Archive for December, 2012

Automobile U- Edited Repost

Posted in Uncategorized on December 31, 2012 by mboyle1959

The past few years I’ve been attending Automobile University. Noted motivational speaker Zig Ziglar coined the term to describe the process of learning while commuting. I encountered the idea while reading a book called Twice as Much in Half the Time ( this is a small book from Simple Truths, they have excellent little short books) by Amy Jones. Jones states:

“simply put, one attends automobile university by listening to education materials while riding the car. A study at USC has shown that if a person drives at least 12,000 miles a year ( as likely someone would in any metropolitan city) and uses this method of education, in a matter of three years he or she would have the equivalent of two years of college education”.

I have always loved audio programs like the StrengthCoach Podcast but, have just recently begun to purchase audio books. Audio books allow me to “read” in the car. I have read  (I guess listened is the real term), 20-30 books during this time including Born to Run and The End of Overeating. . I also listened to The Power of Less and Swim with the Sharks.  Audiobooks are more expensive but, actually they save time and money because they allow me to use my down time better. In addition, I pass the books onto my staff after I finish. I have actually statred to buy both an audio and a print version of each book so I can take note. The big downside to Automobile U is the inability to take notes or mark pages. Take this tip. Enroll in Automobile U.


2012 in review

Posted in Uncategorized on December 30, 2012 by mboyle1959

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 420,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 8 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

The Balance

Posted in Random Thoughts, Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on December 28, 2012 by mboyle1959

The following was written for a few weeks ago but, I thought I’d share it here also:

By now, we all know about the 10,000 hours. We’ve heard about it over and over. If you want to be an expert, you need to put in your 10,000 hours. The number may not be exact, but you get the point. Experience matters.

In our MBSC staff meeting the other day, the topic of how to accumulate the 10,000 hours came up. Many on my staff think that a young crop of strength and conditioning coaches and personal trainers have either inadvertently or intentionally skipped over a step. Many of our “experts” in the fields of strength and conditioning and personal training are not yet thirty and haven’t trained 100’s of clients or put in thousands of hour. In truth, many are frauds, writing about things they have never really done or have done on a small scale. These types of coaches have placed the cart firmly in front of the horse and my crop of bright, young, strength and conditioning coaches knows it.  Alwyn Cosgrove and Jason Ferruggia wrote about this years in go in one of my favorite articles, The Business.

However, the thoughts above about 10,000 hours do provoke a question or maybe two questions. Hence, the title of this post. What is the balance or makeup of the 10,000 hours? In some of my recent talks, I have made a point of saying that the 10,000 hours must be a mixture of practical experience and educational experience.  Practical experience might be further divided between training others and, training yourself? The question remains, what is the perfect mixture? I will not pretend to know, only to further explore the thought. Is it 8000 hours in the training trenches and 2000 hours of reading books, watching DVD’s, and reading blogs? Or is it 8000 hours of reading, DVD’s, and blogs and 2000 hours of training. Both are very different and would produce very different results and potentially a different kind of expert.

The first option might produce a great coach with less “book smarts” while option two might produce a book smart person with limited practical experience. Another thought relates to the value of hours training. Are hours spent doing the same things poorly over and over defined as practice or insanity? Is 8000 hours of the same program the definition of insanity? Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting the result to change.

I go back to a quote from Martin Rooney in a Perform Better seminar lecture. To paraphrase; first read everything you can, then write your impressions of what you have read, lastly add your own written thoughts. I believe in his talk Martin was describing a progression of years, not weeks or months.

I think initially the 10,000 hours is weighted heavily towards the reading, studying, and self-training side. You must be a student before a practitioner and you should probably practice what you intend to preach before you ever preach it.  It would be like trying to teach math without being able to add or subtract. Next, you should practice your craft, keeping careful notes of what you read and observe. Last, you begin to add your own thoughts. You in effect become a teacher.

The progression of  accumulating 10,000 hours toward becoming an expert might look something like this:

Student/ Lifter- 100%

Practitioner/ Writer- 80-20

Practitioner/ Teacher- 80-20

I guess the key for me is that I am encouraging my staff not to get stuck only in the practitioner role and realize that they have potential to become great teachers in the worlds of strength and conditioning and personal training. However, at the same time I must caution them not to become one of the internet frauds that trolls the Facebook world posting contrarian articles and tossing barbs at those they perceive to be above them to impress those they perceive to be below them. The key as the title says is the balance. I firmly believe that we must always be active practitioners to be true experts. Stopping for any length of time is the beginning of the end for most professionals. This is why I train clients and athletes every day. I not only need to know the latest information but must put that information into daily practice. Then and only then should I write about what I “know”.


