Complete Sports Conditioning Questions

Posted in Uncategorized on May 1, 2017 by mboyle1959
I’ve been getting a couple of pretty consistent questions from my Complete Sports Conditioning product so, I figured a blog post might reach more people.
Q- You said in the lecture that heart rate based conditioning may be superior to time based conditioning when performing intervals. On paper that sounds good, but the video demonstrated some of the flaws of a heart rate based system?
A- I guess my question back would be “does the demonstration illustrate the flaws of time based training or the flaws of heart rate based training” ?  What people are seeing in the video demo’s is that one group  ( the heart rate based group) gets more rest. The reality is that they get more rest because based on their current level of fitness they need more rest. I like to go back to the “training is like farming” analogy. You can’t force conditioning. If you do, people can get sick  in the short term ( like vomit sick) or injured ( over time).
Q-  I can agree that heart-rate based will suffice for some, but with soccer or hockey players wouldn’t time-based training be better? Some athletes don’t have the luxury of getting as much rest as they need/ want.
A-  If athletes are not in proper condition forcing them to do time based conditioning ( set rest to work ratio) versus heart rate based can cause more problems than it solves.  As I mentioned above, forcing time based conditioning could be really damaging, causing them to overwork and potentially get injured. 
Q- The demands of sport can at times create a negative work to rest ratio depending on the game flow, so I don’t see how what you demonstrated could be game specific. At times some of the participants in the demonstration  waited 2 minutes before they could do another rep of a 60 yd shuttles.
A- That’s true but, the person with the exceptionally long rest was an Olympic level javelin thrower, not a field / court sport athlete. 
Q- Do you guys mix it up? For example, do you start someone who is out of shape on HR based then switch it up to time-based as their off-season starts to wind down?
A- Yes, we will/ might go to time based in the later part part of pre-season for the reasons mentioned above. However that would be a mistake with beginners, younger athletes etc. At certain times in the late pre-competitive period we will simply used timed rest knowing the athlete will not have the luxury of “unlimited rest”. 

To learn more about Complete Sports Conditioning just click


Evolution of a Strength Coach

Posted in Uncategorized on April 24, 2017 by mboyle1959

I though I’d republish and old favorite

Evolution of a Strength Coach

A few recent events have made me realize that all strength coaches will eventually evolve to the same place. Like many of us, I listen and read a great deal from the internet. One trend that I have seen is that some of the previously “hard core” guys are gradually embracing the corrective exercise/ functional training side of the coin. This made me realize:

1- Why I think the way I do
2- Why others make fun of me
The reason I think the way I do and the reason lots of the “hardcore” guys make fun of me is because I am old. I am further along the evolutionary trail of the strength coach. You see, we all start at about the same place and we probably all end up at the same place. I just started my journey sooner. In fact I am in year 32 of my evolution. For me phase 1 of the Evolution of the Strength and Conditioning Coach, The Bodybuilder, was actually in the 1970’s. I saw Boyer Coe guest pose at a show in Connecticut and wanted to be the next Frank Zane. If you don’t know who those guys are, it’s OK. You are just too young.
The truth is almost all male strength coaches and personal trainers go through the evolutionary process listed below.
Stage 1- The Bodybuilder.


to read more click here

Mobility for Strength?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 21, 2017 by mboyle1959

I’m spending a week at the lovely Arizona Grand Hotel just outside Phoenix. What a week. Visited EXOS, met Stuart McMillan and a bunch of the Altis guys, and got to have a nice dinner with Mark and Amy Verstegen.

All this on top of getting to spend a week in the sun and at the pool with my wife and kids.

But, what does this have to do with mobility and strength? Good question.

In 2011 I filmed Functional Strength Coach 4 at the Arizona Grand and met Mike Baltren and Max Shank.  Mike and Max had just founded Ambition Athletics in Encinitas, Ca. and came out for the seminar.

I actually knew Max from this Youtube clip. He and Ben Bruno are the two strongest guys I have ever seen pound for pound.

