Archive for January, 2010

Most People are Dead at 35

Posted in Uncategorized on January 14, 2010 by mboyle1959

A few years ago I listened to a Paul Chek nutrition CD and Chek used the following quote from a nutritionist.

“Most people are dead at thirty-five, they just walk around for another thirty to forty more years.”

The quote was intended to apply to most adults from a nutritional standpoint. I find the point both amusing and accurate from a physical standpoint also. By thirty-five most of the damage is done and without an intensive program of exercise, the damage is difficult to reverse.

The truth is that quality of life begins to deteriorate after thirty for many people due to lack of exercise. Activities that were once simple and normal become increasingly difficult. The sad part is that the deterioration doesn’t become readily apparent until the fifties or sixties and at this point, it gets much harder to change. The baby boomers are fueling the personal training business in an attempt to improve not only the length of their life but the quality. However, the time to fight back is right now. Don’t wait until you are fifty and try to undo 20 years of damage. One of my favorite quotes is

“the best time to plant a tree was three years ago. The next best time is today”.

Don’t wait another day to begin an exercise program, start today.

The truth is that obesity, neck pain, back pain, and so many of the debilitating conditions that we suffer from in adulthood are entirely preventable but, the earlier we start the better. Don’t make excuses. You only need about 30 minutes three days a week. Try to get 5 minutes of warm-up, 10 minutes of total body strength training and 15 minutes of cardiovascular work.

The bottom line. Don’t walk around in a dying body. We would never treat our cars the way we treat our bodies. Imagine never changing the oil, using the cheapest possible gas, and driving until the tires are bald. Unfortunately this is the way we treat our bodies. The only problem is that we can’t buy a new body after we ruin the old one. The damage may be irreversible. If the damage is reversible, we need to reverse it with exercise instead of with drugs. Exercise is the most powerful wellness drug on the planet. It’s just difficult to take. Try taking a good dose of exercise three times a week and you might be able to throw away the Lipitor and the blood pressure medicine and all the other junk.

The Fascinating Five for 2009

Posted in Uncategorized on January 13, 2010 by mboyle1959

Shuttle Systems just named me one of the “fascinating five for 2009″. This was a list of five people that Shuttle Systems ( maker of the MVP Shuttle) feel impacted the fitness field in 2009. I have to say I was flattered. Take a look.

The Fascinating Five for 2009

This Week on

Posted in Random Thoughts, Updates, Training, Training Females on January 11, 2010 by mboyle1959

First up we have an excellent motivational piece written by one of my own coaches at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, Anthony Morando, called From the Heart. This is a little different from the typical article but, I think you’ll like it.

Next we have two articles courtesy of the Young Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association Newsletter and Adam Feit. The first of these two is an excellent piece written by Andrew Althoff. Andrew is the Associate Director of Athletic Performance for Olympic Sports at Baylor University. The article is titled Coaching Interns and Graduate Assistants

The second comes from Raychelle Elsworth. Raychelle is the Associate Director for Olympic and Team Sports at Texas A+M. The article is entitled Breaking the Glass Ceiling and explores the position of strength and conditioning coach from a female perspective.

Video of the Week

Video of the week is the TRX Leg Curl. This is another example of a TRX exercise that I did not take seriously enough until I tried it. The fact of the matter is that this is a very difficult progression. If you have not mastered the slideboard leg curl don’t evn think about this one.

As always don’t forget to check out the StrengthCoach Podcast at  Also, make sure you check Last but not least, make sure you keep up with . Anthony added 2 new case study webinars. Joe Heiler did one called “Using the SFMA and the FMS with an Elite Level Snowboarder with Bilateral Knee Pain.”  You can check it out here:

Tim Yuhas did a great follow up to his “Preventing ACL Tears” webinar called “Coming Back from and ACLTear.”

You can check it out at:

Site Notes

Just a reminder, the articles and videos go up over the course of the week. Generally one each day.  Only one article mentioned on this email will go up on the day you receive this email.

Also, your credit card statement will show a change from, not Hope you enjoy the week.

Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning YouTube Videos

Posted in Core training, Fat Loss, Injuries, Low Back Pain, MBSC News, Media, Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on January 9, 2010 by mboyle1959

Just got an email from a friend about another colleague’s YouTube Channel and realized that we have never really publicized our YouTube page. We have quite a selection of videos. Take a moment and have a look. I’m surprised that with no work at all have about 300 subscribers. There are videos on a wide range of topics from training athletes for the NFL Combine to innovative new exercise ideas.

Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning on YouTube

Real Life Tabata’s

Posted in Uncategorized on January 8, 2010 by mboyle1959

Yesterday my bike riding partner Ken Zolot and I did 3 sets of 6 Tabata intervals on the AirDyne. I just thought it would be interesting to let you see some real life stuff:

Equipment- Schwinn AirDyne ( larger fan model)

Workout 20 sec on 10 sec off working to hit level 10 on each interval

Sets and reps- 3 sets of 6 intervals were performed. Each set takes two minutes and fifty seconds. Rest was done by heartrate. We started the next set when we hit 110 BPM. Both of us are over 50 years old. My heartrate maxed out at 172 after the last set. Rest was 1 min after set one, about 2 min after set two. This means we did 18 sprints of 20 sec each in just under 12 min.

I was able to ride 1 mile in each 2:50 second interval. If you have access to an AirDyne, give it a try.

PS- don’t ask me how to be this specific on another bike because I don’t have one.

More Stretching Mythology?

