Archive for February, 2009

The Idiots Are Still At It

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2009 by mboyle1959

I just received an email from a reader saying that a local middle school in his area had instituted Cardiovascular Days. Students use heartrate monitors and must run for 20 min at 160 BPM. This is one of the stupiedest things I have ever heard of at least thre reasons.

1- The 220-age formula is an estimate. It has been proven that nearly 70% of the population does not even fit the formula. In fact the formula is not even based on research. So even it was a good idea it would only be effective for 30% of the kids.

2- Distance training is widely accepted as one of the worst ways to train. Distance training disrupts the development of both speed and power. For statistical evidence check out Mark Smith’s article at Sprint Interval Training-It’s a HIIT

3- Distance training produces an almost 60% injury rate in females, slightly less in males according to a US Army study.

How’s that for three strikes. Inaccurate training that makes you slow and gets you hurt. Now that’s what I call a Physical Education program.


Hanks Big Adventure- Part 2

Posted in Fat Loss, Guest Authors, MBSC News, Media, Nutrition on February 27, 2009 by mboyle1959

If you are a regular reader here or, have seen my most recent Perform Better
presentation you’ll appreciate Hank’s update. We first reported Hank’s progress
on Jan 27 as Hank’s Big Adventure.

Here is the latest update from Hanks Big Adventure
Hank’s blog for 2/18/09

I’m off to the slopes of the White Mountains for some skiing with my family. I’m
very excited about it, since I’ve skied once this year and have been looking
forward to this for a long time.

In my last blog I talked about my embarrassing night at the TD BankNorth Garden
when I couldn’t fit in the seat and was put in the handicapped section because I
was so fat.

Now, here are 10 POSITIVE things that have come with losing 110 pounds.

1. I can shop for clothes anywhere. No longer to I have to shop at in the
BIG MEN section or the big and tall stores.

2. I can fit in the seats at the TD BankNorth Garden.

3. I can sit in a restaurant booth.

4. I can walk five miles.

5. My feet don’t hurt.

6. I never go to bed feeling badly about how I’ve eaten.

7. I have energy I never thought I could feel again.

8. When I sweat, it’s from working out, not just being fat.

9. I can do multiple physical activities in a day.

10. I never feel like going to sleep after I eat.

These are just some of the positive changes that have become possible by losing
weight. Of course, I could not have done it without the help of Mike Boyle and
Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester, MA. They are the best in
the world at what they do. They have changed my life and can help you change yours. It’s amazing what being around positive forces can do for your health.

I’ll report on my ski trip when I get back next week.



Looking at Cadavers

Posted in Uncategorized on February 25, 2009 by mboyle1959

Last week I had the pleasure of being able to visit the Anatomy Lab at Tufts New England Medical School with five of my staff members. It was school vacation week so we used the afteroon time to get some real hands-on learning.

This little field trip was courtesy of Dr. Dana Stearns, a friend, and a client and Dr Walid El-Bermani, a highly respected anatomy professor at Tufts New England Medical Center. In 1979 at Springfield College  we did not have the luxury of learning cadaver anatomy so this was a first for me. The best we could do was a cat in those days.

I must admit to being a bit apprehensive. What if I fainted in front of my staff?I was a little worried about embarrassing myself.  However, the fascination with the human body made it all very easy. 

This was easily one of the coolest things I have ever done. Dana and Dr El-Bermani were excellent hosts and excellent teachers. I also learned about the value of “anchors”. The smell of formaldehyde was like the smell of learning to me. I had forgotten how much I had enjoyed anatomy until I walked into that room. Almost thirty years later the smell brought me back to the basement of Alumni Hall and the Anatomy and Physiology class I enjoyed so much. 

This was cool hands-on stuff. We handled every muscle, picked up the sciatic nerve ( so big I thought it was some mysterious muscle) and moved intestines out of the way to feel the psoas and iliacus. I can’t wait until next school vacation to do it again.

Reviewing the MBSC Winter Seminar

Posted in Uncategorized on February 24, 2009 by mboyle1959

Time goes by so quickly. It has been ten days since our third annual MBSC Winter Seminar and I wanted to share a review written by Mike Robertson, one of the seminar speakers. The seminar was a huge success, we packed about 150 people into our facility for 5 one hour lectures. In addition, a number of people took advantage of our invite to come early and watch our athletes train. If you’d like to attend next year, make sure to go to and sign up for our mailing list.

