Archive for March, 2011

Target HeartRate Training

Posted in Fat Loss, Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females on March 15, 2011 by mboyle1959

I know. You’re probably saying “here he goes again” and you are correct. You’re thinking “Come on, don’t attack the target heartrate zone idea too”. Sorry. Here we go again. Every time I have this conversation with a group I always get the question “If this stuff isn’t true, why is it plastered on the front of every treadmill”. I can’t really answer except to say that it probably came out of the legal department of the manufacturer.

The truth is that target heartrate zone training is a highly flawed concept that could result in us drastically overtraining or undertraining ourselves or a client. Why is it a flawed concept? Because the physiologists know that only a small percentage of the population actually fits the formula. Did you know that seventy percent of the population is plus or minus ten to twelve beats from the theoretical 220- age formula. Yes seven out of ten people don’t fit the mold. Even worse, thirty percent of the population deviates nearly twice that much.

In mathematical terms for seventy percent of the population maximal heartrate actually equals:

220 – age plus or minus 10-12 beats per minute

For thirty percent of the population maximal heartrate actually equals:

220- age plus or minus 20-24 beats per minute

Why is this such a big deal? To realize why, we need to first state that those whose heartrates are on the high end are at little to no risk. All that happens with those folks is that we don’t push them hard enough. The problem is with the folks who have an unusually low maximum heartrate. If we were to push a person in the thirty percent group that is minus twenty-four beats per minute to eighty percent of their theoretical maximal heartrate, we would actually be pushing them to ninety percent. This would be a major error that could have significant ramifications.

The lesson here is that, as with so many of the so-called truths of fitness, there is actually significant variability in what we seem to think is an accurate and time-honored formula. Be careful with yourself and with you clients. Buy a heartrate monitor and learn how both you and your clients really respond to exercise.


New from Strength and Conditioning Webinars.

Posted in Injuries, Media, Updates, Training on March 11, 2011 by mboyle1959
Just wanted to know that Anthony has posted a few new webinars on Strength and Conditioning starting with “The Physiology of the Stress Response” with Patrick Ward. This is another in a collaborative effort with

Anthony also posted Elsbeth Vaino’s Excel Tips for Trainers: Programming Efficiency and Professional-looking Handouts”.

In addition he also posted new episodes of Strength Coach TV , one with Gray Cook and another with Frank Nash of Frank Nash Training Systemsin Worcester, MA.

You can check them out at


Robin Hood Training

Posted in Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on March 10, 2011 by mboyle1959

Don’t know what got me on this thought but, Robin Hood would have made a great strength coach or personal trainer.  Remember “steal from the rich and give to the poor”? The key to being a good strength coach or personal trianer is to learn the lesson of Robin Hood. Steal from the rich and give to the poor. Or to paraphrase, steal from the smart and give to the “not so smart” to be polite. The cool thing about stealing is that most of the good coaches encourage it. They put stuff right out there for you.  It’s like someone leaves their valuables unlocked and then lets lot of people have access to them, occasionally for a small fee but often free. Problem is so most trainers are too dumb to steal from the rich. Instead they steal from the poor. If you are going to steal stuff, think about the Brinks Job. Steal the best stuff from the smartest people you can.

In the fields of fitness and strength and conditioning we call this stealing continuing education. Continuing education is nothing more than Robin Hood in action. The great part about this is that security is really poor. The presenters put their info out there, all you need to do is take. There are a million cliches out there and most are true.

-Success leaves clues

-Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery etc. etc.

Bottom line, you could pick up a copy of the original red cover Core Performance and just copy the stuff in it and you would be better than 90% of the trainers and coaches working today. Do me a favor. Make an appointment to steal. Your next chance to steal from me in Boston at the Perform Better One Day Seminar. Looking to pull of the Brinks Job? Register for the Perform Better Summit’s coming up .

From Dax Moys/ Magic 100 List

If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the
results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same

– Tony Robbins

Editors Note: Good stealing actually costs a little money. Think of it as buying burglary  tools.

Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

Posted in Media, Random Thoughts, Seminars on March 8, 2011 by mboyle1959

First off, I need to thank my good friend Valerie Waters for having the courage to say. “Mike, you are a great presenter, but you could be better”. Real friends do this. Really good friends then buy you a book and ship it to you to help with their suggestion. Val sent me Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and I thank her. In the tradition of paying it forward, here are some of the best tidbits from this great book:

“ if you have a tangible product, find other ways outside of the slide deck to show it off”

“ Ask yourself why should my listener care about this idea/information/product / service”

“ You’ve got to find what you love. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to do what you love to do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

“Find something that you love to do so much, you can’t wait for the sun to rise to do it all over again.”

“ I never did it for the money. This phrase holds the secret between becoming and extraordinary presenter and one mired in mediocrity for the rest of your life”

On himself and Bill Gates “I sort of look at us as two of the luckiest guys on the planet because we found what we loved to do, we were at the right place at the right time, and we’ve gotten to go to work every day with superbright people for thirty years and do what we love doing”

From Marcus Buckingham ( The One Thing You Need to Know, First Break All the Rules)

“ Leaders are fascinated by the future. You are a leader if and only if, you are restless for change, impatient for progress and deeply dissatisfied with the status quo. As a leader you are never satisfied with the present…”

“ Publicly thank employees, partners and customers and do it often.”

From Malcolm Gladwell “ practice isn’t the thing you do once your good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.”

“Always dress a little better than everyone else but, appropriate for the culture”

“ Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected”

“Treat presentations as “infotainment”. Your audience wants to be educated and entertained. Have fun. It’ll show.”

“Never apologize. You have little to gain from calling attention to a problem. If your presentation hits a glitch, acknowledge it, smile, and move on. If it was not obvious to anyone but you, do not call attention to it.”

“follow your heart and your intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become… stay hungry, stay foolish.”

If you present, or aspire to present, get Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.

PS- Unless otherwise attributed the quotes above are from either Steve Jobs himself or, the author Carmine Gallo paraphrasing Jobs.

Next MBSC Mentorship Announced

Posted in MBSC News, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on March 7, 2011 by mboyle1959

Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning will hold one more mentorship week before our summer session starts. The week of May 23-26th will be the last chance until October to participate in a program that is rapidly gaining popularity. Last weeks groups consisted of 15 coaches and trainers from four countries. If you want to see the inner workings of America’s best gym, come visit.

In Defense of Tone

Posted in Guest Authors, Training, Training Females with tags , , on March 4, 2011 by mboyle1959

I’m posting a little counterpoint from my good friend Valerie Waters about my Tone post. Val has really changed my views on coaching women and as I said in the post, even if you don’t believe in tone a little white lie goes a long way.

“I use words like toned, sculpted, long and lean. I know full well these are marketing terms but is the language my client speaks. These words also tell me exactly what a client wants much like a guy might say jacked, cut or swol (this last one is a new term that’s popped up at my gym). In my opinion this tells me so much more than “I want to lift weights” or “I want to get strong”. If you begin the initial session with a female worried about getting bulky with a science lesson or the attitude that they should get over it and go lift some heavy weights, then you may just lose her to pilates or Zumba. I would prefer to reassure her that I will make sure she gets toned but not bulky and then I will march her into the weight room and give her an unbelievable workout, using probably about 80% of the exercises you would but a little lighter. Her goals may change over time as she starts to like the feeling of getting strong. Then again they may not. You can choose to not train everybody but recognize that there is more than one way to get someone fit. The first step is to get them started and then it’s to keep them coming back. Don’t lose them at hello.”

The Justin Bieber Movie

Posted in Random Thoughts, Uncategorized on March 2, 2011 by mboyle1959

Yes, you are reading correctly and no, the title is not an attempt to get more teen readers to this blog. I went to see the Justin Bieber movie with my family the other day and came away pleasantly surprised. The movie succeeds on a bunch of levels. It’s a good, clean success story with no sex or violence. That in and of itself makes it a great film.

On another level it is a great story about following your dreams and “never saying never”. The movies glorifies all the right stuff ( with the exception of a young guy leaving home to follow his dreams). The movie also shows the tough side and the commitment necessary to truly accomplish something great.

The last piece which was of great interest to me was the use of social media and grassroots marketing to launch a career. The movie is very much about the change in the world that we live in. We’ve talked at great length about how important social media is and the rapid rise of a singer like Justin Bieber is a great social media story.

Whether you have kids or not, make sure you see this movie.