Archive for June, 2015

Do Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats Cause Back Pain?

Posted in Core training, Injuries, Low Back Pain, Strength Coach Podcast, Updates, Training, Training Females with tags , on June 30, 2015 by mboyle1959

I just got back from speaking at the Perform Better Summit in Chicago. In between my talks I took in Stuart McGill’s talk ( he is always one of my favorites and has greatly influenced me).

Recently Dr McGill has been vocal about Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats potentially causing back pain, particularly SI joint pain and as he calls it “pelvic ring” disruption.

We probably use the rear foot elevated split squat as much as anyone and, have not had any increase in SI joint pain or back pain in general. In fact, we switched to the split squat variations in response to back pain from heavy back and front squats.

My theory on why we don’t have back pain from the rear foot elevated split squat is three fold.

1- We use a relatively short stance. A lot of the videos I’ve seen have the rear leg quite extended.

2-  We rarely do more than 30 reps per week per leg. A big volume week for us would be three sets of 10.

3- We never put the bar in a back or front squat position. Positioning the bar this way causes a great deal of lumbar extension which could increase back stress and anterior hip stress. We always use dumbbells of kettle bells.

I think this “idea” is just that and has very little basis in fact. As much I’m reluctant to disagree with Dr McGill I have to one this one.

Early in the week I polled members and couldn’t find one who thought that rear foot elevated split squats had resulted in either them or their athletes having an increase in back pain. Coincidence? I think not.



Who Should You Take Advice From?

Posted in Guest Authors, MBSC News, Random Thoughts, Updates, Training, Uncategorized on June 29, 2015 by mboyle1959

Brian Carrol wrote an interesting piece called Five Reasons Your Not Getting Stronger. It was pretty good and to the point.

I thought I’d analyze this part though?

Qualify the person you’re taking advice from using these 5 questions I learned from Dave Tate of Elite FTS:

1. What is his/her education and background?
2. How is/was this coach’s performance in the particular sport they’re coaching?
3. Who have they trained?
4. Have they been able to make athletes better than they were before training with them?
5. Do they practice what they preach?

If I score myself, I do pretty good on number 1, education and background.

Number 2, performance in the particular sport they are coaching? I was not very good at anything. In fact, my best sport was swimming. I played and liked lots of other stuff ( powerlifting, basketball, football) but, performance? Not so much. Surprisingly, I have a baseball worlds series ring ( played from 8 years old to 12 and stunk) and two ice hockey national championship rings ( never played). By the way, my dad one a few state championships as a basketball coach and never played organized basketball. Also, in most team sports, great players don’t make great coaches. In strength and conditioning most of the best coaches I know either weren’t very good, had a career shortened by injury or both.

3, who have they trained? I make a big comeback here. That part of my resume is better than average.

4, have they been able to make people better athletes than before they trained them? Another positive. At MBSC we have professional athletes who started with us a middle schoolers. I think this one is huge. I hate the coaches who suck up to some All Star and then take credit for him. This is sadly very common and something we go through every day.

5, do they practice what they preach? Oops, abject failure. I have not lifted a heavy weight since the 80’s and probably do far too many 12 ounce curls ( I will occasionally go heavy at 16 and 22).

Bottom line, be careful with guru’s, Dave and John are right however I would recommend that you really focus on 1, 3, and 4. Playing the sport and looking good doesn’t make you a good coach.

Interval Training Secrets

Posted in Fat Loss, MBSC News, Updates, Training with tags , , on June 28, 2015 by mboyle1959

There are two primary methods of performing interval training. The first is the conventional Work to Rest method. The Work to Rest method uses a set time for work and a set time for rest. Ratios are determined and, the athlete or client rests for generally one, two or three times the length of the work interval before repeating the next bout. The big drawback to the work to rest method is that time is arbitrary. We have no idea what is actually happening inside the body, we simply guess. In fact for many years we have always guessed, as we had no other “measuring stick”.

Heartrate Method

With the mass production of low cost heartrate monitors, we are no longer required to guess. The future of interval training lies with accurate, low cost heartrate monitors. With a heartrate monitor there is no more guessing. We are no longer looking at time as a measure of recovery, as we formerly did in our rest to work ratios, we are looking at physiology. What is important to understand is that heartrate and intensity are closely related. Although heartrate is not a direct and flawless measure of either intensity or recovery status, it is far better than simply choosing a time interval to rest. To use the heartarte method, simply choose an appropriate recovery heartrate. In our case we use sixty percent of theoretical max heartrate using the Karvonen method (see The Problem With Formulas box). After a work interval of a predetermined time is completed the recovery is simply set by the time it takes to return to the recovery heartrate. When using HR response, the whole picture changes. Initial recovery in well-conditioned athletes and clients is often rapid and shorter. In fact rest to work ratios may be less than 1-1 in the initial few intervals. An example of a typical workout for a well-conditioned athlete or client is show below.

to read the rest, click here

The Truth About Target Heart Rate Training

Posted in Uncategorized on June 26, 2015 by mboyle1959

We just got the MYZone system so I thought I’d hit this topic again.

