No More Squats?

Some people are mad at me. You might even be one of them. Join the list. It’s long.

Ever since I said not to do traditional squats anymore, traditionalists have been up in arms. I suppose I can’t blame them. Change can be difficult. Especially when it means you have to scrap one of the core lifts found in almost all your strength training programs.

Of course, I’m not telling you to blindly do what I say. I have concrete reasons (and results) for making this change to my programs. In fact most of you have already read about it on

Before you dismiss the idea at least take a look at this video clip where I explain exactly why I think you should cut squats from your strength training programs:


16 Responses to “No More Squats?”

  1. […] “Well, duh…”, but this is something often forgotten. When renowned strength coach Mike Boyle dropped barbell back squats in favor of Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats with his athletes people freaked. How the hell can he […]

  2. […] strength coach Mike Boyle dropped Barbell Back Squats for Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats with his athletes, people freaked. How the hell can he do that? […]

  3. […] Mike Boyle recently posted about ditching back squats in athletic training programs in favor of single-leg squats (thanks, Aaron, for linking to this).  […]

  4. Steve McKanna Says:

    Coach Boyle,
    I am whole heartedly on board with no more conventional squats. I have taught front squat, split squat, and step ups for years. I work with high school and middle school athletes. The afforementioned lifts are far safer and more effective for lower body development than back squats. I have always felt that the only thing a back squat makes you better at is a back squat. Thanks for putting it out there for all to think about.

  5. mboyle1959 Says:

    There was no link for the bilateral deficit article. I like Belt Squats but, prefer unilateral movements. Heavy belt squats can be uncomfortable on the hips.

  6. This should not be a very difficult premise to accept, considering that bodybuilders would often go with leg presses to “work the legs” to the maximum…………….the RFESS simply happens to be a better application for sporting athletes.

    Coach Boyle, what do you think about belt squatting (particularly with a dedicated machine if available)? This has obvious limitations for a team setting, but do you think that for people working with smaller groups, or even one on one, that belt squats are a way to work in bilateral squatting without having the lower back present as much of a limitation?

    I also wanted to ask you about your take on the bilateral deficit. The following link to an article from Christian Thibaudeau talks about this and says that this bilateral deficit will never be reduced if using unilateral movements alone…….do you find this bilateral deficit to be a non-issue given that (and I believe you’ve stated this a number of times, but I apologize if I am misquoting) most, if not all, of the majority of sporting actions take place on one leg at a time?

  7. mboyle1959 Says:

    Nice- I like good literary references. I used “standing on the shoulders of giants” in my new book and when I researched it was actually surprised to find “dwarves standing on the shoulders of giants”. Changes it a bit, as does the above.

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