Archive for May, 2011

Speaking Coach – Episode 75 of the StrengthCoach Podcast

Posted in Random Thoughts, Updates, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized on May 28, 2011 by mboyle1959

It’s rare that I do a blog post about one particular episode but, I have to recommend this one. If you are not a regular listener or if you are like me and have fallen a little behind make sure you listen to Episode 75. Jason DeMayo from Richmond gives out some of the best common sense coaching tips I have heard in a long time. Talk about Learning to Speak Coach. Jason has great thoughts on coaching athletes in all sports and really shows how important it is for a strength coach to understand the sports he works with.Take a minute and listen to Episode 75.


Handicapping the Perform Better Summit in Providence

Posted in Core training, Fat Loss, Injuries, Low Back Pain, Nutrition, Random Thoughts, Seminars, Updates, Training, Training Females on May 27, 2011 by mboyle1959

Here we go again. On June 3-5 the best in education for strength and conditioning, rehab and fitness professionals resumes. As I say every year, if you don’t get to one of these seminars every year you are making a huge mistake. The biggest complaint from attendees at a Perform Better Summit is that with four sessions going on at one time it is tough to decide who to see.  It’s so tough that some people are buying the Perform Better Seminar Pass and attending two Summits. It’s always tough for me too but, just like you I have to choose. You can download the schedule first so you can follow along. Here are my recommendations on a session by session basis:

Note- Just like last year I will almost always choose lectures over hands-on. Just my opinion. I’m here to learn, not to get exercise. I may go to a hands on but, not to get a workout. Save your workout for another day and get some knowledge to help your clients and athletes

Friday June 3rd

9:15- Mark Verstegen on Barefoot Training or Lee Burton? I’ve already heard Lee so I’m going to Mark. If you want to learn more about the FMS, go to Lee’s. You also have two great hands-on sessions with Martin Rooney and Jason Brown but, my guess is SRO for Mark.

10:45- This might be my toughest draw ever. I am opposite the great Stuart McGill. I watched Charles Staley speak a few weeks ago and think he will be a great addition if you train athletes and are interested in Olympic weightlifting. Charles is a very entertaining speaker. Jason Glass is new this year so I don’t know what to expect. If you train golfers, make sure to check out Jason. My hands on will be dealing with updates on all our warm-up progressions ( we’ve developed some great FMS based stuff) as well as our strength progressions. I think it will a great hands-on learning experience. However, I am guessing SRO for Stu.

1:00- After lunch you are simply going to have to pick based on your interest. Mark Verstegen is a personal favorite of mine. I enjoy watching him talk but, it is always tough to skip a Gray Cook talk. I’m thinking Gray gets SRO. If you work with athletes you have to get to Lee Taft’s talk. I’m going o be at Bill Parisi’s. I need the business info.

2:30- I have to admit, I hope I get a big crowd for my lecture but based on the competition I’m not sure. I think My Success Secrets talk might be the most valuable one I’ve ever given. I’m going to be honest. If you haven’t heard it come. It will make you better at your job. Once again I’m opposite Stu. I know he will have a big audience. As I said above Jason Glass is a wild card but as I said earlier, if you train golfers Jason should be your choice.

4:00- This is the first toss up. As I said, I prefer lectures and think both Lee and Martin’s will be good. Gray is always good. As I mentioned, if you want to learn how to Olympic lift or how to teach your clients than go to Charles Staley’s hands-on. He did a very entertaining hour at my Arizona seminar a few weeks ago.

5:30- The great Thomas Plummer runs unopposed as usual. Do not head to the bar early. The beer is free after. Thomas always makes me think. I’ll be there.

Saturday June 4th

8:00- Rachel Cosgrove gets the toughest draw of the day right out of the gate. Thomas Myers is just an interesting speaker. His talk last year was one of the best attended. In addition Chris Poirier has scheduled two hands–on sessions that I know will be popular. John Brookfield doing ropes and Jason Brown doing kettlebells. This might split the crowd up a bit. Rachel’ new book is excellent and if you train females, pass on the other three and hit Rachel’s talk.

