Today I wanted to share a few articles I’ve read over the last few weeks that I think you’ll enjoy. As a quick reminder, today is the last day to grab a copy of Mike Boyle’s new Functional Strength Coach 5 for $50 off and win a free copy of his newest book Functional Strength Coach Reader. He’s also doing a live group video Q&A with everyone that orders so if you’re at all interested in FSC5, now’s your chance to grab a copy at a significant discount and get a bunch of other cool stuff too.

Functional Strength Coach 5

Grab your copy today here >> Functional Strength Coach 5

Check out the articles below that cover a wide range of topics from breathing to off-ice hockey testing to coaching like Bruce Springsteen. I especially liked the sauna article, as we just got a far infrared sauna for Endeavor. It’s nice to see the research-supported benefits of sauna use hitting the mainstream. Enjoy!

  1. Diaphragmatic Breathing: Implications in an Exercise Program and On-Field Performance from Miguel Aragoncillo
  2. 5 Things I Learned in 2013 from Anthony Donskov
  3. What do Off-Ice Hockey Tests really test? from Maria Mountain
  4. Are Saunas the Next Big Performance-Enhancing “Drug”? from Rhonda Perciavalle Patrick, Ph.D
  5. 3 Tips to Perform Like “The Boss” in the Weight Room from Anthony Donskov

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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A few days ago, I mentioned that Mike Boyle released his new Functional Strength Coach 5 DVD set. As part of the launch, Coach was kind enough to share his insight into the future of strength and conditioning in a quick interview. If you missed it, you can check it out here: The Future of Strength and Conditioning

I just found out that he’s throwing in a copy of his newest book “Functional Strength Reader” to anyone that buys this week, so if you’re interested in learning from one of the must accomplished strength and conditioning coaches in the industry, now’s your chance to grab a great resource and get a nice bonus along with it!

Functional Strength Coach 5

Grab your copy today here >> Functional Strength Coach 5

As I mentioned on Monday, I watched FSC5 from start to finish, as I do with every one of the products I recommend. The thing that stood out to me most about this set compared to his previous DVDs is the wisdom he shares about coaching, designing programs, and running a business in the private sector.

To be completely honest, I don’t always agree with everything Coach Boyle says. You may not either. But anytime I may not agree, I remember that he’s been in the field for longer than I’ve been alive. In other words, it’s probably not “what do I know that he doesn’t” as much as “what does he know that I don’t”.

One of the major selling points about Coach Boyle’s information is that it comes from “in the trenches” experience. In an era ruled by internet experts that don’t actually train anyone, you can always count on Coach to provide information based on his real-life experience. Over his 30 years in the field, he’s not only been a lifelong learner, he’s also worked with high levels athletes in almost every major sport, including winning two national championships with Boston University’s Men’s Ice Hockey Team, working with the Boston Bruins, training the US Women’s Olympic Team to a Gold Medal in ’98 and a Silver in ’14, and winning a World Series with the Boston Red Sox. All of this is in addition to his gym, Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning, being voted the #1 Gym in America by Men’s Health. Not a bad resume!

In Functional Strength Coach 5, you’ll get:

  1. An inside look into the MBSC system
  2. The problem with the industry’s current infatuation with high intensity exercise and corrective exercise
  3. The key to running a successful private sector business
  4. The most important variable of periodization
  5. The 4 keys to a successful training program
  6. Regressions and progressions for the 4 fundamental exercise categories
  7. How PRI and breathing work has changed the way his athletes/clients warm-up
  8. More evidence of the bilateral deficit and how it’s changed his exercise selection
  9. The 5 keys to being a great coach!


There was a lot of great content in these DVDs. The part I enjoyed the most was the end where Coach Boyle and Bob Hanson talk about the evolution of MBSC and give a real “behind the scenes” look at how their company has grown. As a coach working in the private sector, I think it’s easy to look at the size of and clientele at Coach’s facility and lose sight of the fact that it took several years to build up to that point. It’s great to hear about how MBSC started and how hard he worked and the compromises he’s been willing to make to run a successful business. To me, Functional Strength Coach 5 is not just a great training resource, it’s a great business one as well.


