Archive for Fat Loss

Free Course from John Berardi

Posted in Fat Loss, Nutrition, Training, Training Females with tags , , on August 7, 2012 by mboyle1959

Let’s face it, 90% of gym-goers seem to be after a single goal: fat loss. Those of you who read this blog know exercise alone doesn’t work. Without a dietary change, even the best program produces as little as half a pound of true fat loss per month. The combination of exercise AND nutrition coaching is much more effective, increasing the rate of fat loss 3-5X. And it’s surprisingly easy to do.

To get you up-to-speed, Dr. John Berardi is offering you a crash course on state-of-the-art nutrition coaching. Dr. Berardi’s a friend of mine, a renowned researcher, and a pioneer in the field of nutrition coaching.  Trust me, the course is absolutely worth checking out and it’s completely free.

The course is called “The Essentials of Nutrition Coaching.”

In the course you’ll learn:

  • How to include nutrition in a training, coaching or therapeutic environment
  • How to quickly and accurately assess the nutritional needs of a new client
  • How to devise a nutrition plan based on that assessment
  • What stats to measure and how exactly to measure them
  • How to optimize a nutrition plan based on those stats

… and in short, how to help your clients lose fat 3-5X as fast as they are now.

The course is entirely free. It’s now available. And you can access it by clicking this link:

To learn more about state-of-the-art nutrition coaching, this is one course you won’t want to miss.

You may get this as an email from a bunch of people. You also we be encouraged to take further courses. I like full disclosure. However, take advantage of John’s free offer. I happen to think he is the number one guy in the field. Simple, practical stuff. Don’t get put off by multiple emails, just click the link above.


More Evidence for Increased Fat Intake?

Posted in Fat Loss, Guest Authors, Media, Nutrition, Random Thoughts with tags on May 15, 2012 by mboyle1959

Wow, another day and even more evidence that we may be wrong about the whole high carb- low fat thing. Do we really need more evidence than the evidence we see walking around every day?

Saturated Fats May Not be All That Bad?

Training the Overweight Client

Posted in Fat Loss, MBSC News, Media, Training with tags , , , , , on November 7, 2011 by mboyle1959

Originally posted October 25th 2010 at 

Training obese clients represents a series of truly unique challenges. Within these challenges lie great business prospects and opportunities to change lives’. However, to succeed trainers need to put a large amount of thought into the process of dealing with an overweight client. Unfortunately as Ben Franklin noted “common sense is not very common”. We constantly see trainers making recommendations for overweight clients that are both dangerous and foolish.

Luckily, as in so many situations, if you look for the answers, they become obvious. If trainers simply copy the foolishness they see on TV they are only going to make mistakes, injure clients and lose clients. The people that produce shows like The Biggest Loser are a huge part of the problem. What is done to the poor people on the show in the name of health and fitness borders on criminal negligence. The worst part is that current and future trainers watch the show and think that abusing and belittling clients actually works.

The truth is exactly the opposite. In the real world psychology is job one when taking on an overweight client. Overweight clients are conditioned to fail. You have to remind yourself that this will probably not be the first time this client has attempted to lose weight or to change their diet. The real key to success in any endeavor is to realize that “no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care” ( Theodore Roosevelt)! Belittling and embarrassing a client may make for good TV but, don’t try it with clients who are paying you.

If you want to succeed with your overweight clients you must be willing to become the biggest part of their support structure. Daily emails, texts and or phone calls will be essential to insure compliance and encourage continued participation. Very often your relationship with the client may be the only thing that prevents them from giving up.

Note: Before you start, take a look at . Gregg Miele has some excellent self-discipline bracelets that I like to give to my overweight clients to help them remember to eat well when we are not together. Remember, every little bit will help.

Don’t Worry, be Crappy

Want to learn how to train an obese person? Train one. Everyone is too afraid to make a mistake. However, if you make a mistake make a conservative mistake, not a foolish, Biggest Loser mistake. Think ready, fire, aim but, aim a little low with an obese client instead of a little high. I love “don’t worry be crappy” and “ready, fire, aim”. I learn well on my feet. Just remember to use your common sense and keep it simple. These are not athletes. I have said numerous times that the best way to learn to train overweight clients is to do it. Everything I’m writing in this article I learned from training an overweight client. In my case my client Hank Morse was able to lose 125 lbs. in about six months. Nothing fancy, just common sense.

Why Are People Overweight?