9:45- 11- Toughest choice yet. Two great lectures and two great hands-ons.  For the first time ever Alwyn Cosgrove might not be my top choice. I’d probably opt for one of the two lectures, McGill or Sue Falsone. Sue is awesome so if you seen Stuart a few times, see Sue.

11-12:15- Another tough one. I love Dan John, really interesting guy and new to this circuit. Dan will wow the strength crowd with both his info and his amusing anecdotes.

As I mentioned before, Thomas Myers had the highest attendance of any lecture last year that I saw. Stu and Sue follow up their lectures with hands-on.

1:15-2:30- This is a tough choice but, if you have not seen Todd Durkin’s Impact talk go.  He is an outstanding motivator. Todd is a guy who “walks the talk”. Very motivational.  You also can’t lose with any of the other three. If you work with females, see Rachel. If you are a science geek, go see Thomas Myers. Last but not least, Fraser Quelch is a great lecturer.  Saturday might be the best day and the toughest choices in Summit history.

2:45-4 – Alwyn Cosgrove is both smart and funny. You can never lose seeing him. If you want nutrition info, see Chris Mohr. If you want to get a workout, see Todd. Want to see a great coach at work, go to Dan John’s hands-on.

4:35- Q+A. Get your questions answered at the end of the day, great opportunity.

Sunday  June 5th

8- Sunday is a great day. The same six guys fill three time slots. Both Eric Beard and Dave Tiberio are new this year. Robb Rogers and Eric Cressey are back. I might hit Robb’s lecture at 8 as he joins me on the Banned by the NSCA tour.

9:30-10:45- This is without a doubt another difficult time slot. I haven’t heard Vern for a while so I am anxious to see him speak. I also want to see Todd Wright’s talk. Todd is one of the funniest guys on the tour.

11- 12:45- The weekend ends the way it began with tough choices. This might the first time I will recommend a hands-on as my top two choices in this slot  are Vern’s and Todd’s hands –on. Looks like I might not get home until 2.

Truth is, I can see why a few attendees come more than once. By coming three times I will see them all.

1 Hour Audio Interview

Posted in Guest Authors, Media, Random Thoughts, Training, Uncategorized with tags on May 24, 2011 by mboyle1959 member and contributor Jim Keilbaso just posted this one hour interview with me. We covered a wide range of topics from how I got into the field to advice for young coaches. If you have some time, please click and listen.

Party for Members in Providence

Posted in Uncategorized on May 23, 2011 by mboyle1959

For the second straight year, we will be doing our Member Party after the Perform Better Summit Social on Friday night, June 3 at 9pm.

Last year was a blast and I am sure this year will be too.

The party is SOLD OUT.  Thanks to all who signed up.

A Review of my Seminar at Charles Staley’s Live and Rare Coaches Retreat

Posted in Guest Authors, MBSC News, Random Thoughts, Seminars, Training with tags on May 18, 2011 by mboyle1959

Drew Ragan, one of my attendees was nice enough to furnish this. This might be a bit self-promtional but, here goes.

I’ll start this post off with a plug for all of you strength and performance coaches out there in the world. Coach Charles Staley’s Live & Rare Coaches Retreat at the Arizona Grand Hotel in Phoenix is truly a great experience. If you’re considering going, don’t hesitate. The amount of quality time to be able to have a conversation with Coach Staley, his staff, and whoever the guest coach is for the weekend is invaluable. I loved the 12 hours of lecture and practical coaching and the 2 hours of early morning workouts, but my favorite part of the entire experience was hanging out with Coach Boyle in the hotel lobby and having a beer. That’s awesome. I live in Seattle, Coach Boyle is in Boston. My chances to kick back a cold one with Coach Boyle are relatively few.

If you have a figure in your life that you truly admire and respect, I don’t know if there isn’t anything cooler than being able to say “I had a drink with that man”, right? Would you rather get a t-shirt signed by Michael Jordan, or sit by the fire for a couple hours together and talk the night away? You get my point?

