The number one question I get asked about BodyByBoyle Online is, “What is BodyByBoyle Online, and is it for me?” This isn’t as easy of a question to answer as you think…
Now to recap, if you haven’t heard, Mike Boyle and I have been working on The Ultimate Resource for Strength and Conditioning. Not just the ultimate resource for Mike Boyle. I think that is the first mistake people make. We have a ton of content from other fitness professionals as well. We are even in talks with some of the biggest names in the fitness world to contribute programs as well!
Here is a quick example of the Staff Meeting Videos that are posted:
For example, we filmed a two hour talk and hands on with Sue Falsone from Athletes Performance on the Thoracic Spine. After watching this you will have a whole new outlook on working with the “desk jocks” and other athletes and clients with posture problems.
Another example is the hour of video with shot with guest presenter Nick Tumminello. During the seminar Nick talked about the importance of rotary training and how to implement it in your programs.
This is all on top of the training programs you get from Mike and the hours and hours of content in our educational database, including all three of Mike’s new DVDs! We also have plans to film all of Mikes future seminars as well, so if you want to save on travel or live on the other side or the world, you can still catch his talks from the comfort of your home!
So to answer the question, “Who is it for?” I would have to reply:
Anyone who wants to become more knowledgeable in regards to strength and conditioning and ahead of the rest of the industry. Mike only uses the latest and greatest techniques to get his athletes stronger and his clients leaner. He is also always bringing in guest speakers to the facility to educate the staff. As a part of BodyByBoyle Online, you get to the same education as the employees of America’s #1 Gym (Men’s Health). If you want to be successful as a personal trainer, coach, athlete, or weekend warrior, you owe it to yourself and your clients to check out BodyByBoyle Online.
It is scary when you see guys that want to bench 300 but can’t perform 12 push-ups with correct form. Or what about the guys who can leg press 800 but can’t do one single legged squat. Finally there is the dude with the Hulkamania bandana maxing out the weight on the lat pull down but can’t do one pull up. Scary isn’t it? We really don’t take advantage of our most important training tool, our bodyweight. I am going to drop some body weight exercises that are sure to get you stronger, add lean muscle mass, and humble you like nothing before.
Not only are all of the following exercises great because you can do them away from the weight room, but some of them are prerequisites for strength training. If you can’t do a single legged squat (or at least a split squat), you have no right to be back squatting (let alone filling the leg press with plates and making more noises than Arnold when he is exposed to Mars’ atmosphere).
Are you wasting your time doing lots of wrist curls when you could do towel pull-ups and have forearms, biceps, and lats. Are you doing leg curls until you, again, look like Arnold in the above image? Maybe you need to challenge yourself and find out if you are strong, or just machine strong.
Single legged squat (SLS)
The single legged squat may be the hardest of the bunch to execute to perfection. Not only does it force you to use your adductors and glutes in conjunction with your quads, but it will cause some serious increases in your bilateral movements like the squat and deadlift as well. The unilateral nature of the exercise will also help prevent any kind of asymmetries between your right and left legs.
Keys to the Exercise: Start by squatting to a box that will have your femur parallel to the ground, or a little higher. Watch the knee of the active leg and make sure it does not cave in. Push your hips through at the top and fire your glutes. Stay in control at all times and do not sit back on the box.
Rear foot elevated split squat (RFE Split Squat)
The RFE Split Squat is the sister movement to the single legged squat. You may also know this exercise as the, “Bulgarian Split Squat.” Just like the single legged squat the REF split squat is another great unilateral exercise that promotes glute activation and proper movement patterns essential for increasing load and in turn getting stronger and building more muscle. Women should also take notice, this exercise will get you the ass you have always dreamed of! (Guys, feel free to let your girlfriend/wife on this one too).
Keys to the Exercise: Start from the ground up. Place something like an airex pad under the knee of the foot that is elevated as a guide to how low you should go. As in the SLS, make sure the front knee does not cave in and push through the heel. Keep your chest up and stay in control for the duration of the movement.