After breakfast Saturday morning, my buddy (and IFAST member) Lance and I headed over to MBSC.   It was amazing to see how quickly the staff had turned the training facility into a lecture hall.

All presenters were excellent on this day, and there were a wide variety of topics.  Heres’ a brief rundown on the speakers and their presentations:

Brijesh Patel spoke on training basketball players.  This was a very comprehensive presentation, coverig everything from stretching and flexibility to strength and even conditioning work. 

Next up was John Pallof.  While you might not have heard of John before, he really is a brilliant PT and someone I hold in very high regard.  John’s presentation covered the hip – specifically hip impingments, and then sports hernias.  These are two budding areas of interest, so it was great to see someone cover it in presentation format.

The next presenter really caught me off guard.  I knew I had seen him before, but had no clue from here.  Turns out, he was a star in the WWE!  Chris Nowinski discussed concussions and the  long-term effects they have on people.  While this wasn’t necessarily within my scope of practice, it was definitely an informative and eye-opening presentation.

I spoke next on the topic of low back care.  My goal wasn’t necessarily to wow people with theory, methodology or the like, but instead to give them a conceptual idea of how I progress someone who suffers from low back pain.  As many of us know low back pain is often multi-factorial, yet many only focus on the symptoms – i.e. the pain in the lower back.  I hope this presentation, if nothing else, inspired people to improve their treatment skills and understand that the body works as a functional unit.

Eric Cressey spoke next on training baseball players, and specifically shoulder training.  I’m pretty sure Eric has forgotten more about shoulders than I’ll ever know, so it was great to have him show people not only what he’s doing, but all the information that he’s tracking along the way.  With all the great players coming through his facility, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for EC.

To wrap the day up, Michael Boyle presented on training hockey players.  Now, I hate to admit this, but I don’t have a ton of interest in hockey.  I never grew up around the sport, and it’s one of the few I can honestly say I don’t understand many of the rules to.

With that being said, however, Coach Boyle’s presentation was fantastic.  Even though many think of him as a “corrective” or “injury prevention” guy, this presentation really showed that while those are obvious foci of his programming, two of the primary goals are improving strength and power.  

I always enjoy Coach Boyle’s presentations, if for no other reason than he doesn’t mince words and you know exactly where he’s coming from.  I really appreciate that., and this presentation really reinforced a lot of my own thoughts on training athletes.

This Week on

Posted in Uncategorized on February 23, 2009 by mboyle1959

This week on is a rehab week. We have three excellent articles that can help you keep your athletes healthy or keep them training when injured. In addition, we are upgrading our software to Membergate 7.0 so look for some new features later this week.

The first article comes from Dewey Neilsen of Impact Ju-Jitsu in Oregon. I think this is Dewey’s third article for the site. In addition, Dewey has become a frequent and valued forum contributor.

Commonly Ignored Soft Tissue Work for the Mixed Martial Artist is another great simple article. I like this piece but, think the focus is too narrow. Don’t make the mistake of skipping this and thinking “I don’t train MMA guys”. Dewey’s articles are always good and his information spans a broad range of sports.

Next up is another article from Anaheim Ducks Strength and Conditioning Coach Sean Skahan. Coaching the Injured Athlete is a bonus article as it is an article with a program included. As always, Sean’s points about dealing with injured athletes are right on target.

Last but certainly not least we have Working the Adductors by Patrick Ward. Working the Adductors does a great job of expanding on some of the ideas in the Sports Hernia series and giving practical tips for hands-on treatment and self-treatment.

Video of the Week is an adductor foam roll technique that allows you to get additional pressure into a key area. This will compliment both Dewey and Patrick’s articles. You can order my Foam Roller Techniques at Foam Roller Techniques DVD“> if you want to see more foam roll ideas.

As always don’t forget to check out the StrengthCoach Podcast at

For Episode 30, Anthony interviewed Jeff Macy, Strength Coach from the Milwaukee Bucks about challenges he is facing this time of year with his ball players. Also, he continued his 8-part series with Nick Winkelman about the Athletes’ Performance Methodology. In Part 2, Nick discusses Pre-hab.

