Meat Hand

by | Oct 30, 2009 | Workouts | 3 comments


Another Paleo-friendly Hallowe’en treat, to accompany the Meat Head: I give you… the Meat Hand.

On an unrelated note, ‘Functional Strength Coach’ Mike Boyle has posted a video article entitled “The Death of the Conventional Squat?“.  Please feel free to comment.



Complete 3 rounds for time of:

  • Run 800m
  • 50 Hip extensions
  • 50 Sit-ups


  1. Deb

    He has a good about the low back being the limiting factor. However, I disagree when he says “don’t do conventional squats anymore.” He just finished saying its a low back exercise. Do we not have a problem with back injuries in our society? Isn’t everyone concerned about “core” strength? What about people who lift heavy things from a squat stance at work?

    Well why don’t we continue to squat for a strong back and legs (to a point). And taking into account this new perspective, ADD more single-leg work. As my mother used to say when I was young, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater! Squats are still great exercises, but from an absolute leg strength standpoint, we should do more unilateral work. End of story.

  2. Joseph

    First, to quote:

    “If any movement occurs here (if your back fails to stay in good extension during the movement), you reduce the efficiency of the force transmission from the hips and legs to the bar. Some of that force then gets absorbed in the bending of the back/spine. If you want to transmit all of the force to the bar, then the back must remain rigid and locked in extension. It must be locked in kyphotic and lordotic extension. Now, if the back is locked in this extension, then no shear occurs between those intervertebral joints because no movement has occurred. The forces on them may be shear forces, but this isn?t problematic if no movement occurs at the intervertebral joints. The squat and the deadlift are, in fact, back exercises, and the function of those muscles are to hold that column of bone rigid.”

    – Mark Rippetoe

    Next, my rant:

    The internet is a place where you can take a bad idea, concept or theoretical position and frame it in such a way as to seem new, original, subversive and/or groundbreaking. People believe that the truth is hidden in the dark little corners of the internets, and that by virtue of that fact that this bad idea was found accidentally or unexpectantly serendipitously, that automatically makes the information found somehow ‘Real’, ‘authentic’ or ‘the truth’.

    So Boyle puts out his little “this is going be controversial so watch out” video about how squats are not a functional or useful exercise and boom, a shiat storm erupts on the forums across the net and inevitably, a few hundred people think he is profound and buy his videos. It’s worth looking like an idiot among the people who know better, because they don’t need to buy his videos. But to those idiots who WANT to believe that squats are junk (probably because they don’t like squatting) eat Boyle’s shtick up like flies on dung. Boyle makes money and gets his name passed around by people with more money than sense.

    Let me deconstruct Boyle:

    One, he has been a strength coach for all these pro athletes, right? You think he is responsible for making any of those pros strong? No. By the time they make the pros, they are already strong, through a combination of talent, genetics, hard work and luck. Boyle’s only job as a pro trainer is to make sure he doesn’t do any exercises that might injure his precious players — the lawsuits from the players’ agents alone would destroy him financially. He doesn’t know how to make people strong.

    Boyle probably got his job from knowing how to read books, memorize answers and pass credentialing exams AND also from knowing whose ass to kiss. Those jobs are not given to the best candidates – they are given to friends of the people who are leaving those jobs.

    Regarding his justifications for throwing out the squat — absurd! What use are strong legs if the back is weak? How are you going to transfer power from the legs into the arms or to move the torso if the back cannot sustain a solid, active core to deliver that power? If the back is limiting the strength development of the legs, would it not make sense to strengthen that weak link, and as the back gets stronger the legs can become stronger in tandem? This idea is functional training 101 Boyle.

    Second Boyle’s math is a bit simplistic, but I can see why he used it. It seems perfectly logical that if someone can lift 140 lbs with one leg, that they should be able to lift 280 lbs with two legs. Nothing screams profound truth than simple mathamatics.

    So according to the same logic, if I can generate 80 lbs of force when I punch with one hand, shouldn’t I be able to generate 160 lbs of force if I punch with both hands at the same time? No? I can’t? Well then punching while using the hip to generate power must be junk, because the weakness in the core/low back is what is holding back that punch. Better to forget trying to strengthen the core and instead just work at making my arms bigger, right?

    My point is that the 1 leg squat and the squat are two totally different animals, with a totally different synergy of movement happening. I like how Boyle tries to downplay the questions about the work that the back leg is doing, and the question about the less-than-full-range-of-motion of the knee in the 1-legged squat– two factors that would enable one leg to lift heavier than half of what two legs could do. “Just don’t think to hard about THAT, you guys in the audience, just listen to me keep talking and watch as I steamroll you with a bunch of anecdotal bullcrap until we get off topic.”

    Mike Boyle you are JUNK.

  3. Larry

    He of course is talking about issues trying to increase maximal loading. At submaximal loading these concerns wouldn’t apply to a great extent – not so much to discontinue traditional squats anyway I should think…

    But it would be interesting to train single legs a while and see if one’s conventional squat max improves (if that’s your thing). There’s benefit training single legs from the point of view of stablization muscles and balance (according to what I’ve been told outside of Crossfit, which I don’t particpate in yet). LOL


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