Archive for April, 2011

Selecting Players and Employees

Posted in Media, Random Thoughts, Updates, Training with tags , on April 27, 2011 by mboyle1959

I have to give credit to my friend Ray McCarthy for this one.  Ray recommended First Break All the Rules in a forum post and I bought both the audio and the book.  I’m going to try as this process is getting expensive.  I think this book is a must read for any coach, business owner or business manager.

I’m going to try to hit some points over the next few days that really jumped out at me from the book. The first one dealt with a problem I see all the time. As coaches or employers we are always trying to fix players or employees. In First Break All the Rules author Marcus Buckingham says:

“Great managers would offer you this advice: Focus on each persons strengths and manage around his weaknesses. Don’t try to fix the weaknesses. Don’t try to perfect each person. Instead do everything you can to help each person cultivate his talents. Help each person become more of what he already is. ” p141

I think this is great advice and, would save a lot of us in coaching or in management a lot of headache and heartache.  I think sometimes we get so focussed on what someone can’t do that we fire, trade or bench a great contributor out of our frustration at not being able to change them.

Buckingham goes on to say:

“This story describes a doomed relationship. The conventional manager genuinely wants to bring out the best in the employee, but she chooses to do so by fixing the employees weaknesses. The employee probably possesses many strengths, but the manager ends up characterizing him by those few areas where he struggles. “page 145

Read this and see if you don’t see just a little bit of yourself.


USA Wins 2011 Women’s World Ice Hockey Championship

Posted in Uncategorized on April 26, 2011 by mboyle1959

Congrats to all the team members and staff on a great overtime victory over Canada.

Evolution of a Strength Coach

Posted in Injuries, Low Back Pain, Random Thoughts, Updates, Training on April 21, 2011 by mboyle1959

A few recent events have made me realize that all strength coaches will eventually evolve to the same place. Like many of us, I listen to and read a great deal from the internet. One trend that I have seen is that some of the previously “hard core” guys are gradually embracing the corrective exercise/ functional training side of the coin. This made me realize two things:

1-    Why I think the way I do

2-     Why others make fun of me

The reason I think the way I do and the reason lots of the “hardcore” guys make fun of me is because I am old. I am further along the evolutionary trail of the strength coach. You see, we all start at about the same place and we probably all end up at the same place. I just started my journey sooner. In fact I am in year 32 of my evolution. For me phase 1 of the Evolution of the Strength and Conditioning Coach, The Bodybuilder, was actually in the 1970’s. I saw Boyer Coe guest pose at a show in Connecticut and wanted to be the next Frank Zane. If you don’t know who those guys are, it’s OK. You are just too young.

The truth is almost all male strength coaches and personal trainers go through the evolutionary process listed below.

Stage 1- The Bodybuilder.

Face it, we all started here. Maybe we wanted to get better at sports but what we really wanted in our teens was to look better for girls. To do this we picked up a muscle magazine, joined the local gym , copied the routines and began bodybuilding. The beauty of this stage is that we knew it all. We bombed and blitzed our way to success as Joe Weider looked on from the pages of Muscle and Fiction.

Stage 2-  The Powerlifter

At the onset of stage two the bodybuilder realizes that the really strong guys in the gym don’t give him the time of day.  In fact, the truly strong guys laugh at him in his tanktop as he admires his arms in the mirror. The young bodybuilder and future strength coach is determined to get some respect so he really works on his bench press to gain that respect. What he then realizes is that these strong guys don’t respect anyone with no legs and a big bench. The bodybuilder soon evolves to the powerlifter.  As in stage one we still know it all but what we know is different. We realize that what we thought we knew in stage 1 was not quite as true as we thought. At this stage we never admit any mistakes though. Stage two last for 2-3 years or until the first major injury. In this time period you really fall in love with the weightroom. You become diligent about diet and not missing training days and you get stronger almost every week. Your training partners cheer you on. Your technique is not perfect but you are moving big weight. Usually in stage 2 you also decide to enter a meet. A meet is great reality therapy. Your 315 bench done in “all you” form with just a bit of an arch and bounce becomes a 275 pause bench. Your “parallel” squats suddenly expose your lack of knowledge of geometry. Usually you bomb in the squat in your first meet and resolve to return a much better lifter. In stage two you are at your most macho. You laugh at anyone doesn’t do back squats and deadlifts and you post frequently to internet forums. All posts mention how strong you are and usually some line that belittles those who don’t lift heavy iron.

