Archive for September, 2010

Semi-Private Training Webinar

Posted in Random Thoughts, Seminars, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized on September 29, 2010 by mboyle1959

There is a lot of talk about doing Semi-Private Training. MikeWunsch, from Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove’s Result Fitness goes over everything you need to know about adding Semi-Private Training into your business in a new webinar at . Take a few minutes to check out all the great stuff at Strength and Conditioning Webinars.


25% Off Functional Strength Coach 3

Posted in Uncategorized on September 28, 2010 by mboyle1959

Last fall I released my most current coaching/training resource, Functional Strength Coach 3.0. The launch of Functional Strength Coach 3.0 
made some waves throughout the Strength & Conditioning 
industry and it still does. In fact I’m still getting hate mail for the “no more squats” clip.

The DVD’s contain all of my latest ideas about coaching. For the first time, we’re lowering the price of Functional
Strength Coach 3.0 by $50.

But here’s the catch:

This offer is only available until midnight on Friday,
October 1. If you want a better understanding of how I 
get results with my athletes and clients, click on the
link below and order your copy right now.


Michael News

Posted in Hockey on September 26, 2010 by mboyle1959

Here is the latest from

With the start of hockey season upon us, we have added a ton of
great new content at, including 2 audio
interviews with NHL Strength Coaches Mike Potenza (Sharks) and
Sean Skahan (Ducks).

Mike and Sean go over what is happening at camp right now for
their respective teams. We will continue to check in with them
and other NHL and college strength coaches all season.

Also added recently:

Article- “Goaltender Specific Movement Training- The Drop Step”
Devan McConnell

Article- “MMA for Hockey Players?”
Michael Boyle

Article- “Treatment and Prevention of Sports Hernia”
Ron J. Higuera

Article- “Friesen Physio-Fitness Summit Recap”
Kevin Neeld

Program- “Late Off-Season (early August) Workout”
Maria Mountain

Program- “Lower Back Re-Conditioning Phase 2”
Sean Skahan

Video- “Multi-planar Hip Mobility and Activation Exercises”
Kevin Neeld

Also, thanks to everyone for some great content on the forum, we
have some really good discussions.
Check it out at


Michael Boyle,  Sean Skahan , Mike Potenza and Kevin Neeld

Iceland Seminar Recap

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2010 by mboyle1959

I just came back from one of the most enjoyable seminar experiences of my career. Iceland is one of the worlds most naturally beautiful places I have ever seen and the people are as nice as scenery. I was lucky enough to be able to present with Dave Jack and Chris Mohr and at the same time enjoy an amazing vacation. I just posted a bunch of pictures to Facebook from the Blue Lagoon, a place you need to experience to believe, and from a trip our hosts set up around Iceland via private plane.

Special thanks to Gunnhildur, Helgi and Brynar for treating us more like family members than like speakers.

Dave, Chris and I Preflight

Cindy and I at the Blue Lagoon

A View from the Plane

If you want to see more pictures I just posted them to Facebook. If we aren’t “friends” yet send a request with the note. “Iceland pictures”.

More NSCA Madness

Posted in Uncategorized on September 25, 2010 by mboyle1959

Think the NSCA has turned into a Banana Republic? It now appears that someone’s job at the NSCA is to remove all mention of Mike Boyle from NSCA publications. Kind of reminds me of Stalin. I know you are probably trying to figure out what I’m talking about. Check out this quote

“Going forward, if you’d like to run the plyobox ad again, it will be necessary to remove Mike Boyle’s quote.”

This was from an official email sent by the NSCA to Perform Better’s advertising agency. Perform Better is now being told that their ad content is being rejected if it mentions me or has quotes from me. In other words the NSCA is now turning down revenue to win the war of words against Michael Boyle. Someone needs to tell them that I don’t get  paid for those ads. I wonder what they will do if someone uses me as a referenece in a journal article. Will my lack of science cause them to reject the article?

