Archive for December, 2008

Hanks Big Adventure

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2008 by mboyle1959

Sunday night we did our first Webinar. Anthony Renna of Strength Coach Podcast fame and I are teaming up with some other experts you’ll be sure to recognize to produce Strength and Conditioning Webinars. These are seminars we bring directly into your home. Our first on Sunday was Fat Loss Secrets for the New Year. It was such a success that we will repeat it on Dec. 29.

T o make a long story short, watch the video below.

Hank Morse is the traffic reporter on WKLB- Country 102.5 and 105.7 WROR in Boston, a friend , and a fan favorite at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning. He has lost 100 lbs in six months. Not bad. Tune in to learn more

Toys for Tots!

Posted in Uncategorized on December 16, 2008 by mboyle1959

You have until Dec 19th to donate. If you haven’t already done so, please take the time. In addition to Toys for Tots my family and I “adopted” a family through our local Mission of Deeds. We also did the same with my daughter’s hockey team. We shopped for our share of two families for Christmas today and the feeling is tremendous. Some poor children will get exactly what is on their list. A great feeling all around.

Mastering the Obvious – Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized on December 14, 2008 by mboyle1959

Last year I wrote an article called Mastering the Obvious. That article referred to a study showing that weight training plus dieting was better than just dieting for weight loss. I have realized that you should never take anything for granted, not matter how obvious it may appear to you. My friend Gary Pitts sent this piece:

“In 1996, a Quebec Superior Court judge held a personal trainer liable ($ 3,000.00 in damages) because she failed to warn a client to move her head out of the way of a lat pulldown bar. The client was injured when an S hook tore her left nostril. Evidence adduced proved that the client had been advised to keep neutral spine. However, as there was contradictory evidence regarding whether the client had been informed to move her head out of the way- the Judge believed the client and her friend rather than the personal trainer.”

The conclusion. Warn your clients that S-hooks can rip nostrils.

My advice, remember Murphy’s law. Murphy’s Law states “ what can go wrong will and probably at the worst moment”. I have a Boyle’s Law version for the gym “anything stupid you think could never happen in a gym setting will in fact happen”.

Our job as coaches and trainers is to warn our clients of any “obvious” potential problems. At this years World Golf Fitness Summit I showed the video below and added the comment that you must tell the client to move out of the way of the ball as it drops. People laughed but, I was serious.

Just remind yourself, nothing is too obvious.

The Baseball Meeting

Posted in Uncategorized on December 12, 2008 by mboyle1959

Monday I got back from Las Vegas and a great professional opportunity. I had the hopefully not once in a lifetime chance to address all of the strength and conditioning coaches in major league and minor league baseball. In truth is a bit intimidating to speak to a group of guys who have attained the highest level of our profession. What do you tell them? I started with this story of Androcles and the Lion that appears below:

Androcles and the Lion
It happened in the old days at Rome that a slave named Androcles escaped from his master and fled into the forest, and he wandered there for a long time until he was weary. Just then he heard a lion near him moaning and groaning and at times roaring terribly. Tired as he was Androcles rose up and rushed away from the lion; but as he made his way through the bushes he stumbled over the root of a tree and fell down. When he tried to get up he saw the lion coming towards him, limping on three feet and holding his forepaw in front of him. Androcles was in despair; he had not strength to rise and run away, and there was the lion coming upon him. But when the great beast came up to him instead of attacking him it kept on moaning and groaning and looking at Androcles, who saw that the lion was holding out his right paw, which was covered with blood and much swollen. Looking more closely at it Androcles saw a great big thorn pressed into the paw, which was the cause of all the lion’s trouble. Plucking up courage he seized hold of the thorn and drew it out of the lion’s paw, who roared with pain when the thorn came out, but soon after found such relief from it that he fawned upon Androcles and showed, in every way that he knew, to whom he owed the relief. Instead of eating him he brought him a young deer that he had slain, and Androcles

managed to make a meal from it. For some time the lion continued to bring the game he had killed to Androcles, who became quite fond of the huge beast. One day a number of soldiers came marching through the forest and found Androcles. Tthey took him prisoner and brought him back to the town from which he had fled. Here his master soon found him and brought him before the authorities, and he was condemned to death. It used to be the custom to throw murderers and other criminals to the lions in a huge circus, so that while the criminals were punished the public could enjoy the spectacle of a combat between them and the wild beasts. So Androcles was condemned to be thrown to the lions, and on the appointed day he was led forth into the Arena and left there alone with only a spear to protect him from the lion. The Emperor was in the royal box that day and gave the signal for the lion to come out and attack Androcles. But when it came out of its cage and got near Androcles, what do you think it did? Instead of jumping upon him it fawned upon him and stroked him with its paw and made no attempt to do him any harm. It was of course the lion which Androcles had met in the forest. The Emperor, surprised at seeing such a strange behavior in so cruel a beast, summoned Androcles to him and asked him how it happened that this particular lion had lost all its cruelty of disposition. So Androcles told the Emperor all that had happened to him and how the lion was showing its gratitude for his having relieved it of the thorn. Thereupon the Emperor pardoned Androcles and ordered his master to set him free, while the lion was taken back into the forest and let loose to enjoy liberty once more.

