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.