A weekend with Mike Boyle

Kindly robbed off my mate Gregory Bradley… I couldn’t possibly write a better blog post so I’m just going to rob Gregory’s…

Here it goes…


The past couple of days have been a little bit surreal spending a weekend with Mike Boyle is something I could only have dreamt of but this became a reality this weekend.

Being one of the founding members of the Irish Sports Coaches Institute there was a lot of work in organising the conference but it has been humbling hearing the amazing feedback from attendees.

The ISCI twitter feed was going crazy during dinner last night and we were all so shocked at the goodwill from the attendees.

The beginning of something special

I suppose you could say the ISCI was found out of frustration.

The founding members are Martin Kennedy, Dave Hare, Barry Solan, Adam Speer, Byron Clarke, Robbie Bourke and myself, Gregory Bradley.

We felt that whilst the sports / fitness industry has a huge number of extremely qualified and successful coaches there was a need for a body or organisation to further increase the standards.

We couldn’t find one so took it in our own hands and are still in the process of setting it up.

Core Values

One of our core values is being in the trenches.

Every founding member is training or has experience training inter county GAA teams and athletes / teams from different codes.

We agreed that working in this industry can be a bit of a lonely place with everyone hustling away in isolation and almost working in a pigeon hole so we decided to team up…


We sat down in a hotel on Dublin working ON each other businesses then someone said what about holding a conference as a launchpad for the ISCI.

We did some brainstorming and asked who is the biggest name in the industry? For us there was only one answer.

Best Strength & Conditioning Coach in the world?

Just to clarify we aren’t claiming Mike is the worlds best S&C coach.

That is an impossible question to answer.

He is a very successful coach who has strongly influenced the group and shares similar core values to us

After several meetings with the ISCI team and a few email exchanges Mike agreed to come over and do the event in what would be his first ever trip to Ireland.

The Conference

The whole weekend is a bit of a blur as it was so hectic but Ill do my best to give a bit of a summary here.

There were two events over the weekend.

On the Friday Mike and his business partner Bob Hanson doing a private Q&A with 15 coaches. This was slightly more business orientated but it was great for the guys to pull open the curtains and talk about behind the scenes of their extremely successful businesses.

After the private Q&A the ISCI headed out for dinner and a few beers with Mike and Bob and their family. Being totally honest this was the most enjoyable part of the weekend for me.

In addition to the tasty steak and local beers it was unreal hearing insights and Mikes life experiences with The Boston Red Sox and other teams and clients he works with.

On the Saturday was the main event- Over 200 attendees from Ireland, UK and other parts of Europe. Mike was recording the new edition of his extremely successful DVD series, Functional Strength coach 5 so he had Kevin Larrabee over filming for it.

Being honest I didn’t get to consume too much of the content as I was working behind the scenes with the ISCI team making sure the event ran seamlessly but what I did see what great and I can’t wait for FSC5 to be released to get into it.

Divided Opinion

I get it. Not everyone likes Mike Boyle. Big deal.

One of the main areas people criticise him is because he doesn’t like back squats and during the conference he has justified he logic behind this.

Whether or not you agree with it Mike’s training isn’t about him, its about his athletes and getting results.

There is a saying in marketing ‘It’s better to be loved or hated than tolerated’ which I agree with.

You can’t please everyone.

Personally one of the biggest things I like about Mike is his mindset and philosophy.

I am sure there are other values he has but for me this is what I feel they are:

No ego.
Success leaves clues.
Don’t get pigeon holed.
Question everything.
Keep it simple.
Constantly improve, never stagnate.

He is a lifelong student.

If Mike makes a mistake or changes his philosophy he is the first person to admit it.

He has built a number of hugely successful businesses on systems. Its sustainable and not built on trends or fads. Something we are trying to achieve here at EFP.

Personally my main interest is on the business side of things, I’m fascinated by it and I was quizzing Mike and Bob at every opportunity and they were more than happy to answer every enquiry.

Hearing about some of the extremely high profile clients and his experiences over the years was invaluable and something I will never forget.

Takeaway Messages

I won’t go into this in great detail or publish a lot of the content from the weekend in the interest of fairness to the people who parted with their hard earned money but I’ll share four of my biggest takeaways from the event from a training perspective.

Takeaway number 1: Certified nice person. This is what Mike and Bob look for when they are recruiting staff. You have have all the qualifications in the world but if you can’t talk and be nice to people you aren’t going to go anywhere in this industry..

This is regarding tissue quality with young peoples muscle tissue is like fillet mignon where as the older you are your muscle tissue is more like beef jerky.

This analogy is genius.

You know you are working with someone special when they can make something relatively complicated simple.

The more I learn from the leading names in the industry the more I realise there is no magic potion.

Simple strategies, constant learning and hard work.

Takeaway message number 4: Mike told all the attendees to use EFP Gyms for their equipment needs and I wholeheartedly agree with him :)

All joking aside this weekend is one I’ll remember for a long time and it was great to meet so many like-minded people in one place trying to improve their knowledge and businesses.

first break the rulesI’ve about 20 books to read after Mike’s recommendations so I am off to start on this:


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