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Sample Articles/Programs from

Here's a few sample articles to give you an idea of the kinds of things you'll find in the Subscribers Area of These articles are reprinted as they originally appeared.

Hypertrophy Training for Athletes
Michael Boyle
Because of the popularity of the recent forum thread, "Hypertrophy, Start with the Why?" I wanted to re-post this. I train a lot of young athletes. These high school and college kids almost always need to gain solid weight in order to compete at a higher level. In the world of sports, hardly anyone is "big enough." Bigger is generally better. keep reading

Interval Training- HIIT or Miss?
Michael Boyle
I think every fat loss article we read espouses the value of interval training for fat loss. In fact the term HIIT ( for High Intensity Interval Training) is thrown around so much that many people just assume they know what it is. keep reading

Who Should You Take Advice From?
Mike Boyle - July 08, 2015
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: keep reading

Is It Overtraining or Under Planning?
Michael Boyle - May 25, 2015
I had a comment on the site from a coach who was worried about overtraining athletes by doing lower body work and speed work on the same day. keep reading

Cross Transfer and Bad Physical Therapy
Mike Boyle - November 14, 2014
I got the question below, and another just like it, over the last few days. "Mike, have you ever worked with a PT who restricted or eliminated lower body work on the non-involved leg after an ACL injury/surgery? keep reading

Employees- Salary, Hourly or Contractor?
Michael Boyle - October 20, 2014
We get this question a few times a year so rather than continually trying to point readers to the correct forum post I thought I'd quickly write up my views in article form. keep reading

When In Doubt, Think Strength and Conditioning
Mike Boyle - September 29, 2014
I had a visit from one of my former athletes the other day, now himself a high school strength and conditioning coach. He had lots of questions: keep reading

Post Rehab ACL Training
Vince Gabriele - September 20, 2013
As a gym owner my role is so much more than training. When I was only a trainer many years ago I would run 40-50 sessions per week and in addition to continuing education, that was pretty much all I did. Now, things are very different. Most of my time is spent running a business. keep reading

In Season Training-Something is Better Than Nothing
Michael Boyle - August 25, 2013
Kind of a lousy title for an article but, it's true. I often talk to coaches who say "we don't train in-season, we don't have a weightroom". I think I have a simple, low cost solution.
keep reading

FMS Correctives Sheet
Robbie Bourke - July 03, 2013
Here is an FMS corrective sheet from Robbie Bourke. keep reading

Deadlift or Squat: What's the Diff?
Michael Boyle - May 27, 2013
When people used to ask me to explain the difference between a squat and a deadlift, I'd always give a simple, straightforward answer: In the deadlift, the weight is in your hands.For the keep reading

Why We Still Clean
Michael Boyle - May 22, 2013
As I've said over and over, I love because it supplies me with a never-ending supply of article ideas. Recently we had a forum discussion, and then an article, on performing rack pul keep reading

Working the Floor
Michael Boyle - December 30, 2012
I just read a thread in the Business Forum that had advice that blew me away. I'm not sure how many readers visit the Business Forum so I'd thought I summarize some of our readers' thoughts on working keep reading

Filling Buckets
Michael Boyle - October 21, 2012
There is a kid's book that my son read in first grade called Have You Filled a Bucket Today. In short, “bucket fillers” give you good stuff and h keep reading

Power Cubed
Michael Boyle
Once again social media has produced an article idea. What would I do without Facebook? Recently my twelve year old daughter published a YouTube clip of herself doing a set of hang cleans. Not only did the clip produce a technical discussion about Olympic lifts, it produced a theoretical discussion about training for power. One topic that came up was "how do we train for power?". I realized that although I knew the answer I don't think I have ever really written it down. keep reading

Becoming a CNP
Michael Boyle
One question that seems to come up frequently on the forum is the "what certification do I need?" question. I seem to answer this one over and over. People ask about NSCA, ACE, NASM, etc. as if the certification matters. I can tell you two things with relative certainty. keep reading

The Myth of In-Season "Maintenance" Training
Ben Bruno
When I was in high school it used to annoy me so much when adults would start sentences with "Back when I was your age, things used to be so much different…" It just sounded so lame, and it made them seem old. keep reading

The Front Squat/Back Debate: Part 4
Jim Reeves
In the last article we looked at the breakdown in the performance of the back squat and some of the reasons behind its typical technique errors. We also looked specifically at the low back and hip's role in the back squat and the requirements athletes must have for technical mastery of the lift. So, the question then has moved towards who can perform the back squat? In the discussion forum on, it seemed there was a defensive stance taken by some that the purpose for my explanations was to discredit the back squat exercise and its performance. This is just simply not the case. I don't think the back squat controversy is founded within the exercise itself. I think the controversy has roots in the lack of critical thought applied by some in the safe and effective prescription of it as an exercise. keep reading

The Front Squat/Back Squat Debate: Part 3
Jim Reeves
Part 3: The Comparision Continued keep reading

The Front Squat/Back Squat Debate: Part 2
This is Part 2 of Jim Reeve's four-part article comparing front squats and back squats. In this segment, Jim analyzes the two lifts through video and picture. Due to the high number of pictures in the article, we had to post it as a PDF file, so please click on the link below to read it. This is some really good stuff. keep reading

