I'm feeling a little regretful that I posted this and I guess I set things out in a rather ambiguous manner. I was interested to see what people thought of the Boyle approach. I have taken a lot of good stuff from his book and the articles he has written.
Dan correctly points out that Boyle responds as comment #152. This is immediately followed by someone defending Mark Twight (ironically) and maybe two more posts. When I first wrote this, the day after, there were only 151 comments and the last one was by Coach Glassman. From what I have read of Mike Boyle his post does not surprise me. Thoughtful and courteous. I wouldn't have bothered to step in.
As has been said above, Boyle trains professional athletes. If an athlete is injured while training, you are looking at a business consideration. You reconsider who you employ as a strength and conditioning coach. In Rugby Union too many players are injured while training. That is utterly inexcusable
. Boyle has developed his own system of training, Glassman his, and of course so have Mark Twight, Dan John, Robb Wolf etc. All based upon experience and all subject to change as experience progresses.
From my point of view I like the approach to single leg training Boyle employs. I very really have access to squat racks and am normally reliant on dbs, step-ups etc. to train my legs. His ideas are useful to me because I have other requirements than that which he intends. But I have no desire to master pistols on a whoopee cushion. Furthermore, like Steve, I don't have the aversion to benching that many "functional
" guys have. Press ups with torso rotation on a Reebok core board is a stage of evolution I can live without. Suddenly Boyle becomes a bad coach? No. Read his stuff on warming up. Very good.
I read Robb say that he didn't like standing lunges much. He may have changed his mind, I don't know, but it rang true with me. I've never felt particularly stable while doing them and certainly will avoid anything like jumping lunges. Still, lots of people do them. Good for them.
I hurt my lower back about a year ago. When I eventually got to see a physio it had eased a lot and I was training again. She asked me when it hurt and I replied that overhead squats were a little uncomfortable. She looked at me in horror and said "well I don't think you should be doing those
So started a tedious professional relationship. She thinks I'm a lunatic. I think she's an idiot. We're probably both right to degree but I'm trying (struggling) to find some middle ground and guess she is as well. If I ever told her my full theories on training she'd collapse in a fit.
Let's consider the issue of high rep Olympic lifts. Boyle made a very simple statement and whole universes have been inferred from it. What constitutes high reps? I remember a workout described on the CrossFit message board:
10 Power cleans @ 60kg
15 Press ups
This was aimed as a test for MMA guys and the mark was sub 5 mins. Someone mentioned that they had referred to this on another board and had been berated with "why the **** do you want to do high rep cleans?".
Are we talking about 10, 15, 21, 50 reps? What weight are we talking about? This has all been covered to exhausting lengths. Workouts are set for different aims. I've done 150 clean and presses at 50kg and felt fine. Thanks to Mark Twight I've done 208 deadlifts @ 208lbs and felt appalling (see definition of SMMF at www.gymjones.com
- I won't be doing that again in a long time.) Mike Boyle's aims are different to those of Greg Glassman's, and Glassman's are different to Mark Twight's.
Incidentally, the last time I attempted the above clean/press up workout, I got a severe headache after only 4 cleans. So severe I was sent to hospital with a suspected subarachnoid haemorrhage. I'm ok now but still unsure as to why the headache happened. I'm also a little reluctant to push the buttons much at the moment. Lumbar punctures can do that to you.
One area I would like to finish with is the conditions in which people train, something I think has as much pertinence as the exercises which they perform. CrossFit is for the most part correspondence training and this is a fantastic element of the movement. However, many of those who train at home or even at a private gym have never been coached, have never been supervised, are self taught in the basic exercises. For every person who asks "what is a back squat?" on Comments, how many more don't have a clue, don't ask and just have a go? This can obviously be dangerous. I realise that scalability is hammered home all the time, as is form but people do pile in and do stupid **** (see 208 deadlifts @ 208lbs above).
Now I believe you don't push yourself as hard when you train on your own and that suits me to some degrees. I tend to work myself over more when I train with others because I become competitive. That's normally when I hurt myself. However, you don't have the scrutiny applied to you that a professional athlete under Mike Boyle or a client at CrossFit Santa Cruz enjoys every time they work out. Bad habits become ingrained. Form drops when you're tired and no one is watching. You've over estimated what you should lift for a workout and there's no one to say "come on, back off a little."
In the Royal Marines, doctors have to constantly monitor the potential officer recruits to make sure that they are not training through injuries. It has not been uncommon for guys to attempt the final selection tests with stress fractures. I've seen players in Rugby League, a sport which avoids much contact work off the field, take to the pitch off their heads with pain killers to mask their injuries. Thankfully this practice has been banned now. There's being a hard man and there's being a wingnut.
Ok, these are two very extreme examples but I'm trying to convey the idea that many of us don't have the protective cushioning of organised coaching or even a governing body who say: "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!". Perhaps it would do a lot of garage athletes some good to think about that, to go out and get some Olympic coaching, watch some decent videos, read more of what Dan, Robb, Rip, Steve, even Mike Boyle have to say.
Right, I'm off to do a 1000 Moldavian Fanny Hammers for time. Sorry for wasting your time.