Archive for May, 2013

Toes to the Bar?

Posted in Core training, Fat Loss, Injuries, Low Back Pain, Random Thoughts, Strength Coach Podcast, Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training on May 30, 2013 by mboyle1959

From a reader ( and a chiropractor)  via email

“I have a a question regarding the movement  “Toes2Bar”.  I have several die hards for patients and despite my best efforts to educate them, they just never seem to be able to wrap their head around the fact that all this lumbar flexion and high volume are causing back injury.  That being said, I wanted to get your take on the amount of lumbar disc loading that might go on during this toes2bar movement.  Personally I have tried them and I do notice my back is sore the next day.  Just wondering if you thought this movement might load the spine less than an actual situp or crunch, similar to the SL situp you advocate.”

My response-

1- I recently heard an anecdotal report about a severe skull fracture from losing grip on Toes-to-the-bar. Most people use momentum to get the last few and if grip fails the results could be catastrophic.

2- Toes to the bar is hip flexion aided by momentum with the hands acting as a fixed point. As many readers know, the  psoas pulls directly on the lumbar spine. This sounds like a prescription for failure. Sahrmann’s straight leg situp on the other hand is a slow controled movement in which neither end of the chain is fixed. Very different.
3- People have always liked the hanging knee up exercises ( toes to the bar is simply a more “advanced” knee up) because they make you sore and sore equates with good. The reality is that the abs get sore from attempting to control the eccentric action of the leg lowering. Not a great concept.
In any case, I’m obviously not a fan. However, it’s a great exercise for the chiros and PT’s out there as it will keep the patients coming.

Help With Managing Trainers

Posted in MBSC News, Random Thoughts, Updates with tags on May 23, 2013 by mboyle1959

Got a question about books on managing trainers via email the other day. Here are two of my favorites. Read them both if you haven’t.


First Break All the Rules


Creating Magic- 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney


The Secret

Posted in Hockey, MBSC News, Media, Random Thoughts, Strength Coach Podcast, Updates, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , on May 15, 2013 by mboyle1959
“I predict the sun will rise in the east. When it does I will then declare that I can control the movement of the sun.”
The big secret is that there is no secret. I have been saying this for years. There is always a guy ready to take credit for someone’s combination of hard work and great genetics. I hate the money grubbers who always claim to have found the holy grail of training. All they have really found is a list of high net worth parents who are willing to pay for a dream. I have trained the world’s best athletes for almost thirty years and I know there is no secret.
Work hard
Eat breakfast
Take care of your body
Those are the secrets. If you think you need to spend ten thousand dollars for training secrets than you are a fool. It’s like Bernie Madoff. He had a secret investment plan that made everyone money. How did that work out? The world is full of guys who overpromise and under-deliver. The sports training world is no exception. I love how guys can meet a great athlete and suddenly be the reason for his success. I have trained some of the world’s all time greats in every sport known to man and at no time did I ever mislead the media to think I made them.
As I said above, the secret is hard consistent work. Nothing more nothing less. The secret is being able to do what others won’t. Not because your dad wants you too or your Mom wants you too but, because you want to. The secret is sacrifice. Sacrificing a night out with friends to lift, shoot baskets or shoot pucks. The secret is getting up hours before you have to so you can eat breakfast. The secret is never missing a workout. The secret is getting out early at practice to work on weaknesses.
There are so many secrets and none cost money.

The Key to Your Education

Posted in Random Thoughts, Updates, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags , on May 13, 2013 by mboyle1959

I got a great question the other day from a student about what to study in college if he wants to be a strength and conditioning coach ? Is it better to be an ATC or simply get a phys ed degree? What is the best education for an aspiring young strength and conditioning coach.

My answer was to get a basic PE degree but, combine it with quality field experiences and lots of self education. Although I was technically in an athletic training program as an undergrad every paper and every project I did related to making me a better coach. I tried to make every class relevant. When I had to do my biomechanics paper I studied the clean. I watched hours of video of the Olympic lifts and read every article I could find. I remember having to convince my professor that lifting a weight off the floor was a complex skill. They wanted us to study things like a baseball swing or a football pass. I made it clear I had no interest.  In nutrition I  researched steroids. In Exercise Physiology I learned about energy systems for team sports. I didn’t waste any time studying things that didn’t interest me unless I had to to get a grade. Every time I had a choice to make I chose something related to strength and conditioning. If I was smarter, I would have studied self-improvement in psychology class.

The key to education is to make it work for you. You have choices to make. Make the right ones. I lifted weights with the track throwers in my spare time. I competed in powerlifting. Everything I did was moving along the right path. Just remember, what to major in is only step one. There will be many more choices along the way. Ask yourself every time if that choice moves you closer to your goal.

Also, pay attention in anatomy and physics. Everything you do as a strength and conditioning coach will eventually come back to anatomy and physics.

BioForce HRV

Posted in Strength Coach Podcast, Updates, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags , on May 10, 2013 by mboyle1959

I wanted to just put up a quick post about Joel Jamieson’s BioForce Heartrate Variability monitor.  I have been using it for about two months and have found the info to be really valuable. The process takes about 3 minutes in the morning and allows you to gauge what your training can or should look like that day.

For those that are unfamiliar Heart Rate Variability measures the time between heart beats. A high heart rate variability score indicates a healthy parasympathetic nervous system and a good state of recovery. I have to admit, I was confused at the start but the ability to simply plug-in and run the app surprised me.

I can put this simply. Even if you are confused or intimidated, try it. It is so simple and sensible that I am positive you will be saying “I can’t believe I didn’t do this sooner”.

Joel is offering a free trial so, what have you got to lose?

Next MBSC Mentorship Dates

Posted in MBSC News, Seminars, Updates, Training, Training Females, Uncategorized, Youth Training with tags , , on May 7, 2013 by mboyle1959
Just wanted to get out our Fall Mentorship dates out so people can start planning. Our program was designed to educate industry professionals on current training techniques through physical participation, workout observation, and in depth discussions with Mike Boyle and his qualified staff.
Participants will be introduced to the latest injury reduction and performance enhancement methods.
Applied Topics Covered in Program:
Soft Tissue Techniques
Muscle Activation
Pre-movement Stretching
Active Warm Up
Core Stability
Strength Training
as well as Innovative Strength Training Exercises, Conditioning Techniques,  Injury Rehabilitation and Business and Marketing Concepts
Fall Mentorship
September 16-19, 2013
Personal Training Mentorship
September 20-22, 2013
You can register  


Posted in Random Thoughts, Uncategorized on May 6, 2013 by mboyle1959

I rarely blog about non-work related stuff but I’ll make an exception here. Unbroken is a great inspirational read. The story of an Olympic athlete who survives unspeakable hardship in World War II is a truth-better-than-fiction story. If someone made this up, it would not be believable. The fact that it is true is nothing short of amazing.

Strangely, it took me a while to get into it but, once I did I couldn’t put it down. I think we all need to get our heads out of the professional stuff every now and then and Unbroken is a wonderful way to do it.