Archive for November, 2008

The Man in the Arena

Posted in Random Thoughts on November 11, 2008 by mboyle1959

An Ode to My Critics


It is amazing that coaches who have accomplished so little can find the time to criticize those of us who work for a living. I guess the beauty of being painfully unemployed is that there is plenty of time to keep up with the writings and workings of your enemies. Strangely enough the latest criticisms revolve around my own desire to improve my program. The beauty of this is that I admit a mistake and that opens the door for criticism. The criticism is that I have no system, no principles because of my frequent changes. The intellectual critic punishes the coach for learning. It’s a funny world. The real beauty is that the critic has no audience, a tree falling in the woods and no one hearing.  However, the greater beauty is that the criticism reminds me of the great quote below and continues to strengthen my resolve to improve my program and my athletes.



The Man in the Arena


“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”


 Theodore Roosevelt


This wonderful quote from Theodore Roosevelt goes out to all the internet experts who never write articles but, consistently post criticism of what other have written. They are never “The Man in the Arena”, instead they are the fan in the stands shouting at those who play.


Great minds like Columbus and Galileo were ridiculed by small minds. Sports has the term Monday Morning Quarterback. Strength and conditioning has internet experts.


It is amazing how many experts there are who know all the answers after all the questions have been answered by someone else. You know what I want to know? Have they ever even heard Paul Hodges or Stuart McGill speak in person? Have they ever conversed with these people?


Paul Hodges has done one person deep needle EMG studies on himself because he could not find subjects. Stuart McGill travels around the world and has spent thousands of hours researching the spine.


The average internet critic has spent hours trying to find the hole in the argument, to celebrate briefly the “I gotcha moment” alone in a room. The highest compliment one can achieve is to be the subject of mindless criticism. It indicates that you have truly made it.


This Week on

Posted in Updates on November 10, 2008 by mboyle1959

This week will be the first time we try a theme week for articles. I continue to receive great new content every week and, the thought occurred to me to try to group some of the content together. Our Sports Hernia series caused some readers to ask questions about soft tissue work and inspired other readers to submit articles describing different techniques. One point we have continued to espouse on is that any soft tissue work is good soft tissue work. Rather than advocate one style of soft tissue work, our approach has been to encourage readers to seek out a great practitioner rather than a specific technique. I have always said that the magic is in the hands, not the initials. With that said this week on we have


Soft Tissue Work for Tough Guys- Tony Gentilcore

Tony goes over the use of soft tissue techniques in the gym in an excellent article that takes a “do it yourself” approach.


Trigger Point 101- Patrick Ward

Pat discusses the finer points of trigger points. I thought this article gives an excellent overview of a term many of us use but, may not really understand.


Non-Invasive Treatment For Soft Tissue Injuries:

The Concurrent Application of Active Release Techniques® in the Present  Paradigm of Sports Injury Rehabilitation

Matt Fontaine, D.C.

Matt gets specific in discussing the use of ART for injuries. ART is another technique that gets mentioned frequently but, may not be fully understood.


Hope you enjoy this week on

Also  make sure to download the latest podcast off the site. Anthony has another great interview, this time with Air Force Academy Strength and Conditioning Coach Matt McGettigan.



Female Strength

Posted in Training Females on November 7, 2008 by mboyle1959

I posted this on but, I moved it to the free articles section so people could see it.

These are the actual clips that inspired my Interpreting Social Media post.

Click here

If the link doesn’t work, simply cut and paste it into your browser.

Next Week on

Posted in Updates on November 7, 2008 by mboyle1959

Next week on is soft tissue week. We have three great articles all dealing with different aspects of soft tissue work.

Trigger Point 101- Partick Ward.

An excellent basic look at trigger points and how to deal with them.

Non-Invasive Treatment For Soft Tissue Injuries: The Concurrent Application of Active Release Techniques® in the Present Paradigm of Sports Injury Rehabilitation

MATT FONTAINE, D.C.- Matt takes a look specifically at the use of ART for soft tissue injury.

Soft Tissue Work for Tough Guys– Tony Gentilcore

This is a reprint of an article Tony wrote at Some recent forum posts asked about some of the things Tony covered in the article so, rather than re-invent the wheel I simply asked Tony if we could print his article and he was nice enough to agree.

Should be a great week for information as usual. Make sure to check it out at

This Week on

Posted in Updates on November 6, 2008 by mboyle1959

My good friend Anthony Renna has encouraged me to get on a writing schedule and I am going to try. I’m going to try to use Mondays to preview articles coming up on . However, it’s Thursday.

This week we have already posted a great article by Dewey Neilsen titled The Deadlift- Teaching It and Fixing It. This has lots of excellent teaching points and lots of video. In addition I posted my own article ACL Injury Prevention Is Just Good Training. This is another video filled article.

