Archive for April, 2011

3D Facility Tour of MBSC Woburn

Posted in MBSC News, Training, Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 11, 2011 by mboyle1959

I don’t know when this was done but the folks at Perform Better put together an excellent 3D tour of our new Woburn facility. I am amazed at what technology can do. It’s only 90 seconds so take a quick look

16 Hours with Mike Boyle?

Posted in MBSC News, Media, Seminars, Training, Training Females with tags , , , on April 8, 2011 by mboyle1959

How would you like to spend a weekend at one of the nicest, most family friendly, hotels in Arizona and, get about 16 hours worth of time with me?

Well now you can. Charles Staley has opened the Staley Performance Institute at the Arizona Grand Hotel in Phoenix and we are having a weekend seminar May 12-15. The schedule is as follows:

Thursday 6:30-8:30– Meet and Greet with Coach Charles Staley and I in the evening. This is a great chance to just make friends in a casual environment and, get ready for our seminar


9:00am-12:00pm  Lecture- So You Want to Own Your Own Facility? Take a look at how one of the world’s most successful strength and conditioning facilities was conceptualized and developed.

2:00pm-5:00 p.m. Practical- Functional Strength Coach 4.0 Exercise Teaching, Progression and Regression. See and hear my latest thoughts on everything from mobility to warm-up. Participants will go through a full Mike Boyle 1 hour and 45 minute training session. Have you watched FSC 3? Did you wish you were in the room?


9:00am-12:00 Lecture-  Training Clients or Athletes? What’s the Difference. Based on my Apology to Personal Trainers article, see the similarities and the differences between our athletic clients and our personal training clients.

2:00pm-4:00 p.m. Practical- Functional Strength Coach 4.0 Continued. In our last we’ll continue with exercise progressions and regressions.

4:00-5:00 Q+A- Your time to get those last minute answers before we have a final dinner and a few more beers.

Saturday Evening– 6:30-8:30 Closing dinner. Some time to socialize and process info

In addition you can fill in the other times with resort activities or customize any activities you may want to have.  Staley Institute and the Arizona Grand has Morning Desert Hikes, Sunrise Sunset Yoga as well as Olympic Lifting Training Sessions. They will have the TRX Zone set up so you can take classes in there also. 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.





Want to be a Better Trainer, Coach or Teacher? Read This!

Posted in Random Thoughts, Training with tags , , on April 7, 2011 by mboyle1959

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle was one of my best reads of the past year. I’m sorry it has taken so long to get these reviews in print but, I have just gotten around to transcribing the notes from pages I folded and highlighted.  As I may have mentioned I now buy both a print and audio copy of every book. That may seem extravagant but, the print copy allows me to go back and review what I heard in the car.

To be honest, I think a lot of the stuff in the beginning about growing myelin was just a hook to get you to read. In fact had it not been for my friend Jim Setters of the German National Ice Hockey Federation, I would never have picked the book back up. I started it and thought the beginning was BS and just put it down. I can only say “thanks Jim” as there were parts of the book that I did not want to miss and would have.

Of particular interest were the sections on Teach for America and John Wooden. I’ve attached a bunch of quotes and page numbers that I highlighted in the book with some heading and comments.

If you get a chance, pick up a copy of Talent Code today.

Teach for America and KIPP

The majority of charter schools are built on a foundation: to do whatever it took to get the students into college. Pg141

The is KIPP culture. It covers how to walk, how to talk (they work on the three inch voice, the twelve inch voice, and the room voice)pg 146

“Every single detail matters,” Feinberg says. “Everything they do is connected to everything else around them.” Pg 147

Note- the KIPP lessons can apply to any business but apply well to strength and conditioning.

Coach John Wooden

Wooden didn’t give speeches. He didn’t do chalk talks. He didn’t dole out punishment laps or praise. In all, he didn’t sound or act like any coach they’d ever 167

There were no lectures, no extended harangues… he rarely spoke longer than twenty 168

Gallimore and Tharp recorded and coded 2,326 discrete acts of teaching. Of them, a mere 6.9% were compliments. Only 6.6% were expressions of displeasure. But 75% were pure information: what to do, how to do it, when to intensify an activity. One of wooden’s most frequent forms of teaching was a three part instruction where he modeled the right way to do something, showed the incorrect way, and then remodeled the right way, a sequence that appearedin Gallimore and Tharp’s notes “Wooden”pg 169

Woodens demonstrations rarely take longer than three seconds, but are of such clarity that they leave an image in memory much like a textbook 169

The coach would spend two hours each morning with his assistantsplanning that day’s practice, then write out minute by minute schedule on three by five cards. No detail was to small to be considered. Wooden famously began each year by showing players how to put on their socks, to minimize the chance of 169

His skill resided in Gatling-gun rattle of targeted information he fired at his players. This, not that. Here, not there. His words and gestures served as short, sharp impulses that showed his players the correct way to do something. He was seeing fixing errors. He was honing circuits. Pg 170

He taught in chunks, using what he called the “whole part method” he would teach players an entire move, then break it down to work on its elemental actions. He formulated laws of learning. Explanation, demonstration, imitation, correction, and repetition. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens-and when it happens, it lasts.. You Haven’t Taught Until They Have Learned, authored by Gallimore and former Wooden player Swen Nater. “Repetition is the key to Learning” pg 170

Note-I may have learned more from this chapter then from any book I read or listened to this year. This info changed the way we all teach and coach.