Functional Strength Coach 5

Grab your copy today here >> Functional Strength Coach 5

…and don’t forget, if you order this week, you also get a free copy of Coach Boyle’s newest book!

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

Please enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Athletic Development and Hockey Training Newsletter!

I’m extremely excited about today’s post. As you may know, Mike Boyle has had an incredible influence on my career (See: What it Means to be a Boyle Guy). Since we first connected in 2007, he’s taught me a lot about designing programs and coaching. I also appreciate the trust he showed in me at a young age by publishing some of my articles at Most recently, he brought me on board to work with him and the US Women’s National Hockey Team, an experience that I view as the highlight of my career. Needless to say, I’m thankful for everything he’s done for me, and when Coach talks, I listen.

Kevin Neeld and Mike Boyle

Coach Boyle and I at a Perform Better seminar several years ago

Today, Coach Boyle is releasing the next segment in his Functional Strength Coach DVD series, which provides an inside look into the seminar he did last month in Ireland. I had an opportunity to review the DVD last week and came away with a lot of great information, not just about training, but about interacting with coaches and the business side of training. I asked Coach if he’d take a few minutes to provide us with his perspective on the future of the strength and conditioning industry, his current evolution, and advice for up and comers. Check out the interview below!

Grab your copy today here >> Functional Strength Coach 5

KN: Coach, thanks for taking the time to do this. Let’s jump right into it. How do you envision the training industry changing over the next 5-10 years?

MB: I think the next ten years will be the PRI decade. In fact we may be a year or two into it already. If the last 10 were the FMS decade centered around the pursuit of symmetry, I think the next 10 will be about correcting the asymmetry we all see around us. Postural Restoration and the Postural Restoration Institute will be the “next big thing”. It just makes too much sense to ignore.

In addition I think many of the ideas we have pushed forward in the area of unilateral training will become common place. We have already seen a group of strength coaches who were the “go heavy or go home” types slowly become functional training guys as their years in the industry and their injuries add up.

Team USA Captain Meghan Duggan RFE Split Squatting 160 for 10/side
KN:  In addition to all the athletes that have trained at MBSC, you’ve had success working with college, professional and Olympic hockey players, professional soccer players, and this past year you won a World Series with the Red Sox. What do you think are the common factors in your programs that allow you to be successful across such a wide range of sports?

I think the most common factor is the ability I refer to as “speaking coach”. Being able to really understand a sport at a deep level allows you to convince both coaches and athletes why speed and strength matter. Sport at every level ( except endurance sports) is about speed and strength. The difficulty is getting coaches to break out of the “this is the way we have always done it” mode.

All players want to stay healthy and perform better. Our job is to show them that we can help. Understanding what they do and what their needs are is step one in the process. I think there are way too many “squats are king” meathead coaches who can’t get out of their own way. I want results. So much of results is meeting an athlete or coach where they are and taking them where you want them to go. Too many strength coaches are unwilling to compromise. I’ll compromise to get results.

KN: Good stuff.  “Speaking coach” is definitely an important skill to be able to communicate effectively with the athletes and coaches. Your programs are constantly evolving. What are the more significant changes you’ve made to your own programs over the last few years and how do you see things changing over the next few?

I think the biggest change is the move to almost exclusively unilateral knee dominant exercises. Up until a few years ago we were still pushing front squats, but we are now doing exclusively rear foot elevated split squats and one leg squats with our advanced athletes.

The flip side is that we added Trap Bar Deadlifts. We will Trap Bar Deadlift and Goblet Squat as bilateral exercises but, do no conventional front or back squats.

Lastly we have begun to explore the Postural Restoration Institute work and see how it relates to our warm-up. There is a big emphasis on breathing in our warm-ups and an unbalanced approach that stems from PRI.

I think in the next few years we may see our strength program more influenced by what we know about PRI and breathing.

KN: It’s great to see the PRI and breathing emphases make an impact on your programs.  With your experience working in the private, collegiate, and professional sectors, can you shed some light on the major differences between those situations and do you have any advice for young coaches that are unsure of what route they want to go?

