Archive for the Uncategorized Category

This Is Really Funny and Too True- Please Listen

Posted in Uncategorized on July 21, 2014 by mboyle1959

This is an actual ( I guess we need to check Snopes) answering machine message at a high school in Australia. Even it’s not real it is great.

Fall Mentorship Announced

Posted in Uncategorized on July 17, 2014 by mboyle1959


We have a few spots left for September

Originally posted on Michael Boyle's Blog:

At MBSC we are trying to do a better job of getting advanced notice out about mentorship weeks so its great that we can announce our next dates of September 15-18th in the month of June.

We will cap this at fifteen so start making plans now. Fall fills fast. To register go to

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NY Times- This Is Our Youth

Posted in Uncategorized on July 10, 2014 by mboyle1959

Check out this disturbing piece on kids and fitness from the NY Times.

This Is Our Youth

Nice Piece on MBSC Client Mike Grier at the Select 17′s

Posted in Hockey, MBSC News, Media, Training, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags on July 9, 2014 by mboyle1959

Former long time MBSC client Mike Grier is coaching at the Select 17 camp.

Take a peek

Grier Grooms Next Generation at the Select 17′s

Training Elite Athletes- Be Brilliant at the Basics

Posted in Uncategorized on July 8, 2014 by mboyle1959


This was a great piece originally written by Dewey Nielsen that I referenced yesterday in my Training Swimmers post ( in case you didn’t click the link)

Originally posted on Michael Boyle's Blog:

Training Elite Athletes- Be Brilliant at the Basics

( Editors note- my good friend Dewey Nielsen wrote this as an MMA article. It was so good I edited it to apply to all sports)

What works best for an athlete? Linear or undulating periodization? Kettlebells or dumbbells? Olympic lifts from the floor or hang? What do you do for conditioning?

I get questions like these a lot and usually my answer comes down to “it doesn’t matter”. I am not saying that undulating periodization doesn’t work or kettlebells are worthless. What I am saying is these things only matter once you are “Brilliant at the Basics”. You must first understand a few things:

What is strength?
What is endurance?
What is power?
What is power endurance?
What is speed?
What is agility?
What is mobility?
What is anaerobic and aerobic conditioning?

What are all of these things and how should we train them? Where do these components…

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Strength and Conditioning for Swimmers

Posted in Injuries, Updates, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags on July 7, 2014 by mboyle1959

I received these email questions from a viewer of Functional Strength Coach 5

Here are the questions:

Q 1. Swimming does seem fundamentally different from other sports since we are not on land. I’m trying to figure out how that fact should influence the programming we do during our strength work on land. Swimming is a highly shoulder-driven, internally rotated activity. Keeping shoulders healthy is my primary concern. Do you have any suggestions beyond floor slides to warmup the shoulders and upper body?

My first thought came right from the first hour of the seminar “your sport is not as different as you think”.

This answer was written in a thread on my site by site member Justin Levine

Think of it as “athlete specific” training not sports specific. OF course there are some specific things swimmers need to work on but get them to be a better athlete and they will be better in the pool.
Teach them how to roll and stretch as most youth athletes have no clue how to do this properly. Educate on proper warm-up strategies so they know what to do pre-swim meet. When it comes to the workout, teach basic jumping progressions focusing on landing mechanics first. This will enhance there starts and pushes off the wall. Add in shoulder stability and core stability as fillers. This will create a balance shoulder girdle and a strong core to transfer more force through the legs are arms. Get them “brilliant at the basics” (Thanks Dewey Nielsen author of Brilliant at the Basics) in terms of strength development. Master bodyweight movements first. Split squats, chin-ups, inverted rows, hip lifts, push-ups, planks, push-up walks. Remember to keep it simple because the basic movements will get these kids strong and stable.

The workout I just did with 3 swimmers looked like this:

Foam roll
Mobility/Dynamic warm-up
Ladders drills

1a: Controlled squat jump and stick
1b: MB OH and chest slams
1c: Front Plank
1d: Y’s/T’s

1a: Split squat
1b: Chin-ups
1c: Wall Slides

2a: Hip Lifts
2b: Push-ups
2c: Side Plank

Justin Levine
Owner, California Fitness Academy

Q 2. While leg power is important for swimmers (off the turn and start), it seems less so than for land athletes. Would you recommend a greater emphasis on upper body exercises for swimmers? Unilateral upper body movements for swimmers? I’m even thinking of a band-assisted single-arm pullup rather than a regular two-armed pull-up.

1/3 of the race is start and turn in short course so lower body strength and power are still important. I would not do unilateral bodyweight pulling like you mentioned. I think it could be dangerous.

Bottom line is that although swimming is obviously different, strength training for swimming is not. The same set of basic rules apply.