The Front Squat/Back Squat Debate: Part 1
Jim Reeves
Leave it to Mike Boyle to get people's juices flowing. It's not enough for him to come out and confront the industry with the stance that strongman and power lifting techniques do not make for great sports performance training options. Or that running athletes have a real disconnect with their sport and injury patterns. Next, the guy blows the top off the sports training world saying that he's taking all squats entirely out of his programming. Shocking statements at the time for some, but not without merit for Mike. His "Death of Squatting" stance certainly caused quite an uproar and has obviously progressed in the time since as Mike continues to search for the most effective way to train his athletes. keep reading

Why Crossfit May Not Be Good For You
Michael Boyle
Let's face it, Crossfit is a controversial topic in the world of strength and conditioning. Crossfit gyms are springing up all over the world. They are cheap and easy to open, with only a weekend certification and a few thousand dollars worth of equipment. This appeals to many in the fitness business. You can be part of a rapidly growing trend and you can do it without great expense. I am not a Crossfit fan so some might view this piece as yellow journalism. I will try to keep my personal opinions to myself and deal with what is generally agreed upon as safe in strength and conditioning. keep reading

Sport Specific Training
Michael Boyle
This is the question that comes up all the time. Sounds like a great set up for a joke . keep reading

Repetition vs. Repetitions: Training Youth Athletes
Anthony Donskov
The mother of mastery is deliberate repetition! As Coaches, we are always trying to find better ways to gain maximal results while promoting movement proficiency for our athletes. Variety plays an important role! Reps, sets, stress fluctuation, tempo and exercise selection are a few of the variables that need to be manipulated in order to produce maximal adaptation. keep reading

10,000 Hours and Early Specialization in Sports: Mutually Inclusive?
Max Prokopy
1997 was a landmark year for young athletes, burgeoning internet gurus, and helicopter parents. As Tiger Woods drained the final putt of a record-setting performance at the Masters, millions of parents, coaches, and educators watched in awe. Tiger's first TV golf appearance was at age 2(!). By age 21 he was the most formidable force in the sporting world. Either conscious or sub-conscious, these well-documented facts galvanized the early specialization movement. Best-selling books such as Outliers, The Talent Code, and Bounce are wonderful accounts of the grueling ascent to expertise. However, they might create as much trouble as inspiration. The message received by parents and coaches often places early specialization into one sport above the value of diverse movement. More importantly, it's held high above "play." While there may be more Tigers-in-progress than ever before, we've also seen a rapid rise in youth sport overuse injuries. keep reading

Evolution of a Strength Coach
Michael Boyle
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: keep reading

3D Tour of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning
Perform Better
Take ninety seconds and go on a 3D tour of Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Woburn courtesy of our friends at Perform Better. After the tour, make sure you have downloaded your copy of Designing Strength Training Programs and Facilities available for free on this site keep reading

Will the FMS Cure Most Communicable Diseases?
Michael Boyle
OK, so the title is a bit tongue-in-cheek. However, if you are a regular reader you might be tempted to answer yes. It seems every thread now begins with the statement "have you done the FMS on them". Every answer parrots the same mantra. If you attack the weak pattern, the athlete or client will be miraculously cured. To be honest, I think doing the FMS should be step one for every client that complains of pain. In fact, if you have the time it should be step one for every client, period. keep reading

25 Years, 25 Mistakes
Michael Boyle
This year I'll enter my twenty-fifth year as a strength and conditioning coach. Last month I watched Barbara Walters celebrate her thirtieth year with a special called "30 Mistakes in 30 Years." I'm going to celebrate my twenty-fifth anniversary by telling you my top twenty-five mistakes. keep reading

Anthony Morando
There comes a time in all our lives when we reinvent ourselves, and more often than not, that time comes when we least expect it. In the strength and conditioning world, we as coaches/trainers influence people by helping them to achieve their goals and maximize their potential. In helping our clients reinvent themselves, we sometimes unexpectedly reinvent ourselves as well. This article is about far more than resistance training, core stability, and sled pushes. This article is about "changing the game." keep reading

Charles Pazdera: Real Strength
Vince Gabriele
The other day we lost one of the strongest kids in the world. I refer to him as a kid because that is how I knew him. Charles was about six years younger than me and we grew up together as close family friends, even though far apart in age. You could never refer to him as a kid anymore. No kid could ever stare cancer in the face for 3 years and walk tall the entire time, never ever once saying why me. This was a man. Charles is now pain free and waiting for us. He defines the word strong. keep reading

Assessing Credibility in the Internet Age
Michael Boyle
If you've ever bought a product on the internet, take a minute and read this. keep reading

"The Business"
Alwyn Cosgrove and Jason Ferruggia
This article was written in response to a trend that both Jay and I experienced. We were getting approached by trainers asking us for business advice and how to "jump the ladder, get out of the trenches and avoid training clients for a long time". We are all for helping motivated individuals fast-track their career, but the fact that a trainer is asking how to avoid training people, didn't sit well with us. We all get started in this industry through our desire to help people. If you don't want to be in the "trenches" helping people - maybe this industry is not for you. You know who you are. keep reading

