Archive for August, 2009

Advice from Dan John

Posted in Uncategorized on August 8, 2009 by mboyle1959

I mentioned Dan John’s book here a few weeks ago and wanted to mention it again. Never Let Go is a great read. Here is some more great advice from Dan:

• “Most of the advice you’re going to get out of me is simple stuff, but nobody does it! For example, everyone knows they should save some money, but take a look at how many broke people there are!”

• “The number one rule to being successful is showing up.” 

• Dan’s simple nutritional rules for athletes, weekend warriors, regular guys, and everyone else:

1. Protein with every meal

2. Fiber with every meal

3. Take your fish oils

4. Water should be your base beverage

• “One of the keys to being great at what you do (training) is that you have to understand that this is a long term investment. I’ve been in the game a long time, and to stay in it I’ve had to adopt this way of thinking, planning, and executing according to my goals.”

• “Look at your behaviors. Now, look at your goals. Do your behaviors match your goals?”

• “If your goal is to lose fat, what the hell are you doing out at the club at 1AM drinking with your buddies? If you want to beat me in the discus, you better practice throwing the discus!”

• Disclosure is making an honest assessment of what you have (skills, support group, equipment, etc.). If you have serious gaps, like not knowing how to squat or deadlift, take care of that today. Do you have a training partner? Someone you can rely on? This is one of your most underrated assets! Most people will rally up around you when you tell them you need help with a problem.

• Feedback can come in many forms, but two of the most valuable are:

1. Competing — You learn much more about yourself when you’re out on the field.

2. Before and after photos — These are yours to keep and they serve as a no-bull way to see your progress (or lack thereof).

• Keep the bars loaded and make training a habit. “I’ve got a gym in my garage and in my backyard. I call it the Murray Institute for Life Long Fitness — The MILF.”

• “The best model to help walk people through life’s journey is coaching. You call it whatever you want, but my sense of coaching is ‘walking together.'”

• “Make sure to pick good role models — you may just end up meeting them one day!”

• Try to uncover your blind spots.

• “I’ve come to some wonderful conclusions about myself after starting the Velocity Diet. I was blind to the fact that it was so easy to snack at random times of the day or drink too much alcohol. These blind spots of mine would have never come out into the light if it wasn’t for the V-Diet.”

• “After starting the V-Diet, I began to have erotic thoughts about hamburgers and lettuce!”

• “When you get to where you want to be, make sure to sit back and analyze the process. Focus on what you did right first, and what you could improve on next. Use your brain to be proactive and you’ll see how successful you can be.”

• “Most importantly, you need to have some fun. Enjoy yourself and reap what you sow.”

Buy Never Let Go, you’ll like it.

Never Stop Learning

Posted in Uncategorized on August 7, 2009 by mboyle1959

The following guest post was provided by my friend Pat Rigsby. You can get more info at www.patnick and


Last weekend at Perform Better I was once again
reminded of what separates the Elite from the

Not only are guys like Mike Boyle, Alwyn Cosgrove,
Robert Dos Remedios, Jason Brown, Eric Cressey
and others speakers...

...they're also students. 

Same goes for industry superstars like Rachel Cosgrove,
Valerie Waters and a host of others.

They sit in on other's talks, taking notes - continuing to

They're passionate about what they do, they work hard
and they're always trying to get better.

So you need to ask yourself - are you doing what they're

Are you studying, reading, testing and constantly
trying to get better at what you do - or are you
comfortable doing the same old stuff?

Are you going to events like Perform Better,
mentorships like the one the Cosgrove's host or
coming to Bootcamp Bootcamp?

If you're not you should be.

And while I know none of these are - books,
DVDs, Seminars and Mentorships - the question isn't
really 'What does it cost me to attend?'

The question is 'What does it cost me if I don't?'

There's never been a book I've bought for $15 that
didn't at least make me $16 and no seminar that
didn't pay me back more than the cost to attend. 

But I'm pretty sure that not reading a few of the books
I've read or missing a few of the conferences we've
attended would have cost our businesses hundreds
of thousands...maybe more.

Start thinking about your business this way - the way
some of the highest achievers in the industry do - and
you can achieve the same type of results they do.

