Archive for December, 2008

Youth Sports Advice

Posted in Uncategorized on December 30, 2008 by mboyle1959

I’ve posted frequently about youth sports as it’s an area I feel passionate about. Parade Magazine had two great articles one Who’s Killing Kids Sports and Raising Responsible Kids . Although the second article doesn’t have the word “sports” in the title it applies directly to sports parents. We have to acknowledge that we as parents are the problem and the solution.

We need to remember that the purpose of sports is to help kids deal with success and with failure. Both lessons are equally important. I remember doing a paper in high school about cooperation and competition and for the first time realizing that a good team fosters both. As a parent try to remember that losing has many more valuable life lessons than winning.


This Week on

Posted in Uncategorized on December 29, 2008 by mboyle1959

This week as always we have three excellent new articles. Two are written by authors you are becoming familiar with, Jon Messner and Anthony Renna, the last one comes to us from Tyler Fagan, a first time contributor to the site.
Reactive Agility- Tyler Fagan
Tyler shows some excellent YouTube clips of reactive agility drills.
Chin up or Chin Down- Jon Messner
If you read Jon’s last article you’ll see the same style. This article is loaded with pictures and asks some good questions. I know I was a little more conscious of head positions this week after reading Jon’s article.
Does Your Ham Fit Into Your Pot- Anthony Renna
After my Advanced Program Design two part series Anthony asks the question “Does Your ham Fit Into Your Pot”? I love the way Anthony thinks and I loved this article.

PS- Don’t forget Episode 26 of the StrengthCoach Podcast with this weeks guest Nick Tuminello.
PSS- Tomorrow night (Dec 29th) we’ll repeat our Strength Coach Webinar -Fat Loss Secrets for the New Year. The webinar will be 75 minutes. 45 minutes of lecture with a 30 minute Q+A.

Check out a few impressions of the first one.

“Thanks for hosting the webinar last night. I think if you did one everyday, I would change my schedule around to be present. In fact, I would make it mandatory for my staff to be present as well. “

“Great job with presentation tonight. I regularly work with men and women in the “obese category” along with the athletes I coach and my approach is most similar to what you presented. That be known, as always I come away with some great stuff from your superb ability to convey practical information. Looking forward to the next one.”

Hope you enjoy the week. Make sure to log on and check out

Lets Hear It for AOL

Posted in Uncategorized on December 28, 2008 by mboyle1959

Liz Neporent and Ralf Hennig got it right today on AOL. I’m always a big critic of mainstream media when they put up “fitness tips”. Usually it’s stuff like “go for a walk”, take a yoga class etc. I was pleasantly surprised when I clicked on the 10 exercises to not do and saw leg extensions, behind the neck pulldowns and the Ab/ Add Machine. The writers got most of it right. I’m still leery of the squat caution ( don’t go to low) but, I don’t want to nit pick. This is a great piece if you can print it out for your personal training clients who may be a tough sell. Check it out.

The Deception of Research

Posted in Uncategorized on December 26, 2008 by mboyle1959

The Journal of the American Dietetic Assoc recently reported that there was a relationship between egg intake and heart failure. The inference is that egg consumption could lead to heart failure. However, when you read the abstract a few things become clear. One, the data is from 1987 to 1995. During this time period eggs were on the “forbidden fruit” list. The other food category that was associated with heart failure was high fat dairy products also “forbidden fruit” at the time. Whole grains were associated with a lower risk.

Eating as described in the study would have been described as “healthy” at the time the study was conducted. This is another “eggs are bad” study with no real research to support it. What I think the study does show is that those who attempt to follow the dietary guidelines currently available will have a lower chance of heart failure. What do you think?

PS- Make sure to take a minute to check out the most recent Strength Coach Podcast featuring Coach Nick Tuminello at

More On the Thoracic Spine

Posted in Guest Authors, Injuries, Media, Training, Uncategorized on December 24, 2008 by mboyle1959

My friends Matt Fitzgerald and Jen Sinkler at Experience Life Magazine are doing a great job of taking the cutting edge stuff we use and getting to the masses. Check out the piece below called <a href=”http://“>Back in Trouble

Epsiode 26- Strength Coach Podcast

Posted in Uncategorized on December 23, 2008 by mboyle1959

Check out Episode 26 of The Strength Coach Podcast.

It features an interview with Nick Tumminello, myself, and Rob Milani from Perform Better. Also, Gray Cook answers a question about the Chop & Lift.

Check it out at

Pay It Forward

Posted in Uncategorized on December 23, 2008 by mboyle1959

Last night my wife and I had a conversation about “paying it forward”. If you haven’t seen the movie, please rent it. For those that might be unfamiliar, the concept of paying it forward is similar to paying someone back. However the key is that the receiver has to respond by helping someone else, instead of helping the person that helped them. I love the concept and try to live it every day. The reason the topic came up was that one of our current Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning interns is heading off to another internship in the NBA courtesy of one of my former employees. Shin Tahara will be working for the Chicago Bulls thanks to Assistant Strength Coach Josh Bonhotal. Josh came to MBSC by way of Al Vermeil and Mike Potenza ( current San Jose Sharks Strength and Conditioning Coach and former MBSC intern). I recommended Mike for his current job. Mike paid it forward to Josh and recommended him to me. Now Josh pays it forward to Shin. Paying it forward is a wonderful way to create a network and a legacy.