The Past Two Weeks on

Posted in Random Thoughts, Updates, Training, Uncategorized on September 22, 2010 by mboyle1959

I’m so far behind it’s not even funny. The good thing is that even though I haven’t blogged about for almost two weeks we do have lots of stuff up and the site is really busy.

First up for September 6th through 9th was: Interval Training Questions This article actually came out of some questions a reader sent. My philosophy is that rather than write an answer for one person I can write what that lots of people can read.

Next up was My Review of the Titleist TPI Level 1 conference: A newbie’s perspective . This is another piece from Ben Bruno that describes his experience as relative newcomer to the field at a TPI conference.

Last one for the week of  September 6th through 9th was:  The Dirty Thirty . This actually came out of Duane Carlisle’s Total Football Training nutrition section and was written by James Harris. It’s just a great simple list of stuff to avoid that is great for high school and college kids as well as adult clients

The next week we started with  Around the ball. Dutch soccer conditioning! This was an article that really started a great forum thread. Soccer really brings out the international flavor of the site.

Also up last week was:  Directional Load Vectors: A New Paradigm for Describing Movement . This is the latest from Brett Contreras. Brett is really doing a great job of making people think and perhaps re-think some concepts. I would put this one in the “must read” category.

The last article up was: MMA for Football? I wrote this one at the request of some NFL coaches. There is a big trend in the NFl towards using MMA training in the off-season. Give this a read and see if you think it is a good idea. I also posted this one a s separate blog post and sent it out to some friends to use as a guest blog.

Make sure you download the latest issue of the StrengthCoach Podcast. If you are not downloading and listening to these you are missing out on the best free resource in the field. :Cressey, Boyle and Cosgrove- Episode 64- Strength Coach Podcast

Videos of the Weeks for the past two weeks are: Video of the Week – Partner Negative Glute Ham . This was another idea from the forum. I really like being able to post videos in response to questions.

The second video was: Video of the Week: Shoulder Saver – Handcuffs . This was another contribution from Anthony Donskov.

Make sure you take some time to get on the site, read, listen, watch and download.

MMA for Football?

Posted in Uncategorized on September 17, 2010 by mboyle1959

“MMA training for an NFL athlete does not only NOT make sense, but would simply be counterproductive. The demands of the two sports clearly could not be any more different from each other. It makes as much sense as choosing to going to chemo therapy because you are sick of shaving your head (Michael Jackson’s doctor said that line, I believe). Taking a multi-million dollar athlete and having him train in such a nonsensical way is foolish and irresponsible… and please realize I am an MMA coach.” Dewey Neilsen, Nationally Recognized MMA Strength and Conditioning Coach

A couple of NFL strength and conditioning coaches have written to ask about NFL athletes using MMA training techniques to train in the off-season. I guess my reputation as a person with an opinion is following me. I can start the controversy right off. In my mind it is foolish and short-sighted for an NFL player to train like a mixed martial arts fighter.  I watched a recently released NFL quarterback on Youtube engage in a sparring session with an MMA trainer. Trust me, I don’t want to get beat up by an MMA trainer, but I don’t think this is a good idea.  The only guys on the field who really can’t operate without their hands are quarterbacks and receivers. If I’m paying a guy a few million dollars, I would really prefer he doesn’t punch anything. I was really surprised that one NFL GM actually endorsed the idea. Seems crazy to me.

To further draw on the controversy, let’s ask ourselves, what is MMA training? The majority of what we see on the web as MMA training seems to be muscle endurance stuff that doesn’t  appear to be good for anyone except combat athletes, and certainly does not seem appropriate for an NFL player. I’ve seen guys training with snorkels in their mouths for oxygen deprivation; I’ve watched a guy literally throw rusty barbells in a field. So I will qualify myself and say that if we view MMA training primarily as sparring with mitts or kicking, I still can’t see how it has a place in training for a football guy.

Let’s look at the basics. A football play lasts approximately five seconds. An MMA round lasts five minutes. Right away, do you see a problem? The rationalization I listened to in the Youtube interviews revolved around the mental toughness developed in pushing through fatigue. I do not doubt this type of training is difficult, however what they are describing never happens in football. Plays last five seconds and the rest lasts about 30 seconds. This in no way resembles anything in the martial arts.