In Season Training-Something is Better Than Nothing
Michael Boyle
Kind of a lousy title for an article but, it's true. I often talk to coaches who say "we don't train in-season, we don't have a weightroom". I think I have a simple, low cost solution.
keep reading

The Essential Eight - Eight Mobility Drills Everyone Should Do.
Michael Boyle
Mobility seems to be "the" hot topic. Everyone has their own opinion. If you've read any of my articles on mobility - A Joint by Joint Approach to Training you know that mobility should be done only for those joints that need it. If you haven't read Joint by Joint, go back and read it before you read this.

keep reading

Training the Overweight Client
Michael Boyle
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.
keep reading

Improving Foot Speed and Agility
Michael Boyle
A couple of threads on the forum got me thinking about the question of foot speed and athletes. I can't tell you how often I hear a parent or a coach ask, "How can I improve my son's/daughter's/ athlete's foot speed or agility?" It seems everyone always wants the shortcut and the quick fix. The better question might be "Do you think you can improve foot speed?" or maybe even the larger question, "Does foot speed even matter?"< keep reading

Get Functional Strength Coach 3.0 for 25% off
Michael Boyle
Have you been waiting for FSC 3.0 to go on sale? keep reading

A Training Session at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning
Bruce Kelly
Last week I had two chances to learn from two of the best and even though I have been doing this for over 25 years I couldn't pass up either opportunity. keep reading

Dealing With Hamstring Injury
Michael Boyle
Strangely enough there were three separate posts the past two weeks dealing with hamstrings strains and hamstring rehab. I thought it would be better to take the time to write a thoughtful article rather than a rushed forum post. keep reading

Poor Shoulder Mobility Leads to Low Back Pain
Michael Boyle
I had another epiphany the other day. Another Ah-Ha moment. Sometimes when these ideas occur I can't decide whether I am smart or dumb. Am I smart because I had this thought or dumb because it took so long? A member of my staff and I were talking about wall slides. If you don't know, wall slides are a great exercise borrowed from physical therapy to develop the combination of shoulder mobility and scapular stability. keep reading

My Top Coaching Influences
Michael Boyle
A blog reader posted this question recently and got me thinking. Who were my top coaching influences? I put a little thought in and came up with this list. Initially this was going to be a Top Ten but the more I thought the more the list expanded. Apologies to those I left out. I have been very lucky to have met so many great coaches. keep reading

The Tao of Boyle
Nate Green
Originally Printed at April 14, 2010 38 years of under-the-bar experience, the best exercises, and why back squats still suck. "... Tao is often referred keep reading

Knees over Toes?
Michael Boyle
One of the great myths of training is this idea that the knees should never go over the toes when squatting or lunging. I'm not sure where this myth came from but, I see it in print frequently. My gue keep reading

Video of the Week - Knee Dominant Exercises
Video of the Week is the Knee Dominant Exercise Jukebox. This actually includes two hip dominant exercises and a great 1 leg squat demo by New Jersey Devil Jay Pandolfo. keep reading

The Truth About Speed, NFL Combines and the 40 Yard Dash!
Mike Boyle
Speed is the stuff of urban legend. Deion Sanders supposedly showed up at the NFL Combine, ran a 4.2 and went home. We routinely hear of high school kids who purportedly run 4.3's and 4.4's. The stor keep reading

Does It All Come Down to the First Ten Yards?
Michael Boyle
I have always been a ten yard dash proponent. When we test speed, regardless of sport we test the ten yard dash. In fact, I wrote an article previously that questioned whether we really ever tested speed in most team sports. If we choose to be specific, what we really evaluate with tests like the 40 yard dash is acceleration. The best sprinters in the world accelerate for up to sixty meters. That means that each ten yard split continues to get lower up to sixty meters in a world-class sprint race. A forty yard dash is a test of acceleration ability, not speed if we want to get our physics right.
keep reading

Titleist Performance Institute Cyclone Circuit
The Titleist Performance Institute's Junior Golf Cyclone is the name of the program we use for kids between the ages of five and eight. The Cyclone is composed of 6 to 12 stations depending on the size of the facility. Stations focus on speed and athletic development.
keep reading

Learning to Speak Coach
Michael Boyle
My friend Valerie Waters is an expert in coaching females. She claims to speak "female". Much like Mel Gibson in the movie of the same name Valerie knows what women want. She really believes that she speaks "client". By that she means she understands what the female client wants and can present a program in a way that engages the mind of a female. keep reading

Build Bigger Legs, One at a Time
Michael Boyle
I've advocated single-leg training over the years for a variety of reasons, which I summed up in this article for TMUSCLE back in 2007. In my view, single-leg training results in less back stress due to the reduced loads. And, although the phrase "functional training" is overused, single-leg training meets my definition. It's the application of functional anatomy to training. You do almost everything in sports in a split stance, or by pushing off one leg from a parallel stance, so it just makes sense to train your body that way. keep reading