The private setting is a business. You have to drive revenue to keep the doors open. You have to get clients, supervise employees etc. The private setting has the most upside and a large downside.

Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning
  Men’s Health’s #1 Gym in America

The collegiate level is interesting. Athletes tend to be highly compliant if they are on scholarship. You get a chance to create a culture. You get to really experience wins and losses and see the fruits of your labor if you are in a good spot with good sport coaches. However the hours tend to be crazy and job security can be tied to the same wins and losses. In general you will be underpaid until you get to the high division 1 levels.

The professional level is the hardest in my mind. Salaries are increasing as teams realize the value of quality strength and conditioning, but you have to deal with a high number of games, limited training times and short or non-existent off-seasons. I think many of the best professional strength and conditioning coaches are under appreciated by their organizations. Again, the hours can be long and compliance is very organization specific. A good professional job in a well run organization can be very rewarding. A bad organization or a change in coaches or management can change everything.

The big thing is that the grass is never as green in the other guys yard as it appears. Every level has pluses and minuses. A private facility can be 12 hours a day for years, just as a college job can be. The difference at the private level is that at the end of that period you have built something that is yours. It’s not easier, just different.

KN: Thanks Coach. I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience and wisdom with us!

Functional Strength Coach 5 is now available, and if you order today, there’s a pretty sweet bonus in it for you. Coach Boyle is throwing in two spots (to different customers) to his upcoming Mentorship Program to randomly selected customers that purchase FSC5 today! This is a great resource for anyone in the training industry, so if you want some great information and an opportunity to go learn from Coach Boyle and the MBSC staff directly, take advantage of this offer today!

Functional Strength Coach 5

Grab your copy today here >> Functional Strength Coach 5

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

Please enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Athletic Development and Hockey Training Newsletter!

Today’s Thursday Throwback features 6 videos from Dr. John Berardi, the founder of Precision Nutrition. Dr. Berardi has been one of my go-to resources for nutrition information for the last 8 years. Not only does he stay on top of current research, but he’s the best in the industry at delivering nutrition information in a way that people will actually do it. I believe that most people have a general understanding of better and worse food choices, but few actually do. This seems to be a psychology/behavior change issue more than purely an information issue. This is really where Dr. Berardi excels. If you’re interested in learning more about Dr. Berardi’s system, check out this link >> Precision Nutrition

If you’re looking for something more hockey-specific, be sure to check out Brian St. Pierre’s Ultimate Hockey Nutrition. Brian currently works for Precision Nutrition and delivers high quality nutrition information in ways that are easy for players at all ages to implement.

Ultimate Hockey Nutrition

6 AWESOME Nutrition Tips from Dr. Berardi

John Berardi is a brilliant nutritionist that has had a ton of success with a wide variety of people from elite athletes to non-athletes. His Precision Nutrition system is still the best nutrition product ever created. I think everyone should own a copy. For more information on Precision Nutrition, click here.

Below are 6 awesome videos of a TV interview that Dr. Berardi did with Christine Williams on the show “On The Line”. Take the time to watch these. Dr. Berardi goes through a lot of awesome nutrition strategies that will help you lose fat, and get lean and strong.

Part 1 – On The Line with Christine Williams
About me, my work, about the differences between athletes and recreational exercisers, and more…


Part 2 – On The Line With Christine Williams

How much protein should we eat, the body mass index, how to gauge progress, and more…

Part 3 – On The Line With Christine Williams

Advanced nutrition, healthy food/supplements, metabolism boosting foods, cravings, and more…

To learn more about how Precision Nutrition can help you get in the best shape of your life, click here.

Part 4 – On The Line With Christine Williams

Cutting cravings, metabolic slowdown with age, healthy recipes, fruits and veggies, and more…

Part 5 – On The Line With Christine Williams

Metabolism preservation, ideal rate of progress, crash dieting, loose skin, and we take some calls…

Part 6 – On The Line With Christine Williams

How to exercise, exercise for seniors, day 1 of your program, and more…

To learn more about how Precision Nutrition can help you get in the best shape of your life, click here.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

Please enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Athletic Development and Hockey Training Newsletter!