Towel Pull Up
Pull ups kick ass. Want a big biceps, lats, or traps? What about big forearms and improved grip strength? Then you want to be doing towel pull ups. Why with a towel? Put simply, it is going to make it harder to grip and cause the movement to intensify. Do you want to build bigger biceps, lats, and trap? How about improving grip strength and forearm size? If you answered yes to any of those (and who wouldn’t) the towel pull up is your exercise. We know that using a more difficult grip can cause more muscle activation. The towel pull-up is a prime example of this. Also you are going to look like a badass, which is a nice bonus. If you can do fifteen chin-ups, I challenge you to do 8 towel pull-ups. Just pray that when you are done, you can still open that tub of protein.
Keys to the Exercise: Use a towel that is in good enough condition to support your weight; the towels at most commercial gyms should be fine. Throw the towel over the pull up bar so you are using a neutral grip. Pull all away up until your elbows are by your side. HOLD ON FOR DEAR LIFE!
Glute Ham Raise (GHR)
You are one lucky SOB if you have a glute ham raise where you train. If you don’t, that doesn’t mean you can’t modify the exercise. This is where the bodyweight GHR comes into play. As long as you have a dumbbell rack or something to support your heals. If you have never done GHRs before, you are missing out on a major movement that can really increase those deadlifting numbers.
Keys to the Exercise: Keep your chest up and your back arched. Go down as slow as you can and gently push off the ground, pushing your hips through at top.
Feet Supported Side Plank (FSSP)
Side planks are great and all, but what do you do when you can hold one for 60+ seconds? That is when you move on to the feet supported side plank. The FSSP is very challenging and will humble you when you do them. Setup a bench parallel to a DB rack (or some place you can place your feet). While sideways, lodge your feet in the DB rack while just the side of your hips are on the bench. Start with 15-20 second holds and progress from there.
Keys or the Exercise: Keep your body erect and glutes tight to hold proper form. Do not allow yourself to bend and the waist. For safety, before you switch sides, place one hand on the ground before moving.
Band Resisted Rollouts
OK, so not 100% bodyweight, but it is pretty close, and in my mind, the ultimate challenge for your core musculature. Grab one or two resistance bands and an ab wheel attach the band(s) to something that isn’t going to move (like a dumbbell rack), take a few steps back, and prepare for those abs to be sore for a few days.
Keys to the Exercise: Keep glutes tight and listen to your body. If you back kicks in, you need to regress and go back to an easier variation.
Last but not least is the Trench Plank. For this you will need two Valslides or something similar that will allow your feet to move on a turf or mat surface. The goal here is to crawl like you are in a trench without allowing everything but your arms move. Go for distance on these, 20-40 feet. For a progression, put some 10-15 pound dumbbells in your hands while following the same rules.
I am so sorry, I have been a horrible blogger these last few months. In my defense, I have been hard at work on something very cool that will change the fitness industry later this week. Trust me, I do my best to not write checks that my ass can’t cash, so stay tuned…
Before I get started, on an off-topic note, Fringe is back for it’s third Season. It is easily my favorite show on television. So many intricacies and the show runners trust the audience to understand what is going on. Also, it has caused me to wish one day to go on a date with Anna Torv (the good version stuck on the other side). She kicks ass and can cross between parallel universes.
Now to the fitness and nutrition stuff…
So I have had to make some changes in my life after putting myself second (or third) on my list of priorities. I have been working long hours to finish this project, moved into a new loft apartment, working with my clients (online and in person), not sleeping and dealing with the fact that my Mom is no longer there to do my laundry. Simply, it is time I put my health back in the front of the line, so I have made some drastic changes.
1. No More Xtreme Caffeine Drinks
You know you have a problem when you go to a Perform Better Summit and the first words out of half of the people you talk to are, “Do you have a Spike?” or “Did you just drink a Spike?” Yes, I am looking at you Bret Contreras! The last few weeks I even upped it two two cans a day, seven-days-a-week to keep moving. I am not proud of it, I hit rock bottom and it was causing some digestive and sleeping issues (obviously).
It is a pretty cool thing when I can have my boss, Mike Boyle, straight up tell me it is too much, and of course he was right. And he is Mike Boyle, his words hold a lot of weight with me not only as a boss, but as a mentor too. Martin Rooney said the same thing when I saw him in Chicago. I stopped drinking Spike for one week after I saw him speak, then fell right off the wagon.
Instead of Spike I will be sticking with Green Tea exclusively. And not just the regular old Lipton Tea you find at your local “Circle K” (Please write in the comments section what that reference is from and I will give you a brush with fame next episode). I bough a few cases of the real deal:
[editors note: I should mention I drink a ton of hot brewed green tea too (I am right this second). These are just for convenience and when I am on the run.]