In addition Anthony just posted a new podcast at as well as 5 new audio follow ups to articles. Hope you have a moment to take a look at the sites.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Posted in Nutrition on November 5, 2008 by mboyle1959

A Few of My Favorite Things

It is amazing where you can find inspiration for articles. I must admit, I love The Sound of Music. I’ve watched it too many times to count. While listening to My Favorite Things, I was inspired to write a few down in no particular order.

EAS Carb Control or Advantage Edge Shakes– as far as I can tell these are the same product. What’s nice is that you can get them at places like BJ’s and CVS. In any case, these are the best tasting protein shakes on the market and in my mind it’s not even close. They taste great, have about 18 gms of protein and are just over 100 calories. In addition, they are pre-made. Just shake it up and drink it. I love things quick and easy.

If you haven’t tried them, do it tomorrow. Expect to pay somewhere between one and two dollars per shake. These are a great way to get protein for breakfast. PS- I know they contain artificial sweetener. I asked a few few nutritionist friends. There feeling is that obesity and diabetes are far greater threats to health than artificial sweeteners.

Greens Plus Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars– Expensive but, worth is the best way to describe Greens Plus bars. The Greens Plus Superfood base is covered with a great tasting chocolate covering. These bars are a great way to ingest a “greens” product. I’ve found that keeping these bars cold in the fridge makes them taste even better. Greens Plus bars are at Whole Foods or on-line. I get mine in bulk at

FlameOut– BioTest makes a great Fish Oil. The product again is priced reasonably and is high quality. I actually asked another manufacturer to duplicate the formula so I could buy a similar product in bulk and was told that it could not be done. The manufacturer could not find a way to match the quality and reduce the price. Biotest has a great idea. They sell there own products through their own website. No middleman to tack on 50% for himself. Try Flamout if you use fish oil and by the way, everyone should use fish oil.

METRX Mass Collegiate Shakes– METRX makes a great post-workout shake that is NCAA compliant. These shakes also come in a standard sized can. This means they can be dispensed from a standard vending machine ( there are tons of old can vending machines around). I use these with my BU athletes and in my business. We go through 100’s each month. If you believe post-workout nutrition is important, call METRX and get some Collegiate cans.

Cytofuse– Cytofuse is the best tasting post-workout mix I have ever tested. Dave Rosland at Black Star labs makes a great product. The METRX cans work better for us due to logistics but, Cyofuse tastes great.

The beauty of blogging. I can talk about the Sound of Music and supplements all in the same post.


Posted in Random Thoughts on November 3, 2008 by mboyle1959

I know, I’m a strength coach but, the cool thing about a blog is that you can write whatever you want. My father was a high school principal (coincidentally, so was Mark Verstegan’s) so education is important. I’m also a parent ( 3 and 9) and can get lazy like the rest of us. Last spring I met a very nice woman on a flight to the west coast. She mentioned her kids and I asked the requisite questions about ages etc. It turned out she had lost her husband a few years previous yet all three of her kids had ended up at Ivy League schools. I was so impressed with her ability to keep it together under such trying circumstances that I asked her what her “secret” was. She thought for a moment and said “no TV during the week, weekends only”.

I was a bit embarrassed. I know my kids watch too much TV. I also know my daughter does well in school but, not as well as I would like. Recently, my wife and I took the plunge. No TV Monday through Thursday. Grades are up and family time is better.

As a sidenote, todays paper had a piece about a study in the November issue of Pediatrics magazine.
The study stated ” research suggests that pregnancy rates are much higher among teens who watch a lot of TV with sexual dialogue and behavior compared to those with tamer viewing tastes”. Better grades and less teen pregnancy? Turn that TV off. When it’s on, know what’s on.

Simple Nutrition Advice from Chad Waterbury

Posted in Guest Authors on November 1, 2008 by mboyle1959

I’m not sure why I’m on a nutrition kick these days but, I am. Strength coach and writer Chad Waterbury had an excellent take on nutrition in one of his old t-nation articles. i find myself repeating it all the time.

“If I told you to consume one gram of protein per pound of body weight, fibrous vegetables, water, green tea, 12 grams of fish oil, and spread those out over the course of six meals each day you’d be anything but impressed. But if I held you in captivity and forced you to do that every day for a month, you’d be blown away by the results. The nutritional methods to lose fat have already been found. The challenge we coaches face is figuring out how we’re going to get you to adhere to the guidelines.”

This originally appeared in an article called Crack Open My Cranium on t-nation

Sometimes it really is simple. If it’s white, don’t eat it. Forget the RD’s nutrition recommendations, forget the food pyramid. Have a great weekend.