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.