Advances in Functional Training- Review 4

I’ve published a number of reviews of Advances In Functional Training. As I’ve said before, “yes I am trying to get you to buy my new book”. It’s not about money, but this book will really help your program or your business. Don’t believe me? Listen to what Andrew Vontz of DrillIt TV has to say:

If you only have the budget to purchase one training book, buy this one.

Why? Because if you want to understand how the human body works and how it should ideally be prepared for sport, competition, and life, Boyle is your man. If you just want to Jazzercise and be told what to do, AIFT lays out a few solid training schemes that you could try. But hopefully you’d like to know why you’re doing what you do in training and why it’s functional for your specified application. Otherwise you’re ‘getting fit’ (or just tired) but you’re like a samurai standing on an open prairier waving his sword around–unlikely to hit a specific target.

In AIFT, an update of Boyle’s previous book, Functional Training for Sports, Boyle shares the state of the art in functional training from physiology/theory to movement preparation to dynamic warmup to actual training to overall program design and longitudinal implementation along with Boyle’s insights into how he arrived at the best practices he specifies.

Michael Boyle knows his s_ _ _. He knows it inside out. He puts his ideas into practice every day working with a broad range of athletes from children to elites including the US Women’s Olympic teams in soccer and ice hockey, athletes prep’ing for the NFL combine, pros in other sports, and the Boston University Terriers hockey team. Boyle has been at it since the early ’80s, has learned what works and doesn’t through experience and has gradually sifted out everything extraneous and boiled it down into what you find in AIFT.

This is no small feat given that there are innumerable hot shit, superstar trainers, even those who work with pro athletes, whose methods are questionable at best and who seem to have a greater yearning for name brand recognition (their own names) and being ‘famous’ (anyone watch Thintervention?) than they do for providing solid, sustainable training and programming. For years while the rest of the world fixated on stability balls and celebretarded get-fit-quick-shredded-abs-while-balancing-on-a-bosu-ball-on-one-foot-while-doing-the-bar-method-and-the-master-cleanse-at-the-same-time, Coach Boyle has been focused on functional movement and what works.

Boyle regularly drops knowledge in the form of essays, his website,, on the podcast, and at his Perform Better summit series. I haven’t attended a Perform Better seminar, but I consume the rest of the above, voraciously. As frequently as Boyle publishes or produces something, I try to consume it, understand it, and where applicable, implement it. Given that Boyle is a clear, no bullshit, to the point communicator who doesn’t mince his words and rarely bites his tongue when there’s truth to be spoken no matter who it will piss off (the NSCA, Crossfit HQ, whoever), it’s easy to grasp the sometimes complex ideas behind his programming and training prescriptions. And his ideas work. I’ve implemented many of them in my own training and programming to great effect.

AIFT is broken down into ten major sections, as follows:
-Mobility and Flexibility
-The Core
-The Hips
-Cardiovascular Training
-Developing Athleticism
-Equipment Choices
-Exercise Choices The Basics and Single-Leg Training
-Program Design
-Sample Programs

Studying Boyle’s work helped steer me away from the back squat and towards front squats and to place a greater emphasis on deadlifting and unilateral movements. His work also helped me safely progress in all of these areas with correct technique and movement. I also found his insights and prescriptive recommendations for foam rolling and dynamic warmup protocols to be extremely useful and have incorporated some of these precepts into my own pre-training regimen.

Boyle goes deeper into biomechanics and physiology than most popular training books you’ll pick up on Amazon or at Border’s. AIFT serves as an excellent primer for understanding more about how your body works, why functional training makes sense, what functional training is, how to implement it in your programming and practice, and when to do what.

Michael Boyle, HQ gives you a high five and a thank you for publishing this book. In DRILLit’s opinion, if you want to understand your body and training, you must own this book.

Advances In Functional Training by Michael Boyle, $34.95,

On Target Publications, or



One Response to “Advances in Functional Training- Review 4”

  1. That pretty much said it all.

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