Michael Boyle- Banned by the NSCA

I received word a few months ago that I have been uninvited as speaker  by the NSCA for this summers national conference. I struggled with whether or not to make this public but, after much thought I have decided to post it here. Unofficial word is that I am too controversial. It’s funny that I could speak effectively for free, be one of the highest rated speakers at a number of different NSCA conferences, draw a large audience and suddenly find out that I am no longer qualified. The reason I have decided to make my situation public is that it appears the NSCA is  in the censorship business these days.

Suddenly I’m too controversial. Seems strange to me. NSCA Executive Director Robert Jursnick had this to say in response to my email questions about my “ban”

“The NSCA Conference Committee has the right and obligation to select qualified presenters and content to present at all NSCA Conferences… The decision made regarding your not presenting at the 2010 National Conference followed all the correct processes and procedures.”

Strange but sources have told me the conference committe doesn’t meet at mid year. It’s even more strange that suddenly my qualifications and content are deemed inadequate for the NSCA. Why did this happen you ask? Here are the reasons I have gathered. However,for some reason no one from the NSCA wants to go on the record beyond the quote above. I have spoken to people with NSCA ties who have even asked that I not even make this ban public.

1- My views on lower body training and aerobic conditioning are frowned on by members of the selection committee. I really hope this is not the reason. This would be the highest degree of censorship.

2- I have openly criticized the NSCA on my website. Guilty as charged. I did write a strengthcoach.com forum post critical of the certification processs and I stand by what I said. ” the NSCA certification test is the opinion of certain members of the NSCA committee. If you want to pass, simply study the answers in the book”. The NSCA certification also lacks any practical experience component allowing anyone to be a CSCS with no actual on-the-floor experience. I have said that before and I will say it again as it is true. I also stated “The NSCA’s primary method of revenue generation is through the selling of certification”. Does the NSCA have another major revenue method I am unaware of?

3- I have been unprofessional in my criticism of other practitioners. I think this part is clearly unjustified. I have openly criticised concepts and ideas espoused by other professionals. I have often done it while the people whose ideas were being discussed were in the room. Anyone who has seen me speak knows that I always make the point of distinguishing between disagree and dislike. I don’t think it is healthy to adopt an attitude of never criticising another speaker or writer. We are all big boys. If we choose to write articles, speak at conferneces and sell educational products then we should expect critques.

Just for the record, has anyone looked at an NSCA speaker contract.  An NSCA speaker is entitled to a $150 dollar honorarium for their talk as well as coach airfare not to exceed $300 dollars. In addition, the NSCA picks up one nights hotel stay. The truth is it actually costs money for most speakers to present at the NSCA if they are not sponsored. We speak because we want to educate, not for money or fame. Education appears to be no longer in style. I guess you need to be careful not to question any other theorists or theories. Seems that any attempt at innovation or advancement of learning is deemed a crime unless accompanied by university research. Coaching innovation is no longer desired or encouraged. The wisdom that made the NSCA was the information gleaned from presentations by coaches working in the field. What the NSCA appears to desire now at NSCA meetings are presenters who will echo the feelings of the association while taking into account the feelings of fellow presenters.

PS- make sure you don’t question anything that the NSCA believes to be true. It appears that dissent will not be tolerated. Any of those failing to carry the party line will be swiftly punished by exclusion. If you think this is unfair, please let your NSCA Board Members know. There emails are below.

President Jay Hoffman  – hoffmanj@tcnj.edu

Vice President Greg Haff- ghaff@hsc.wvu.edu

Secretary/Treasurer Jeff Stout- jrstout@ou.edu

Board Member Jill Bush- jillbushphd@yahoo.com

Board Member Mike Nitka- mnitka@mnsd.k12.wi.us

Board Member Juan Carlos Santana- jcs@ihpfit.com

Board Member John McCarthy- mccarthy@uab.edu

Board Member Chat Williams- chat@oklahomastrength.com

Public Member- Karen Ballek- kballek@comcast.net

56 Responses to “Michael Boyle- Banned by the NSCA”

  1. Mike:

    First off, I am a total stranger to you and your blog, but follow you and other strength, fitness, and overall health and fitness arena coaches.

    I believe your answer to why you were banned is based on what I have gathered from all the fitness marketing folks you run with, as well as, information that you push, sell, or talk about dealing with increasing profits in the fitness arena.

    The trend that is happening, and it’s a shame is, too many folks that lack the PhD, published journal information that is backed up by scientific study from both the exercise physiology to the kinesiology realm, it’s all coming from folks doing their own research, but not backing it up the right way……….not to mention, when you and others are invited to these Fitness Summits, where all these fitness marketers are pushing their so called ways to six-figured incomes or how to run a successful training business, they do so out of once again, lack of academia, true understanding of business from the college and business industry levels.

    So, what I am saying is, when you or other top notch trainers or instructors get invited to speak at NSCA, ACSM, NASM, or ACE conferences…..these all being the top certs in the industry, it should be out of like you said a willingness to teach and not get anyting in return.