Posted in Injuries, Low Back Pain, Media, Random Thoughts, Training on January 7, 2010 by mboyle1959

A recent NY Times article once again questioned the value of stretching. A Facebook link posted by one of my friends brought the article to my attention. To be honest, I am amazed that writers can make the jumps in reasoning that they make with so little knowledge. In my opinion the author makes three huge mistakes in the first two paragraphs.

1- The author studied distance runners. These are at best an interesting sub-group but have no real relationship to most team sport athletes.

2- The study used the sit and reach test as the indicator of flexibility. Any strength coach or fitness professional knows that this is a poor test as the test actually looks at movement across multiple segments. To call the sit and reach a hamstring test is really a display of ignorance. The truth is it as test of relative flexibility, which is often a problem ,not an attribute.

3-  Last but certainly not least the author states that the test measures elasticity. Flexibility, even if their measurements were valid and reliable, and elasticity are not nearly synonymous.

The end of the article gets slightly better but, not much. What the author fails to grasp is that the key is not the gains in flexibility but, the losses of flexibility over time. Bottom line, neither the article or the study is very good.

PS- Don’t forget the MBSC Winter Seminar on January 30th.  This will be a great event with talks by myself, Eric Cressey, John Palof and Brijesh Patel.

Sam Leahy Interview

Posted in Uncategorized on January 5, 2010 by mboyle1959

Brett Contreras interviewed Sam Leahy for his blog and I wanted to share it with you guys. Sam is a young guy who really hustles. I love his story and I love his enthusiasm. Take a second to read it.

Sam Leahy Interview

This Week on

Posted in Uncategorized on January 4, 2010 by mboyle1959

First up this week is an article on the TPI Cyclone Circuit. If you are training kids, this is how you should be doing it. We have had numerous threads on the forum about training kids and it is amazing how many coaches and trainers want to train them like miniature adults. Squats, lunges etc. The Cyclone Circuit looks at basic patterns and makes sure they are all addressed. Read this and pay close attention if you train kids.

Next up is My Top 10 Favorites from Jon Chaimberg. Jon is getting famous as an MMA coach but much like Dewey Neilsen, what these guys do well is apply best practices to a sport that is way behind. The bottom line is that good exercise selection is good exercise selection and Jon hits the best ones for everyone.

Lastly is a piece I wrote after reading Robbie Bourke and Sully’s pieces. Nothing like a little inspiration to get me to write What I Re-Learned in 2009.

Video of the Week

Video of the Week is the BodySaw. Chris Frankel will be disappointed that I stole a TRX idea and made it a ValSlide idea. Val on the other hand will be happy. The BodySaw is really just a long lever rollout but, is a great progression for those who have mastered rollouts.

As always don’t forget to check out the StrengthCoach Podcast  at Last but not least, make sure you keep up with . Anthony added 2 new case study webinars from 2 very bright coaches; Joe Heiler and Tim Yuhas. Joe did one called “Using the SFMA and the FMS with an Elite Level Snowboarder with Bilateral Knee Pain.”  You can check it out here:

Speaking of knees, Tim Yuhas did a great follow up to his “Preventing ACL Tears” webinar called “Coming Back from and ACLTear.”

You can check it out at:

Site Notes

Just a reminder, the articles and videos go up over the course of the week. Generally one each day.  Only one article mentioned on this email will go up on the day you receive this email.

Also, your credit card statement will show a change from, not Hope you enjoy the week.

Back to the Past?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 1, 2010 by mboyle1959

This is another recycled piece and was actually the first of a three part series I wrote for

I had the “opportunity” the other day to get a workout in at a commercial gym. To say that it was an interesting experience would be an understatement.

It was mid day in Southern California and the gym had approximately 30 people working out at the time. Just enough people to observe the current state of fitness training. Chain store gyms these days are still designed in what I referred to as Noah’s Ark style in my second book, Designing Strength Training Programs and Facilities ( you can download it as an ebook at ). A Noah’s Ark gym has at least two of every piece of equipment. The gym owner seems to have just picked up a few brochures from the major manufacturers and said give me two of everything. Usually, there is actually an overabundance of flat bench presses, treadmills and elliptical trainers.

As I watched the “workouts” going on, I could only think of a Charles Staley article at called 10 Important Lessons that described what I call the 180 principle. ( PS- be careful where you open t-nation articles. The info is good but, some content and photos are in extremely poor taste) In the article Staley advocates a simple way to design a program. Look at what everyone else is doing and then do the opposite. Staley stated “the majority is always wrong, do the opposite. Staley might have provided the best simple advice I have ever heard.

Based on Staley’s advice:

Everyone using single joint machines? Check. OK, single joint machines are obviously out. I titled this back to the past because I actually saw a leg extension machine and then lo and behold, I saw someone use it. I immediately looked outside to see if there were any T-Top Camaros parked outside.

Was anyone squatting? Nope. OK, squats are definitely in.

Bench pressing? Oh yea, lots of bench pressing. Mostly guys. Mostly guys with odd, mis-shapen physiques. H’mm, what would the opposite of bench pressing be? Pulling something to your chest? Based on Staley’s 180 idea it looks like rows could be the most important exercise in the gym because I didn’t see one. For the bench press crowd, you can still bench. Just keep it 3 sets and do at least three sets of some type of row. The good part is that the Noah’s Ark gyms have every row machine known to man. Lucky for you they are never used. They have Hammer Low Rows, Hammer High Rows, Seated Row machines etc. etc. My favorite is a row machine that has a chest pad. This keeps you from turning the row into a hip extension exercise.

This is getting interesting and, I think we could do this all day. We always finish with the bottom line. Look at everyone in your gym. Make a list of what they do. Title that list “Things To Not Do”.


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