Stage 3- The Injured Powerlifter.

This stage begins with a bad back or a sore shoulder and usually lasts through one or two surgeries.  Stage three is like denial in the substance abuse world. You realize that your days of lifting huge weights are coming to an end but you refuse to say it out loud. Your searches of the internet now focus on healing your wounds. You vow to make a comeback. Often, you have surgery and attempt to lift in a meet again. Like a guy repeatedly slamming his fingers in the car door, you can’t wait to get back under the bar.

You learn about ART, MAT and a bunch of other therapies that seem to have guys names.  You also begin to sneak a few looks at books on injury prevention and heaven forbid, you begin to explore things like warm-up and mobility. At the end of the injured powerlifter stage you begin to apologize to those older and wiser that you made fun of and called names. You realize that much like your parents the guys you taunted on internet forums were just older and wiser.

Stage 4- The Functional Training Guy.

Most of us end in stage four. Usually we have a few scars from our time in stage three putting off the inevitable. In stage four we realize that we can still train however, the days of trying to pick up the heaviest thing you can lift goes by. You become an innocent bystander watching car wrecks as you see the young guys move from stage 1 to stage 2. You try to warn them but they laugh at you and go into their chat rooms and make fun of you. All you can think of is “call me when you are fifty and we can talk”.

The truth is evolution and development are both inevitable. Young men will always want to impress young women. They will also, in a very primal way, want to impress other young men. We can only hope to speed the evolution and save people some pain.  As you read this hopefully you will see yourself in one of these stages and intervene. Next time you get ready to “lay it on the line” ask yourself why.

PS- If you like this, feel free to repost it,, link to it whatever. Just include a link to

Michael Boyle is a Boston based strength coach, and a partner in the worlds leader in performance enhancement on the internet. He has been in stage four for almost thirty years. Boyle has had one shoulder surgery, two knee surgeries and a bad back.  His best lifts in the late seventies when he was in stage 2 were 275 Bench 475 Squat and 475 Deadlift. These were done with an Inzer belt and a wrestling singlet.

New Podcast, Webinars and StrengthCoach TV Episodes

Posted in Media, Random Thoughts, Seminars, Updates, Training with tags , , on April 20, 2011 by mboyle1959
Lots of great stuff to look at and listen to. 
Episode 78 of the Strength Coach Podcast is Up
New Episode of Strength Coach TV
Upcoming Webinars at
Episode 78 Highlights
Click here to listen

  • Hit the Gym with Strength Coach– Interview with Nick Grantham about Recovery Strategies.  Nick goes deep here..
  • Coaches Corner– Interview with Coach Boyle about the book“Talent Code”, Heart Rate Training and Metabolic Training.
  • Results Fitness Business of Fitness- Alwyn Cosgrove  on “Exceeding Expectations”
  • Ask Functional Movement Systems- Gray Cook answers a question about whether or not the screen can be hiding something
  • The Art of Coaching with Athletes’ Performance– Nick Winkelman talks about “Coaching from an Evaluation Standpoint”
  • Ask the Equipment Experts with Perform Better- Erin McGirr talks about a new product and the early bird special for the Chicago Summit.

Click here to listen

Strength Coach TV- Episode 6- Boston Univ.
 In Episode 6 of Strength Coach TV, Anthony visits Glenn Harris, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for Boston University for a new of the newly renovated weightroom.  Check out Strength Coach TV


Upcoming Webinars at has some great new webinars coming this month from Charlie Weingroff (“Training=Rehb, Rehab=Training Q&A”), Keats Snideman (“Training the Sprint Athlete“),Justin Levine (“Warming Up for Peak Performance”) and Coach Boyle(“25 Mistakes -2011”)

There are over 80 webinars in the archives for you to watch at any time.  Try it for 1 Day for $1!