    The NSCA, according the to the new President, Dr. Hoffman, is trying to get the NSCA back to a place of science and making sure those that are invited to speak, do so with information that is accurate, scientific, and industry worthy, but most important has a true place at the conferences or a true place for CEU’s……..not CEU’s that teach crap about information marketing or how to make more money in the industry.

    You don’t see doctors goint to seminars and getting CEU’s for being taught how to run a successful clinic from a monetary standpoint………………..they learn science, hands on practical info that pertains to healing patients, learning new medical laws, policies, procedures.

    If you are pissed that the NCSA did this, then go out, get your PhD after all these years of being in the trenches at Boston or training hockey players, become the professor at a college and stop doing Perfom Better Seminars that are nothing more than a CASH COW of trying to get folks suckered into buying CD’s, Books, more seminars, fitness summits, and all the other fitness marketing bullshit.

    If you are the top strength guy, then do what Dr. Hoffman did, get published in numerous journals, do your blind studies, gather all your scientific information and data using controlled variables, people, or populations of atheletes…….and show the NSCA community that you really have something NEW in the world of FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENTS…….

    The problem I have Mr. Boyle, your education of BS and Masters was back in the 81 and 82′ era and you have no PhD, journal published data like all the other Ph’d strength guys teaching at the collegiate level…………WHY?????

    This is where if you want the notierity or respect in the world of ACADEMIA……you need the PhD, it is that simple.

    Your name is not anywhere at the top levels of colleges or other professional arenas such NFL, NBA, MLB……you have focused a lot with hockey, collegiate and some professional……..but until you get the PhD, teach and publish numerous articles in actual MEDICAL JOURNALS or INTERNATIONL JOURNAL OF APPLIED KINESIOLOGY, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSIOLOGY, ETC……

    You may feel this total stranger doesn’t know, but I do know….I have taught marketing at the college level, have an MBA, retired army master fitness trainer, and have followed all the crap being spewed by all the so-called fitness experts, fitness marketers, etc…..

    You are absolutely CORRECT….the industry is not getting any better and not many strong trainers are coming out these days like you told Mr. Cosgrove in a blog interview a while ago….so how do you, I, and others change the NSCA.?

    We follow what they want, because it’s their business not ours….if you want to teach at Boston or work continously at Boston Univ….you have rules and regulations to follow as a coach, trainer, etc……same goes with NSCA, NASM, etc….if we want to instruct or speak for them and are invited, we have to follow their procedures.

    Here is a link to the PDF that Dr. Hoffman put out this past year to the hiearchy at NSCA and what his vision is of tighten up how NSCA puts out information or teaches folks in the future……..take a look:

    Click to access 14%20Hoffman%20Presidency.pdf

    Dr. Hoffman wants his conferences to be “EVIDENCE BASED APPROACH” which is what NSCA has always done and got away from…..this is why you were banned in my opinion because of your content and not backing it up and not following procedures….plus if anything was based on money making fitness business stuff, then no more CEU’s for crap like that.

    Good luck with your endeavors and keep up the work you have done.

  2. […] and going's of the fitness industry then you've surely heard about Coach Michael Boyle being banned by the National Strength and Conditioning Association from speaking at their events. This was […]

  3. […] The NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) has decided to censor Mike Boyle by uninviting him from their recent conference as a speaker. […]

  4. Mike,

    I am incredibly displeased with this news. I have always appreciated all your emails and thoughts on strength and conditioning.

    The NSCA banned you a few months ago because you are too controversial (when they do not even meet mid-year), then has the guts to ask you to not make this public. Outrageous. Banning someone who is highly rated and respected simply because they are “controversial” is deplorable. That is the worst excuse I have heard. Like you said, coaches should speak because they want to educate. Apparently, not only does the NSCA censor your banning, they censor everything else they don’t want other coaches and athletes to know. How? Banning the opposition from NSCA conferences.



  5. Learning is being able to open your mind to endless possibilities … Mike does this, which means, sometimes, challenging the ” fitness-status quo. As a result, discovers new approaches — that work! His joint by joint approach to training the body has been enlightening and functional for my athletes, clients, and me. Having been an athlete all my life — could swim before I could walk — in all sports, including the Alaskan Marathon, I espouse his joint by joint training method which has saved my almost-40- year- old back… If NSCA does not allow Mike to speak; it will be a travesty, and more importantly, a loss to other fitness professionals who are there to learn, not play politics, and provide the highest level of fitness coaching to athletes and clients… NSCA get past the politics and get to the TRUTH !

  6. Mike, I am not NSCA certified (ACE), but I have enjoyed your emails and information on functional training. Keep it up! I have learned a great deal from you beyond my college physiology/functional anatomy courses. Strongly believe in your postion on cardio, and i’m a woman. As a sprinter, swimmer, and boxer the time for long,drawn out “junk” training sessions have to go, along with the other misconceptions of what strength/performance is really about. Most of my best teachers have been “contronversial”.

  7. mboyle1959 Says:

    I wish I had an answer for that question. In some ways we are stuck with them.

  8. Any other organizations that you recommend that are not biased and put out current studies/publications? I was looking to renew my NSCA membership but would like to branch out especially if they may be with-holding “non traditional” nutrition/lifting advice.

    Thank you.

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