2. Not Eating or Taking Supplements Two Hours Before Bedtime
I think I stole this from Martin Berkham, but it just makes a lot of sense. Nothing that could possible stimulate you, even calories, before bedtime. When I was a freshman in college I read an article that said you NEEDED to consume some casein protein before bed to avoid catabolism (oh noes! my muscle is melting away as I sleep!). Well, it seems that was kind of BS. When you think of it, you are stationary for 7-8 hours, how many calories do really you need before your body starts breaking down your precious muscle mass for energy? The answer is very little.
(Now just give me back my tub of protein and no one gets hurt)
3. Keeping a Sleep Diary and having a “Sleep Bank”
First is the sleep Bank. I have to get 8 hours of sleep each night and be in bed for 8.5 hours. If I do not hit these goals, I have to make up for them in the bank by going to bed earlier the next night. Nothing scientific here, it just works for me. I require myself to get 56 hours of sleep each week. Naps count too but they are usually 15 minutes or so.
Every morning I wake up and write a paragraph about the previous night. I log:
- If I tossed and turned
- If I woke up sweating (room is too hot)
- What I drempt about
- This one is the most interesting, I wake up so refreshed after a good dream. For example I had a dream I hosted SNL the other night (I have had this dream 5 or 6 times). Woke up refreshed and ready to kick some ass.
It is simple but I think it could prove to be very interesting blog content.
This one of the best clips from SNL ever:
BONUS #4: Bill and Ted are Reuniting
Yeah, it is true. MTV news got confirmation last week that top men are hard at work on a sequel to Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (which was a sequel to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure) making the franchise a full blown trilogy. Keanu is on board 100% as well as Alex Winter.
Until next time, be excellent to each other.
Filed under: Athletics, Blog, mobility, Nutrition, Training
The Perform Better seminars are always a great time. Fantastic presenters and amazing people who are looking to become better trainers, coaches, therapists, or fitness enthusiasts. Speaking of the presenters, the line up was amazing. Here are just a few of them: Thomas Myers, Sue Falsone, Mike Boyle, Eric Cressey, Martin Rooney, Robert Dos Remedios, Chris Frankel, Todd Durkin, Grey Cook, and on, and on… I was really bummed that I didn’t get to see more of the lectures and hands on presentations.
Here are the ones I did get to:
Sue Falsone on the Thoracic Spine (Lecture and Hands-On): If you don’t know Sue, she is a highly regarded PT and works for The LA Dodgers and Athletes Performance. Sue talked about the importance of mobilizing the thoracic spine and how being locked up there can cause issues above and below. I feel like we have talked a ton about thoracic mobility on the podcast so I will keep it brief. Sue, gave us a few mobility exercises to do. Most if not all of them require a knowledgeable PT to perform.
Sue also emphasized that we need to also stretch the side of our body, here is one of the movements she gave us here:
Chris Frankel (Lecture and Hands-On):
You might remember Chris from Episode 151 of The FitCast. He is the go to guy when it comes to suspension training be it with a TRX or any other suspension device. Chris’ lecture was really good. It kind of surprised me how much there was to learn about suspension training and how it can be so valuable for us as coaches or fitness enthusiasts. his motto for suspension training makes a lot of sense: FLAC
- Unleaded, Focus on Movement
- Learn appropriate level of progression
- Apply training stimulus
- Challenge conditioning
Chris also went over some cool single leg exercises and progressions with the TRX that I will try to shoot videos of for you guys. Basically, if you still don’t have a TRX, you are really missing out.
That is it for Part 1. Part 2 will be all about Thomas Myers and Anatomy Trains. I am attending another one of Thomas’ lectures tonight so I should have some great stuff for you guys. And again, Anatomy Trains is one of those books that you must have to understand why we foam roll, and why foam rolling might actually be pretty ineffective…
We can’t all have time machines in the form of a phone booth from a future where Bill and Ted’s music aligned the planets and set in motion intergalactic peace. This is why on some days I have clients that show up late or I myself need to fit in a quick training session in between clients or meetings. So what do you do? Do you lift for a shorter period of time or do a quick warm up that may just be enough to prepare our bodies for the rigors of heavy squatting and explosive bicep curls (because…it is almost beach season…Gym. Tan. Laundry).