I have done a lot of research and have come to a simple conclusion. Overweight people generally eat too much. I know this sounds like an oversimplification but a little reality therapy can be good. It’s usually not glands, and it may be genetics, but most often it is the over-consumption of food. You will not succeed with overweight clients if they do not change their diet. I have adopted a very simple approach to nutrition. I think nutrition is easy, compliance is hard. Science is beginning to agree. A recent study said that simple nutrition information encourages compliance.

Mike Boyle’s Nutritional Guidelines

• If you’ve already met one of these high carb- low fat registered dieticians, run away. High carb- low fat has done two things. One is make us fatter. The other is make us rename adult onset diabetes. It’s now Type 2 because kids get it. Kids get it because of the absolute failure of the high-carb low-fat concept.

• Avoid grain like it’s poison. If you just try to cut all corn and corn products out you will be going a long way toward improving your nutrition. Just look at the label. If one of the first two ingredients is corn or high fructose corn syrup, skip it. Grains are the root of all fat evil. Please note, corn is a grain, not a vegetable. It is also the number one calorie source in America. Worse than corn is the dreaded high fructose corn syrup. It’s in everything and it’s bad for you. I know I will probably get hate mail from farmers in Iowa but, if you want to lose weight try to cut out all grains. Yes, I know grain is considered an essential by many, I’m just not one of them. You can get plenty of carbs without grain.

• In fact, tell your clients to act like they have a grain allergy. I tell people now that grains make you break out in big lumps all over you body. The lumps are most often found on your rear end and stomach but can appear anywhere.

• Read Michael Pollan’s Food Rules. It is as simple as it gets. “Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.”

• To Pollan’s rules I would add eat more protein. So the Boyle interpretation is “eat food mostly plants and animal products, not too much.” Protein is satiating. Think protein at every feeding. While you are at it, forget the term meal. Think 5-6 small feedings a day. Stop using the word meal. When an overweight person hears the term meal they have an entirely different thought process than you or I. We want clients to think about small feedings in the 300 calorie range, not meals.

• Supplement your fats. I know many of you may be confused. Our fat ratios are all screwed up. You need to take a fish oil supplement every day to try to increase the amount of good fat in the systems. Buy good fish oil, preferably Krill Oil. Good brands include ProGrade, Mercola and Nordic Naturals.

Training the Overweight Client

The advice for training the obese client is much like the advice on nutrition. First forget what you know. Remember that these are not athletes. When I began my ready-fire-aim process of training 375 lb. Hank Morse I had an idea in my head. I’d simply take 375 lb Hank and train him like one of my athletes. It was not until I was on the gym floor with Hank getting ready for our first day that I realized what an absolute fool I was. Talk about lack of common sense. As I began the workout I realized that my standard warm-up procedure was not going to work.

Things I Don’t Do With Overweight Clients ( But Thought I Would)

• Foam rolling
• Stretching
• Core work
• Single leg work

I know what many of you who are reading this are saying. “Mike these are the basic building blocks of your programs”. Amazingly, you are right. However, we need to be able to adapt to the needs of our clients, not vice versa. As I always say, I’m not married to any concept. Foam rolling for an overweight client is like working out. I think the effort needed to foam roll can seriously detract from the actual workout. Besides, just the process of getting up and down from the ground adds to the difficulty and embarrassment factor. One thing I realized quickly after watching how difficult it was for Hank to get up or down from he floor was that I wanted to minimize the number of times we got up or down from the floor.

Static Stretching? Same idea. Overweight clients are generally not nimble ballerinas. It can be a huge amount of work (no pun intended) just trying to get an overweight client in position to stretch. Never mind what happens if the client loses balance and falls. The truth is beginning with stretching and rolling can make a client feel awkward and like a failure from the get-go. I want success. I want to make it easy to warm-up.

The same goes for core work. More prescription for failure. Core work for the overweight client should initially be a by-product of exercise choices rather than direct. Planks etc. can be extremely difficult for heavy clients. Remember in many of our basic functional exercises the resistance is bodyweight. For a 375 lb client this is a detriment verses a benefit.

Last but, certainly not least, single leg work. Again a basic building block of our programs fails the common sense test. The first thing an obese client needs to do is learn to squat on two legs and, handle his or her bodyweight. I want to throw myself out the window when I see the things they do on The Biggest Loser. I’m worried about doing a proper squat and they have these people running sprints and doing box jumps.

Developing Confidence

Obese clients need to be confident that you won’t hurt them and confident that they won’t hurt themselves. Proper exercise choices will increase confidence. Fancy things like single leg exercises should come much later. Remember, with overweight clients there is a huge psychological component. It’s like hooking a big fish ( no pun intended). You need to keep it on the line. How do we develop this confidence, by encouraging success. Avoid floor exercises. Getting up and down from the floor is hard work for an overweight client.