Dedicated to your success - 


P.S. - You have one more day to save $100 on
attending Bootcamp Bootcamp and based on what
some the success some of our bootcamp 'students'
are enjoying - the trip might be worth tens of
thousands to you;)  Enroll here:

Perform Better Announces 2009-10 Seminar Dates

Posted in Uncategorized on August 5, 2009 by mboyle1959

Mark Your Calendars! The best in education is ready to go again next year. Keep an eye here for speakers and topics but, we are coming to a city near you. 

Dates and locations have been set for the 2010 Learn-By-Doing Seminars. Topics and online registration will be available in the coming months.


Dec. 5, 2009 – Fair Lawn, NJ

Jan. 9, 2010 – San Francisco, CA

Jan. 23, 2010 – Los Angeles, CA

Feb. 13, 2010 – Columbus, OH

March 20, 2010 – Boston, MA

April 17, 2010 – Phoenix, AZ

MBSC with Sam Leahey: The Best Coaches Don’t Live in “Internet Land”

Posted in Uncategorized on August 4, 2009 by mboyle1959

     Last week’s blog  was lighthearted, but this week a more serious matter comes to mind. I’ve gone through plenty of coaching experiences this summer and one epiphany that comes screaming out into the open and obliterates my little world is simply this: the best strength & conditioning coaches do NOT predominately reside on the internet. They’re actually spending most of their days training people! Though it sounds simplistic, the implications here are pretty profound. This idea stemmed out of a conversation I had with MBSC staff member Kyle Holland.

Kyle Holland, a pretty big “big timer” at MBSC 

      Preceding this summer internship, one of my ideas in defining a “big time” coach was an individual whose reputation and influence was clearly seen in cyberspace through various mediums such as forums, e-products, articles, etc. I can honestly say now that I couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, I currently believe the opposite. My feeling is that the more one is known in cyberspace the more justified I am in being skeptical of their actual coaching competency. Now, before you turn into keyboard commando and start sending me hate mail, let me explain a little more.

      As an up-and-coming performance enhancement specialist (strength & conditioning coach if you’re older than 30) I LIVE on the internet. Every day I check the forums, the forums, and a few others, as well. I attempt to keep up with 20 blogs. These are just my online continuing education outlets. The more I read online, the more I post in forums, the more answers I get back, the more articles I dissect, the more I feel I “know” stuff. The truth is, I don’t know crap! I know that I don’t know crap because all the head knowledge I had went right out the window when I was put in charge of a large coed group of 15 year old hockey players. My understanding of the macrocycle and rationale for using Olympic lifts doesn’t mean jack if I can’t teach little out of shape Timmy to perform a hang clean. At first, I’ll be lucky if it looks half way decent given the amount of time it takes to perfect Olympic lifting technique. Furthermore, I can eloquently articulate the nuances of self-myofascial releases on some internet forum, but if I can’t get 14 year old little Susan into proper position to roll out her latissimus dorsi, then my internet dissertation means NOTHING!

      I love the experience I get from the forums. The sense of camaraderie on that site is above reproach. Constantly, there are knowledge bombs being dropped, and for young bucks like me it’s priceless. The whirlwind of knowledge that’s being tossed around continuously from great coach to great coach is fascinating.  It’s a privilege to be on the sidelines and observe how forum debates unfold. I love to post questions on the internet and learn from the guys who have been there, done that, and are still doing it. Bottom line: for me, continuing education through the internet is HUGE!

      Here’s the problem though and I’m hoping my readers can see it as well. Technically, I could post my opinions and answers on the internet all day and be “right.” I could make valid points and say justifiable things. But if I’m neither training anyone myself nor assisting in the coaching of athletes, then my entire cyberspace blabbering is near worthless and utter crap! I could post myself into a frenzy, but it means nothing without REAL experience. I wouldn’t have agreed with myself a few months ago, but after working 62-hour work weeks doing nothing but coaching, I clearly see that the ability to coach in many cases may be superior to my knowledge base. My athletes don’t care what I know; they need me to help them get stronger and more athletic. They’re depending on me to steer them in the right path and equip them with the tools necessary for a successful athletic season. Anyone who’s been around the iron game for a while knows that process takes time, and time is essentially the whole point of this blog post. If I spend all my time COACHING, then I won’t have much time for internet fantasy land. If I spend all my time posting on forums then I’m obviously not spending that much time COACHING!