Fall Mentorship Announced

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on June 30, 2014 by mboyle1959

At MBSC we are trying to do a better job of getting advanced notice out about mentorship weeks so its great that we can announce our next dates of September 15-18th in the month of June.

We will cap this at fifteen so start making plans now. Fall fills fast. To register go to

Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?

Posted in Fat Loss, Guest Authors, MBSC News, Media, Nutrition, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized on June 28, 2014 by mboyle1959

I’m not sure I agree but I found this latest Mercola article interesting. Food for thought anyway? Research does seem to support the intermittent fasting idea?

Breakfast- Not the Most Important Meal After All…

On the flip side Men’s Health is recommending more eggs for breakfast? I love eggs so I think I’ll try this.

The New Rules of Breakfast?

Handicapping the Perform Better Summit in Chicago

Posted in Uncategorized on June 26, 2014 by mboyle1959

Here we go again. Round 2 for 2014 coming up. The Providence Summit is over and now we are on to Chicago. This weekend (June 27th- 29th) between 800 and 900 coaches, trainers and therapists will experience the best in education for strength and conditioning, rehab and fitness professionals. Providence was amazing and you can expect Chicago to be the same.

As I say every year, if you don’t get to one of these seminars you are making a huge mistake. The biggest complaint continues to be about the inability to see all of the speakers. I spoke to at least one person in Providence who had already registered for Chicago.

Here are my recommendations on a session-by-session basis.

*Every year I say the same thing. I will almost always choose lectures over hands-on. I’m coming to learn, not to get a workout. I may go to a hands-on but, not to get a workout. I’ll go to a hands-on to get “hands on” experience with techniques but, not to get a workout. Save your workout for another day and get some knowledge to help your clients and athletes.

PS-Please accept my apologies if I don’t recommend you as a presenter. It’s not personal but, I have to help people choose.

Friday June 13th

9:15- Tough decision. Mark Verstegen is out at the World Cup. Denis Logan subs for Mark and I’m sure you’ll get a great talk. My choice, the legendary Al Vermeil. Wisdom and experience are in short supply and this guys has a ton.

10:45- Not an easy decision. If you missed the MBSC Winter Seminar go see Bill Knowles. At the same time is Lee Taft. Two really good choices.

1:15- After lunch,John Blievernicht gets the toughest draw of the seminar. Bill Knowles hands on is excellent. I always want to see more of Al Vermeil and to top it off, Gray Cook lectures. Good luck. Three headed coin anyone?

2:45- If you work with athletes, go to Lee Taft’s hands-on, trust me. If you are in the rehab world catch Craig Liebenson’s lecture

4:15- Is a toss up. I love to listen to Thomas Plummer, Lee Burton is always good. I’d be interested in seeing Craig Liebensen’s hands-on?

5:30- Al Vermeil gives the keynote. Al is loaded with stories and with wisdom. Don’t miss this one. PS- FREE BEER at 6:30.

Saturday June 8th

8:00- Saturday at 8 is a no-brainer. Come to my lecture. If you already heard me at a one of the One Days, go listen to Eric Cressey.

9:30- 10:45- This is a really tough slot. Alwyn Cosgrove is always good, but, I’m going to have to recommend Sue Falsone’s lecture. It is always one of my favorites every year.

11-12:15- I’d suggest you attend my hands –on. We’ll cover all of the changes we’ve made to our MBSC warm-ups as well as talk a little breathing. Robert Dos remedios’s lecture was great at the 1 day seminar so if you already heard me, go there.

1:30-2:45- Another toss up. I think any of the four will be good. I’ll let you make your own choice here.

3-4:15 – At 3, pick by your needs? Nutrition? John Berardi. Personal development? Todd Durkin. Programming? Alwyn Cosgrove. Rehab? Sue Falsone. Sue’s hands-on might have a slight advantage in my mind? I’m a huge Sue Falsone fan and only get to see her once a year.

4:35- Q+A. Get your questions answered at the end of the day, great opportunity. I’ll be headed for the airport but there is lots more “socializing” to do.

Sunday June 9th

8- Two good lectures to start the day. Evan Osar is always interesting regardless of topic. If it was me, I’d hit newcomer Brett Klika’s talk. I love Brett’s enthusiasm.

9:30-10:45- At 9:30 Michol Dalcort and Emily Spichal lecture. I have heard great things about Emily so seeing her would be my first recommendation. However, I also love to listen to Michol. Although I don’t always agree with Michol he always makes me think? Bit of a toss up.

11- 12:45- The weekend ends the way it began with tough choices. You would need to come three times to see everything you want. Two good hands –on sessions with Michol and Emily and two good lectures? Once again, you can pick based on your interests? Ed Thomas is always great to listen to? Knowing our history is still important.

