Friday, January 05, 2007

Boyle's response

Too funny.

Michael Boyle wrote an entire rejoinder column to my brief post, without properly linking back to my blog by way of proper attribution.

He cites his credentials as his source of authority. He claims to have "coached some of the best female athletes in the world." Should I cite my Olympic credentials, too? No, that doesn't prove a thing to substantiate my point, as it does nothing to substantiate his. It's a red herring.

He asserts: "I think most endurance training is questionable also. I don't allow my athletes to run distances. I think it produces primarily a negative response. Conditioning is developed far better by interval training than by steady-state work."

A patronizing attitude seems fairly evident to me here. "Allowing" "his" athletes to do something. Indeed! Is he coaching elementary school kids?

I don't have any issues with interval training for specific roles. But primarily "a negative response" from running distances? Evidence for that claim? Citations?

"Conditioning"? What type of conditioning? Aerobic capacity? Cardiac output? Muscular strength? Neuromuscular integration? A gross generalization that is also unsubstantiated.

He also claims: "Actually I think I'm very popular with the female athletes I coach."

I'm sure. I won't ask for evidence of that.

What do you think, readers?

21 comments:

LeahC said...

He mentions that he coached soccer and ice hockey or something. I wouldn't suspect that running 17 miles is going to help those types of athletes improve their preformace in those sports.

What about those of us that like running distance for the millions of reasons that there are.....for me, (most days) it's just something I love to do. I can get away from work and all the other crap and just go out and enjoy myself.

I think he totally back tracked on his part two as well. maybe he should just stick to NON ENDURANCE ATHLETE TRAINING (ice hockey & soccer), since that's what it sounded like he was doing. And stay away from the causual runner who doesn't want a "you can't do it attidude" anyways!

Spokane Al said...

Nancy,

It definitely takes all types to make this world go around. I don't understand how one builds endurance for sports such as soccer without doing endurance exercise.

And while it is true running is not for everyone, to say it is not for anyone is a broad stroke statement that offends and irritates.

I have been running for 29.5 years at this point and hope to continue running for at least that much longer.

Everywhere there are experts who tell us what we cannot do, and we prove them wrong. From people with severe disabilities, illnesses and other shortcomings, they continue to compete, excel and serve as role models.

I trust most of us will take this person's opinions with the few grains of salt that they deserve.

See you on the roads.

Iron Pol said...

Okay, Nancy. I've got my reply posted. Of course, I'm a bit more verbose. I wonder if they'll have the decency to link your site, since they are referencing it.

Phil said...

I love it... Too funny... I like his quote, "Nancy is a runner and has completed a marathon."

I bet he didn't see This.
or this.

Mojo said...

First of all, you must be famous to be getting this type of attention, Nancy! :)

Secondly, no offense but I wouldn't pigeon hole you as just a runner. You are much more and have accomplished more than many will in a life time.

Finally, I got a kick out of him writing squats, deads and bench presses weren't good long term exercises. Squats have to be one of the best compound exercises in body building. Squats help develop overall power and strength which will help with other sports(like running). It takes coordination and balance to perform a squat correctly too. If you don't know what proper form is, that is a different ball game.

I'd like to know what type of weight training program he recommends to his athletes. Probably five pound pink weights not heavy plates. :)

stronger said...

I see a trump/o'donnel thing brewing.

I just read both of his articles which I believe are based on his narrow minded personal opinion and gross generalizations.

I have a runner's body according to his definition and wouldn't run one single step under his "coaching".

What exactly are women scoccer players doing if they aren't running??

Big hips, knees, and breasts result in physical therapy? C'mon.

There is a problem with writing- often times people read exactly what you are writing.

stronger said...

I hope he blasts me for "scoccer".

Bigun said...

A quick look at his website leads me to believe that this guy is a souped-up aerobics instructor. He's a team sports has-been who's career now revolves around fatty fat-fats who have no desire or gumption to get out there and do something on thier own - your basic gym rat. There are no medals for Stationary Bike Champion or Eliptical Marathon. Unlike a tri-coach, he gets paid by keeping people in the gym, in spin class or kick boxing or on the machines....noble endeavors for anyone trying to better thier fitness but N/A for endourance athletes. So he then writes an article that keeps his woman clients from leaving the gym and him and his lose weight seminars. Create fear of the outside world and keep the bucks rolling in. No substancial argument needed. No facts. No credible statistics. Just fear.

Bigun said...

Of course, I'm probably totally wrong - but who really needs facts anyway?

Ellie said...

And women shouldn't drive semi's because they're inherently inferior drivers. And they shouldn't be EMT's because they can't lift their end of a gurney with a patient on it. And they shouldn't be butchers because they might cut off a fingernail. And they shouldn't be air-traffic controllers or presidents because they can't be rational when it's their time of the month.

nancytoby said...

Here's the link to Iron Pol's excellent post:

http://ironpol.blogspot.com/2007/01/can-i-jump-in-mix.html

So much material to rebut, so little time....