Moving on from the obvious energy system issue, an MMA fighter wears almost zero equipment and is able to punch and kick his opponent. An NFL player wears pads on most exposed bodyparts, and it is basically illegal to punch and or kick an opponent. Running is a huge part of football; in MMA, running will not win many matches and too much running will damage an athlete’s reputation as a willing opponent.

To add even more complexity, the best MMA strength and conditioning coaches probably train their fighters more like NFL players than the opposite. Jon Chaimberg’s and Dewey Neilsen’s MMA programs are not typical MMA programs. Instead, they are scientific programs based on the current science of performance enhancement. If an NFL guy told me he was going to train with Jon or Dewey, I would endorse it wholeheartedly. However, what they would do is train like a football player. The best MMA strength coaches realize their athletes get plenty of work with their MMA coaches. Much like NFL strength and conditioning coaches, the good MMA strength and conditioning coaches spend lots of time on basic strength training and power work.

The truth is, training like an MMA fighter is cool and trendy and might get a player featured on ESPN. What it might not be is intelligent or effective for conditioning for football.  Football players and MMA is a lot like athletes and actors. MMA training means ringside seats at fights, pretty girls, nights out in Vegas. Sorry, it still doesn’t makes sense for highly paid athletes who participate in a physically violent sport six months out of the year.

If I’m an NFL strength coach, I’m not happy if my guys are missing workouts for sparring sessions. I’m less happy if they are using this type of training instead of the football specific routines I have taken years to develop. If you are an NFL executive, you are undermining the credibility of your strength and conditioning staff, and pretty soon your off-season program will be an MMA free-for-all you’ll need to rein in. I know I’ll get some negative feedback on this, but I owe it to my NFL colleagues to state an opinion that they can’t.

Look at it this way: How would position coaches feel if a player said he wanted to skip practice to go to MMA? The position coach’s feeling is, “This is my time with you—we need this time to get better.” The strength coach feels the same way. The off season is his time to do his best work. If a player is off sparing in an MMA gym, that is time away from the important things that really need to be done.

The Stupidest Thing I’ve Ever Seen- Con’t

Posted in Uncategorized on September 15, 2010 by mboyle1959 member Bob Taylor was nice enough to one up me:

“18 year old Jeffrey Cook of Elkart, IN was texting while riding his bike, drifted into traffic and was struck by a car”

Kids look like stupid zombies as they walk and text. Language is in danger of dying.

The Tao of Boyle- Reprint

Posted in Core training, Fat Loss, Guest Authors, Injuries, Low Back Pain, Random Thoughts, Training with tags , on September 12, 2010 by mboyle1959

The Tao of Mike Boyle was written by Nate Green and originally
printed on TMUSCLE.

It was reprinted the other day and I got some great feedback

So, here it is for blog readers.
38 years of under-the-bar experience, the best exercises, and why
back squats still suck.

“… Tao is often referred to as ‘the nameless’, because neither it nor
its principles can ever be adequately expressed in words.”
Aw, what the hell, we’ll give it a shot.

No questions, no time limit, and no stone unturned. Training? Nutrition?
A little piss and vinegar? It’s all here.

The following is what happens when you get on the phone with a
top-level strength and conditioning coach and hit “record.”
-Nate Green

Mike Boyle Speaks

• I might be the most criticized guy in this profession. If not, I’m
certainly close.

• But I get results. We’ve had Olympians, national champions,
professional athletes–you name it. All those guys come through
our gym. And people think I don’t know what I’m talking about?

• When people come and watch my athletes train, they’re always
surprised. They can’t believe they’re as strong as they are. They fully
expect to come in and see the Richard Simmons show, like I’m going
to be wearing a jump suit and headband and making my athletes
stand on Bosu balls.

• I’ve got girls doing chin-ups with a 45-pound plate around their
waists. How many guys can do that?