Let me preface this blog by saying the far to often used, “it depends.” I consider myself to have pretty good mobility everywhere except my hips, and they are even doing pretty damn good now. But what about someone who has poor posture, knee pain, and hip flexors with the tissue quality of beef jerky? Obviously I would have them put the mobility and rehab work higher up on the list of priorities. Got it?
Now, here is the best bang for your buck warm up for those who are crunched for time but still want to warm up properly.
Foam Rolling (6 reps each)
Mobility (5/side or 10 total)
- Spider Man Lunge Walk with Reach and Hip Lift: This is the epitome of, “bang for your buck” when it comes to mobility exercises. Think about it, you are stretching your hip flexors and hamstrings while also activating your glutes and quads.
- Scapular Wall Slides: It is a sad fact, but most people have very limited scapular mobility. Just ask a friend to try and put their arms straight overhead, instead of something that looks like a touchdown sign, you will see a deformed “V.” Scap wall slides will mobilize your upper back and get you ready for your horizontal and vertical pulling.
- Wall Quad/Hip Flexor Stretch: Like the Spider Man Lunge Walk, this mobility exercise hits a few muscle groups, the hip flexors and quads (no duh Kevin…). To perform these go against a wall and place one knee on the ground and the opposite foot on the ground. You should
- Push Up to Downward Dog: I don’t like yoga, but this movement allows you to warm up your upper body and get a great stretch for your hamstrings and calves.
Now go on and leave no room for excuses when it comes to getting a lift in. Lastly, DO NOT FORGET:
BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER (AND YOUR TISSUE)
I have been trying to get back to Cressey Performance at least once a week to train with the guys there because it makes me push myself harder than I thought I could go. It is really a group of friends encouraging each other to reach their true potential. This is something that is almost impossible to do on your own.
Quickly, I want to give a shout out to Tony Gentilcore (very entertaining and education blog that is guaranteed to have scantily clad women), Brian St. Pierre (nutrition and training blog with tons of free recipes and cooking tips), and of course Pete Dupuis (Pete used to blog more…). Of course there is also Eric, but you most likely read his blog, and Chris Howard, who has no blog, but is the master of band training. And an honorable mention to Chris Pothier, intern, who did some mean GCB reverse lunges.
Now for the video:
And one bonus video of the the human version of Spike, George Abele deadlifting:
Filed under: Blog, Food, Nutrition, Training, Videos
Want to hear something original? I am going to do a random thoughts post on a Friday. Can you believe it? Now hold on to your butts while we light this candle.
Can you believe it? That is two consecutive days of blogging? I think this calls for celebration. In the tradition of Random Friday posts, this will most likely have nothing to do with fitness or nutrition. I can however guarantee that it will feature a picture of a female celebrity that I have no shot with.
(Yvonne Strahovski of Chuck)
Today I am excited to get in a lift with Roger Lawson of RogLawFitness.com. He is also a former Cressey Performance intern and gamer. We actually had an epic day of gaming last month when the Penny arcade Expo strolled into tow. Tomorrow I plan on making the trip to Hudson, MA to visit the rest of the CP crew that I haven’t seen in two months. I could be in for something like this:
I am officially converted to Greens Plus Protein Bars. They really don’t taste so bad, especially the chocolate coated ones. You can’t look at every meal on the run as an opportunity to eat something that is like dessert or a Snickers Bar. I recommend checking them out if want a healthier alternative to your current on-the-go snack on bar.
Finally, I need to pimp Resident Evil Afterlife. I really enjoy somewhat bad movies by the fancy pants people who watch artsy fartsy (technical term) movies instead of watching fun movies like the RE series, Crank, or the Fast and Furious series. This trailer looks really stupid, but a sh*t ton of fun!
How do people go to the gym day after day and do the same 30 minute workout on the elliptical machine? Honestly I would rather do some sprints in the parking lot outside of a 7/11 in a rival gang’s territory at 2am with nothing on but a game worn jock strap from Terry Tate.
No, but seriously, I would rather challenge myself and do something different every time. That is where this blog post comes in. I hope to provide some fresh ideas for you to use when it comes to the end of the workout, when you need to get that finisher in. Now hold on to your butts and crack open a Spike!