It seems peculiar to me that he deems running unsuitable for women, even though our bodies have evolved for precisely that over millions of years (step by step with men's), and instead recommends the use of machines invented in just the last few years which cause our distal limbs to describe perfect circles or ellipses. Surely those machine makers all know better than Mother Nature, right?

21st Century Mom said...

Hard to tell where to start but for one I guess "his athletes" aren't training for endurance events being that they hang out at the gym all the time paying him to 'Pump! [clap] them up!"

Also, where is the anecdotal evidence that athletes (male and female) who suffer from overuse injuries get better and go on to win their events?

Last of all, what is the point of having a coach if he tries to talk you out of exercises that make you stronger (e.g. squats)?

Michael - like it or not your article was full of poppy cock. If you had said, "not everyone is cut out to be an endurance athlete and here are the symptoms of overuse injuries - if you have them beware" but you didn't. You published this unsubstantiated platitude that flies in the face of reality.

And like it or not, you have been outed as a guy who makes his money helping people with the machines at the gym and therefore your opinion on endurance sports adds up to exactly nothing.

Lynne said...

Publicity at any cost... The guy is a jerk... I mean a real JERK.

Thank you Nancy for OUTING him... Defend yourself BOYLE!!

Habeela said...

I'm just shamefully amused at this guy! Who the hell is he popular with - the women he says shouldn't run?! What on earth!

Vickie said...

Sounds like he is enamored with himself.

GeekGirl said...

I'm always interested when people go on the defensive as quickly as he did. You are a private person, writing a blog, and boy did he freak out over you expressin your opinion. Also, as a would-be ultrarunner, I have to say that I don't know one single other expert, real or imagined, that downplays the importance of long slow runs. They are crutial.

GeekGirl said...

yeah - um, ignore my typos too.

Comm's said...

Wow I am really disappointed but not really surprised to see this. Athletes Performance is right down the street from my office. It is in fact a highly accredited organization. Mark Verstegen is the owner. Spelling probably wrong but his work on functional training is extensive. They cater exclusively to pro athletes, olympians, semi-pro on the way up. Jessi Stensland is a client.

I am not surprised b/c people who drink the cool aid on functional training tend to dismiss the appropriateness of two fundamental physiological schemes progression/regression of exercise and specificity.

I had a functional training instructor tell me health clubs should get rid of all resistance equipment and only have balls, discs and tubes. Yeah right (sarcasm)

I understand his comments and how he is taking them back. it was a myopic statement. He may be a good trainer (don't know him) but using that comment with someone who is paying you for results is not the same as writing an article about it.

There is so much more I could write...

Siren said...

I'm an overweight woman runner that has experienced loads of injuries, so way deep down beneath his bullshit I concede that girls like me might get hurt... if we're really stupid and don't take these things into account. I'll never agree we shouldn't try - that's just absurd.

But whether or not he has even one teeny little valid point, as a professional writer who lives and dies by things like tone, relevant facts and logical arguments I've gotta say he bit it hard.

He sounds so condescending in both pieces that nobody with any self-respect would stick around long enough to dig for whatever glimmer of truth he might have buried under the self-important, insulting rhetoric.

Siren said...

I'm an overweight woman runner that has experienced loads of injuries, so way deep down beneath his bullshit I concede that girls like me might get hurt... if we're really stupid and don't take these things into account. I'll never agree we shouldn't try - that's just absurd.

But whether or not he has even one teeny little valid point, as a professional writer who lives and dies by things like tone, relevant facts and logical arguments I've gotta say he bit it hard.

He sounds so condescending in both pieces that nobody with any self-respect would stick around long enough to dig for whatever glimmer of truth he might have buried under the self-important, insulting rhetoric.

Nick Chertock said...

This response is a year and a half after the fact but I don't care:

Long slow exercise is completely overrated and distance running in particular is held in such high esteem as to border on a religion. You people have responded as though your children were attacked.

Mike Boyle is one of the most experienced and most educated strength & conditioning coach in the world right now. He doesn't need to defend his credentials. The point he was trying to make has been lost on your audience.

Distance running is not natural for humans, unless you're an East African or built like one. If you want to pursue it as a sport, by all means enjoy yourself. Coach Boyle's point is to have athletes, particularly women, ask themsleves "Should I be running?"

The answer for most is 'No'.

The concept of long slow distance as a way to enhance conditioning is quickly being shown to be not only inferior to high intensity interval training but downright harmful to most people. Soccer and most other sports (football, boxing, basketball, hockey, baseball, tennis, volleyball) do not involve steady states of activity, they involve bursts of speed followed by rest.

Coach Boyle doesn't need to be told about the benefits of squats, he's been teaching professional and olympic athletes proper squatting technique for over 25 years and was a former powerlifter. Again he is raising the question, are heavy squats, deads, and bench press good for us in the long run?

Coach Boyle is a big proponent of front squats, single leg squats, and other variations but not traditional heavy back squats.

I doubt this will be read but there were so many ignorant responses to the article I had to chime in.