Get Ultimate Hockey Training Now!

“…an extremely rare comprehensive look at the present state of ice hockey training.”
“…a must-have for coaches and strength professionals at all levels of hockey.”

Ultimate Hockey Training

Last week I wrote about a special opportunity for a young coach (or two) to gain a lot of quality experience working with the full spectrum of hockey players (See: Strength and Conditioning Internship), and have since gotten a lot of interest. In fact, one position has already been filled, so there’s only one left!

As a follow-up, I asked Matt Siniscalchi to write a quick post sharing his story and experience with you. Matt has a great story because he has quickly evolved from an inexperienced student to one of the best coaches I’ve ever had an opportunity to work with. Not only can he effectively teach all of the 800+ exercises we’ve filmed for the Ultimate Hockey Training Insider Section, but he can effectively communicate to everyone that walks through our doors, from young kids to elite athletes to our general population clients. He can also perform assessments, movement-based screening, and performance testing and understand how all of these variables need to be integrated into a well-designed training program for athletes/clients at different ages and with different training goals. He’s been able to make this ascension because he’s put in a TON of time gaining coaching experience and is constantly working to attain new information (note that he’s not doing one at the exclusion of the other), not just because he’s passionate about the field, but because he sincerely cares about the people he works with.  Simply, he epitomizes everything we look for in a GREAT coach.

He’s also revolutionizing the training apparel industry!
 Without further adieu…

The Intern Ascension

It was around this time in 2010 that I reached out to Kevin Neeld on Facebook to see if he’d allow me to observe for 20 hours at Endeavor Sports Performance, which was required for a class I was taking at Rowan University. After 20 observation hours, I was lucky enough to be considered for an internship, and fast forward four more years I’m now a coach at Endeavor, and have had a ton of opportunities to grow through sharing ideas with the staff, continuing education courses, books, and most importantly, coaching hours.

Currently, sports performance and training in general is in an exciting period.  There is a ton of useful information that you can find on the “inter-webz,” at seminars, in webinars, and countless membership websites.  I wish I had known about some of these resources while I was in college or did a better job of searching for them because I would have been ahead of the curve (maybe)!  Heck, since coaching I have learned a lot from those websites and courses with regard to assessments, corrective exercise, energy systems, periodization, and how to implement them to make successful programs.  However, the most important part that anyone in this business can (in my opinion) do is spend time watching great coaches coach, take notes, ask questions, and then get in there and coach people to the best of your ability.

If you have the privilege to intern at a sports performance facility/program, these are “the big rocks” that one should come in with and/or know by the time you finish…

#1 You’re going to fail – It’s OK, it’s how you and I get better

We all make mistakes, not one person is perfect with regards to anything in the training industry. That should be a huge relief because there were times when I’d be dripping sweat coaching groups (even as small as 4!) because I’d have no idea what was the best cue on a lift or the most efficient way to handle the group. They would be conditioning (the end of the session for that day) and I’d think to myself “what the hell did I just do?”

#2 Coach, Coach, Coach

 Yes, you’re going to fail; it’s OK, but you’ll only get better if you coach.  You could know periodization, physiology, and be able to name the latest research on (insert topic here), but if you can’t coach an athlete to perform the fundamental movements what good is that?  It doesn’t matter what you know; it matters what you can coach. Coaching should be why you wanted to be in this industry in the first place.  Caring for individuals comes first; all that other stuff is important but coaching and caring should be at the forefront.  If you care, you will read, continually educate, and try to become better as a coach along the way, not for your own sake, but to help get your clients better results.

#3 Build Relationships

When you start coaching quite a bit you start to get a sense of what people like, dislike, etc…It also makes you realize that some people are coming to you for guidance, motivation, and the opportunity to obtain a goal.  Some may come to your facility because their parents force them while others see it as a means to get away from other stressors.  Don’t always think that people are coming there because they want to, so when you get the opportunity to see them say hello and ask how things are and know that you can make their day slightly better than what it was when they walked in!

