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S&C UnderGround >> STOP doing squats?


11/5/09 6:53 PM
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SILK
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 That:s the latest from coach Mike Boyle. He says we should stop doing squats.
here is a link to the vid where he explains it a bit. Coach Boyle is damn well respectred, but this is going to create some controversy.
Watch the vid and tell your thoughts

www.functionalstrengthcoach3.com/squats.html
11/5/09 6:54 PM
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SILK
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 After the vid, listen to his state of the industry interview too. Good stuff.
11/5/09 10:01 PM
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HERTSWENIP
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Edited: 11/06/09 12:20 AM
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AIU: Watch the video, it can be inferred unilateral lifts are suggested.
11/5/09 10:02 PM
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OneScoup
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This is why I often roll my eyes at he fitness experts when they talk down to me on this forum. You'll all be saying something completely different in 3 years, but right now you're sure what you're saying is gospel and "good science."
11/5/09 10:32 PM
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jeremy hamilton
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AIU- Squats are overrated in what regard?
11/6/09 12:09 AM
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Bull_in_chinashop
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 I'll never do backsquats again.  front squats all the way. It forces you to have perfect form. Thank you Coach Dos!
11/6/09 12:23 AM
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NeoSpartan
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You can completely get away with it. Especially from an athletic standpoint. If you're a body builder (especially a natural one) then you may need squats to create a total body effect. It's probably the only way for you to really load muscle groups anymore. Ok cool.

But if you're not too concerned with hypertrophy, and even your bar weight doesn't matter... as long as you're performing better on the field/in the ring/cage? Then yes, you can probably get away (for a while) with not doing any squats. *GASP.SHOCK.AWE*

Personally I wouldn't just STOP doing them, there doesn't sound like any reason for that imo, it's still a tool, why not integrate it.

Anyway, point is...

define what attributes you're actually trying to improve... then open your mind to the possibility that you don't have to squat to achieve the on field goal then the world is yours.
11/6/09 2:55 AM
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dave nagel
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have a look at a study done by an Australian by the name of Mark Mckean.
he studied the squat and everything associated with it for something like 10 years and did his thesis or phd or something like that on the topic of squatting, looking at every possible aspect from infants to the elderly to bloody apes and chimps and how they all squat.
anyway worth a look.
11/6/09 4:49 AM
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SILK
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 Dave - what did McKean have to say? Could you give us a summary?
OneScoup - sometimes it's called progress. New results come by, and hence new training techniques. Take a look at conventional sit ups. Many years ago it was the ab staple. Now, with new discoveries, people know better than to do sit ups (McGill would be one to listen to on this point). So what the coaches in the trenches are teaching today, they might not teach tomorrow based on new research and results. Kinda like the TMA argument - guys practicing the same shit for years because that's how it was done. Boyle at least admits to when he was wrong and where he cnaged based on whatever new info he got. Most coaches are too stuck in their ways and have too much pride to admit they might have not been giving their guys the best and latest training.
Listen to Boyle and Alwyn Cosgrove's interview about that (called "State of the Industry". Hard hitting. Actually deserves a thread of its own)
Here is the link for the State of the Industry interview: www.thestateoffitness.com/industry/state-of-the-industry/
11/6/09 8:49 AM
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dave nagel
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i can't seem to find the article that i read (hopefully i've saved it somewhere) but here is some info and words about mark. have a look at his website www.markmckean.com.
if you register you may be able to find some more articles he has done regarding squats.


About Mark McKean

Mark completed his PhD in 2009 in the area of Movement Coordination and Muscle Balance, and is currently undertaking a Post Doctoral Scholarship program at the University of Sunshine Coast developing the newly founded “Australian Institute of Fitness Research”. Mark lectures at the University and is also a level 2 Strength & Conditioning Coach with ASCA, and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with NSCA. Mark is currently the Strength Coach for the NTID Kayak program on the Sunshine Coast, and has coached athletes in 28 different sports including 18 to international level and Olympic and World Championship medals in five different sports. Mark has received international and national recognition for his presenting, lecturing and training skills, winning the Australian Fitness Network author of the year 2001, receiving an award for contribution to the fitness industry in 2002, being named Australian Personal Trainer of the year for 2003 and finally receiving the SRQ Outstanding Contribution to the Fitness Industry Award in 2008.

(from marks website)
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
The position of the Lumbar spine in squats has always been contentious.
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research have accepted another paper from my PhD Thesis for publication, date yet to be confirmed. The paper titled "The lumbar and sacrum movement pattern during the back squat exercise " deals with the movement of the lumbar and sacrum segments during a back squat movement, and shows how width of stance affect these movements. The paper certainly questions the current thought that the lumbar spine remains flat or slightly curved throughout the squat and perhaps as coaches and trainers we need to look at this more closely. Go to the Research section and read the abstract in full.

also try googling this,
Program Design – to Split or Not to Split? By Mark McKean Dip.T .
11/6/09 9:28 AM
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gsx_r
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Because one guy makes a case to stop squatting, it's time to give it up?