Football Coach Tom Martinez

Note- the quote below really shows the essence of coaching. Know who you are coching and what you need to give them. Disadvantaged kids may need more “ice cream”, the rich kids, “more shit”.

Football coach Tom Martinez, whom we’ll meet later, has a vivid metaphor for this process. “The way I look at it, everybody’s life is a bowl of whipped cream and shit, and my job is to even things out.” He said. “ If a kid gets a lot of shit in his life, I’m going to stir in some whipped cream . If a kid’s life is pure whipped cream, then I’m going to stir some shit.’ Pg 185

A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary-Thomas Carruthers pg 196

“Get your feet apart-be an athlete now”

“You’re like a waiter. Keep the ball up, deliever it.”

“Your left foot is killing you, know what I mean? You’re understepping. Yu got to roll and pop.” “See how easy it isn’t?”

In thirty seconds he explained the correct dropback motion in four distinct ways:tactile (ball of fire), personification, (waiter), image (airplane), and physical (butt to armpit)

“kids today are hard to reach,” he said.”They know how to give all the right answers, all the programmed answers. So when I see things, I say it so you can hear it. I say it a lot. Each guy has his own button you can tap on. Who are you out here for? Pg 201


Carol Dweck, the psychologist who studies motivation, likes to say that all the worlds parenting advice can be distilled to two simple rules: pay attention to what your children are fascinated by, and praise them for their effort..pg217

If you get a chance, pick up a copy of Talent Code today.


Mark Verstegen on the StrengthCoach Podcast

Posted in Random Thoughts, Updates, Training, Training Females on April 5, 2011 by mboyle1959
Anthony posted a new episode of The Strength Coach Podcast with Mark Verstegen from Athletes’ Performance.
Episode 77 of the Strength Coach Podcast is Up

Episode 77 Highlights
Click here to listen 

  • Interview with Mark Verstegen about What it takes to become a great coach for our new segment, “The Art of Coaching with Athletes’ Performance”.
  • Interview with me about the book “Why We Get Fat”, Jumping and Speed, and Athletes working with a few programs.
  • Rachel Cosgrove on “Guarding Your Time”
  • Lee Burton discusses the misconceptions of the FMS and the new direction of the segment “Ask Functional Movement Systems”
  • Chris Poirier from Perform Better talks about the Boston Univ. weightroom remodel.

Click here to listen


Thanks again for listening.  If you have any questions, let us know.

Strength Coach Podcast
Strength Coach TV

Offseason Strength & Conditioning for Football

Posted in Training, Uncategorized with tags , , on April 3, 2011 by mboyle1959

I want to share some information with you that I think you might find valuable. It’s  a 50 minute video detailing the offseason strength and conditioning techniques used by 16 year NFL Strength Coach and current Purdue University Director of Sports Performance, Duane Carlisle.

There is no sales sales pitch here, the video is taken from a seminar he recently conducted on this very topic. You can watch the video whether you buy the product or not:

Your offseason training program lays the foundation for success as you prepare your team for the upcoming season.  As Duane says early in the video:

‘Methods change from time to time. But principles are timeless.’

Duane shows you exactly how he develops strong, fast, injury free athletes using methods rooted in timeless training principles.

Here are a few of the topics he covers:

-How to establish standards of excellence

-Why training must be specific to the demands of the position

-How to determine (and address) the individual needs of your athletes

-‘Gas Tank Theory’

– Combining strength and movement training

-7 Foundational Movements athletes must master before progressing in training

-Analysis of the specific strength & conditioning routines Duane uses with his athletes

The video provides a good overview. Duane breaks all of these topics down in a way that is easy to understand and apply, no matter which

age and skill level you work with. If you want your football players and program to make significant improvements take a look at this video immediately:

PS- I am a little biased. I coached Duane at BU in the early eighties and have followed his career closely. I think he is a great guy with a world of experience.



New Audio Interview Posted

Posted in Media, Random Thoughts, Training on April 2, 2011 by mboyle1959

Judd Borakove just posted an audio interview I did for him. Take a few minutes and listen if you have time. A little mix of training ideas and business ideas.

Mike Boyle Audio Interview

Heart Rate Based Training

Posted in Fat Loss, Random Thoughts, Training, Uncategorized with tags , , on April 1, 2011 by mboyle1959

A recent Vern Gambetta blog criticized heart rate based training and the use of heartrate monitoring systems.  If you read Vern’s blog, and I do not unless directed to a particular post by a reader or a friend, you already know that at least half of the posts are critical of someone or something. However in this case I want to state clearly that I think Vern is wrong. Heart rate based training is a huge improvement over timed based interval work as it gives us an actual physiological measurement to work from. Is it perfect? Obviously not but, it is a quantum leap forward. To read more about the difference between time based and heart rate based interval, click here.

I’ll take this a step further and say that heart rate recovery ( how quickly your hear rate drops after an interval) may be the best indicator of fitness for a field or court sport.

Vern states;

“in 95% of the sports and situations I work with it or have worked with, it  ( heartrate monitoring) would not enhance my ability to more effectively monitor the training and coach the athletes. Pass up the heart rate sideshow and go watch the lion tamers.”

I can only speak for ice hockey but I know it helps our training significantly and I have only scratched the surface of what our Polar Team System can do.

Vern goes on to say that many of those who are pro heart rate training are on company payrolls. I will be clear. I get no money from Polar and we paid for our system. I like it and I use it. Take it for what it’s worth.