Archive for January, 2010

You Can’t Run to Get Fit, You Need to Be Fit to Run.

Posted in Fat Loss, Injuries, Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females on January 29, 2010 by mboyle1959

The title for this installment is stolen from a brilliant Canadian physical therapist named Diane Lee. I had the pleasure of listening to her speak in 2004 and this thought process was one of the many gems I took away.  This may be confusing to many as I’ve always advocated working at higher intensity to burn more calories and lose weight more efficiently. Here is the problem as Diane Lee so eloquently put it. Running is a poor choice for most people. I often talk about the group of people I like to call the “speed limpers”. They are the men and women you often drive by on the road that are running with a visible limp. Usually they have a knee sleeve of some kind on. When you ask them about their problem they will almost always reply “ it loosens up after a while and then I ice and take some Advil after”. What a lousy idea. Guess what, good exercise should make you tired but, shouldn’t hurt your joints. The discomfort should be limited to the muscles and should go away almost immediately after you are done. In my opinion running is only good for doctors and physical therapists. We have an entire cottage industry built up to take care of the injuries caused by running.

The reality is that most people are not made to run. More importantly, they are particularly not made to run long distances. Until the Cooper led aerobics craze of the seventies many of us didn’t know what a plantar fascia, iliotibial band or patella-femoral joint was. Most of us in the industry do now. We know because these are just a few of the litany of sites of injury afflicting runners.

More bad news. Running is even worse for women. Women runners seem to to sustain more running related injuries than men.

My recommendation. High intensity exercise is best done on a bike. The best bikes are the Schwinn AirDyne dual action bikes. They are the best work tools on the planet for fitness.  Not surprisingly most people who ever ridden an AirDyne hate it. Do you know why? Because it is really hard and nearly impossible to cheat. You can’t slump over or lean on the handle bars. I know this will anger the runners. The truth is I’m not trying to stop runners from running. I’m just trying to stop fitness enthusiasts from needlessly hurting themselves.


How to Win the Battle Against Aging

Posted in Uncategorized on January 28, 2010 by mboyle1959

Every day, it seems, there’s a new study espousing the benefits of exercise. Exercise helps you lose weight. Exercise makes you smarter. Exercise cures cancer. What’s next? Exercise makes you immortal?

Well, not quite. But a new study has found that exercise actually reverses the aging process at the cellular level.

The study, published in an online journal called PLoS One, studied 25 people over 65 for six months. A research team led by Dr Simon Melov from McMaster University Medical Centre in Hamilton, Ontario  took biopsies of their thigh muscles. Then they put the group on a strength-training regimen that included two hour-long sessions in the gym per week. At the end of the six months, they were biopsied again.

The muscle cells were compared to the cells of a control group of young people (average age 22). At the beginning of the study, the older people’s cells were significantly different genetically from the younger people’s. But at the end of six months, a third of the genes within the cells had undergone significant changes. The cells that changed were involved in the functioning of mitochondria, which process nutrients into energy. And sure enough, study participants reported having more energy.

“The genetic fingerprint [of the elderly participants] was reversed to that of younger people — not entirely, but enough to say that their genetic profile was more like that of young people than old people,” said Simon Melov, director of genomics at the Buck Institute in Novato, Calif.

We’ve heard it before, but we’ll let Mr. Melov say it again.

“It’s never too late to start exercising.”

This study may be the most significant news for an aging population in the history. Although we cannot stop chronological aging, we can in fact reverse the cell change that comes with age. Take the time to go to the gym and start to turn back the clock.

“Resistance Exercise Reverses Aging in Human Skeletal Muscle.”

Simon Melov, Mark A. Tarnopolsky, Kenneth Beckman, Krysta Felkey, and Alan Hubbard.

PLoS ONE 2(5): e465. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000465

Please Work Your Glutes

Posted in Core training, Injuries, Low Back Pain, Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females on January 26, 2010 by mboyle1959

I had the wonderful experience of flying to LA last week. In the airport I’m always looking at peoples bodies. I can’t help it. I look at everyone as if they were an athlete or a client. The one thing I notice over and over again is that practically no one has glutes any more. World-renowned low back expert Stuart McGill coined the term gluteal amnesia a few years ago. I don’t think it’s amnesia, I think the real term is gluteal abduction.  It looks like a group of butt rustlers swept down and stole everyone’s ass.

Sir Mixalot said it best in his landmark musical work Baby Got Back. “I like big butts and I can not lie”. In truth, any glutes would be great. I can’t tell you how many pants pockets I see hanging where someone’s rear end was supposed to be. It’s sad, not only from an aesthetic standpoint but, from a physical standpoint. The absence of what should be the largest muscle in the body means that you are on your way to a bad back.  It also means you are not much to look at. Those gluteless wonders will always bend from the waist and flex the spine. The loss of glute strength, glute size and consequent hip mobility is in my mind the leading cause of low back pain.