You might wonder what Androcles and the Lion has to do with baseball. Truth is, the way to succeed in pro sports is to find the thorn in the lions paw. Anyone can make a guy strong but, a well educated coach who understands corrective exercise can remove the thorn and make a friend for life. I know, I’ve done it and reaped the benefits.

The rest was easy, we talked about the Joint by Joint Approach to Training concept that Gray Cook and I developed. All in all, a truly enjoyable day. My thanks to San Diego’s Jim Malone and to my friends Fernando Montez, Bob Alejo, Jay Shiner and Dana Cavalea for making me feel welcome in “their” group.

ACL Prevention is Just Good Training

Posted in Uncategorized on December 10, 2008 by mboyle1959

I recently wrote an article at with the title ACL Prevention is Just Good Training. The thesis of the article was that the best way to prevent ACL injuries was to train properly. Last night on the evening news there was another “earth shattering” report that proper warm-ups could prevent ACL injuries. This was illustrated by a young woman performing a dynamic warm-up. Let’s get something straight. The idea that any of these things are new or different is fundamentally flawed. The news flash is akin to the headline “food shown to prevent hunger”. What people don’t get is that almost any intervention has been shown to decrease ACL injuries. Every warm-up program, every training program, every intervention used ( including something as simple as standing on a balance disk) seems to have been successful in decreasing ACL injuries. The bottom line is that young athletes, particularly young female athletes, need to train with injury prevention as the primary goal. Just remember, proper training prevents injuries.

PS- I moved the article to the “free articles” section, so click the link above.

This Week on

Posted in Updates on December 8, 2008 by mboyle1959

Not to blow my own horn but I was in Las Vegas on Sunday speaking to the Major League Baseball Strength and Conditioning Coaches. It was an honor to get to speak to such a great group of coaches but, as a result I’m a little behind.

For this week on we have:
Sprint Interval Training – “It’s a HIIT!”
A research paper discussing the superior health and performance benefits
of high-intensity intermittent exercise over low-to moderate-intensity
continuous exercise.
By: Mark J. Smith, Ph.D

This is a fifty page article but, please take the time to read it. It is invaluable.

Advanced Program Design Part 1

This is an article I put together based on my Advanced Program Design DVD set ( available at .
I already got an unbelievable testimonial from Brad Kazcmarski one of our authors and a regular on the forum:

“This Article pays for the site fee for all by itself! Wonderful info for those who haven’t seen the dvd’s yet. Great reminder to those of us that have. As we advance in our learning, we tend to forget the importance of looking back and remembering. Great, in-depth article! 

This should be the foundational article for everyone who is thinking of joining, or just joined. It really represents what the site is all about. Live, active, up to date, info.”

In addition we will have a third article we haven’t selected yet. Truth is I have a ton of great ones.

PS- Don’t forget Episode 25 of the StrengthCoach Podcast with this weeks guest Jim Reeves of Mind and Muscle in Missisauga, Ontario.

PSS- Save the date for our first Strength Coach Webinar. It will be Monday, Dec 15th at 8pm EST. We will doing “Fat Loss Secrets for the New Year”. The webinar will be 90 minutes. Sixty to seventy minutes of lecture with a twenty minute Q+A. members get a $10 discount so look for the coupon code on the site. For More Info, click here.

Youth Sports Training- Prepare the Child for the Path, not the Path for the Child

Posted in Youth Training on December 6, 2008 by mboyle1959

I have a favorite quote that is particularly applicable when it comes to training kids.

“prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child”

The reality is that you will not always be there to pave the way for your child, fix things, argue with coaches etc. etc. Kids will grow into adults and experience grumpy co-workers and mean bosses. Constantly insulating kids from difficult situations and consistently cleaning up the mess they create defeats the purpose of sport.

Sport is about learning to succeed and to fail, not just to succeed. Sports should primarily provide life lessons. If the life lesson learned from sport is that Mom and Dad can and will fix everything, later life will be difficult. If the lesson is that school is something you have to do but sports are what is really important than, be prepared for some really big problems down the road.

Youth sports has become all about success and scholarships instead of about learning and sportsmanship. I have some bad news for all the parents out there. Your child more than likely won’t get a scholarship. If he or she does get a scholarship, they probably won’t make the pros. I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade, I’m just a realist.

I have more bad news. Those parents who consistently prepare the path for the child by confronting teachers and coaches, changing teams, changing leagues and changing schools are making life-long losers out of their children.