#4 Less is almost always better

Whether its cuing athletes in sprint work, during lifts, or designing programs I have learned that the less I do with regards to exercise selection the better the athletes typically get. Doing less doesn’t mean being lazy but instead optimizing the training program by mastering the basics.  Fundamentals of training are, well, fundamental (Courtesy of Dan John).  Every elite athlete in the world is elite because they mastered the fundamental skills of their sport to a very high degree. Take soccer for example, elite is being able to master 1 and 2 touch passing but before you are able to do that one needs to simply practice passing as much as possible! Check out the video below of what I mean by mastering the fundamentals of passing.

Getting stronger, faster, powerful, and having good endurance are skills that take time and patience to develop, but the process starts by mastering basic movement patterns and training habits.

#5 Attention to Details

Parents and athletes alike don’t typically understand why they are doing a certain movement or how it benefits them.  As a coach it is important for us to spot compensations, educate the client, and teach them why we may choose one method of training over another in to get the desired training effect.  Training is a process that shouldn’t be rushed for the sake of making the session difficult simply to please the athlete.  Give them what they need so that the athlete gets the results they want.  We can accomplish that by educating them and paying attention to details along the way.

#6 If you can teach a young athlete, then you can probably teach anyone

If you try to fix everything at once, most likely you won’t fix anything at all.  With regard to movement, coaching should address the biggest flaws in movement.  I always tend to think that if we can get the young, least coordinated athletes to move well, then coaching the more experienced athletes will be a breeze. The best way to learn to become a great coach isn’t to work with the highest level athletes; it’s teaching young, inexperienced kids to do things really well.

#7 Ask Questions, Carry a Journal, and Read

Don’t be afraid to ask questions all the time.  It makes us better as coaches and increases your chances of understanding concepts. A journal can be your best friend because you can write down your thoughts, questions, and concerns with what you saw that day.  At night or during breaks try and read as much as you can.  Reading 30-60 minutes a day is significantly important because if you add up all those hours in the course of a year you will certainly have a better grasp on whatever topic it is you read!

The above seven tips are what I feel are essential to many coaches because it has helped mold me into the coach I am today.  I have had the opportunity to create a blog of my own, attend seminars, meet caring coaches, and work with other great coaches who help me each day (thanks Kevin, Matt Sees, and Miguel Aragoncillo).  The opportunity has given me confidence to coach large or small groups, all with athletes who have individualized training programs. I’ve also been able to progress from just coaching to being able to perform assessments and write programs for a wide range of clients. Most importantly, I continue to log a lot of great coaching hours. This, in addition to reading every day, watching DVD’s, and talking with other strength coaches has provided me with more opportunities than I ever thought possible considering I could barely coach a group within the first couple months of interning!  Remember it’s all about the road (journey), not the inn (final destination).

-Matt Siniscalchi

Great reminders from Matt on not only how we can all get better as coaches, but important things to remember about the dynamic of working with people. Before we wrap up, I just wanted to follow up on my post from yesterday (See: Johnny Hockey, Off-Season Training, Hockey Training Seminar?), and gauge your interest in attending a 1- or 2-day seminar in the early Fall that discusses my system for off-ice training for youth hockey players that would be geared toward youth coaches and parents to help bridge the gap between what high level hockey S&C coaches are doing with their players and what is common practice at the youth level. I’m still on the fence about whether I’ll do it at all and if I do, exactly what I’ll talk about. With that in mind, I’d like to hear from you! I’ve gotten a favorable response so far, but I’d appreciate if you could do me a quick favor and drop a note in the comments section below about whether you’d be interested in attending a hockey-specific seminar that I run, how many days you’d prefer it to be (1 or 2), and what topics you’d be interested in hearing about.

Thanks in advance!

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

Please enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Athletic Development and Hockey Training Newsletter!

Get Ultimate Hockey Training Now!

“…an extremely rare comprehensive look at the present state of ice hockey training.”
“…a must-have for coaches and strength professionals at all levels of hockey.”

Ultimate Hockey Training