• I’ve been lifting weights for 38 years. I started when I was 12 years
old with a 110-pound set of barbells in my basement. I grew up on
muscle magazines. They were my early education, you know? Man,
I remember seeing Boyer Coe guest pose in 1979. Steve Reeves,
Gladiator, Hercules…that stuff really got me into the lifestyle.

• People look at me and say, “He hasn’t been under the bar.” Yes,
I have. And, frighteningly, I was pretty damn strong.

• Right now we’ve got training experts who don’t train anyone and
strength coaches who’ve never competed in anything. Would you
take business advice from someone who doesn’t have a business
or isn’t making any money?

• You have to keep training people to stay fresh. If you don’t keep
learning, you’ll get to a point two years down the road where you
won’t know what you’re doing any more.

• The better the athlete the more self-impressed you are. They
learn everything so easily and you start to think it’s you. “I’m an
awesome coach because I can get that guy to do exactly what
I want him to.” Listen, when you’re training a guy who’s projected
in the first round, getting him into the first round isn’t a big
accomplishment. That’s where he was supposed to go.

• Last year we had four guys make teams–three un-drafted free
and one seventh-round pick–who all stuck with NFL teams this
year. I was more proud of that than any other thing we’ve done.

• A lot of what people tell you isn’t true.

• First, I didn’t say the “people shouldn’t squat” thing to be controversial
or sell DVDs. That clip was pulled directly from the DVD set by a
marketing guy who watched the entire presentation and said,
“This is the hook.”

I had no idea how crazy the backlash was going to be. I even
got some pretty harsh emails from some respectable people.
Well, people I used to respect. Apparently they don’t have
time to think.

-Since then, I’ve had people forward me information about the
bilateral deficit. All of a sudden, they’re saying, “You’re really right.”

• The bilateral deficit? Well, they’ve found, particularly as it relates
to the lower body, that you’re clearly stronger when you train with
one leg versus two.

Let’s say you’ve got a guy who can deadlift 300 pounds for reps,
but can’t squat 400 pounds for reps. More often than not, he will
be able to single-leg squat with 200 pounds on each leg for reps.
So what does that tell you? He’s at less risk because the load is
lighter, but he’s getting more work out of each leg.

• The thing I always hear is, “Well, if they have weak backs, why
don’t you just get their backs stronger?” Hold on. We’re not
talking about having a weak back. We’re talking about the back
being a limiting factor. That’s very, very different. A guy who hang
cleans 300 pounds doesn’t have a weak back. The simple fact is that
when someone fails in the squat it’s not because they don’t have
any more juice in their legs. It’s because their back can’t handle
the load.

• I wrote an article called “An Apology Letter to Personal Trainers.
“I’ve been telling them how to do their job for years and never trained
a single non-athlete. Over the past few years I’ve started to, and
it’s hard work.

• I think personal training is much more difficult than working with
athletes. We’ve got 2 hours per week to counteract the other 166
hours of the week. It’s not a good ratio to try and make changes.

• Still, some trainers just suck. Like the ones who just tell their
clients to go for a walk. That’s the exercise equivalent of calling
yourself a nutritionist and telling your starving client to go steal
sugar packets from Dunkin Donuts.

• Or the flipside, you have the Crossfit guys who are just
going to shit kick you until you can’t move. That’s just as bad.
We’ve got uneducated trainers who don’t challenge their
clients and uneducated trainers who try to kill their clients.

• All the guys who get mad at me on the Internet, I just want
to say, come talk to me when you’re 40.

• I have the huge value of hindsight. I was just like you. I was
a meathead. I wanted big muscles and to be strong as hell. If
my shoulders hurt after benching, I’d ice them, take Advil and
bench again five days later. If my back hurt from deadlifting,
well, my back is supposed to hurt from deadlifting, right? I came
to realize over time that I was wrong.

• Take a look at all these guys with surgeries. It’s insane. How
can they still be espousing the same principles when they’ve
gone under the knife so much?

• Experience is wasted on the old.

• Everyone squats ass to grass? Where are they? I go to gyms
and I don’t see them. When you live in the Internet world there
are thousands of guys doing heavy squats ass to grass with
no problems. Call me skeptical. By the way, I’d love to see
all these guys “laying it on the line.”