Breaking the Warm-up Rule

I have always said that a walking warmup was like stealing money from a client. However it’s OK for an overweight client to walk for 5 minutes to warm-up. I think a client in a normal weight range should begin every workout with foam rolling, stretching and a dynamic warm-up but an overweight client will be fine just walking. From there you can progress to simple standing warm-up exercises like mini-band walks, band pull-aparts and med ball circuits. For med ball circuits it’s more rule busting and improper progressions. When we do our med ball work with our overweight clients we start standing and stay standing.

Designing the Strength Workout for the Obese Client

The primary goal for an overweight client is to keep them moving for an hour. This means that the strength routine should consist of mini circuits of four exercises. Each circuit should consist of:

• A push- modified pushup, pushup, band press
• A knee dominant exercise- bench squats or box squats. ROM first, resistance second
• A pull- band row, pulldowns
• A hip dominant – 2 leg bridge

The circuits don’t need to be done fast. Start with one circuit of ten reps each and add one per day. Work up to four circuits. Let the client determine the pace in the beginning but, stay with the goal of keeping them moving for an hour. The first few workouts may take less time. Overweight clients may not be able to handle an hour of activity but, have that as your goal. If the client finishes early, simply set the treadmill and allow them to walk for the remainder of the hour .


Helping my friend Hank lose over 100 lbs was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. It was life changing for Hank and life changing for me. An overweight person has to ready to become a client. If an overweight friend reaches out to you because they know you are in the fitness field, jump on the opportunity. What you will learn will improve their life and, will improve your own. The one good thing shows like The Biggest Loser have done is empower overweight clients to believe they can lose weight. Our job is to help them do it correctly and most important to keep the weight off.

To learn more and to see this in lecture format you can order Training the OverWeight client, a 50 minute lecture presenation given at the Perform Better Summits in 2009.

Metabolic Conditioning

Posted in Fat Loss, Hockey, Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females with tags , , , on March 31, 2011 by mboyle1959

There has been lots of talk about metabolic conditioning for both fitness and fat loss. In the past I have posted these workouts under the heading Real Life Intervals. It’s funny because certain groups think they have cornered the market on hard work. In my mind, the best work device in the world is the Schwinn Airdyne. Between Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning and Boston University Hockey we own about 28 Airdynes. I know, they need a little maintenance but they are worth it. This is a workout done on what we refer to as “the big fan” Airdyne with the large front fan.

FYI, the work intervals are prescribed by distance, this way no one can dog it. If you use time you need to watch people. If you use distance, they either ride harder or longer. In this case the work interval was 1/2 mi.

Rest is based on heartrate. This means that we wait for the heartrate to drop to about 60%. There is no magic to 60% but it works. For my BU athletes we use 65% as that seems to be their recovery heartrate on the bench.  In either case the entire workout stays in the theoretical aerobic range.

We now have our Polar Team System on a big screen TV so there is no hiding.

Time       Heartrate        Rest

Interval 1  .5 mi       1:25         150                   :60

Interval 2 . 5 mi      1:20        160                 1:20

Interval 3  . 5 mi     1:20        166                  1:25

Interval 4  .5 mi     1:20         168                 2:00

Interval 5  .5 mi     1:20        170                 2:00

Interval 6  .5 mi    1:20        177

I think the key measure of fitness is recovery. How fast does your heartrate go down. We train for a combination of work consistency and recovery. Try it.

Is There a Fat Burning Zone and Does It Matter?

Posted in Fat Loss, Nutrition, Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females with tags , on March 28, 2011 by mboyle1959

If you’ve been reading this blog on a consistent basis you probably already know where I’m going with this one. You guessed it. The Fat Burning Zone is another of the urban legends of fitness. Does anyone think that when they are in the so-called fat burning zone that stored bodyfat melts off them like butter?

A little reality therapy is in order. The Fat Burning Zone is a big fat lie. Here’s the truth.

1- The “fat burning zone” supposedly describes a level of exercise that results in a larger number of the calories burned during exercise being derived from fat. This does not mean that stored bodyfat is the selective source. It only describes the relative percentage of utilization of three substrates, fat, carbohydrate and protein.

2- The fat burning zone actually describes what percentage of calories burned are derived from fat as an energy source. Do you know when you are burning the most calories from fat? Sorry. The highest percentage of fat utilization is at rest. The more intense the exercise becomes, the more carbohydrate is used as a source.

