Archive for August, 2009

Is the Food Industry Using the Tobacco Industry Playbook?

Posted in Media, Nutrition, Random Thoughts on August 29, 2009 by mboyle1959

Recently I received an article that was as disturbing as any I have read. The title is The Perils of Ignoring History: Big Tobacco Played Dirty and Millions Died. How Similar Is Big Food?  The really scary part is that the authors, Kelly Brownell and Kenneth Warner, are not two easily dismissed fringe nutritionists but rather work at a couple of places you may have heard of, Yale University and University of Michigan. The authors have studied the actions of the tobacco industry beginning in the fifties and have come away with some frightening parallels. The findings of the paper are, as I said, disturbing;

“The tobacco industry had a playbook, a script, that emphasized personal responsibility, paying scientists who delivered research that instilled doubt, criticizing the “junk” science that found harms associated with smoking, making self-regulatory pledges, lobbying with massive resources to stifle government action, introducing “safer” products, and simultaneously manipulating and denying both the addictive nature of their products and their marketing to children. The script of the food industry is both similar to and different from the tobacco industry script.

The authors concluded;

“Food is obviously different from tobacco, and the food industry differs from tobacco companies in important ways, but there also are significant similarities in the actions that these industries have taken in response to concern that their products cause harm. Because obesity is now a major global problem, the world cannot afford a repeat of the tobacco history, in which industry talks about the moral high ground but does not occupy it. “

The article is 36 pages long and appeared in the The Milbank Quarterly, Vol. 87, No. 1, 2009 (pp. 259–294). I believe it can be readily found on the internet. The next time you read a report that “a little high fructose corn syrup won’t kill you” or that “plastic water bottles are perfectly safe” think about the tobacco industry and how hard they tried to deceive the American public in the face of mounting evidence about the dangers of cigarettes.


Summer Training

Posted in MBSC News, Media, Random Thoughts, Youth Training on August 26, 2009 by mboyle1959

US College Hockey On-Line did a nice piece on the off-season training of my BU players. 

The piece was called Hockey Is the Terriers Summer Job. also did a nice piece on off-season training in the NHL that featured MBSC also.

More NHL Players Find Summer is for Sweating.

Just a little info for the hockey junkies. 

PS- BU-BC at Fenway on January 8th!

This Week on

Posted in Injuries, Updates, Training, Uncategorized on August 25, 2009 by mboyle1959

Another week begins on First up is an article from Keats Snideman called Defending Bilateral Movements. I love the way Keats thinks. We may not agree on everything but, his intellect and analytical ability shine through. Read with an open mind.

Next up is another guy who will make you think. I met Brett Contreras at the Perform Better Summitt in LA. He is a bit of a mad scientist, doing EMG experiments on himself in garage. In fact he wrote a 700 page ebook on glute training. Can anyone say “too much time on his hands”. I loved this article he called 9 Points of Contention for Mike Boyle. Brett is a guy who has really studied what I have written over the years and iis taking it to the next level. As you could see from last weeks hip lift video we are taking his ideas to heart.

Last up is another from Rob Panariello. Rob is a lot like me. He has a wealth of experience and is now moving out of the trenches to share. The ABC’s of Increased Running Speed in the Post-Operative Knee Athlete is another great read.

Video of the Week

Somehow we lost this first Hip Lift Video. This is a great beginner version as it adds some comfort. The BOSU is not intended to be an unstable surface but, a comfortable one for a beginner.


As always don’t forget to check out the StrengthCoach Podcast  at I just finished listening to the audio of Born to Run ( number 2 on the NY Times nonfiction best seller list) . Make sure you listen to the Christopher MacDougal and Eric Ornton interviews. 

Also make sure you check out

Hope you enjoy the week.




