T Nation

Cosgrove Interviews Mike Boyle

I’ve had a bitch of a time trying to figure out where to post this with all the new forums but I decided to put it here.

So in this interview Boyle goes off hardcore on bodypart splits, saying you must have to really have no idea what you are doing to be doing bodypart splits. On the other hand you’ve got Poliquin saying the exact opposite, that he’s never seen an elite strength coach not use bodypart splits. Personally, I find bodypart splits to be the most effective way to gain muscle mass, which is one of the harder goals to accomplish. The conditioning gained by full body obviously is beneficial in a conditioning sense but I’ve always found it very hard to progress strength and size wise, doing full body.

Anyone else have an opinion?

finally, something new to talk about.

This has been done oh about 1 million times now.


Answer is everything works for different purposes, if your getting better at your chosen goal then keep doing it. Nevermind what Mr A,B,C or D said.


Just end this before we get the religious zealots of both camps going at it, as per usual for a T-Nation thread.

What is Boyle referencing? Is he talking about the athletic arena that he specializes in or, BB realm where he has not place.

If you’re into gaining size and strength Mike Boyle is propably the last person on earth you should listen to.

I know its been talked about “like a million times man” I’m not a fucking idiot. It is surprising to hear such a discrepancy in core training principles amongst coaches who are considered to be the best of the best.

It depends on sport, goals, individual athlete needs, and even on whether they’re in-season vs off-season. And of course, coach preference.

[quote]Shadowzz4 wrote:
I know its been talked about “like a million times man” I’m not a fucking idiot. It is surprising to hear such a discrepancy in core training principles amongst coaches who are considered to be the best of the best.
[/quote]

I would hardly consider what type of split you use a core training principal. What’s beyond my comprehension is with all the evidence why is this still an issue? By evidence I mean that people have gained on wholebody, upper lower, and body part splits and yet die hard zealots still argue amongst each other. Honestly anyone who say this type of split doesn’t work loses all credibility with me, certain things fit certain situations better but no split is completely idiotic or useless.

And here are some examples of all working: Westside uses an upper lower split clearly it works for strength, sheiko and a bunch of other european powerlifting philosophies use a full body routine, Matt Krok, Ed Coan and a bunch of other strongman/powerlifters used a body pat split. Go ahead tell me those guys were not successful. Through deductive reasoning I think we can conclude that what type of split you use is not a core principal, at least in gaining strength.

The point I was making is that it obviously IS a core principle to guys such as Boyle and Poliquin. Each says not only that they use a certain style, but that the other style is basically moronic and you’d have to be an idiot to do it. I understand the benefits of different types of training.

Fair warning: I deeply respect Alwyn Cosgrove. He’s essentially the reason I got my pudgy ass off the machines and under the bar. I’m kind of biased here.

You have to consider his audience here.

Yes, us muscle head iron worshipers need body part splits to have effective workouts. Damn near everyone on this board does. However, Cosgrove and Boyle are speaking in the context of untrained mortals. They do not have the will or desire to put out even 10% of the effort we put into our workouts and diets. Given that most people that will go to gyms are going to be regular jackoffs, full-body training is what’s best.

Cosgrove has made one hell of a living taking America’s standard blob with a decades-long diet of trans fat and HFCS and making them into respectable looking individuals. He knows what the hell he’s talking about, and in this case, he’s talking about training and conditioning for regular people.

[quote]Xab wrote:

You have to consider his audience here.

Yes, us muscle head iron worshipers need body part splits to have effective workouts. Damn near everyone on this board does. However, Cosgrove and Boyle are speaking in the context of untrained mortals.
[/quote]

MMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Do you know who Mike Boyle is LOL ???

I don’t think we should include upper/lower as a “bodypart” split, think most people would see a bodypart split as training divided into time reserved for chest/shoulders/back/arms/legs etc.

[quote]plateau wrote:
I don’t think we should include upper/lower as a “bodypart” split, think most people would see a bodypart split as training divided into time reserved for chest/shoulders/back/arms/legs etc.[/quote]

A true bodypart split would have to be a 6-way. Fine, but does that now mean that Boyle doesn’t mind 5-ways? :slight_smile:

Edit: Hmm, no, you’re actually right. A bodypart split is a 5-way, 6-way would be a “muscle-group split” I suppose… Well, may I use a 4-way then, or does the mighty mike lose a testicle if I do?