The Drug Companies Are At It Again

Posted in Random Thoughts, Updates with tags on December 24, 2012 by mboyle1959

Here’s a really good article on the “legal drug abuse” promoted by supposedly legitimate companies.

After you read it, realize that the same thing they are talking about in the HGH world applies to steroids. The companies make far more than there is any legal use for. It’s all about money.

2012’s Most Influential People in Health and Fitness

Posted in MBSC News, Media, Random Thoughts, Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags on December 22, 2012 by mboyle1959

Ok, I have to admit it’s kind of cool to be on this list

2012’2 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness


The Idiot Box- Repost

Posted in MBSC News, Random Thoughts, Updates, Training, Youth Training on December 20, 2012 by mboyle1959

I originally posted this three years ago but, the reach of this blog has really increased so I’d like to share this again:

The top box in the stack is either a 36 or 42 inch plyo box.1369

If you have either one, please put them away. In fact, unless you are training some great athletes, put your 30 inch box away too. I have dubbed the big plyo boxes “Idiot Boxes”. Idiot boxes are jumped on by young men ( it is always young men) looking to show off. I have begun to refer to them as “skin donors”. I can tell you something for sure. If CSI showed up and dusted the high plyo boxes for DNA most of these boxes would test positive. There was a time when my athletes and I were foolish just like everyone else and did these foolish exercises. After coaching  a few “skin donors” I realized that what mattered was the movement of the center of mass, not the height of the box. I no longer own a 36” box but, own lots of 18’s, 24’s and a few 30’s. Our rule is simple. Jimmy Radcliffe said it best; “jump and land from the same position”. This means that take off and landing should look identical. If you jump from a ½ squat, land in a half squat.

I could post a few videos but, don’t want to get sued. Just Youtube “box jumps” if you want to see foolishness in action.

Remember, jump and land from the same position.

Give Today

Posted in Uncategorized on December 19, 2012 by mboyle1959

Do me a favor, go out and buy a few toys, or a few gift cards to places like Abercrombie, Pink or Hollister and take them to the nearest Toys for Tots drop off. I have realized a few things over the past few years. One is the more you give, the more you receive. I believe Karma exists.

I have been fortunate and I want to share that good fortune year round but especially at Christmas. My family and I are involved in Adopt a Family charities every year. I don’t tell you this so you will think better of me, I tell you this to motivate you. When you see the Christmas lists of those in need it is humbling. Seeing a list that includes “warm coat” and “warm socks”  makes me realize how lucky I am and how much we take for granted.

It’s late in the season but those looking to provide gifts for needy kids are still working. Take 15 minutes out of your day. Not only do you help someone else but, you will help yourself. There is not better feeling than anonymous giving. no expectation of a thank you or recognition, just the good feeling that comes from helping those in need.


Small Sided Games are Great Practice

Posted in Strength Coach Podcast, Updates, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags , , , on December 18, 2012 by mboyle1959

I tweeted this two days ago

“playing lots of games without practicing is like taking lots of tests without studying.”

This led to a Facebook discussion about practice quality. As adults we think that practice must be boring and repetitive and at times it must, but for kids, small sided games ( think 3 on 3) may be the best practice ever. Check out these stats.

Dr Rick Fernoglio, a lecturer in Exercise Science at Manchester Metropolitan University, compared the experience of young soccer players during eight-a-side games and SSGs (4v4).

He found that the players in 4v4:

  • Made 135% more passes.
  • Took 260% more shots.
  • Scored 500% more goals.
  • Experienced 225% more 1v1s.
  • Did 280% more tricks, turns, and moves.

(published in Success in Soccer, March 2004)

Remember these numbers the next time you’re tempted to allow a “mass scrimmage” at the end of one of your coaching sessions.

Here’s more support for small games. Many of you reading need to think hockey when you watch. I can’t believe we are still debating cross ice Buzzer hockey. It was the best thing my son has ever done. Parents should have no input. They have no idea what they are talking about when they want 7-8 year olds playing fullice.

MBSC and the USA Women’s National Ice Hockey Team in the News

Posted in Guest Authors, MBSC News, Media, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized on December 17, 2012 by mboyle1959

The Boston Herald published a great article about the members of the Women’s National Ice Hockey Team training at MBSC.’s_gold_fever_comes_mike_boyle_golden_touch

MBSC in Boston Magazine!

Posted in Core training, Fat Loss, MBSC News, Media, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on December 13, 2012 by mboyle1959

Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning was featured in Boston Magazine today on the web in a story called Fitness Stars in Our Backyard. Take a second and read it.