In Episode 30.5, Gray CookPuts It All Together” in relation to his books, dvd’s and seminars. Check out the Strength Coach Podcast at

Hope you enjoy the week.


The Mirror and the Window

Posted in Uncategorized on February 21, 2009 by mboyle1959

The following came to me a few days ago from one of my former athletes, Mary Kate Jones, now an assistant strength coach at University of Louisville. Mary Kate is unique in that she is one of the first of our “kids” who grew up in our program as an athlete and went on to become a strength and conditioning coach. Mary Kate started with us as a 14 year old soccer player and never really left until grad school at Springfield Colleg. She was one of our best summer employees for about 6 years. I was both proud and flattered when I read this:

Hey Mike,

  So my birthday was a couple weeks ago and Adam game me a plaque with my favorite coaching quote on it.  I’ve had the quote hung up in my office ever since my first year at Springfield.  Its actually from one of your books so I figured I would let you know.
“Coaches must realize that their athletes are the window through which others see them. If another college coach came into your weight room would you be proud or ashamed? Would you make excuses for the poor technique or, accept the pats on the back for what great lifters your athletes are? The other factor, even more important than your athletes being the window through which others see you, is that your athletes are the mirror in which you see yourself. Your lifters are a direct reflection of you. When you watch your athletes are you happy with yourself as a teacher and coach?”
I guess its kind of the philosophy I’ve always tried to follow.  Anyways, I thought you might think its cool and I figured if I have your words on a plaque I should let you know.  Unfortunately I’m not big time enough yet to have a lot of wall space in my office so it would take up the WHOLE thing so its not hung up.  EVENTUALLY when I have a bigger office, it’ll be up, rather than just on a piece of paper like it is now.

The book she is referring to is Designing Strength Training Programs and Facilities. You can download the book for free when you join

Think Before You Write ( Or Speak)

Posted in Uncategorized on February 17, 2009 by mboyle1959

The following came from my friend Daniel Martinez. Please don’t consider this a political statement but rather as a reminder that you should think before you speak or write:

Luke AFB is west of Phoenix and is rapidly being surrounded by civilization that complains about the noise from the base and its planes, forgetting that it was there long before they were. A certain lieutenant colonel at Luke AFB deserves a big pat on the back. An individual who lives somewhere near Luke AFB wrote the local paper complaining about a group of F-16s that disturbed his/her day at the mall. When that individual read the response from a Luke AFB officer, it must have stung quite a bit.

THE COMPLAINT: Question of the day for Luke Air Force Base: Whom do we thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 A.M, a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns early bird special? Any response would be appreciated.

THE RESPONSE: Regarding ‘A wake-up call from Luke’s jets’ On June 15, at precisely 9:12 a.m . , a perfectly timed four- ship flyby of F-16s from the 63rd Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base flew over the grave of Capt. Jeremy Fresques. Capt Fresques was an Air Force officer who was previously stationed at Luke Air Force Base and was killed in Iraq on May 30, Memorial Day. At 9 a. m. on June 15, his family and friends gathered at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City to mourn the loss of a husband, son and friend. Based on the letter writer’s recount of the fly by, and because of the jet noise, I’m sure you didn’t hear the 21-gun salute, the playing of taps, or my words to the widow and parents of Capt. Fresques as I gave them their son’s flag on behalf of the President of the United States and all those veterans and servicemen and women who understand the sacrifices they have endured.. A four-ship fly by is a display of respect the Air Force gives to those who give their lives in defense of freedom. We are professional aviators and take our jobs seriously, and on June 15 what the letter writer witnessed was four officers lining up to pay their ultimate respects. The letter writer asks, ‘whom do we thank for the morning air show?’ The 56th Fighter Wing will make the call for you, and forward your thanks to the widow and parents of Capt Fresques, an d thank them for you, for it was in their honor that my pilots flew the most honorable formation of their lives. Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you….Jesus Christ and the American Soldier. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom. USAF

This Week on

Posted in Uncategorized on February 16, 2009 by mboyle1959

If you’ve been reading this blog, you have a headstart on the site this week. Two pieces appeared here first.