“Dad You Were Tenth”

Posted in Uncategorized on August 19, 2009 by mboyle1959

I know I already blogged about Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning being named to the Top 10 Gyms in America by Men’s Health

However what was better than that was my daughters reaction. I think it was TV host ( and Springfield College Alum) Art Linkletter who said “kids say the darnedest things”. As we looked at the news stand copy  I was elated by our position in the article. Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning was in the top right corner, the first name anyone would see when they looked at the article. I didn’t even notice that the Top Ten was actually in reverse order and that we were in fact listed as ten. Only one person noticed, my daughter. Her observation “Dad, what’s the big deal, you were 10th out of 10”. My morning dose of humility. Not tenth out of thousands, tenth out of ten,

Grass Fed Beef- It Really Matters What You Ate, Eats

Posted in Fat Loss, Nutrition, Random Thoughts on August 18, 2009 by mboyle1959

Every time I read new nutrition info the topic of grass fed beef seems to come up. Many of you will be shocked to know that grass fed beef has a similar fatty acid profile to salmon. I know I was. Yes, beef is good for you, just not the kind we get at most stores. In fact, grass fed beef can be as good for you as cold water fish.

 In his book 21 Days to a Healthy Heart  author Al Watson states:

“ starting in the 1950’s, the meat industry began taking animals off pasture and grass and putting them into feedlots on grain. Grass is high in omega 3. In humans and in cattle, omega-3 promotes leanness. Grains are high in omega-6. In humans and in cattle omega-6 promotes obesity. More omega-6 and less omega-3 is a recipe for obesity and inflammatory conditions… Cattle put on weight more rapidly on a high grain diet than they will in the pasture, even when they consume the same number of calories.”

I think the same applies to humans. The RD’s keep trying to tell us a calorie is a calorie but, there is a lot of info that says otherwise

Pretty scary. It is also said to be common knowledge among farmers that pigs fatten better on low-fat milk than on whole milk.  That study was published in a 2005 issue of the Journal Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. What? Low fat, makes you fatter? Dr. Broda barnes in his 1976 book Hypo-thyroidism- The Unsuspected Illness makes the following comments when talking about a study they performed.

“It became obvious that a high carbohydrate diet had to be a causative factor in their (the study participants) obesity. For those who grew up on a farm, this information should be no news. For centuries, farmers have reduced protein intake, eliminated most fat and shoveled in cereals to fatten animals for market. Unfortunately, physicians seldom go to the farm for medical information or we might long ago have had the answer to obesity. The tall corn of Iowa and pork production go hand in hand. The eating habits of the human and the hog are so similar they could well be embarrassing to the hog.”


To top it off Paula Owens in her excellent book The Power of Four recommends an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 2-1. Owens also states the average American diet can be 25-1 and up to 50-1!

The first bottom line is that all calories are not created equal. The second bottom line is that not only does it matter what you eat, it matters what you eat, ate. Scary stuff.

This Week on

Posted in Uncategorized on August 17, 2009 by mboyle1959

First off, I need to acknowledge last weeks bonus article from Jim Reeves. Jim always has great, thoughtful stuff and his piece on Goalie Training was more of the same.

However, this week is Coaching Week. First up is another piece from Dewey Neilsen called Brilliant at the Basics. This is a quick look at what is really important in any training program, not just MMA and is a great follow up to Dewey’s recent article.

In keeping with the same theme the next article is Coaching 101 from Mike Robertson. Mike originally posted it on his newsletter but, was kind enough to let me post it on

Last up is Lessons in Effective Coaching from Carson Boddicker.

I love the articles that we get from young coaches that describe their learning experiences. All of the guys featured this week are young coaches who are actually writing about their experiences in the field. I don’t think there is a better teacher than a peer willing to share ideas and mistakes.  Although this is still the internet, these are real coaches who train real athletes.

Video of the Week

We also are finally getting to the Hip Lift videos we promised two weeks ago, In fact we are posting two versions. As usual Dewey Neilsen comes up with a creative way to load a great exercise.


As always don’t forget to check out the StrengthCoach Podcast  at  The latest podcast features a continuation of the Lumbar Flexion debate that has been so popular on the forum. 

Also make sure you check out I’m doing a webinar tonight at 8 on Training Endurance Athletes that will be great for those who train endurance athletes.

Hope you enjoy the week.



Do Your Job… Better! 10 Ways to Add Life to Your Client and Your Career

Posted in Guest Authors, Random Thoughts, Training on August 15, 2009 by mboyle1959

My friend Todd Durkin was kind enough to allow me to share this with you. Todd is one of the best speakers on the Perform Better tour and, he brings it every day. This piece was originally published in the Perform Better Newsletter.