1. Burpee/Mountain Climber Combo: This one is pretty straight forward. You give yourself a rep amount to hit for each movement. I am a fan of doing 60 mountain climbers (30/side) and 12 burpees (with the push up). Rest for 60 seconds in between each round. Rinse and repeat at least 4 times and try to work up to 8 or 10. Keep the trash can near by…
2. TRX Circuit from Hell: OK, now things get interesting. That TRX in your garage isn’t just for rows and planks, it can be used for some of the hardest complexes imaginable. For this you will go from one exercise to the next, performing 10 reps (per side if for each movement. The exercises are: Atomic push ups, rear foot elevated split squat, leg curls, rollouts, and rows. Try to get through the whole circuit in under three minutes.
3. Grab bag Finisher: This is the one I use the most. I put together five or six exercises and put them into a complex. They usually involve low risk movements with lighter weights than normal, for obvious reasons. Think medballs, kettlebells, slideboards, TRX, body weight, and barbell exercises. Here is one you can try today that will have you screaming for mercy:
- Plate loaded front squat (Hold a 10-25 pound plate out in front of you while squatting). x8
- Renegade Row 8 reps/side
- TRX Rollouts (or ab wheel) x10
- KB Swings x12
- Bodysaw x12
- Overhead Medball Slams x20
BONUS: Here is a Death Circuit I did three years ago with Eric Cressey. I promise my posture is much better now:
If you want some more of these, I highly recommend you check out Tony Gentilcore’s blog. He posts tons of circuits on there, and blogs about the latest Lord of the Rings convention. Enjoy and be safe. Have some other circuits or finishers you want to share? Post them in the comments section.
Here comes another gem from CBS Morning News and their, “CBS News Medical Correspondent.” A recent study came out recommending that middle age women should be exercising for one hour each day to keep from gaining weight. That is 60 minutes or 1/17th of your day if you get 7 hours of sleep each night. THAT IS LESS THAN 6% of your time spent awake!
So, of course the doctor is going to say that, “yes, you should exercise for 60 minutes each day…” NOPE… Not going to happen.
She explains that women should be eating better instead of exercising more. Sure, I can agree with eating better, but why not still encourage women to move more! Not just for weight loss, but to stay healthy. What about osteoporosis? Keeping a healthy heart rate and blood pressure in check? What about just for the sake of their mental health? I don’t know about you but I am in a much better mood after I train for an hour. And how about just keeping a baseline of strength so you can pick up bags of groceries or your kids.
One hour of activity can be doing a Yoga DVD for 30 minutes in the morning, then walking your dog for 30 minutes at night! Come on health professionals!
All we are doing is giving people MORE EXCUSES!!!
This past week was easily one of the best I have ever had. First off, I get to work at one of the premier strength and conditioning facilities in the WORLD, Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning. If my batteries are ever drained, they get recharged every single week at our staff meetings. This past week Mike had Todd Durkin come in and talk to the staff because he was in town for the Perform Better Seminar. To be honest, he didn’t even talk to us about training. Instead he talked about how we can/should go about bettering ourselves and our business.
If you listened to this past week’s episode of The FitCast (Episode 171), you heard me talk about some of the things that Todd had to say, but that was just scratching the surface. The second Todd had the floor the energy in the room raised immensely (and this was AFTER he trained had for an hour in the weight room!). I don’t think I have been more wide-eyed since I first met Mike back in 2006.
Anyways, to the point of this post, I am going to make it very clear. Some of the things Todd said hit home hard. Sometimes we can hear the right answer 1,000 times, but it is number 1,001 that makes the biggest impact and convinces us it is the right one because of the person who is delivering it. That is what happened with Todd. He dropped a bunch of quotes and sayings that I immediately wrote down for future reference. Here is the one that hit home:
“Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat”
I should say it was that quote followed by this one:
“You Can Only Take a Client as Far As You Have Gone”
Think about that. Does that mean a coach or training with 20% body fat can’t get their client below that? No, I don’t think so. I am not in the same shape as my man Jason Statham (I really want to meet that guy…), but I have gotten some amazing results with all of my clients. I took it more as, “How do you expect your clients to get results that you can’t achieve yourself?” I mean, YOU are the expert right?
Another reason why I am excited to post these finished Destination Abs pictures in the near future…
I am sure there are more quotes and thoughts from the talk coming soon, so stay posted!