I try to pay it forward every chance I get to honor people like Don Chu, Vern Gambetta, Al Vermeil, Mike Woicek, Rusty Jones, Johnnie Parker and a host of other great coaches who answered a young coaches questions when there was nothing in it for them. I believe you do your best work when you expect nothing in return. As I age I also believe more and more that what goes around comes around. Karma is an interesting concept.

Choosing A Health Club

Posted in Uncategorized on December 22, 2008 by mboyle1959

I originally wrote this a few years ago for another site but, I’m not sure how many people read it. Might be good to share with your friends who are on the New Years Resolution kick.

The progression of the club environment in my lifetime has been an interesting one. We have progressed from the early gyms that were simply places with weights inhabited by this odd subculture of those who lifted them. Most who lifted weights were considered a bit odd. Females were seen with the frequency of unicorns. The next generation of gyms were also the first of the supposed miracles. The Nautilus Center. I think most of us over forty at one time or another belonged to a small storefront-type Nautilus center that had a row of twelve machines and promised a miracle. The lesson was, and still is, if it appears too good to be true, it probably is. I don’t believe any Nautilus Centers survived although the equipment line still exists today. Next came racquetball clubs and finally the big fitness centers. The club environment today is dominated by large players with multiple clubs across the country. These clubs provide one-stop shopping for the fitness enthusiast. Clubs provide personal trainers, an array of machines, a cornucopia of cardiovascular equipment, and group exercise classes. Clubs have become less of a Mom and Pop operation and more of a corporate entity.

The truth? Most health clubs are in the membership business, not the health business. Clubs provide a well-equipped location but, probably hope you don’t show up. The best-trained and best-compensated people in most club chains are the sales force. They won’t take attendance or call if you aren’t around for a while. Don’t choose the biggest or the best, choose the most convenient to your home or work. The number one correlation to workout consistency is proximity.

The personal training boom has been great for the fitness industry. Personal training has actually made the big club chains more customer-centered. Not because they are trying to be nice but, because personal training allows clubs to often double membership related revenues. Many clients will easily spend 3-5 times the cost of memberships in personal training fees. Personal training has become big business. Five years ago personal training was a temporary job done while figuring out how to get a real job. Now personal trainers willing to work hard can earn six figure incomes while doing something they love.

The bottom line.
1- Chose a club near your home or work to increase the probability of attendance.
2- Get a workout partner. Partners help compliance. It’s easy to stay in bed when no one is waiting for you. It’s also easy to head to the bar after work rather than the gym when no one is waiting for you.
3- Think about group sessions with a trainer. Most clubs will offer a better rate on small group or what some call semi-private personal training sessions.

The key is to find a convenient gym, get there and get a workout. The more convenient, the better.

If you are in the Boston area, stop by Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning at 225 East St in Winchester or visit We have the best personal trainers and small group training available anywhere in the world.

This Week on

Posted in Uncategorized on December 21, 2008 by mboyle1959

This week on we have three new articles and a great chart, courtesy of Dave Knight.

Basic 2 Day Program- this is my first attempt at actually posting programs. I hope you like it. This is an article on the basic two day we use for our non-athlete clients. I’m going to try to follow this up with some different two, three and four days versions.

Getting Back to Basics – Dana Cavalea ( NY Yankees). This is another great article by Dana that I’m sure you’ll like. Dana’s articles are always filled with great common sense stuff that will help any athlete, not just a baseball player

Prelipin’s Chart- By Tim Kontos, CSCS, USAW
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach
Virginia Commonwealth University

Tim talks about using Prelipins chart to design his programs at VCU. This is the first of what I hope will be a lot of articles from Tim.

Rep Max Calculation– as I mentioned above, Dave has supplied us with a simple chart to calculate maxes based on reps. This is a great simple tool and thanks to dave for providing it for our members.

Looks to be another great week. Make sure you log on.

Sports Parenting 101- Children Learn What They Live

Posted in Uncategorized on December 19, 2008 by mboyle1959

A child allowed to quit learns to quit.

This might have been the best sporting lesson I ever learned. My father taught me one simple lesson. If you start, you finish. You never leave the coach in a lurch and you never leave your teammates in a lurch. Unfortunately in this day and age parents do the quitting for the kids, “in their best interest”. Quitting “in their best interest” is still quitting. Is leaving a school or team because you aren’t playing quitting? Is leaving a school or team because you aren’t playing enough, or in the right situations, still quitting? The answer to all of the above is still yes. Many parents will hide under the academic skirt but, this is true in a few cases and a better sounding excuse for changing schools in most.

Why are kids becoming spoiled and self-centered. Because we as parents make them that way. Any time a young athlete is allowed or even encouraged to leave a situation that is less than favorable either due to playing time or coaching, they are being allowed to quit. We can package quitting up any way we want but, we are still allowing them to quit.

Here is the lesson in a nutshell.

“ If you don’t get what you want, forget perseverance, leave and go somewhere else”

What a great life lesson to teach a young person. We will literally teach that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” Unfortunately, they usually go somewhere else.

Parents love to try to hide behind the semantics but, the truth does not change. If we want our children to be hard working and display desire and determination we must teach them about perseverance, not about rationalization.

The placement of adult values into the lives of young people is the greatest threat to youth sports. Think about this for a moment. Instead of giving your child every opportunity you never had as a child, think about giving them the values that your parents and coaches instilled in you that have made you successful. Success skips a generation for a reason. It skips because we don’t teach values. Don’t live vicariously. Instead, work diligently to instill values.

One clue. If you ever said “we” when referring to what your child is going to do, you may be on your way to a problem. Try to remember that the purpose of sport is to teach kids about values. Unfortunately oftentimes we do teach values, just the wrong ones.