• The best way to learn is to find someone who’s doing what
you want to do, and read everything they write, watch everything
they’ve put on DVD, and hopefully get to talk with them in person.

• The close-grip hang snatch is the best power movement you
can do. But you have to do them with a clean grip to spare your
shoulders. The only reason guys do it with a wide grip is to use
more weight, since it decreases the distance the bar has to travel.

• Why from a hang instead of the floor? Size differences. Olympic
lifting favors shorter people. Suddenly when you’re teaching the
snatch to a football lineman, they have a hard time addressing
the bar on the floor. It’s also more practical to do it from the hang
since it spares the back.

• I always take the original exercise and try it out. If it doesn’t
work to my standards, I modify it. If that still doesn’t work, I drop
it completely.

• If you’d have asked me a year ago I would have said the
Turkish Get-up was a gimmick. Now I think it’s probably the
best total-body core exercise you can do. And that’s part of the
learning process!

• I can remember reading the early kettlebell stuff and being
decidedly unimpressed. I had a million reasons why I didn’t
like it. But then I started watching my athletes get up off the
floor. Nearly every one of them did a Turkish Get-up without
even knowing it. I think it’s a skill we lose as we age. Have
you ever seen an old person try to get up off the floor? It’s very
difficult for them. I think it’s an exercise everyone needs to be

• The trap-bar deadlift is probably the best lower-body exercise.
I think it’s clearly the best bilateral exercise, since you’re engaging
your erectors and your traps much more than in a squat.

• Programming is an art. You can’t just mix a whole bunch of
stuff together and expect it to taste good. That’s called shit soup.

• Everyone who foam rolls gets hooked on it, and everyone who
doesn’t thinks it’s stupid. Do me a favor and spend seven dollars
and buy a 12-inch foam roller. It’ll change your whole life.

• And another thing: stretching doesn’t have to take that long. You
don’t need to go to a yoga class. Just stretch your major muscle
groups like your hamstrings, groin, hip flexors, lasts, and pecs.
Shouldn’t take more than ten minutes. When you realize later
on that all the injuries you’re going to get are because certain
muscles get too tight or get knocked out of alignment, you’ll thank

• After you stretch, do some kind of dynamic warm-up and
mobility. I remember watching old-time Olympic lifters warm
up before their training session, but I had no idea what the
hell they were doing. They’d roll their wrists around, drop
down into a deep squat and rock from side to side. Now I
know they were doing mobility work.

• After all the warm-up stuff you have strength. My only major
rule here is that for every pushing exercise you should have
a pulling exercise. It’ll shorten your workouts and save your
shoulders. Same thing for your lower body. For every
quad-dominant exercise, make sure you’re doing a hip-dominant
exercise. Throw in some Turkish Get-ups and you have a
decent strength program.

• I end all my sessions with conditioning. TMUSCLE readers
aren’t doing enough of it, either. If you’re comfortable, or are
doing long, slow cardio you can pretty much conclude it’s a
waste of time. Any young, fit guy should finish his conditioning
and have to lie on the floor thinking, “God, that was awful.”

• People should think and investigate more. Anthony Robbins
has always said that success leaves clues. I’m a big believer
in that. Whether I like or don’t like someone, I’m going to watch
what they’re doing if they’re succeeding. I’m willing to say
when I’m wrong.

• I’m searching for the perfect training program, the Holy Grail
if you will. I can’t just suddenly stop searching.

• I’ve been there and done that. But the important thing is
I’m still doing it.

– Mike Boyle

The Stupidest Thing I’ve Ever Seen

Posted in Uncategorized on September 11, 2010 by mboyle1959

I thought I had seen it all but today I saw a man set a new record for stupidity. As I turned off the highway I saw a man talking on a cellphone as he turned onto the “on” ramp. You might say that was not so stupid, people talk on the phone while driving all the time.  What made this the stupidest thing I had ever seen was that this man was riding a motorcycle! He was actually leaning his head to the side to hold the phone between his helmet and shoulder!