Every time I have this conversation with a group I always get the question “ If this stuff about target heart rates isn’t true, why is it plastered on the front of every treadmill”. I can’t really answer except to say that it probably came out of the legal department.

The truth is that target heartrate zone training is a highly flawed concept that could result in us drastically overtraining or undertraining ourselves or a client. Why is it a flawed concept? Because the physiologists know that only a small percentage of the population actually fits the formula. Did you know that seventy percent of the population is plus or minus ten to twelve beats from the theoretical 220- age formula. Yes seven out of ten people don’t fit the mold. Even worse, thirty percent of the population deviates nearly twice that much.

In mathematical terms for seventy percent of the population maximal heartrate actually equals:

220 – age plus or minus 10-12 beats per minute

For thirty percent of the population maximal heartrate actually equals:

220- age plus or minus 20-24 beats per minute

Why is this such a big deal? To realize why, we need to first state that those whose heartrates are on the high end are at little to no risk. All that happens with those folks is that we don’t push them hard enough. The problem is with the folks who have an unusually low maximum heartrate. If we were to push a person in the thirty percent group that is minus twenty-four beats per minute to eighty percent of their theoretical maximal heartrate, we would actually be pushing them to ninety percent. This would be a major error that could have significant ramifications.

The lesson here is that, as with so many of the so-called truths of fitness, there is actually significant variability in what we seem to think is an accurate and time-honored formula. Be careful with yourself and with you clients. Buy a heartrate monitor and learn how both you and your clients really respond to exercise.

Did Jarome Iginla Specialize?

Posted in Uncategorized on June 25, 2015 by mboyle1959

From Sports Illustrated March 5, 2007 Page 18

Jarome Iginla on playing baseball in addition to hockey as a child:

“I was mostly a catcher and a pitcher, and I played a little shortstop { on a travel team }.

I dreamed of being like Bo Jackson and one day playing hockey and baseball. I loved them equally, and I stayed with baseball until I was about 17.”

Jarome played baseball in season, in the spring and did not play in any spring hockey leagues or tournaments.

He did not “specialize” in hockey like many are mislead to do. He took time off from skating and playing hockey.

Another Workout on the Green at Market St in Lynnfield

Posted in Uncategorized on June 23, 2015 by mboyle1959

Join us @ Lululemon Athletica for” Thirsty Thursday” in Lynnfield. On the green at Market St this Thursday June 25th at 6:30pm for a free workout with a few of our MBSC trainers.

Thirsty Thursday || Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning
Thursday at 6:30pm
lululemon athletica MarketStreet in Lynnfield, Massachusetts

Free MBSC Workout This Saturday

Posted in Uncategorized on June 19, 2015 by mboyle1959

Join our MBSC staff at the Eddie Bauer Grand Opening  Market Street, Lynnfield Ma. on Saturday June 20th.

First 100 purchases get a swag bag!
$25 gift card give aways all day long!
Raffle to win a $500 Eddie Bauer shopping spree!

Events on the green
10 am yoga
12 noon Zumba
2pm Free work out with MBSC

All are welcome to participate for free!
( free give aways while you work out!)
Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning | 781-938-1330 ||

Adding People to Facebook Groups?

Posted in Uncategorized on June 18, 2015 by mboyle1959

I just got another Facebook message saying ” ______ has added you to the group ____  _____ “.

Do us all a favor and don’t add us. It’s rude. You can ask if we want to join but, don’t just add people.

By the way, while I’m ranting please don’t use text messages for business correspondence, send an email. It’s so much more professional and far easier to keep track of.

Take a Look at What’s New on

Posted in Uncategorized on June 13, 2015 by mboyle1959


Rower Lunges-

Standing Press-

Shoulder Upward & Downward Rotation Drill-

Summer Strength and Conditioning Guide for Parents: 3 Pitfalls to Avoid- Anthony Donskov
Is It Overtraining or Under Planning?- Mike Boyle

4 Day Summer Program PDF- Mike Boyle
These threads have been getting a lot of activity:

Advanced Forum
Is This a 3?

Beginner Forum
Teaching the Hip Hinge

The Strength Coach Podcast
In Episode 164, Anthony interviews Sue Falsone, with a lot of the conversation talking about concepts from her new DVD, “The Shoulder”.

In Episode 165, Anthony interviews Anaheim Ducks Strength Coach Sean Skahan about everything he is doing with the Ducks.

Listen Here

Thanks for logging in and thanks to all of our contributors.

MBSC Summer Program Starts Monday

Posted in Core training, Fat Loss, Hockey, Injuries, Low Back Pain, MBSC News, Media, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , on June 12, 2015 by mboyle1959

Our 18th summer program starts on Monday. It’s crazy how time flies. We still have a few spots available for late morning in both Woburn and North Andover.

PS- If you are still in school for another week you can come in the afternoon for a week or two if needed.