To quote Sir Mixalot again, “you can do side bends or situps but please don’t lose that butt”.  Please, add some bodyweight squats to your routine if you go to the gym. Squat deep. Place a milk crate on the floor and sit back to it. Measure the quality of your workout by how sore you can make your rear end. Your back will thank you.

This Week on

Posted in Updates on January 25, 2010 by mboyle1959

Just got back from a great Perform Better One Day Seminar in Los Angeles. Lots of fun.

As always we have a great lineup for this week. First up is Be Accountable from Daniel Martinez. This is another great perspective on coaching. Next up is  (Not so) Grand Opening! – Things I Would Do Differently from Jon Rimmer.  This is another great installment in what has become a series on how to open your facility. Last up is The Biggest Loser from Max Prokopy. Knowing my feelings on that show you can be sure it not loaded with compliments.

Video of the Week

Video of the week is the Slideboard Body Curl. This idea is so simple that I can’t believe we didn’t think of it before. It’s actually the brainchild of my brilliant assistant/ sister-in-law Karen Wood.

PS- It’s much harder than it looks

PSS- Please, if you blog this or YouTube this, give us credit. I hate to see our ideas turn into someone else’s so quickly.

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

Last but not least, make sure you keep up with . Anthony just posted three great new webinars over the last few days:

“Interval Training for Clients and Athletes” from me.

Learn the strategies behind how we use Interval Training with our clients and athletes.

“Progressive Fat Loss Nutrition and Training” from Jimmy Smith

How to set up, implement and tweak a diet and training program to

burn body fat while avoiding common issues and roadblocks.

“The Inside/Outside Edge on Agility” from Joe Bonyai

Joe will cover his principles and progressions for deceleration and multi-directional movement skills.

Also, Anthony should have CEUs for some of the webinars soon.  He is just waiting on some of the quizzes from the presenters.

Site Notes

Just a reminder, the articles and videos go up over the course of the week. Generally one each day.  Only one article mentioned on this email will go up on the day you receive this email.

Also, your credit card statement will show a change from, not Hope you enjoy the week.

More Real Life Intervals

Posted in Random Thoughts, Training, Uncategorized on January 24, 2010 by mboyle1959

Funny the things people are interested. I posted a piece about an actual Tabata workout my client Ken and I did a few weeks ago and go a lot of hits. Here is another workout for the masochists out there. This is our half mile day. We ride half miles on the AirDyne for time with recovery dictated by heartrate and or time. What do I mean, “and or time”? In this workout we went at 3:30 sec total elapsed time even if recovery was incomplete.

The Workout 8x.5 mi
Total Time 25 min
Exercise Time 10:40

Set 1 Work 1:22 Rest 1:10 HR 147

Set 2 Work 1:22 Rest 1:30 HR 157

Set 3 Work 1:19 Rest 1:46 HR 164

Set 4 Work 1:19 Rest 2:00 HR 167

until now I was resting until I hit 110 BPM

Set 5 Work 1:19 Rest 2:10 HR 169 incomplete recovery, 120 BPM

Set 6 Work 1:20 Rest 2:10 HR 171

Set 7 Work 1:24 Rest 2:10 HR 171

Set 8 Work 1:23  HR 171

As I said above, total time was 25 minutes with about 10 minutes of work. Work level is around 8.5 for the half mile. Enjoy.

It All Comes Down to Anatomy and Physics

Posted in Core training, Low Back Pain, Random Thoughts, Training on January 21, 2010 by mboyle1959

I often talk to young coaches and trainers who are frustrated by there inability to understand complex topics. Often the frustration is because they did not pay attention in college. I tell everyone I talk to that our field comes down to two things, anatomy and physics. If you didn’t pay attention in anatomy and physics you will struggle with the human body. My advice, pay attention. Don’t memorize anatomy , learn it. Immerse yourself in it.

Kendall’s Muscles-Testing and Function is a great place to start. Expensive, yes. Worth it, yes. Quick tip- save $10 and by used. Most often you get an unopened college text from the person who did not pay attention in the first place. Worst case, you get a few margin notes from the previous owner.

Perform Better LA

Posted in Seminars on January 20, 2010 by mboyle1959

Saturday is the Perform Better One Day Seminar in LA. You might be able to sign up by clicking the link or, it might already be sold out. Next to the Boston seminars, LA is the largest and the most fun. Great audience, with lots of familiar faces. If you are a member and we haven’t met, please make a point of saying hello. Hope to see you all there.