“Nothing bothers me more than poor body language during a training session. Drinking or eating during a session, sitting down while someone is doing floor work, crossing your arms when a client is grunting through his/her last few reps of a grueling workout, or just not having the positive energy to deliver an experience that is memorable. These things make me sick to my stomach. 

The more trainers that I speak with around the country and the more business managers and owners I speak with, the more I realize we have a problem in this field with some trainers that just don’t “bring it” every day. Here is the deal: If you aren’t bringing it every day, do yourself a favor, do your clients a favor, and do your business a favor, try a different business. 

Right now, our country faces one of the greatest challenges we’ve seen in a long-time. We’re experiencing a depressed economy, foreclosures, bankruptcies, lay-offs, and a ton of trickle-down stress that can negatively affect relationships, mental health, and physical health. There is so much negativity out there that it can be downright depressing. 

Do not let this be you and do not let it affect you! We need to step up our game and YOU be the one that is a “game changer.” In the name of this industry, we all need to feed off each other and be a beacon of light that infiltrates energy, positive attitudes, and a “Can Do” belief that anything is possible to our clients and our teammates. 

Walt Disney says, “Everything speaks.” What you wear, what you say, your body language, your energy, your session, the music, the cleanliness, the colors, the smell, the service, and the experience that you deliver all tell a story. What is your story‌ What area(s) can you improve on to keep bringing IT every day‌ 

My friends, training is not just a job—it’s a calling. If training is just a job that you show up for and count your hours and your pay-check, you are definitely in the wrong field. As passionate, motivated trainers that are looking to get to the next level, here is what we need to do our job…and do it BETTER: 

· Work harder. Sorry, there are no short-cuts to success. If you want to be a great trainer, it’s probably going to be harder than you think. Attending conferences, constantly reading, always learning, and doing things way beyond the hours you are being paid are all the price you pay to be a standout. 
· Be enthusiastic. John Wooden says that if you want to be successful, you must be “hard-working and enthusiastic.” This starts with a friendly greeting when the client walks in the door, keeping your energy up during the day, being engaged with your clients at all times, being an attentive listener, making your clients smile, and simply being excited about even just small accomplishments your clients achieve. 
· Deliver great customer service skills. Trainers, we need to step it up here. You can be a great trainer, but if you are not sound with your customer service, you will be stuck in constant mediocrity. Calling people by their names, answering the phone by the 3rd ring, stopping and sincerely thanking your clients, writing them notes, or sending them occasional gifts or tokens of appreciation goes such a long way. I was recently at a Thomas Plummer event and he said something fantastic: “Welcome to my house, these are my guests, I expect you to treat them with respect and to dress for them professionally.” He went on to say, “If you don’t abide by this, you should be fired. While employees may be replaceable, guests are NOT!” 
· Thank your clients. I will say it again. Be sure to thank your clients and let them know you appreciate their business. Your clients are very savvy how and where they spend their money and they choose to spend it with you. What are you doing to keep them from going somewhere else‌ 
· Dress to impress. Do you dress professionally‌ Are your shoes clean‌ Are you nicely groomed‌ Do you look like the true professional that you really are‌ 
· Body Language that speaks. Are you in the game‌ Do you lean in when speaking‌ Do you lean in when listening‌ Are your eyes ALWAYSon your clients‌ There is NOTHING more important than your client when you are with them. Show it!!!!!!!! 
· Do something…for someone else. Try being a “servant” everyday. Be a servant to your clients, to your employees, and to your employers. When you come to the game with an attitude to give and to serve, it pays big dividends. 
· Embrace criticism. That’s right. Feedback is the breakfast of champions. Ask your clients what you can do to better assist them; ask your boss how you can do a better job as an employee; ask your employees what you can do to be a better boss. Either way, embrace the feedback and be open and willing to improve based on what you hear. 
· Bring the ENERGY. This is what it’s all about. Everything you do creates an energy. People come to you or your business for the energy you provide. I liken it to a light-house. If your “light” shines bright, many ships will sail towards you. If you are dark, quiet, and “a-drift”, no one will ever find you. Light it up and shine bright! 
· If you want more money…work harder. Why is it that people feel “entitled” today‌ Whether it be clients, employers, or employees, people often feel “entitled” to more money, more success, more this or more that. I don’t get it. Nothing replaces hard-work, going above and beyond, and creating your own success. It’s the extra work, the extra effort, and the “And Then Some” attitude that will ultimately lead you to greater compensation opportunities. But the bottom line is that you must work for it. The attitude should not be “I expect more money and then I will work harder.” It should be, “I will work harder and then I can expect more opportunities to earn money.” 
· Create the experience. I love this statement for training businesses, “We are the best part of your day every day!” If you do the little things it takes to be successful and really focus on creating a great experience, success will be created. 

