Posts Tagged ‘athletes’

Want to Stink this Winter

August 27, 2012

Here is a guest post from one of my mentors and one of the foremost experts on Strength and Conditioning/Sports Performance Training Mike Boyle.  Coach Boyle is the U.S. Olympic Women’s Hockey Strength and Conditioning Coach.  He trains and coaches pro athletes in his facility in Boston, MA.  Take what he says seriously.  He has the years and experience to back up his words.  If you want to discuss this post let me know.  I know a few parents who may find this offensive.

Catchy title? 

This article is for all you parents who are trying to help your 
kid get in shape for a winter sport. I spoke with a mom the other 
day who inspired me to write this. There is a saying I use often 
in my talks. It is in fact the title of this article.

If you want your child to perform poorly this winter I have the 
answer. The answer is cross country. I have had countless parents 
over the years tell me that they can’t figure out why little Janie 
or Johnny had such a bad winter sports season. They worked so hard 
in the fall, running all those miles.

Lets get some facts straight. There are no team sports where you 
run for miles at a time. 

Even if you actually “run” miles in a game, those miles are actually 
a series of sprints interspersed with a series of walks or jogs. In 
the case of a rare sport like ice hockey, you actually sprint and 
then sit down. Running long distances does not prepare you to run 
short distances. 

There is a concept in sport called sport specific training. The 
concept basically means that from a conditioning perspective the 
best way to condition for a sport is to mimic the energy systems 
of that sport. If the sport is sprint, jog , walk, than the training 
is sprint, jog , walk. Makes perfect sense

There is another very large concept to grasp here. 

It is simple. 

Train slow, get slow. 

The reality is it is very difficult to make someone fast and very 
easy to make someone slow. If you want to get an athlete slow, simply 
ask them to run slower, longer. Simple. They may be in shape, but it 
is the wrong shape.

Another problem with a steady state sport like cross country? Injuries. 

Did you know that something like sixty percent of the people who take 
up running get injured? Those are really crappy odds.

Last and certainly not least, who dominates in sports? The fastest athlete! 
The athlete with the highest vertical! Yes, conditioning matters but, train 
for the sport.  Lift weights, jump, sprint. Gain power. It takes years to 
gain strength and power. You can get in shape in a matter of weeks. Most 
kids are playing their sport at least a few times a week in the off season 
so strength and power are much bigger concerns than conditioning.

So this year, don’t give the gift of slowness, 

If you are not a cross country runner, don’t run cross country. 

If you like a nice outdoor run and don’t care about speed, be my guest. 

If you want to get faster and get in great sport condition than train 
the way the best athletes train. Use a combination of strength training 
and interval training to prepare properly.


Mike Boyle

The Starvation Diet…

September 8, 2009

While having lunch with a few friends of mine last week I overheard one of them say, “I need to have a big lunch today because I have to work late.  I won’t get home to eat dinner until 8pm tonight”.   We were eating at 12:30pm. She was not going to eat for another 6.5 hours.  That is a long time to go without food (unless you are sleeping).

Above is a very common rationalization for consuming more food at one sitting as opposed to planning out your meals so you won’t have to overeat and starve yourself everyday.  Below are few of the things that happen to your body when you begin the cycle of binging and then starving.

1. Spiking Blood Sugar.   A rapid rise in blood sugar levels after meals has been shown to affect the ability to concentrate, stay alert, and perform athletically and intellectually.

2. Eating Muscle.  After several hours your body will begin to use muscle i.e. protein for fuel.  Bodybuilders who have to preserve as much muscle as possible will wake up in the middle of the night to have a protein/carbohydrate snack to reduce the chances of their bodies using muscle for fuel.  Not that you are a bodybuilder but muscle helps burn more calories.

3. Slow Metabolism.  Your body’s metabolism will begin to slow down to conserve energy.   As you may know, when you slow down your metabolism you burn fewer calories therefor you store more fat.  This is probably the opposite of what you are trying to acheive.

I tell my clients is to shoot for 4 to 5 healthy feedings a day of fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains (after a workout), lean protein (with fewer legs), and 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water.  Each feeding should have a carbohydrate and a lean portion of protein.

This system will keep your blood sugar under control, preserve muscle tissue, and keep your metabolism burning consistently through out the day.  The water will keep you hydrated and help you feel sated.

I hope you enjoyed this post.  Feel free to leave any comments.  I look forward to reading and responding to them.

Yours in Performance,