fact that Mike doesn’t bilateral barbell squat his athletes, but most people will make a decision right there as to not look into how and why Mike got to this point, and continue doing everything they have been doing, as normal.  Additionally, they don’t look at the results that Mike can get in athletes in markers such as vertical jump, without utilizing heavy compressive barbell work.

Even if you are the vast majority of coaches who bilateral barbell squat your athletes (myself included), there is a lot of great thought processes and stories in this podcast with a legend in our field that will make you really, truly think about every piece you have in your training system, and if you might be able to get the same, or better results without it.

For today’s episode, Mike covers his mentors and influencers in the field, the long-term process by which he stopped utilizing barbell squatting, performance advantages of deadlifts vs. squats, the results Mike can get in performance markers without squatting, and even Mike’s current personal workouts.

Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, supplier of high-end athletic development tools, such as the Freelap timing system, kBox, Sprint 1080, and more.

Just Fly Performance Podcast Episode 65: Mike Boyle: Sage Wisdom on Squats, Deadlifts, Vertical Jump and Single Leg Training

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Key Points:

  • Mike’s mentors and influencers that had a big impact on his early years as a strength coach
  • The long-term process by which Mike stopped utilizing back squats with athletes
  • Concepts on the bilateral deficit, and the neurological inefficiency of bilateral movement
  • Why many coaches are simply looking for agreement rather than learning
  • Mike Boyle’s personal workout schedule
  • Questions on what results you can get in speed and power measurements such as vertical jump in athletes with no squatting
  • Squats, deadlifts, and spinal compression

Quotes

“The people that think, and question, and tend to speak their mind tend to be unpopular”

“I can remember being told that your back should hurt for 4-5 days after a good squat or deadlift workout”

“Having an athletic training background, you start to look at (10-20% of athletes with active back pain) and at least having those head scratching moments of, “hey this might not be the right way to go””

“It took about 20 years to get to this “OK we’re not doing this any more” point (on barbell squatting athletes)”

“I’m so not married to any concept, I’m only married to the idea of best practices, I want my athletes to be the best, I want them to make millions of dollars”

“The mobility and the slow grooving and all that stuff (to get athletes to barbell squat well), isn’t that like whittling a square peg (in a round hole)?”

“The worst coaches are the ones who say “This is what I did when I was a player””

“I think people are afraid of the term “functional training” because they don’t know what it is”

“We are inhibited bilaterally, we are less efficient”

“What we do, particularly prevalent in the football world, is we listen to and copy people like ourselves…. all people call for is agreement”

“The key to cheating is to know who to cheat off of (in regards to learning from others in the field)”

“Deadlifts involve flexion moments, versus extension and compressive forces.  In squatting you are trying to produce extension and you are involved with a deliberate compressive load running down your spine.  In deadlifts, none of those are present.”

“When I’m thinking of doing one lift with a lot of muscle mass involved, deadlift beats squat”

“There aren’t places that I wanted to be, these are places I felt compelled to go to”

About Mike Boyle

Mike BoyleMichael Boyle is one of the foremost experts in the fields of Strength and Conditioning, Functional Training and general fitness. He currently spends his time lecturing, teaching, training and writing. In 1996 Michael co founded Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, one of the first for-profit strength and conditioning companies in the world. Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning exists for one reason: to provide performance enhancement training for athletes of all levels. Athletes trained range from junior high school students to All Stars in almost every major professional sport.

Prior to Co- founding Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, Michael served as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach at Boston University for 15 years, also for the past 25 years he been the Strength and Conditioning Coach for Men’s Ice Hockey at Boston University.  Mike also was the Boston Red Sox strength and conditioning coach in 2013 that won the World Series. In addition to his duties at Boston University and the Red Sox, from 1991-1999 Boyle served as the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League. Michael was also the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the 1998 US Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey Team, Gold Medalists in Nagano and 2014 Silver medalists in Sochi, and served as a consultant in the development of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Michael has been a featured speaker at numerous strength and conditioning and athletic training clinics across the world and has produced 20 instructional videos in the area of strength and conditioning available through M-F Athletic. Michael has also lectured all over the world. In addition, Michael published Functional Training for Sports for Human Kinetics Publishers. Mike and his wife Cindy have 2 children, Michaela and Mark and reside in Reading.

2 comments

  1. Mike i agree with you on many fronts with this interview with a sprinkle of a grain of salt – Your tone and reference are you in fact doing the best thing for your athlete and I agree with the great Dr. Stuart McGill – it depends. See below link with Dr.Stuart discussing bulgarian split squat or rear elevated split squat at roughly 7:23 of the video – It always depends and the volume, frequency and the loading parameters always play a role.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SU0CYSgoTsQ – s

    Lastly
    – Unilateral – the brain has no choice
    – Bilateral – you get to see how the brain chooses and learns how to load

    I can say much more for I do believe unilateral work is important- but the decision making tree for me in how I program it – is multifactorial.

    • Sav- Although I agree with Stu on most things his opinion on rear foot elevated split squats is just that. An opinion. Stu doesn’t actively coach pain free athletes every day. He deals in back injury. We do 1000’s of reps a year ( as do other coaches like Devan McConnell at Mass Lowell) and we never have seen this .

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