Mike Boyle Interview

Posted in Guest Authors, MBSC News, Media, Random Thoughts, Training with tags , , on April 19, 2011 by mboyle1959

Every once and while I do these for someone else’s blog. Considering it’s a slow Tuesday I figured I’d throw up the link to the interview I did for Coach Matt Smith one of my former interns from the UK on his blog. Lots of background info if anyone is interested.

Why You Should Join

Posted in Random Thoughts, Updates with tags on April 16, 2011 by mboyle1959

I just got this post in the forum. I can’t even write ads this good.

“I was just reflecting on what an awesome site this is for $9.95 a month. Where else in this world and in what other 
industry can you get someone of Mike Boyle’s status and knowledge to answer a question you have about training high school netballers within 24 hours of you posting it? That is unbelievable when you think about it.”

Have you tried yet? Do you have questions?

AirDyne Intervals 4/15/11

Posted in Fat Loss, Random Thoughts, Training with tags , on April 15, 2011 by mboyle1959

Great Airdyne workout today. Used the big fan bikes at BU. These are clearly the hardest of the three versions of Airdyne.

4×1 mi with my good friend Ken

2:41 work 1:00 Rest back to 110 BPM ( hearrate at the end of interval 1 was about 160)

2:41 work, 2 min rest

2:42 work, 2:20 rest

2:43 work

Give this one a try. For the new small fan Airdyne think around 2:30 per mile.

Are You A Member Yet?

Posted in Guest Authors, Random Thoughts, Seminars, Updates, Training with tags , , , on April 14, 2011 by mboyle1959

Below is a blog post from Ben Bruno, an MBSC employee. I don’t think I can do a better job of plugging my own site than Ben does:

Learning on a Budget

Every week when I put together my compilation of Good Reads for the Week, I have a section at the bottom of the list entitled “Membership Sites.” Thinking about it more, I realize that title may put some people off because a membership implies spending money, and why spend money when you can get loads of other free information, right? Trust me, I completely understand this sentiment. As a new strength coach right out of school, to say I am not rolling in the dough would be an understatement. Still though, I want to learn as much as I can in order to become the best coach I can be and turn my hard work into a viable career down the road. Here’s the problem though; learning ain’t cheap. As much as I would love to attend all the various seminars and buy all the awesome DVDs and books, it’s just not in the cards right now. I’m sure a lot of you newer coaches and trainers can relate.

Before I ramble too far off topic, the purpose of this post is to tell you a little bit more about, which is the website where I get the vast majority of those “Membership” articles. Basically, it’s a forum run my Mike Boyle himself, along with an extensive article database and video library. I don’t want to spend too much time describing it because the site speaks for itself; check it out HERE.

The articles and videos are cool, but for me, the forum is what really makes the site worthwhile and differentiates it from all the other stuff out there. While Mike runs the site, it’s by no means a one-man show. In fact, the membership list reads like a veritable “Who’s Who” of strength and conditioning, personal training, and physical therapy: Mike Boyle, Alwyn Cosgrove, Bill Hartman, Gray Cook, Charlie Weingroff, Bret Contreras, Nick Tumminello, Dan John, Brett Jones…the list goes on and on. And these guys are not only members to put on the list to make it look better; they are also frequent contributors. This means that on a daily basis, you can read their knowledge bombs on all sorts of different topics. Moreover, if you are so inclined, you can ask them direct questions, to which you will get personalized and direct answers in a timely manner (usually a few hours, literally). If these guys don’t have your answer, they will find someone that does.

Here are a few examples to illustrate what I’m talking about. A couple months back, a member had a question about something he read in one of Dan John’s articles. Rather than try to interpret Dan’s work for him, Mike e-mailed Dan and asked him to jump in and answer the question directly. Dan gave an extremely detailed response and has been answering questions ever since. Similarly, another member once had a question about how the football strength and conditioning program at Iowa was structured. Again, Mike e-mailed the coach there and was given the exact layout of the program, which he then passed along to all the members. This all happened in the span of one afternoon. Think about that for a second. That almost sounds too far-fetched to be true. It’s not though; that’s pretty much a regular day on the forum. All that costs just $9.95 a month. In my mind, for someone new to the field trying to get the most bang for your buck, that’s money well spent. Also, because it’s a pay site, the members are all serious and passionate about learning, so you don’t have a lot of the negative banter that you might associate with an internet forum. It’s a positive community with everyone looking to help each other. There are a lot of coaches and trainers looking to expand their knowledge base, but also quite a few everyday exercisers that just want the most cutting edge information on training, dealing with injuries, etc. There’s something for everyone.