Guess what. It doesn’t matter. The reality is that it’s about the number of calories burned, not the number of those calories that come from fat as a source. If the fat burning zone idea actually worked we could get extremely lean by simply sitting still. Guess again. That doesn’t work, does it.

Confused, let’s use a mathematical example.

Lets assume that we have two identical exercisers who are going to exercise for twenty minutes. Exerciser one is doing a slow walk to stay “in the fat burning zone”. Exerciser two is going to run hard for twenty minutes. To keep the example simple we will assume that exerciser one will derive forty percent of his or her calories from fat. Exerciser two will move out of the fat burning zone and only derive 20 percent of his or her calories from fat.

Exerciser one will walk at 3 miles per hour and will cover one mile in twenty minutes. This will result in a caloric expenditure of 100 calories with 40 calories coming from fat.

Exerciser two will run at 7.5 miles per hour and will cover 2.5 miles in twenty minutes. This will result in a caloric expenditure of  250 calories with 50 calories coming from fat.

Hmm, seems interesting. The exerciser in the “fat burning zone” burned less calories and less calories from fat in the same amount of time? The exerciser working harder and leaving the fat burning zone burned 2.5 times as many calories and, 10 more calories from fat.

I rest my case. Figures lie and liars figure. Stop worrying about burning fat and start worrying about working harder

PS- If you read Gary Taubes Why We Get Fat you might reconsider all of this. If you want to get leaner exercise is not the route. There are lots of reasons to exercise but fat loss is 90% diet. In either case working harder still beats working longer.


A Long Slow Walk to Nowhere or Watching Hamsters

Posted in Fat Loss, Media, Random Thoughts, Training, Training Females with tags , , on January 25, 2011 by mboyle1959

This was the second of a series I wrote a few years ago based on my visit to a commercial fitness facility. I was moved to repost/ revise it after I walked by a commercial fitness center in a mall. All I could think of was watching hamsters on the wheel in the HabiTrail.

In part 1 I covered weight training. To review, look at what everyone else is doing and, don’t do it. Pretty simple. The Charles Staley 180 Principle. Everyone benching, think more rows. Just keep telling yourself, do the opposite. Guy does arms for an hour. You should do legs. Just a thought. How many people walked by you on their hands today? My guess unless you went to the circus was zero.

In regards to “cardio”, the same is true. I hate the term cardio. Most of the people I saw in the gym the day I was there were on what I like to call “the long slow walk to nowhere”. Even if I liked the term cardio, what these people were doing would best be qualified as Ultra Low Intensity Calorie Burning (ULICB) or Ultra Low Intensity Cardio Training (ULICT). Just figured I’d make up my own acronyms. Everyone else does. I have trouble believing that anyone walking on a treadmill, while holding on no less, is getting much of a cardiovascular workout.

I know, I know. It is better than watching TV. But, guess what, at most of these places you can walk slowly and watch TV. If only they had waitress service, you could eat while you walked also. Here is my analogy. Walking is to exercise as eating sugar packets at Dunkin Donuts is to nutrition. Yes, if you were starving you could get calories from sugar packets and fend off malnutrition. That doesn’t mean it is good nutrition.

What I witnessed was the cardiovascular lowest common denominator. Lets get one thing straight. If you want to improve your fitness you need to challenge yourself. Walking is a great place to start. However, if you continue to walk at the same pace for the same time the benefits, beyond calories expended, decrease and potentially disappear.

Back to Charles Staley’s 180 principle. Everyone is holding on. Let go. Everyone is walking flat. Raise the incline. Everyone is walking for a long time. Walk up a hill and then rest. That’s it. Start a simple interval training program if you have been walking for a while. First step, buy a heartrate monitor. You can get them at Buy a cheap one. All you need to do is know your heartrate. Next time you walk use your monitor and see what your heartrate is during your walk. This is what we will call your Comfortable Working Heartrate. Most middle aged people would need to break 110 beats per minute to get a cardiovascular effect. Either way, don’t worry about it. Just figure out what heartrate you normally walk at.

Next time you walk warmup for 5 minutes at your normal pace and then raise the incline to 5%. Walk for one minute. This should move you about 10%-20% ( this will be 10-20 beats in most cases) out of that steady state comfort zone. If it’s more than 20% higher, reduce the incline to 3%. If it’s less, raise it to 7%. Step off the belt and wait for your heartrate to return to 100 beats per minute.