Now I don’t know if that’s how most coaches who are planning on presenting at Coach Staley’s Performance Retreat operate. Coach Boyle did make himself available, and that was what I respected the most. He walks the walk in regards to the core values he always emphasizes. We all recognized that- and we all appreciated his willingness to be as transparent as possible.

Mike Boyle possesses the qualities that will make you a successful coach. If you want to be great- follow him. You might not necessariliy agree with his position on the bilateral defecit, or maybe about how he implements the FMS with his athletes, but you can’t knock him for his character. I learned a ton in regards to strength and conditioning as a science (think functional anatomy, physics, program design implementaion, etc.) but it was the art of coaching where I learned the most. Those were my most important take home facts.

The goal of the retreat wasn’t about presenting ground breaking new science to achieve maximum results in minimal time or any crap like that. It was more of “this is where we are at and what we are doing right now.” Some of the info presented were affirmations as to how I coach and go about my day, some of the info was new and I look to incorporate it immediately. I’ll break it down into two areas of emphasis: the art and the science.

The Art

Be the most positive and enthusiastic person you know. – If you’re coming into work dragging ass and half awake, snap out of it. Your clients feed off that negative energy. Like Alwyn Cosgrove always says – you need to be the most positive part of your clients day. If you’re not feeling it that day, you need to fake it until you make it. If you don’t have the energy to fake it, than find another profession.
They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care – You need to be calling, texting e-mailing, writing letters in the sky for your people. This is a business that is truly about helping people. Sure, there’s a nice earning potential if you do things right, but more importantly you legitimately have to believe and undersatnd that the priority isn’t about making the big bucks, but enriching your athletes and clients lives.
Under promise and over deliver. Don’t guarantee results with a 100% money back guarantee or any promotional garbage. Be more along the lines of “Yeah, I think I can help you” or “how about you stop by the gym tomorrow and we’ll see what we can do” – then over-deliver with your excellent coaching skills and customer service. It leaves a much more positive and lasting impression.
KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid!) – Stick to the principles and what works. What are the rocks of your training philosophy that you believe in? Use those consistently, not whats trendy.
The key to life is to learn how to use things and love people, not the other way around – enough said.

The Science

(Remember: principles don’t change-methodology varies. These are big rocks that make his programs and training successful, with a couple of additional pieces of info to marinate on for a little bit. I don’t need to expand on a lot of these.)

Understand how to implement the appropriate regressions and progressions with your training – dumbbell RFESS too difficult still? Let’s go back to kettlebell goblet style for a little bit longer
Acknowledge physics and what’s appropriate – This can fall under the art category as well. Your big rocks of your training philosohpy doesn’t necessarily work for every demographic. If you love doing Olympic cleans with all of your clients, understand it might not be the best option for your 75 year old client.
Corrective exercises don’t work as well with the elderly – As people age their muscles transform from putty to beef jerky. Muscles get locked long and locked short. Work on the movements, but recognize that the most significant change in tissue quality for older people will be a result of quality tissue therapy, not how many YTW’s you have them do.
Use kettlebells for overhead pressing exercises – The KB weight distribution will cause your shoulder into a slightly more externally rotated position, firing you shoulder stabilizers and decreasing and potentially eliminating pain with people who experience pain when pressing overhead. This works great as well with a top down KB held position.
Fireman carries are excellent for posterior rotator cuff development – Use this as a phase 1 strengthening exercise for people with post cuff issues. The post cuff’s primary roll is to stabilize. Holding heavy ass stuff = post cuff stabilization.
Respect and understand the bilateral deficit – This applies for both the upper and lower body. For anyone who has met Coach Boyle, he’s not in the business to stir it up and be controversial. His stance on this concept is supported by history and research. I’ll let him site those sources.
And probably the most scientific statement made by Boyle over the weekend pretty much sums up what kind of guy he is when he proclaimed “I exercise because I like to drink more beer – everybody’s gotta have goals!”

Well spoken Coach.