      Again, I used to believe that it was possible to do both in full capacity. I would point to examples like Mike Boyle, Eric Cressey, and others saying, “Look, they’re all over the internet, and they all coach, too.” The truth of the matter though is that Coach Boyle spends the majority of time coaching and NOT in internet land. This summer I’ve worked with Coach Boyle in the mornings at Boston University helping with the BU hockey team.  From there I’ve worked with him at MBSC in the afternoons. I can tell you firsthand that he spends time coaching college and professional athletes as well as kids. The same is true for Eric Cressey. Neither one of them sits there on a computer all day long. They’re out on the floor coaching! So how do they still get their internet rounds in? Coach Boyle gets up at 4:30am everyday and begins doing computer work right away.  He also does internet work well into the night sometimes. Eric gets up early as well to do the same things.

      Having training philosophies, ideas, and systems is great but it must be PUT INTO PRACTICE. Otherwise, you’re just another internet guru who writes about training and debates it over the internet but has no experience in the real world. Again, this summer internship has taught me much, but when it comes down to knowledge and coaching ability the latter may be more important in most cases. You can gain knowledge through effort and determination, but your ability to influence groups of people and make them do what you desire is not easy. Many times this skill comes from the individual rather than be taught how to do it.

      I’m not sure why I chose this topic for the week. Maybe it’s an existential cry as the end of my internship approaches. Whatever the reason, this semi-new concept for me resonates so deeply. From now on I’ll be sure to do a little background check on “famous” internet coaches before I take their advice and see if they’re actually training people and with what success. In case you’re wondering though, training high school athletes in your garage doesn’t count!


 Sam Leahey CSCS, CPT


 P.S. I encourage all comments below. . .

This Week on

Posted in Guest Authors, Random Thoughts, Seminars, Updates, Youth Training on August 3, 2009 by mboyle1959

First up this week is a piece that came to me from Cal Dietz at the University of Minnesota. It was written by Jay Bylsma, father of the Pittsburgh Penguins Head Coach Dan Bylsma. For those non hockey fans Pittsburgh just won the Stanley Cup under Dan Byslma. I guess here you see one of the reasons why. The apple obviously didn’t fall far from the tree.

So You’re Going to Coach My Grandchild? A Message to Coaches from Jay M. Bylsma should be read by every coach and every parent you interact with. I hope that you will be as moved by the content as I was. Although I don’t know the Bylma’s I’m sure they will be happy we are getting the word out. I would encourage you to make this a parents handout if you have a sports performance business. This article will be handed out to our parents every session. I’m also going to add it to our newsletter and post it here also.

Next up is a piece I have been working on for quite some time. A few weeks ago I published our stretching and mobility circuits with a brief explanation. Circuit Training explains some of the changes I have made in the training of my Boston University hockey players and more importantly, why I made the changes. The content of this article as well as the stretching and mobility circuits is the focus of my new Functional Strength Coach Vol 3, due out in October.

Last up is Strength Coaches and Personal Trainers Unite by Joe Bonyai. Joe is now in the working world but began his writing career for while in graduate school at Springfield College. This is another in a long line of excellent work by Joe.

Video of the Week

Video of the week is the Shoulder Elevated Hip Lift. Recent research by site member Brett Contreras has shown that the shoulder elevated version of the this exercise is possibly the best way to activate and strengthen the glutes. I often refer to this exercise as “the best exercise we never do”. Brett’s influence is going to change that for us. As soon as I am able I will publish Brett’s entire article. It’s worth noting that a bench will work better than a BOSU ( increased stability and increased ROM).

As always don’t forget to check out the StrengthCoach Podcast  at  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. I think both Nick Tuminello and Charlie Weingroff added webinars last week.

Hope you enjoy the week.



The Idiots Are At Again- Part 3 Fittest Kid in America?

Posted in Uncategorized on August 1, 2009 by mboyle1959

Yes, someone, somewhere is running a contest called The Fittest Kid in America. The first age group is 5-6 year olds. In the wide world of stupidity, this might be a new high. Events include broad jump, vertical jump and pullups. Might be first time someone who wears pullups does pullups. I have no idea who in the youth fitness world would think this is a good idea. When are people going to realize that parents care about these contests, not kids. This is another chance for another crazy Mom or Dad to push their kid into another silly, inappropriate activity. Why can’t we have the America Playfest. At the America Playfest kids could be admitted to a large arena. Parents not allowed. The kids would have to make teams and organize their own games without parents. Now that is a good idea. The Fittest Kid in America is a foolish concept. Please boycott it and, tell all your friends.