Sorry, but generations of athletes that have gotten stronger and improved performance with squats, plus the legions of coaches and even scientist that swear by them could know something....I'll keep squating...

// there's scientist that argue against evolution & global warming too...
11/6/09 1:09 PM
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Rali
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Besides deadlift, squats would be the LAST lift I would give up. I dropped benches awhile back and don't do curls and a few other things. I either oly lift or focus on deads and squat and I never get outmuscled on the mat.

I do alternate between front and backsquats. If you get overly fatigued in your lower back, this should take care of that.
11/6/09 1:55 PM
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Bull_in_chinashop
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Edited: 11/06/09 5:16 PM
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 The more I read the info the more I'm interested in trying more unilateral squat movements. 
11/6/09 5:08 PM
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wayne60618
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I actually don't think it's Boyle's attempt to be controversial. over the last few years he has seems to have drifted to a very conservative approach, prefering to "first do no harm." He's long talked about the need for single leg squats and single leg deadlifts. For athletes, I think this is great. A lot of trainers will incorporate bi lateral days and unilateral days in their week. Sounds like Boyle's removing the bilateral days from his program.

the good thing about the unilateral work is you really learn alot about all the imbalances that you've developed. But, it's a struggle for many people to get the form down or handle a higher weight. In the early stages, you end up sacrificng weight to work on form.
11/6/09 11:39 PM
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jeremy hamilton
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Already In Use - jeremy hamilton - AIU- Squats are overrated in what regard?In regards that squats are ALWAYS recommended. And if you don't do them, you are a fag, an idiot, (place insult here).....I think squats are good for developing power in the legs, but it doesn't seem it's for everyone and not many can do them properly even with "proper training."Whenever I perform squats I tend to lean forward, and that's with light weight. I am inclined to agree with Boyle that the back is involved more significantly than believed. This is why I prefer to use the leg press machine, barbbell/dumbbell step-ups, and DLs. "What? You don't do squats? Then you won't get strong," cries the S&C experts.I believe one can develop strong legs without squatting, but that's just my opinion."


Said the man who is not strong.

If you have to lean forward thats not a big deal, just try and keep a tight arch. Thats no reason not to Squat. As for Boyle, I will not listen to a word he says after this article.

I guess every bobsledder, highjumper, thrower, football player, pole vaulter is wrong, among many others. I want to see the athletes that Boyle coaches.

"I believe one can develop strong legs without squatting, but that's just my opinion. "

This maybe true, but one will not develop the strongest legs one can have without squatting.

The leg press machine is training you for dysfunction. I dont know anyone that can keep lordosis while using it. Its an accident waiting to happen for SOME people.
11/6/09 11:41 PM
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saint39
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Boyle has been a proponent of front squats for athletes for quite a while actually.
11/7/09 2:06 AM
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dave nagel
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here's my take
all squats are great exercises provided they are done correctly and the client or athlete has had the right amount of preparation training leading up to adding them to their program.
personally i think front squats are a better exercise but i still regularly perform back squats.
with regards to bilateral squatting or split squatting i think they are one of the best exercises you can add to a program.

what is a split squat?

here's my take.

a split squat is a movement that at first glance looks like a static lunge except that you must make full contact with the hamstring and the calf as you would in a proper, full range unilateral squat. in other words, 'ass to the floor'.
this allows for a healthy joint by allowing synovial fluid to flow through the joint - 'synovial flushing' - when performed through its greatest range of pain free motion.
the weight should be evenly distributed through the hip, knee and ankle of the working (front) leg and the knee should be allowed to naturally travel over the toes.

the split squat can have several progressions
1. front foot elevated - the higher the foot the easier the exercise
2. both feet flat on the ground
3. rear foot elevated

split squats also sort out any of the strength imbalances between limbs. start with the weakest leg first and perform the same amount of reps/weight with the strongest leg.
eventually the weak limb will catch up to the strong one.

there are many ways to get your legs strong,
but if you neglect squatting - in anyway of its many forms - then you are doing your client/athlete a disservice.

my 2 cents
11/7/09 2:45 AM
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Jorx
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What do you guys think about squat as a corestrength developer?
11/7/09 6:01 AM
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dave nagel
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Jorx - i think that squats (no matter what variety) are great at developing core stability and strength.
the heavier the poundages the more your whole torso has to 'brace' and 'stabilize'.

have a look at vladimir zatsiorsky and william kraemer's 'science and practice of strength training'. there is a good section on intra abdominal pressure (IAP)




lardosis??????
11/7/09 9:09 AM
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paw
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 for laters
11/7/09 10:01 AM
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slayer806
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Boyle has been talking about not having his athletes do back squats for years, this is nothing new. He has been a proponent of front squats and unilateral leg exercises for some time. He released that video clip saying not to do squats to hype the release of his latest dvd series, Functional Strength Coach 3.