Drew Ragan
FMS Level 1

Last Week on

Posted in Injuries, Random Thoughts, Updates, Training with tags on May 16, 2011 by mboyle1959

As always we have great articles and great forum threads for you to read.

Last week started with an article called Why I don’t Like Y-T-W Exercises

This was originally a blog post at and Mike makes a great case for why we might want to do things a little differently.

Next up was a great piece by Brad Kaczmarski called The Functional Fitness Formula. Brad does a great job of explaining how he motivates his athletes in this one.

Last up was another piece from Anthony Donskov. The article is called High Volume, High Impact, CNS Intensive = Exhaustion. This one looks at the use of high intensity programs like Crossfit and P90X.

As always, lots of great stuff to read. Make sure to take a few minutes and log on. Remember, if you have questions just  log on and ask.

New from StrengthCoach Podcast and Strength and Conditioning Webinars

Posted in Media, Updates, Training with tags , , , on May 14, 2011 by mboyle1959
 Anthony has posted a new episode of The Strength Coach Podcast, a new episode of Strength Coach TV and some great webinars  at
In This Issue of the Podcast
Episode 79 of the Strength Coach Podcast is Up
New Episode of Strength Coach TV
New & Upcoming Webinars at
Episode 79 Highlights
Click here to listen

  • Coaches Corner– speaks to me about my article “Evolution of a Strength Coach Part 2”, barefoot training revisited and my blog post “First Break All the Rules” and much more
  • Results Fitness Business of Fitness- Rachel Cosgrove  on “The Hierarchy of Marketing”
  • Ask Functional Movement Systems- Gray Cook answers a question “Is RNT just pain gating?”
  • The Art of Coaching with Athletes’ Performance– Nick Winkelman talks about “Components of Coaching Evaluation”
  • Ask the Equipment Experts with Perform Better- Chris Poirier talks about the PB Special and the Summits including the early bird special for the Chicago Summit.

Click here to listen

Strength Coach TV- Episode 7- Results Fitness
 In Episode 7 of Strength Coach TV, Anthony visits Alwyn Cosgrove, of Results Fitness for a tour of what Thomas Plummer considers the most profitable gym per square foot in the country.  Check out Strength Coach TV
Webinars Added and Upcoming Webinars at
At, Anthony has 4 great webinars in April from Charlie Weingroff (“Training=Rehab, Rehab=Training Q&A”), Keats Snideman (“Training the Sprint Athlete“), Justin Levine(“Warming Up for Peak Performance”) and Tim Yuhas (“Optimal Training for Today’s High School Athlete”).  

This month we have some great new webinars coming up, one from me (“25 Mistakes -2011”), as well as ones from Josh Henkin (“Re-examining Dynamic Variable Resistance Training”), John Damico, Frank Dolan and Alwyn Cosgrove(Topics TBA).

There are over 85 webinars in the archives for you to watch at any time.  Try it for 1 Day for $1!

Day 1 of My Staley Seminar in AZ

Posted in MBSC News, Seminars, Updates, Training with tags , , , on May 13, 2011 by mboyle1959

Today will be day 1 of my seminar ( might turn out to be FSC 4, the great Kevin Larrabee is here filming) at the Staley Performance Institute in Phoenix AZ. We had a nice meet and greet with everyone last night and I’m looking forward to getting going. Wish me luck. 3 hours of lectures followed by 3 hours of practicals today and tomorrow.

Last Week on

Posted in Injuries, Low Back Pain, Random Thoughts, Updates, Training, Training Females on May 11, 2011 by mboyle1959

As always we have great articles and great forum threads for you to read.

Last week started with an article call Running Backwards by Mark Cinelli

Next up was a great piece by Anthony Donskov called Back to the Future, Fast Forward Learning

This article dealt with the concepts I discussed in Evolution of a Coach-Part 2.

Last up was a piece from Art Horne of Northeastern University on teaching hip hinge that was excellent. The article is called The Hip Hinge- The best exercise you are teaching in your rehab program.

As always, lots of great stuff to read. Make sure to take a few minutes and log on. Remember, if you have questions just  log on and ask.