Hope my recommendations help again this year.

Building Strength Without Muscle Mass?

Posted in MBSC News, Random Thoughts, Strength Coach Podcast, Updates, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training on June 17, 2014 by mboyle1959

Got this question from a reader?

“I coach Cross Country and Wrestling athletes. They want to get stronger but do not want to
build lots of mass. I have read a variety of opinions from only body weight to
low rep/high weight to high rep/low weight”

I submitted a version of this to PTontheNet in 2005 and also published similar thoughts on my site.

In order to effectively and honestly develop training programs it is important to revisit what we know or more importantly, what we think we know, about the development of hypertrophy. I must confess that I’m not a hypertrophy expert. I discovered this information mostly by accident. I train primarily athletes and generally don’t worry about hypertrophy to any great degree. I began to question what I had always taken for granted about hypertrophy. Recently I’ve begun to look at some of the accepted ideas about training in general, and about hypertrophy in particular, that many of us in the fields of strength and conditioning and personal training seem to accept as factual. Lets take a look at some of these myths about hypertrophy:

1) Do bodyweight exercises to avoid hypertrophy?

Lets ask ourselves a simple question. Do muscles have the capability to recognize type of resistance? Can a muscle tell the difference between a weight, a band or a spring? How about a dumbbell or the weight of the human body? I don’t believe so. One of my favorite lines of bull is the old “ this exercise or training method will give you long, lean muscles like a dancer”. This is akin to telling people you can turn an apple into an orange right before their eyes. You can no more make a short stocky female client have long lean muscles like a dancer than you make someone taller. Exercise will remove subcutaneous bodyfat and reduce intramuscular fat stores but, changing the source of resistance in a resistance-based exercise will not produce a muscle that appears different and or larger. Muscles can’t tell the difference between resistance generated by a piece of iron, your own bodyweight or by a piece of rubber. Weights can be hard, bodyweight can be hard, bands can be hard.

If weight training had to be done with a free weight to produce hypertrophy then lat pulldowns would be a better exercise than chinups for upper back development. Thousands of bodybuilding articles tell us the opposite but, the resistance in a chin-up is “only” bodyweight. If we don’t want hypertrophy than don’t do light weights and more reps. I think the common prescription to avoid hypertrophy ( light weights, lots of reps) leans more towards a bodybuilding, mass producing prescription than away from it. If I wanted less hypertrophy, I would stay in the 5-6 rep range with higher loads and less sets. Bottom line, you can produce hypertrophy with weights or without.

3) Lift light weights and do more reps?

Light weight is an oxymoron. Why would anyone lift light weights? I often talk to trainees, particularly females who say something like “ I have 8 pound dumbbells and I do the same routine three times a week”. When I ask them how long they have been doing this they often say, “The last two years”. My response is, “Wow, by my estimation you’ve wasted about 100 weeks of training”. Usually their response is, “I don’t want to get too big”. This is one of my favorites. Ask a natural bodybuilder how much time and effort goes into gaining ten pounds of muscle. Most male natural bodybuilders will tell you that it takes about a year to gain ten pounds of quality muscle. For a female this could be two years. Isn’t it great that our 8 lb dumbbell waving female client is concerned about too much hypertrophy. I recently trained a golfer with the same concerns. He didn’t want to gain too much size. He thought it would hurt his swing. I had the same response to him that I do to most female clients, “Don’t worry about it”. Gaining size takes a lot of time and effort. It’s like someone saying “I don’t read, I don’t want to get too smart”.

The Truth About Hypertrophy

The fact of the matter is that hypertrophy may be the goal for some clients and considered an unwanted byproduct of training by others. In either case it should not be a great concern. The reality is that hypertrophy for most, non-anabolic using clients, is in fact hard to come by. An unfortunate problem with hypertrophy training is that our concept of how to train for hypertrophy has been heavily influenced by steroid users. If a client wants to weight train but has no desire for hypertrophy I would perform 5-6 reps per set. I would avoid the conventional three to four exercises per body-part favored by the bodybuilding crowd. I would perform one or two exercises for each movement pattern but, stay in the 5-6 rep range.

The public is uninformed and often as trainers we’re just playing along. We talk to clients about tone, and about changing muscle structure ( long dancers muscles). I just hope that people in the industry can see that this is salesmanship and not science. I have an idea. Why not tell our athletes and clients the truth? When your female client says “ I don’t want to get too big”, tell her the truth. Say, Don’t worry I’m not sure you’ll train hard enough to produce much muscle anyway. Your athletes are worried about getting too big? Tell them not worry about getting big because it takes a huge amount of work and great genetics.


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