I don not agree with him on this but Boyle is very respected among many strength and conditioning coaches and when he speaks, agree or disagree, people listen.
11/7/09 11:04 AM
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jeremy hamilton
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AIU- I see what you are saying but I dont think you can compare the bench press to a squat in terms of importance. I think you can get the strongest pecs or pushing muscles you can get without bench pressing. I just dont think you can say the same about squatting and leg strength.

As far as leg pressing and coming out of lordosis, just read anything from Stuart Mcgill. Ultimate Back Performance and Fitness is a must read book.

I think front squats are a good exercise but still can't take the place of a back squat. It does not involve the glutes enough. You can get a lot from FSs goodmornings and RDLs but why not just back squat instead?
11/7/09 1:58 PM
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Diego stole my name
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jasonferruggia.com/death-of-the-back-squat/
11/7/09 2:04 PM
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NeoSpartan
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Handsomejaws - You guys are fucking idiots - Mark Ripptoe



I agree. But I can see the point he's making. I take the lesson to be more about training economy than not back squatting anymore.
11/7/09 2:07 PM
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NeoSpartan
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Diego stole my name - jasonferruggia.com/death-of-the-back-squat/


I’ve gotten a lot of questions the last few days about my opinion on Mike Boyle’s video claiming that the back squat is dead. Like I said, I don’t agree with everything Mike says. Nor do I agree with everything Alwyn Cosgrove or Chad Waterbury say. But they are smart guys who know their shit. I learn something from each of them and I like a lot of what Mike has to say about warming up, rehabbing and staying injury proof. But I’m never just going to throw out what I know works based on one guys theories.

So here is my opinion on Mike’s claim that the back squat is dead …

Bullshit. Long live the back squat.

It’s a great exercise that is far from dead. We all know that the limiting factor in the back squat is not leg strength. Anyone who’s ever done a single set of leg presses has proven that to themselves. The limiting factor is the strength of the lower back, abs, obliques, etc. The whole core region goes way before the legs do.

So does that mean you should throw it out and instead only load guys with split squats and step ups? Of course not. When it comes to training economy you can’t beat the back squat. No single leg exercise will do what it does for you.

What about the squat not maximally overloading the legs? Invalid argument in my opinion. Squats load the legs while also training the entire abdominal/lower back region simultaneously. This builds real world, “functional” strength. You can’t get the same effect from pistols and split squats.

Furthermore, most single leg work is dangerous when done for low reps and will place far greater stress on your knees than the back squat will. A balls out, heavy triple on split squats is a hip flexor tear waiting to happen. A double on a step up seems a little risky to me. So out goes CNS stimulation and maximal strength work.

The back squat transfers greatly to running speed and jumping ability as has been demonstrated many times before. It trains the core more effectively than almost anything else, provides spinal loading and enhances your overall strength from head to toe. A step up doesn’t do that.

Now, that’s not to say there is no place for unilateral work, as you could easily throw it in after squatting. But it’s supplementary to squats, not in replace of. Many coaches argue that single leg work is necessary here because sports involve the transference of power from one leg to another, blah, blah, blah. That’s irrefutable but I’m not sure how much of an impact a few sets of split squats after your max effort squats are really having. I still use single leg exercises but I could easily make the argument that all you need to do is squat and go home. As long as you are also, jumping, running and doing agility work at some point during the week, you may not need much more than that in the weight room. And that’s not just a guess because I’ve done it with guys before.

Another thing to consider, if you train athletes for a living, is that many of them will be getting tested on the back squat when they report to camp. So even if you hate it you had better know how to coach it and get strong on it.

Finally, and of critical importance in my opinion, is that squats create a training atmosphere and an attitude that could never, ever be matched by single leg work. Imagine your guys knowing that every Wednesday was Max Effort lower body day and screaming, “YAY! We get to do a five rep max on split squats today! I can’t wait for that.”

I can imagine nothing worse. Guys love to squat. Most of the guys I have trained LIVE to squat. It’s a big, bad ass, fun exercise that you can pile plates on and get all fired up for with some smelling salts and head butts and just get fucking nuts. When guys squat heavy weights they excited. And when they do it all offseason they develop a chip on their shoulder and a “fuck you” attitude that makes them a force when they walk into camp.

This aint happening with lunges.

So it would suck for the atmosphere of your gym and your business and the guys would be missing out on countless benefits.

That’s why there’s not a shot in hell I’ll be cutting out back squats any time soon.

I suggest you follow suit.

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