A Day in the Life

Posted in Random Thoughts on May 9, 2011 by mboyle1959

I wrote this in 2009 but the number of views of this blog have increased drastically in two years so I thought I’d re-run this. I edited it slightly to be a bit more accurate.


A Day in the Life

I often get asked, “How do you get so much done with your business, coaching, writing, speaking etc”.

I usually try to give a humble answer and mumble something about hard work etc.

The truth is there is a method to the madness and I’d like to share some of the things that have increased my productivity:

1-   Get up early. Successful people don’t hit the snooze button. I remember one great tip about waking up. “When the alarm goes off, get your feet on the ground” I have lived by this for at least twenty years and now rarely need an alarm. Years ago I also read somewhere that you should get out of bed when you wake up instead of rolling over. The concept is related to sleep quality and I have found it to be true. Fifteen minutes of “extra” sleep usually leaves you more tired. If I wake up within 30 minutes of when I am supposed to wake up I “get my feet on the ground”.

2-   Many people remark that they get emails from me at 4:45. That is because I get up, go to my computer, and check my email. I read another hint once that said “if you can respond in under a minute, do it now”. I have adopted that policy as best I can and it has really helped. I can interact with 100 people a day and do most of it before my family gets out of bed. The nice thing is that getting up early also allows me to help my wife by throwing in a load of laundry and allows me to spend time with my children in the morning when they get up.

3-   Write everything down. I have a notebook with me at all times for article ideas, program ideas, notes and To Do Lists. It’s much too easy to forget. Never trust your memory. I also have an I-Phone for day-to-day stuff.

4-   Don’t try to do paperwork at work. I know this sounds silly but I get no paperwork done at work. I try to coach at work. I work at home in the morning. Work before the rest of the world rises and you will get more done.

5-   Don’t go out to eat lunch. What a waste of time. Lunch hour is for “normal” people who don’t like their job and need an hour away. Those that want to succeed will never waste even a half hour sitting and eating. Lunch takes all of 5 minutes. Dinner is a different story. Dinner is family time. I bank my “lunch time” so I can use it at dinner when I have my family. Another benefit of this is that it helps with weight control. I can’t seem to go into a sandwich shop and not walk out without a bag of chips. Often I have eaten them before I get my sandwich. Keep shakes on hand and eat every three hours while you work.

6-   Use commuting time. I often spend two hours a day in the car. I will make all my phone calls for the day in the car and, record my podcast interviews with Anthony Renna ( from my car. The police may not like this but it is a great way to save time. Just promise me that you won’t text from the car. I also use the time to listen to podcasts or books.

7-   Do brief workouts. Again, if you are busy you don’t have time to lift for two hours.  I try to do 4-5 High Intensity Cardiovascular Workouts a week. These are either 12-14 minute threshold rides ( usually a five mile AirDyne for time) or a series of distances for time. My favorites are timed miles or half miles with a heartrate recovery. These workouts take a maximum of 20 minutes. In addition, I’ve modified Craig Ballantynes Bodyweight 100.  Most days I just try to get 100 reps in broken up into push, pull, legs, and core. It currently takes me less than 4 minutes to get a full body lift. I try to lift twice a week but, probably average one workout every five days.

As I always say, the secret is there is no secret. Read about how to save time and to be more productive. Read The One Minute Manager. It’s a great start. Pick up little tricks. Success is really is about getting up and being organized. I personal train 10-15 hours a week, work as a college strength and conditioning coach, coach Pro and Olympic athletes all the while keeping up with writing, emails, and  I love the idea of “ready-fire-aim” approach. I would rather have done one thing than thought about three. I read another great tip but, can’t remember where. The tip was to be a 90% person. If a success oriented person strives to do 100% they rarely complete anything. The advice was the last ten percent kills you and stalls you. I don’t worry any more if every article or DVD is perfect. I want to always deliver a quality product but, I don’t obsess over it any more.  Don’t over –plan or over-think, just strive to get a lot done. Make a list and start checking stuff off.