If you want to take it a step further, I also recommend that you check Like the website name suggests, it is a series of online seminars put together by all the top coaches, trainers, and physical therapists in the industry (many of whom are also members on I was honestly a little bit skeptical when I first joined because I have taken several online courses before that I felt lacked the same quality of live courses. These webinars, however, are top notch. They are put together with a series of slides, must like you would expect to see if you went to a live seminar. The slides are automatically synched up with the presenter’s words, so you don’t have to do anything expect just sit there and learn. To give you an example, I just watched one from Ben Shear called “New Concepts in Rotary Stability and Training the Rotational Athlete.” It was over an hour and was top-quality. They are all like this, and there are at least 2-3 new webinars coming out each month. Again, the site speaks for itself, so I suggest you check it out HERE.

It may sound hollow for me to be endorsing two sites operated by Mike Boyle considering I work for him. I hope this is not the case. I can assure you that I do not have any vested interest in whether you subscribe or not. I am not even an affiliate for either site. In fact, in full disclosure, the employees at MBSC get free memberships at both sites, but I actually pay for my membership at I signed up a month before I started working there and paid for the entire year up front, so I missed out on that perk on my job. I have never considered asking for my money back because I already feel like I have gotten my money’s worth ten times over


Arizona Seminar at a Big Discount?

Posted in MBSC News, Seminars, Training with tags , , on April 13, 2011 by mboyle1959
Charles Staley and I discussed this earlier yesterday and I
think you will be very happy. As I mentioned the other day,
Charles has opened the Staley Performance Institute at the
Arizona Grand Hotel in Phoenix and we are holding a weekend
seminar May 12-15.
We know that the experience we are offering is something
very new, where not only will you be able to spend over 16
hours with us, but you will also able to stay at the amazing
Arizona Grand Hotel.
We tried to create a package deal to make it the most
affordable for you (and once you get to the Arizona Grand
Hotel you will understand how unbelievable it is).
Since this is a unique seminar experience but something I
know you will love, we wanted to offer you an early bird
discount. From now until April 20 we are going to offer you
$300 discount off all Packages (Except “Room Share” which
is $200 discount).
This discount is only for my preferred clients, blog readers
and StrengthCoach members. The promo
code to use to receive the discount is below.
This is a once in a lifetime working vacation that I am anxious
to share with a select few of you. Space is limited so make
plans and book now.
Here is the link for you to check out the details:
P.S. – This is real important. To be able to get the
discount for the seminar, you must use a promo code on the
checkout page.
Here are the promo codes:
Promo code for All packages Except Room Share- COACHBOYLE
Promo code for Room Share Packages- ROOMSHARE

Alwyn Cosgrove Disagrees with Me and MBSC on StrengthCoachTV

Posted in Core training, Fat Loss, Random Thoughts, Seminars, Updates, Training, Uncategorized with tags , on April 12, 2011 by mboyle1959
Anthony posted a new webinar with Alwyn Cosgrove at Alwyn’s webinar is a response to my “3 Pendulums That Have Swung Too Far” webinar.  Alwyn is really excited about this one so make sure you check the webinar.
On  Mar. 23rd Darcy Norman also did Is the Lat the 5th Abdominal?”This talk discusses the implications of the latissimus dorsi, the good and bad, in human movement, treatment and injury prevention.  The latissimus is not all we think it is and is much more than we appreciate. 

Tim Yuhas will be coming on later in the month to do his webinar“Optimal Training for Today’s High School Football Athlete.

Anthony also posted a new episode of Strength Coach TV , a visit toCoach Boyle and Michael Boyle Strength & Conditioning in Woburn, MA.

You can checkit out at