As some of you may know I have been in Boston for the last few days. I’m here doing an internship with Mike Boyle, who is one of the best strength coaches in the game. Mike has been in the game for over 20 years and his facility produces athletes with factory like precision and efficiency.

Because of that he has earned a reputation as one of the best in the world. One thing I have learned in life is that if you want to be the best, learn from the best. No matter what you do, lots of people have come before you and by looking at what the successful ones do you can fast track your success.

So, sitting here in a hotel room at 6:30 in the morning getting ready for day 3 of my 4 day mentorship I’ll share what I’ve taken away so far…

– Most people overcomplicate things. Mike’s programs are amazingly “simple” and free of gimmicks. Part of that is because he has hundreds of athletes a day coming through his facility and with numbers like that you have to keep it simple but the fact is that few in the strength coaching game can match his results. I think that a lot of that comes from the fact that his athletes are adept at and strong in the basics.

– Don’t get caught up in the newest trends. Be critical and question them. Don’t take anything at face value. Some of the new things, like the TRX Trainer, will stand up to the questioning and become a valuable part of your program but most things will wilt when the exposed to the bright light of logic and the harshness of the real world.

– Be ready to change your mind. Mike jokes that he has become well known for changing his mind. He has shared several examples of things he thought would work great and realized that they just would not work or were not producing the results he was looking for. Instead of digging his heels in and denying that he made a mistake he simply went back to what he was doing before and kept looking for new ideas and methods to improve his programs results.

– Strength coached can sometimes enable “softness”. Sometimes people need to shut up, stop whining and lift some weights. If we get too caught up in making everyone feel “comfortable” then we miss out on the real reason we are training – to see results. Results come from hard work and getting out of your comfort zone, not staying in it.

– Strength training is for building strength, conditioning is for conditioning and burning fat. If you try to turn everything into conditioning you’ll never get strong and you’ll be a well conditioned but weak athlete. Strength is a huge component to performance levels and staying injury free so get away from everything being done with the intent of “getting your heart rate up”.

I’m sure I’m forgetting some stuff and I still have two days left so I know there will be even more I’ll learn once it as all done. Of course, you guys will benefit because I’ll have some new ideas for programs to help you become a better rider. I do the leg work and studying so you don’t have to.

Time for breakfast…

-James Wilson-

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