Books to Check Out

Posted in Uncategorized on January 19, 2010 by mboyle1959

Just wanted to give you guys a heads up on a few new books that have come out. I get sent a lot of books to review and want to share some with my readers:

First up is the next installment in the Core Performance series Core Performance for Women

The original Core Performance is one of my favorite books. I still recommend it for anyone looking for a book for a sophisticated beginner or an up and coming coach. I think this will be a great book for those who coach females.

Next up are two new books from Adam Campbell and Men’s and Women’s Health. The Woman’s Health Big Book of Exercises

and The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises . Adam has done a great job of raising the bar on these books. The exercises are very current, well described and well illustrated. If you are new to the field and looking for ideas and progressions you’ll enjoy either book.

. I’ve read a couple of nutrition books and have to say that I really enjoyed Power of 4. Like many nutrition books some of the advice is unrealistic but, the book reads easy and has a lot of cutting edge ideas. Paula is definitely not your “skinny runner” type of nutritionist and is, at least in my mind, very accurate with her thoughts. If you have read a lot of the conventional nutrition stuff ( high carb-low fat blah, blah, blah) this book will be a paradigm shift.

Cardio Strength by Robert Dos Remedios

Dos second book is a good follow up up to his highly successful Power Training If you liked Power Training, I’m sure you’ll like Cardio Strength Training.

If you got a bunch of gift cards for Christmas, this might be a great way to spend them.

This Week on

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18, 2010 by mboyle1959

This week on is Combine review week. One thing I have begun to realize as membership increases is that not everyone on the site has read some of the old articles. I find myself frequently posting on the forum and asking “did you read this?”.
Last week was our first week timing our Combine/ Pro Day football players so I printed out two articles from for them to read. First was an old one I actually wrote for the original called The Truth About Speed, NFL Combines and the Forty Yard Dash the second was one I wrote last year after analyzing a lot of combine data called Does It All Come to the First Ten Yards both articles examine the idea of “real’ speed and how to improve it.
In keep with the same theme we’ll repost Training to Bench 225 to fill out our review.
Last up for the week is a great piece from site member Jim Keilbaso called Living the Dream. When Jim sent me this I sent back an email telling how much I agreed with him. Living the Dream describes exactly how I feel and how I hope many of the young coaches and trainers on the site feel some day. Just a great piece.
Video of the Week
“Video of the Week is a Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat Jump. As readers of know I have pushed the concept of single leg strength for athletes. In much the same way we are now working on single leg power. The RFESSJ allows an athlete to develop single leg power over a large range of motion, a concept that has been previously difficult. It’s important to note that we are using Brad Kazcmarski’s “bottom up” concept to ingrain the pattern on this lift. ”

As always don’t forget to check out the StrengthCoach Podcast at Also, make sure you check Last but not least, make sure you keep up with .

Site Notes

Just a reminder, the articles and videos go up over the course of the week. Generally one each day. Only one article mentioned on this email will go up on the day you receive this email.

Also, your credit card statement will show a change from, not Hope you enjoy the week.

Two More Great Reviews of Advances in Functional Training

Posted in Media, Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized on January 16, 2010 by mboyle1959

I just received a great review from Lou Schuler, of New Rules of Lifting fame, of  my new book Advances in Functional Training. Lou is a guy that I really respect. He has been in the industry a long time and has written some great books himself. This is what Lou had to say about Advances in Functional Training:

Why I like it: Here’s a sentence I picked out at random: “The big key is that the core is used to stabilize against sagittal plane motions that are attempting to produce rotary force.” Out of context, it looks like heavy sledding for those of us who aren’t trained in exercise physiology. But in context – he’s describing a core exercise called the push-pull – it makes perfect sense.

That’s the beauty of what Boyle does: He condenses and synthesizes the most important new information emerging from scientific research in the fields of biomechanics and physical therapy, expressing it in a way that makes it accessible to someone with a base of knowledge and college-level reading comprehension, but without dumbing it down. (That’s my job.)

This is a substantial book. Boyle explains in detail his joint-by-joint approach to training, as well as his current understanding of injury prevention, rehab, core training, exercise selection, program design, and much more. But it’s also a humble book. Boyle writes that he’s “becoming famous for changing my mind,” and notes that he changes an important aspect of his training protocols on an annual basis.

I give Advances in Functional Training the highest compliment I can possibly offer: I cleared space for it on my main reference bookshelf, putting it alongside McGill’s Low Back Disorders, Myers’ Anatomy Trains, Siff’sSupertraining, and the NSCA textbook.

to top that off, I got this from Vince McConnel via Facebook

Just got my copy of new book. Love it! Excellent job (as I expected). Definitely a “must have” that will become a “go to” text for many.

I’m so glad people are liking the book. You can take a look here and even download a table of contents.