118 Fitness Facts

In the information age, a remarkable amount of information on anything at all can be found under your fingertips. It can be an overwhelming task deciding what has validity, applicability and where to invest your time and attention.

So, to save us all some time, here is a short list of things relating to exercise, recovery and life in general that have experientially and evidentially proven to be helpful.

1. Move often
2. Movement is a skill. Good movement takes practise
3. Mobility before stability
4. Move in different directions
5. Train movements, not parts (the body is a complex, dynamic SYSTEM)
6. Push
7. Pull
8. Squat
9. Hinge
10. Lunge
11. Lift
12. Brace
13. Rotate
14. Carry
15. Grip
16. Hold
17. Drag
18. Climb
19. Crawl
20. Roll
21. Balance
22. Jump
23. Hop
24. Bound
25. Throw/Catch
26. On two legs, and one
27. Learn to march and skip
28. Move sideways
29. Move backwards
30. Walk daily
31. Swim
32. Run
33. Sprint
34. Running and sprinting are not the same thing
35. Calisthenics
36. Play different sports
37. Play
38. Smile
39. Laugh
40. Relax more
41. Read more
42. Breathe deeply and slowly
43. Practise meditation/mindfulness
44. Do crosswords/learn a language (it’s good for the brain)
45. Sleep atleast 8 hours each night
46. Take power naps
47. Sit differently
48. Get away from your desk often
49. Drink more water
50. Eat more vegetables
51. Eat breakfast
52. Eat enough
53. Eggs are not bad for you
54. Supplements aren’t magic
55. Invest in your health
56. Fasted Training, Low Carb and Detoxes are largely overrated
57. Balanced nutrition = 90% healthy choices + 10% having a life
58. Take your shoes off
59. Strengthen your feet
60. Wash your hands
61. Take the stairs
62. Go outside often
63. Have a morning ritual
64. Do cardio (aerobically fit people live the longest, AND have better quality of life)
65. Intervals are hard, but time efficient. (perhaps not the best option for beginners)
66. Work on mobility maintenance DAILY
67. Healthy joints need movement
68. Get strong in stretch
69. Mobility = flexibility + CONTROL
70. Flexibility, without control is risky
71. Static stretching is overrated
72. Stability is not strength (you need both)
73. Strength is functional
74. Strength is protective
75. Strength is relative
76. Train to become robust
77. Use different implements (barbell/dumbbell/kettlebells etc)
78. Train for Power
79. Train velocity
80. Bodyweight before added resistance
81. Light before heavy
82. Slow before fast
83. Bilateral before unilateral
84. Stable before unstable
85. If it’s painful, don’t do it
86. If you’re injured, do what you can (within recommended guidelines)
eg. Can you modify an exercise, or train around an injury? Can you train anything at all?

87. Do the basics well
88. Do less, better (80:20 Rule)
89. Large movements
90. Full ROM
91. Perfect technique always
92. If you don’t know what perfect technique is, seek out a good strength and conditioning coach
93. If you’re new to training, seek out a good strength and conditioning coach
94. Good strength and conditioning coaches aren’t cheap, and cheap ones aren’t good
95. Have S.M.A.R.T. goals (successful people do)
96. Have a plan
97. Firm goals, flexible methods
98. Keep a training diary
99. Track progress, and progress appropriately
100. Manage training fatigue
101. Manage stress
102. Change/tweak your program every month or so
103. Strategic exercise variation
104. One size does not fit all (re exercises and plans)
105. Consistency is key
106. Ask for a spot
107. Share your equipment
108. Put your weights away
109. Build your team (people with a strong social support network perform better)
110. Join a group or train with friends (social dynamics matter)
111. Take time away from training once in a while
112. Take holidays
113. Work + Rest = Success
114. Fitness is simple, not easy
115. Show up, do something
116. Accumulate small wins
117. Focus on process, not the outcome
118. Aim for progress, not perfect



Gathered here are some of the better reads that I’ve come across recently, bookmarked in one convenient location to refer to later. I hope readers will also find something interesting and of benefit as well.


”As complexity raises, meaningful statements lose precision and precise statements lose meaning.”
Lofti Zadeh

10 Leaders Share The Habits That Help Them Be Freakishly Productive
From Entrepreneur

Resources To Keep Yourself Updated
By Iraki Nutrition

Peer Leadership: 8 Thoughts On How To Make The Most Of An Opportunity, Others And Yourself
Guest post by Greg Robins of The Strength House and Cressey Sports Performance on PeteDupuis.com

Building Bridges: leveraging Your Employer To Enhance Your Personal Brand

5 Habits Of Effective Coaches
also from Greg Robins

8 Must Read S&C Articles

from Science For Sport

Five Resistance Elements that Develop Athletes
from Carl Valle at SimpliFaster

Why and How We Program Breathing Exercises 
By Kevin Carr of Movement As Medicine

Periodisation for the Everyday Athlete
by Mike Robertson

Wellness Monitoring
From Greg Dea

http://www.elitefts.com/coaching-logs/the-four-essential-steps-your-athletes-need-to-take/ and

from Mark Watts at EliteFTS

A Simple Approach to Running Analysis for Clinicians
from Chris Johnson at Zeren PT and Performance via Mike Reinold

Solving the Riddle of the Shin Splint
by Ken Jakalski

Nervous System Training 101:The Creation of Superhuman Strength and Athleticism
from Joel Smith and TrainHeroic.com

3 CNS Hacks For a Better Workout and

Jeff Moyer Q&A on Strength Training Dose and Transfer
from Joel Smith at Just Fly Sports

