Five Tips from Mike Boyle

About the Author: Eric Cressey

Many people know that Mike Boyle has probably trained more high-level athletes than anyone on the planet right now. What many people might not know about Mike is that he’s helped countless coaches in their career paths; you’ll find “Boyle Disciples” all over collegiate and professional strength and conditioning and in the private sector. To that end, I thought it would be great if Mike targeted his random thoughts to the up-and-comers in the business (I know, I know; it’s not exactly random).

1. There are only two ways to learn: experience and reading. If you think you can get good in this field in a 40-hour week you’re crazy. If a 40-hour week is your goal, find a new field. Read Alwyn Cosgrove and Jason Ferruggia’s article “The Business.”

2. Train clients or athletes at least 20 hours a week. This is the proving ground for your booksmarts. Ideas are just that; see if you can implement them.

3. If you want to succeed in the field, get yourself in shape. I frequently joke about the fact that I don’t look the part. I’m not very muscular and am old and bald – but I’m in reasonable shape for 47. At 27, you will NOT get the benefit of the doubt. No one wants an overweight trainer or a skinny trainer. They expect you to look the part. You don’t have to be huge, and you don’t have to be ripped, but you need to look like you exercise.

4. Never ask a client to do something you can’t demonstrate. You don’t have to be able to do exercises with huge weights, but you must master the exercises. Beside the fact that many people learn visually, how can you ask a client to something you can’t?

5. Read one self-help book for every field-related book. It’s called personal training for a reason. It’s about a person and his/her goals. Your knowledge of people will be as important as your knowledge of the subject matter. Years ago, someone asked me what the key to my success was. I told them that it was my ability to get people to do what I wanted them to do.

You can find an interview I did with Mike at T-Nation a while back HERE.

Eric Cressey