So, when a guy like Max says this:

Like many, I used to believe that mobility work was a waste of time, and even once bought into the nonsense that doing mobility training would make me weaker.

I am here to tell you that I was WRONG. Dead wrong. Wrongity, wrong, wrong.

Not only did ignoring mobility training leave me battered and torn up, I started to actually get weaker. My lifts went down, and the number of exercises I could do pain-free also went down. I was at least smart enough to not do exercises that hurt me, but I was losing options–FAST.

Well, I listened. Max has done a great job with his Five Minute Flow series and How Mobility Made me Stronger.

I love when guys realize that it’s not just about how much weight you lift. Yes, we were all young and invincible once but, trust me, it doesn’t last forever. Mileage adds up. Let Max help you slow down the mileage.

To check out How Mobility Made Me Stronger, click here.

Build Bigger Legs, One Leg At a Time?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 20, 2017 by mboyle1959

I wrote this a few years ago for

Build Bigger Legs, One Leg At a Time

Over the years for a variety of reasons, I’ve advocated for more single leg training. I summed up my “whys” in this article for T-Nation back in 2007. In the simplest sense, single-leg training results in less back stress due to the reduced loads used. And, although the phrase “functional training” is overused, single-leg training meets my definition of functional training,  the application of functional anatomy to training. You do almost everything in sports from a split stance, or by pushing off one leg from a parallel stance, so it just makes sense to train your body that way.
Since I’ve already made that argument about single-leg training, there’s no need to rehash it here. Instead, I want to present an entirely new question: What if you could actually get more stress to your legs, build more useable strength, and potentially add more size by working around your back, which is often the weak link in bilateral exercises like squats?
This is what bodybuilders have been doing for decades. By bracing your back in the leg press, you can hit your leg extensors — your quads — with far more load. That’s because the load doesn’t have to be transferred through your back to get to your legs.
Now, before you think I’ve done a 180 and come to love the leg press, let me assure you that my opinion hasn’t changed. Yes, the machine allows bodybuilders to pile on the plates, but we now know that the back pays a price. It’s just a different price than the one lifters pay for using heavy loads in the squat. Instead of compressing the spine, the leg press causes a rounding of the back, which over time might create more damage.

Safety isn’t the only reason to avoid the leg press. The exercise has evolved into a kind of a circus act, done with the help of knee wraps, hands on thighs, and abysmal ranges of motion. Did you ever see that video of Pat Robertson, the 74-year-old televangelist, leg-pressing 2,000 pounds? If you took the exercise seriously before, that video surely curbed your enthusiasm.
All that said, when the goal is to build bigger, stronger legs, I still think it’s a good idea to target those muscles without having to place heavy loads on the spine. We just need to find a better way to do it.

To finish reading, click here

Eat Dirt?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2017 by mboyle1959

This is a great read that will really get you thinking. As a matter of fact, its going to be our next staff book club read.

Here’s a few nuggets from the book:

“ researchers at the California Institute of Technology have estimated that the recent sevenfold to eightfold increase in rates of autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s Disease, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis is directly related to the lack of beneficial microbes in our gut”  p 49

“ according to the Environmental Working Group women use an average of 12 personal care products daily, men six…. Just using these personal care products women are exposed to a daily average of 168 chemical ingredients, and men to 85” p 125

Read Eat Dirt

Just Kickin It Podcast

Posted in Uncategorized on April 15, 2017 by mboyle1959

If you are a soccer person, I recently recorded the Just Kickin It podcast with Josh Faga.

We talk about fitness, monitoring, using the ball in speed work and lots of other stuff.


Soundcloud –

iTunes –

Website –

Twitter –

Stop Buying Soda

Posted in Uncategorized on April 14, 2017 by mboyle1959

It’s been years since we had soda in our house. It was initially tough to do. I was raised on Pepsi. My dad’s summer job when we were kids was driving a Pepsi truck and making deliveries. However the evidence continues to mount that soda is bad for you and, that the companies know it. Give this a read.


Coca Cola Caught Undermining Public Health Initiatives