25 Random Things About Me– although this is a personal piece I did for my Facebook page, people liked it, so I decided to post it on the site. I hope it will provide you some insight to the real Michael Boyle.

Things I Never Did– I wrote this a few weeks back for t-nation but I realize that many of you don’t read that site. I am going to occasionally write for other sites to continue to expose new readers to this site.

Training to Bench 225– I actually wrote this quite a while ago and reposted it on this blog last week. However, I think it might have been an older article from my former site that did not transfer over.

Video of the Week is the one Arm DB Snatch, a lift that gets a lot of attention on both the positive and negative side.

I also will try to get up another sample program this week by Friday.

As always don’t forget to check out the StrengthCoach Podcast  at 

Hope you enjoy the week.

25 Random Things about Me

Posted in Uncategorized on February 12, 2009 by mboyle1959

1-    My wife is my best friend.

2-    I thought I loved my dog until my first child was born.

3-    I’m beginning to believe in Karma. I think the more you give the more you get.

4-    I might be one of the luckiest people in the world.

5-    My father is in the Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame.

6-    I have an office in Agganis Arena. Agganis Arena was named for Harry Agganis arguably the greatest athlete in BU history. In a strange twist, my father was captain and center on the BU Football Team when Harry Agganis was a sophomore quarterback.

7-    I’m very proud of my Dad but, I don’t tell people often enough. At 49 I’m still worried that it will sound like bragging. I know, it’s silly. He’s been dead over 20 years and I still meet his former students who tell me how much he changed their lives. Some have been sixty years old. If you drive by Malden High School you will see a sign that says Arthur P. Boyle Building.

8-    My Mom was in the Marines in World War II. According to my sister she drove celebrities around Europe for the USO.

9-    My best sport growing up was swimming but, I was a wanna-be football player.

10- Failure is a great teacher. Trying to get stronger to play football changed the path of my entire life.

11- I love to watch my daughter Michaela compete at anything. My weekend centers around her games.

12- I don’t really enjoy working out. I do it sparingly so I will not die or embarrass my business.

13- My son Mark is named for Mark Bavis. Mark was one of my favorite players and died on 9/11/2000.

14- I like beer, probably too much. I rarely drink alone so I consider myself a social drinker. At times I can be very social.

15- I don’t like many foods that are good for you. I dislike most fruits and probably don’t eat a piece of fruit a week.

16- I also don’t really like water.

17- I really like donuts. I would eat them every day except I don’t really want to be fat.

18- I consider myself an obsessive-compulsive with attention deficit disorder. I get a lot done but, need to do it in small increments. I have a file called “articles to be finished” with at least thirty articles in it.

19- My younger brother has two adopted children. I’m very proud of him.

20- I am a recovering work-a-holic. Some days my recovery is going better than others. I don’t have email on my phone to create some peace in my life.

21- I am obsessed with email. It has made my life easier and harder all at the same time.

22- I really love my kids. I kiss then every chance I get. I’m going to kiss my son on the lips until he tells me it’s “gross” or that I’m “queer”.

23- My nine year old daughter is rapidly approaching the “come on Dad, not in front of my friends” stage and I’m a bit sad.

24- If given the choice of spending time with my wife or anyone else, I always choose my wife.

25- I’ve worked at Boston University since January of 1983, I think. It was so long ago I’m not really sure.

Video of the Week- Sled Pulls

Posted in Training, Uncategorized on February 10, 2009 by mboyle1959

A recent forum post asked about waist belts versus shoulder harnesses when doing sled work. If forced to make a choice, I like a waist belt better than shoulder harnesses but, actually prefer handles or a tricep rope to both. The video below shows NY Giant Zak DeOssie marching with 540 lbs. The handles allow a great acceleration position and really can help to create great body position. In our staff meeting today at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning we discussed how the sled march or sled push can be the perfect exercise for teaching the hip separation so necesary in sprinting.

Please note that weights differ based on surface. The key is to get body lean and keep it. The knee drive/ hip drive creates great action-reaction mechanics to teach how to push the ground and extend the hips.

An article on sled training can be found at this link