I can promise you this, if you can do these aforementioned items (10 items + 1 extra!), you WILL create more success as a trainer. This will result in better results for your clients, your business will improve, and the overall experience for your clients will improve. 

At Fitness Quest 10, I always say to our staff that we need to be an “island in a sea of depression.” What I mean by this is that I want our clients to know that they can always come to us for a consistent experience that delivers a positive energy, a great session, and a home away from home. I want our business to be the “best part of your day every day.” 

What is it that you want‌ If you continue to focus on getting 1% better every day in all that you do, pretty soon, you will be not only a darned good trainer, you will be a great business and you will create profound results and experiences. ”

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is a personal trainer & massage therapist who motivates, educates, and inspires people world-wide. He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, and nutrition to help transform people’s bodies, minds, and spirits. Todd trains dozens of NFL & MLB baseball athletes and provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences world-wide. Additionally, Todd is the Head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council. He has appeared in 60 Minutes and been featured in Sports Illustrated, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Self, Shape, and the NY Times and Washington Post. You can sign up for his FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, the “TD TIMES”, at or 

Additionally, Todd runs a 3-Day Mentorship Program two times per year that goes in-depth on the business of running a personal training & fitness business. His next 3 Day Mentorship is August 21-23rd, 2009. You can find out more information by visiting: 

Top Gyms in America

Posted in Uncategorized on August 14, 2009 by mboyle1959

Sorry, I can’t help but brag. Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning was named one of the Top Ten Gyms in America by Mens Health  I just want to thank all our staff and all our clients for making MBSC such a unique place to train. If you are in the Boston area and aren’t already a client please stop by. Our fall session starts in a few weeks and we are always taking new personal training clients.

MBSC Internship with Sam Leahey: “Don’t Count The Days, Make The Days Count!” – Making the Most of Your Experiences

Posted in Guest Authors, Random Thoughts, Training, Youth Training on August 13, 2009 by mboyle1959

     Have you ever looked back on a time in your life and said to yourself “Man, I really could have gotten more out of that,” or “I wish I didn’t take that experience for granted,”  “That time flew bye, I wish I would have. . .?” Well, coming into this internship I knew I’d only have 12 weeks to morph into the ultimate Mike Boyle disciple, so I planned ahead of time and sought out every opportunity available at MBSC. Furthermore, I wanted to do more than an average intern; I wanted to get my hands dirty in everything possible.

“Don’t Count The Days, Make The Days Count!” – Anthony Morondo


Ant (aka Armadillo), the motivator at MBSC 

     That quote was so inspirational for me that I wanted to devote an entire blog to it. Below is an account of how I’m making this summer count instead of just counting how many more 62 hour work weeks are left. I decided to articulate my personal experience so future interns can be advised on how to make the most of their experience. Also, fellow Mike Boyle followers can gain insight into partial life of Mike Boyle The Great! I think my thoughts might benefit future up and coming coaches across the board as well as any coach out there who follows Mike Boylism.

Taking the Initiative in Your Coaching Career

     The normal routine of a strength & conditioning intern in any setting, be it collegiate or in the private sector, is usually to observe first and coach second. This process for some may take a week or nearly half the semester or summer term. For me, I didn’t want to sit there as a newbie intern and just wait for the head coach to say “Hey, kid, you wanna lead the group?” Call me impatient, but I think it’s better to learn from trial and error rather than observatory silence in most cases. So, I gave it one full day of just watching everyone coach, and first group the next morning I asked the head coach if I could lead the group. Taken back with such a request, he looked at me hesitantly at first and then must have decided I couldn’t screw things up too bad.