I don’t think Boyle is talking about the untrained specifically, he is talking about EVERYONE. It seems to me he hates the idea of splits because they are widely considered to originate with bodybuilders.

As far as what would be a true bodypart split, I guess 5 ways would be bodypart, but I dont think Boyle like any type of split, upper lower, chest/back, arms/shoulders, legs abs etc…

Mechanics need to stop telling electricians how to do their job.

You want muscle, ask a bodybuilder

You want performance, ask a performance coach.

Why is that bodybuilding trainers never try to tell athletes how they should train but the opposite is so true…? I see this EVERY damn day and it’s ridiculous.

My original point was that every coach develops a system as a result of his clients, his experience, what he is trying at the moment and then coaches like Poliquin, Boyle, Cosgrove, Waterbury will say that their system works and because the other stuff didn’t work for their clients its crap however if you ask coaches like CT, Defranco, Zach-Evenish you’ll get a response that the split and your general selection of exercises (as long as its not completely idiotic) is largely not important (even though they themselves have developed their own systems with exercises that they like more then others). Leading to the conclusion that what stance you take is more of a personality choice. Some want to believe only what they say works others are willing to admit that lots of stuff works.

So my final point is that all this stuff works and you are really full of yourself to say any of the splits don’t because great gains have been made on all of them, therefor not making split/exercise choices a core principal, the guys I mentioned above make it sound like a core principal. However when really pressed or all in a room together I think they would agree that intensity, consistency, and a routine matched for YOUR personal goals are core principals.

Btw to be clear I am not putting down the expertise and knowledge of the guys that say only this way works, I just think they have slowly become a bit dogmatic where as others always make an effort not to.

Are you sure Poliquin advocates body-part splits. I have his german body comp book and it looks like TBT to me.

My view is that body part splits should ONLY be for highly muscle bodybuilders, or guys with great genetics or drugs. Basically guys that need to not just worry about gaining maximal size, but have to start targeting certain areas in certain ways. And as CC alluded to a BP-split can be 6 days or less. The most advanced bb’er might do a 6-way split, while someone that is fairly new should be on TBT or upper/lower but if they are going to go BP-split maybe go with 3-way split.

I feel that ALL athletes should be training based on movements and not bodyparts, and usually TBT or upper/lower is the way to go, but occasionally a push/pull/legs would be good to.

***Where is this interview, i’d like to hear.

I put the interview up but it was taken down saying I was advertising for a competing site or something, which it wasn’t, it was just a mirror of the link…

[quote]dankid wrote:
Are you sure Poliquin advocates body-part splits. I have his german body comp book and it looks like TBT to me.

My view is that body part splits should ONLY be for highly muscle bodybuilders, or guys with great genetics or drugs. Basically guys that need to not just worry about gaining maximal size, but have to start targeting certain areas in certain ways. And as CC alluded to a BP-split can be 6 days or less. The most advanced bb’er might do a 6-way split, while someone that is fairly new should be on TBT or upper/lower but if they are going to go BP-split maybe go with 3-way split.

I feel that ALL athletes should be training based on movements and not bodyparts, and usually TBT or upper/lower is the way to go, but occasionally a push/pull/legs would be good to.

***Where is this interview, i’d like to hear.[/quote]

I don’t have a lot of experience training athletes but in my opinion(from training myself and a very small handfull of athletes) it depends on way too many factors to say that all athletes should train certain way. Ex of what I mean: an athlete that has a little bit of experience in the weight room wants to sprint faster, his squat is decent and so is the deadlift, however after an assessment his hamstring strength and size is much lower then his quad same for the glutes.

For a guy like that doing more deadlifting and more squating isnt going to do nearly as much as working on the hams and glutes. However the other end of the spectrum exists as well where an athletes just needs to get strong in the squat and deadlift to improve.

This is just one example and in my opinion athletes should use the approach that would get them the best results not you are an athlete so you are going to train these couple of movements on a tbt split. Factors like what sport, an athlete’s weight experience, age, and availablity to train should dictate the split/exercise.