Archive for September, 2010

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!

Last week on

Posted in Updates, Training with tags , , , on September 10, 2010 by mboyle1959

I really thought I would get a handle on these updates after the summer ended but it’s Friday again and here I am writing about last week.

First up last week was Teaching Olympic Lifts by Josh Bonhotal. Josh is a the Assistant Strength Coach for the Chicago Bulls and another former MBSC intern. This article details how Josh teaches the olympic lifts. I’ll note that this is not how we teach them at MBSC. We are whole method teachers and actually choose to teach the complexes at the end of a session rather than at the beginning. I think it is really important to highlight contrasting styles on the site.

Next up was The Beginning of My Experience as an Intern at MBSC by Ben Bruno. Ben is a young guy who has just begun his internship and provides a great perspective. These types of articles allow some of our younger site members to get a nice view of the process.

The third article for the week was Work the Great Equalizer in Strength and Conditioning by Anthony Donskov. Anthony is a site member who has really begun to provide some quality content and this piece is another in a series of great contributions. Don’t let the title fool you. Anthony is talking about acceptable range of motion. This is a must-read article.

Video of the Week is a TRX Prone Reach and comes from Dewey Neilson. Make sure to check out Dewey’s shirt in the video.

Also, Anthony has Episode 63 of the StrengthCoach Podcast up. I know I mentioned it before but, take the time to download it and listen to Dave Tenney.

If you haven’t been on the site in a week, make sure to log on, read and listen.


New Webinars at Strength and Conditioning Webinars

Posted in Core training, Seminars, Training with tags , , , on September 7, 2010 by mboyle1959

I just wanted to let you guys know that Anthony Renna has posted a bunch of new webinars at Strength and Conditioning Webinars. He has new ones with Gray Cook and Nick Winkelman. Gray’s newest one is Why Screen? Why Not Just Good Programmin? I listened to Gray talk about this on the Strength Coach Podcast and he might just have me convinced. I’m going to talk to my staff today about performing the FMS on all our athletes.

Nick’s is Mixed Methods of Power Development and is the same presentation he did at the perform Better Summit. If you haven’t taken a look at Strength and Conditioning Webinars I strongly recommend you. This is a great site if you are too busy to attend seminars or, if you currently lack the funding.

Robb Rogers Fired by the NSCA

Posted in Uncategorized on September 6, 2010 by mboyle1959

The following is from Robb’s Facebook page.

“After 18 months at the NSCA, I was fired on Friday morning. The reason cited was my goals and ideals do not align with the new direction of the organization. Hmmm. Contact me @ I was not alone and some replacements are already moving here -?! Wow!”

For those that don’t know Robb he is a great guy and a well respected coach. I’m sure I’m not going to like “new direction of the organization”.

Great Thoughts on Conditioning

Posted in Random Thoughts, Updates, Training, Uncategorized with tags , , on September 4, 2010 by mboyle1959

I had a nice breakfast yesterday with the Seattle Sounder’s Strength and Conditioning Coach David Tenney. David was actually Anthony’s guest on Episode63 .

To be honest, I don’t take/ make enough time to network like this. Luckily, I had a two hour block of time so I drove down to Foxboro where the team was staying to talk a little shop. I encouraged Dave to get some of the great thoughts that he shared on the podcast and on the forums down on paper. I think Dave has a great grasp on the whole “energy system development” concept that comes up so frequently on