     Of course, the first training session I led went HORRIBLY! I sucked it up like a pro. I found myself over articulating everything to the athletes and spending five minutes talking about why ankle mobility is important. So much so that Coach Dan head to step back in and take control. That disaster was a humbling experience. Thing is though, the next day I mustered up the courage to ask if I could lead the same group again! The head coach looked at me with a smile and simply nodded. I guess he subscribed to the same trial and error philosophy I do. When the athletes saw me coming I’m sure they said to themselves, “Here comes this over ambitious intern again. He probably won’t last 15 minutes!” This time around, I cut down the volume of words I spoke and was much more succinct with my cues. Though still a rocky boat at times, the workout flowed much better than my first experience with the new strategy in place. Coach Dan only had to step in a few times to get things moving again. By day three, I was entirely on my own. The head coach liked my attitude towards coaching, and believe it or not, would give me control of the group AND THEN WALK AWAY AND WATCH FROM A DISTANCE! Afterward he’d come back and tell me how I could have been more efficient, when I talked too much, and what coaching cues would have worked better.

     Needless to say by the end of summer the head coach didn’t even bother to show up because he knew I could “hold it down” on my own. Getting thrown in the fire early is a good thing, especially when it comes to coaching. I progressed quicker in my coaching competency when I took the initiative and threw myself in the fire first instead of waiting for an invitation to get burned.

Working on Your Weaknesses

    Anyone who’s a strength & conditioning coach knows that you’re not always in charge of every athlete 24/7. Even if you’re the head strength coach at a college, the assistant coach is leading his teams and you’re actually assisting him. Well, at MBSC there’s something called “floating.” As an intern you have periods throughout the day where you are assigned to “float” around the facility and help out where needed. In Sam Leahey’s mind, “floating” actually meant “figure out what I suck at and go learn how to coach it better!” With this definition in mind I made a list of things I could tell right away needed work on and here it is:

  1. Coaching Olympic Lifts
  2. Coaching Movement Drills (crossovers, shuffles, ladder drills, stance & start work)
  3. Developing Coaching Cue Progressions for athletes based on their training age
  4. . . . and a few more that I can’t think of right now

So, during my first “floating” period I floated my way over to the platforms and spend a couple HOURS coaching nothing but Olympics lifts. After each group finished their lift, it was only a matter of moments before the next group behind them came in and starting doing their platform lifts. I coached group after group and paid attention to all the coaching cues every head coach was giving. So it should come as no surprise that by the end of my floating time my ability to coach a hang clean, snatch, etc. was night and day difference then when I first started. I made sure to hit up the platform area a couple more times throughout the summer also.

     As for #2 (movement drills) I walked over to the tennis court buildings we rent for our conditioning and movement drills and spent hours there as well. I found it really helpful to actually join in on some of the drills and let the other coaches coach me up! Furthermore, I would ask the head coach of the group if I could lead his/her athletes through the ladder drills for practice. Most coaches were fine with that and gave me some great constructive criticism afterwards. After this summer I definitely understand what Coach Boyle meant by just being a strength coach” and not knowing how to coach movement or conditioning. It’s very important to learn about all aspects of athleticism and be competent enough to teach them.

     Finally, I realized that teaching a first time 12-year old trainee how to bench press is different than teaching a college athlete with a training age of more than 2 years. Therefore, I thought it necessary to spend my next batch of floating hours near the benches, squat racks, and deadlift area. Here I found newbie lifters really needed to hammer away on the basics of lifting, whereas, the vet’s will benefit more from the smaller details of a particular lift. For example, things like “Wrist straight, pull the bar into your back!” on the squat is what I found myself telling the older athletes whereas the younger ones basically just needed to learn how to sit back during the descent. The same goes for other compound lifts like the bench press. My senior in college needed to worry about spreading the bar apart and pulling it down to his chest while keeping the elbows at 45 degrees. In contrast, the rookie lifter simply needed proficiency in keeping his/her feet on the floor and not wobbling all over the bench!