The bottom line. Do a 180. Do the opposite of everyone else. Don’t be a hamster.

PS- If you only have an hour to exercise weight training will burn more calories and make more positive changes than an hour of cardio. The research is very clear on that. Pressed for time, do a total body lift.

New DVD’s- Finally

Posted in Fat Loss, Hockey, Injuries, Low Back Pain, Seminars, Training, Training Females, Youth Training with tags , , , on October 22, 2010 by mboyle1959

About six months ago I set out to film my three most popular lectures. It took a while to get everything done but hey are finally available for sale.

ACL Reduction was filmed at the MBSC Winter Seminar in 2010 and looks at ACL prevention from a training standpoint. This is about a 50 minute lecture that outlines a multi-step program of training to prevent ACL injury. I can tell you that it is better than any of the ACL prevention programs I have seen marketed commercially.″>ACL

Training the Overweight Client documents the steps I took to help a client lose over 100 lbs. in three months. This is a real common sense lecture that looks at the real problems with obese clients. Don’t expect any watered down “go for a walk” stuff or any Biggest Loser stupidity from this one. I actually gave this lecture in 2008 and 2009 on the Perform Better tour.″>Training

Hips and Hernias will appeal to the athletic training and physical therapy crowd. This lecture is the same one I gave to the NHL Strength and Conditioning Coaches in 2010 as well as at a few sports medicine seminars. Hips and hernias looks at the near epidemic of sports hernia and hip surgery in sport and how to prevent it.″>Hips

Take a look. I think you’ll like all three. If you are a Body By Boyle OnLine member, save your money. They will be up on the site soon as a value added feature.



More Real Life AirDyne Intervals

Posted in Fat Loss, Training, Training Females with tags , , on May 13, 2010 by mboyle1959

Did 8 x .5 mi. again Give it a try.

1:26/ 1:20/ 1:20/ 1:19/ 1:20/ 1:20/ 1:24/ 1:22

Rest was 1 min after interval one and capped at 2 min. Recoveries 1-5 was to 110 BPM, after 6 and 7 it was only about 1:17 but we had capped the rest at 2 min.

Hank’s Big Adventure

Posted in Fat Loss, Guest Authors, MBSC News, Nutrition, Training with tags on January 27, 2009 by mboyle1959

The following was printed today at my friend Hank Morses’s blog . Hank is a Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning client. He is also the inspiration for my presentation this year on the Perform Better tour.  In addition his story also played a big part in our first webinar Just wanted to share it with my readers:


Hi folks…..we’re almost one-twelfth of the way through the year and have you made your commitment to improving your health? Before you drop some expletives in my direction (who like’s to be questioned by a fat guy?), let me share my weekend.


Friday night, I deejayed a school function for my daughters, where they and their friends got up and sang on stage, danced with their friends, goofed off a lot and had a blast.


Saturday morning, I jumped into the frigid Atlantic at Wollaston Beach in Quincy as part of the John Hancock Birthday Plunge, to raise money for Interfaith Social Services. ISS serves needy families and individuals on the South Shore. Saturday night, I emceed an auction/fundraiser for a three month old baby girl, whose mother died during childbirth last October. You can go the website , if you’d like to donate to her fund.


My point is this: Family and friends are so important, life is short and you have to take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way in life. I was fortunate that, despite my lifetime of fatness, I didn’t have any serious illnesses. I did lose a gallbladder, though. Luckily for me, Mike Boyle offered to help me lose weight and the one thing I’ve done right during the last decade was take him up on his offer and take advantage of the help he offered. I’ve lost about 105 pounds……I tip the scale at 270….and I’ve got a long way to go. My wife, my daughters, my friends….they are all very important to me. YOU are important to your family and friends. Put yourself first, for one. Spend the money on your fitness NOW….not when your relegated to some long term care facility with disabling physical limitations.


When I first started working out, I used to visualize skiing with my daughters, whenever I’d be struggling on the treadmill, or doubting myself. Last winter, while Abbey and Charlotte skied, I sat on my size 54s in the lodge, lamenting how I’d let myself  balloon to 375 pounds.


Yesterday, I skied at Wachusett Mountain in Princeton on a glorious, sunny winter day. The girls both brought a friend. The girls glided down the mountain with their friends, I wiped a tear from my eye as I got to the top of the lift, and felt like Bobby Orr soaring through the air as I made my way down the mountain to the lodge.


I want to thank Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Winchester for helping me attain one of my many goals. If I can do it, you can too.


Go get ‘em……TODAY!!!!