Remember the purpose of sport is to teach kids about success and about failure. The failure lessons may in fact be more important than the successes. Everyone wants their child to succeed, it’s universal, it’s part of being a parent. However, it is when we attempt to alter the normal path that we screw things up. Protecting your child from difficult situations only delays lessons that are very necessary. Failures experienced at twenty one are far more painful than those experienced at ten or twelve. You don’t do your child a service by protecting them, you do them a disservice.

Remember you are a parent. You are not a friend, a manager, or an agent. Your job is to help create a competent, capable adult, not a dysfunctional child.

My mother had a wonderful saying on our wall when I was a child. It said “Children learn What they Live”. The same one hangs in my kitchen now. If you consistently prepare the path for the child you postpone the inevitable. The key is value education. Teach your children what is really important. Teach hard work, commitment, loyalty and dedication.

The next time you make a decision involving your child’s sport or sports, ask yourself “Am I preparing the child for the path or the path for the child”. This simple step will guide your decision making every time.

Can You Believe What They Are Doing Now?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 5, 2008 by mboyle1959

I think I’m becoming more of an anti-youth sports zealot every day. Take a minute and read this before you continue.

For those who care not to read:
“Atlas Sports Genetics is playing into the obsessions of parents by offering a $149 test that aims to predict a child’s natural athletic strengths. The process is simple. Swab inside the child’s cheek and along the gums to collect DNA and return it to a lab for analysis of ACTN3, one gene among more than 20,000 in the human genome.
The test’s goal is to determine whether a person would be best at speed and power sports like sprinting or football, or endurance sports like distance running, or a combination of the two. A 2003 study discovered the link between ACTN3 and those athletic abilities.
In this era of genetic testing, DNA is being analyzed to determine predispositions to disease, but experts raise serious questions about marketing it as a first step in finding a child’s sports niche, which some parents consider the road to a college scholarship or a career as a professional athlete.
Atlas executives acknowledge that their test has limitations but say that it could provide guidelines for placing youngsters in sports. The company is focused on testing children from infancy to about 8 years old because physical tests to gauge future sports performance at that age are, at best, unreliable.”

Here is my first question:

If you find out your child is more geared to endurance activities, what do you do? Almost all youth sports are “sprint type” sports. Even if the test gave some valid info, the info is nearly useless. Would you begin your slow-twitch 6 year old on a program of distance work? Great idea. The child would develop like the Slowsky’s, the turtles in the commercial. Maybe we can have Kiddie Cross Country. What fun! The beautiful combination of developmentally short attention spans and long activity. I just can’t wait. We would then have conditions like “infant plantar fascitis”. How about “pre-pubescent patella femoral syndrome”.

Special thanks to Dr’s Stephen Roth and Dr. Theodore Freidmann for having the “you know what’s” to call a spade a spade in the article. Dr. Friedmann called it “an opportunity to sell new versions of snake oil.”

Kevin Reilly, the president of Atlas Sports Genetics gives the wonderful advice that you should “hold off on placing a child in a competitive environment until about the age of 8 to avoid burnout”. These guys really have a great concept. I guess the flip side would be to find a “highly competitive” program at 6.

The truth is we are losing the youth sports battle. Not only are welosing, we are getting our you-know-whats-kicked. Lets here it for the IYCA and Brian Grasso. Hope fully Brian and his partners will use IYCA for what it was intended and not make it a fundraiser like so many other certification programs have become.

If you haven’t read the Early Specialization post, check it out below

A Great Success Story

Posted in Uncategorized on December 3, 2008 by mboyle1959

I hate to blow my own horn but, this is such a great “feel good” success story I want everyone to read it.

The subject is Sarah Cahill, one of my former athletes and former employees. Take a second and click the link.

Scroll down until you see “The One and Only Sarah Cahill”. It’s about a page down.

This Week on

Posted in Uncategorized on December 2, 2008 by mboyle1959

Another week and three more articles. A few weeks ago we had a great forum exchange about circuit training. Jim Reeves sent along an article showing a sample circuit he uses with his athletes. This should be up today or tomorrow.

Functional Circuit Training- Jim Reeves

Our next article is a little different.
Competing for a Cause: 2nd Annual Ultimate Fitness Challenge for Charity- Jeremy Frisch

Jeremy’s article details a program he used to create a great strength oriented charity event. I think our readers will really enjoy this piece.

Last and hopefully not least we have Advanced Program Design Part 1. This article is based on my Advanced Program Design seminar and DVD. I felt the need to get this on paper after some of the recent forum exchanges.

PS- Save the date for our first Strength Coach Webinar. It will be Monday, Dec 15th. We will doing Fat Loss Secrets for the New Year. The webinar will be 90 minutes. Sixty to seventy minutes of lecture with a twenty minute Q+A.

Hope you enjoy the week