Getting Outside The Box . . . literally!

     As an MBSC intern the days can get long, the weeks even longer, and the months seem like an eternity for some. But as we already established, if you’re making the days count and not just counting the days, then you should have nothing to worry about. I realized this early on, and right away I thought of how I could branch out of my box at the Winchester MBSC facility. I heard Coach Boyle’s freshmen from the BU hockey team were arriving on campus for the summer, so I jumped on the opportunity to go there 3 times a week from 6-8AM and coach’em up. Immediately afterward I would drive straight to the MBSC facility and continue the rest of the workday there. This was such a great change of pace for me as a coach and really allowed me to see blatant comparisons between D1 athletes and the average high school athletes. I needed only say a few sentences before the national champ hockey players at BU did the exercise to perfection, in some cases even better than me! Then I’d drive over to MBSC and have to explain to an athlete 10 different ways the same idea before he finally understood and was able to perfect the technique.

     Next up, I asked if could do 1 or 2 days a week over at the North Andover MBSC facility (the main one is in Winchester MA). This was another great experience and a change of pace for me as a coach. The satellite facility in North Andover is only a quarter of the size of the main MBSC. Here, I learned how to work and be efficient in such a small area and how to keep control of a large group still. If any up and coming coach like myself is doing an internship, then I’d highly recommend you find out how many facilities a business has. See if you can spend time at a couple or a few that are very different. You’ll have a much better experience this way.

There’s More to it than Strength & Conditioning

     Lastly, I wanted to learn more than just strength and conditioning this summer. I yearned for more knowledge on the business side of things. I wanted to get inside the mind of Coach Boyle’s partner Bob Hanson, and look at MBSC through a different lens. In the private sector, the business perspective contrasts sharply with the training perspective. One day I might want to have my own training facility, so doing an interview with Bob seemed quite necessary. I asked him about what he thought was the best way to finance a strength & conditioning facility was to how separate should the business side of things be from the training side, as well as many more detailed questions. All in all, I walked away with a different opinion about opening my own training facility. It was a great long discussion. I’d encourage any young aspiring coach like myself who ponders the potential opening of his/her own training facility to first sit down with a business guy like Bob and take a long hard look at the other side of the coin. It’s not all about sets and reps and having the best training program!

Sam Leahey CSCS, CPT

This Week on

Posted in Uncategorized on August 11, 2009 by mboyle1959

First off, let me apologize. As is often the case I get articles sent in that are somewhat time sensitive. When I do, I often move articles to the next week. This was the case last week. I received another great piece from Carson Boddicker called The Perform Better Long Beach Awards.  This means we moved up Strength Coaches and Personal Trainers Unite by Joe Bonyai to this week. In addition to Carson’s article I also got a great review of the Summitt from MBSC alum and current Stanford Assistant Devan McConnell. One of the things I love about this site is all the great unsolicited stuff that just shows up in my in-box. So this week we have Devan’s article and Joe’s. Last up is Considerations and Training for Mixed Martial Arts by Dewey Neilsen. This is Dewey’s second MMA article for the site. Again a timely piece based on the forum activity on MMA training. Dewey always has great training insight and this article is more of the same.


PS- Remember, this is the lineup for the week. I get emails every week saying “I can’t find…” . The articles go up every day or every other day.

Video of the Week

I also messed up the order for Video of the week. Nick Tuminello’s Y-T-W_l series ran last week. The Shoulder Elevated Hip Lift will run either this week or next. In addition we have a video clip of 45 year old MBSC client Kristin Ward performing a one leg squat on an Airex Pad. We are adding this clip to our Female Strength section. Kristin is a wonderful example of what proper training will do.


Don’t forget to check out the StrengthCoach Podcast  at  The podcast this week features a continuation of the Lumbar Flexion debate that has been so popular on the forum. 

Also make sure you check out Anthony has archived  a bunch of webinars on the site so you learn any time day or night without ever leaving your house.

Hope you enjoy the week.