Guidelines for the General Preparation Phase 

Writing the General Preparation Phase

and Free Downloads
By Coach Nick Newman

Purposeful GPP: Applying Science to Your Conditioning
From Bryan Mann at EliteFTS

from Science For Sport

Agility In Team Sport: How To Crack the Code
by Carl Valle at SimpliFaster

Barriers to Championship Performances  and again

from Altis and FreeLap USA
from Freelap USA and Altis

The Terms Of The Deal
The Scientific Principles Of Strength Training
By Dr. Mike Israetel of RenaissancePeriodization.com and Juggernaut Training Systems

Top Ten Must Reads: #10 – #6
Top Ten Must Reads: #5 – #1
Via Juggernaut Training Systems

What Are The Real Elements Of ”High Performance?”
From Chris Gallagher at Freelap USA

Setting Rehabilitation Goals And Reducing Energy Leaks With Movement Efficiency and
Retraining The Injured Athlete, High Performance Training For Sports on The Strength Coach Podcast
with David Joyce

Just Load It
by Erik Meira

Warm Up And Motor Concepts and
Developing a Full, High-Performance Program From The Ground Up
By Charlie Weingroff

Talking About Warm-Up?!?
From Dustin Imdieke of Altis

Warm Ups
from Science For Sport

Your Warm-up Doesn’t Need to Be That Complicated
from Jesse Irizarry at Strength Theory

A Guide To Movement Prep
from Nick Winkelman at Exos

Get More From Your Sprint Workouts
via Bret Contreras

How To Warm Up Before Your Workout

from Robbie Cannon via My TPI

Daily Undulating Periodization & Performance Improvements In Powerlifters
A research review from Patrick Ward

Becoming A Strength And Conditioning Coach
From Michael Favre Via NSCA

6 Ways To Simplify Your Coaching For Better Results
From Eric Cressey

The Ultimate Conditioning Guide

Conditioning And Mental Toughness

3 New Conditioning Rules

The Truth About Injuries
From Joel Jamieson of 8WeeksOut.com

You Need Long Duration, Low Intensity Cardio
By Mike Robertson of Robertson Training Systems

Reactive Strength Index
From Science For Sport

Velocity Based Training
From Carl Valle Via Freelap USA

Beast Blog contains a tonne of great content on performance tracking.

Breathe New Life Into Your Performance
From Chris Gallagher Via Freelap USA

A Week At The WAC
Also By Chris Gallagher

Coaching The Individual In The Athlete
From Nick Sheuerman

Coaches Are Not Mind-Readers … The Art Of The Daily Debrief
Insights from Coach Kyle Hierholzer

The 16 Characteristics Of Greatness
From award-winning leadership speaker, Don Yaeger

A Pocket Guide To Coaching Wisdom
From Altis

35 Secrets Of Brilliant Coaches
By Ann Josephson shared on the Strength Coach Blog

Via Negativa
Set And Rep Schemes In Training
Twelve Principles of Agile Periodisation
6 Weeks Running Program for Soccer Players
Running Based Intervals-Velocities Table
By Mladen Jovanovic at Complementary Training

Okinawan Strength: Developing the ‘Iron Body”
By By Dr. Suart McGill via Strongfirst

Exciting Free Content From Dr. Stuart McGill

Human-Specific Training and
The Importance Of Unilateral Training
By Devan McConnell Via Volt Athletics

Commentary From Jeremy Frisch
Saved by Kelvin Giles at Movement Dynamics

Individual Training In A Team Setting

Olympic Lifting For Athletic Performance
From Mark Watts of EliteFTS

Olympic Weightlifting – The Biomechanics
From Strength And Conditioning Research

Olympic Weightlifting
From Science for Sport

Plantar Fasciitis – Important New Research By Michael Rathleff
From Tom Goom, Running Physio

The Complete Guide To Foundations & Fallacies Of Tissue Regeneration
From Dr. John Rusin

Treatment Fundamentals: A Simple Framework To Reconceptualize Pain And Injury Treatment
By Greg Lehman

Back Pain – Separating Fact From Fiction
At Pain-Ed.com

Core Stability: Winning Popularity, Losing Science
By Ramsey Nijem Fitness

Which Strength Sport Is Most Likely To Cause An Injury?
From Bret Contreras and Chris Beardsley at StrengthandConditioningResearch.com

Implementing High-Intensity Aerobic Energy System Conditioning For Field Sports
From Dr. Dan Baker Via Freelap USA

Adapting to High Altitude
Via Human Biological Adaptability

It’s All About Motor Control
From Gray Cook at FunctionalMovement.com

Rocky Road To The Top: Why Talent Needs Trauma
Dave Collins and A ́ine MacNamara, Sports Med 2012; 42 (11)

The Science And Application Of Coaching Cues
From Coach Sam Leahey

Coaching Movements And Skills
From Nick Winkelman of Exos featured at On Target Publications

Coach Like A Caveman – How The Environment Shapes Our Movement
Also with Nick Winkelman on The Strength Coach Podcast

What We Say Matters – Uncovering the Truth About Cueing (Lecture)
What We Say Matters, Part I
What We Say Matters, Part II
With Nick Winkelman on NSCA

Coaching Cues That Actually Work
With Nick Winkelman Via Stack

Coaching Instructions And Cues For Enhancing Sprint Performance
In NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal

35 Recommendations For Building Better Horizontal jumpers
With Nick Newman Via Freelap USA

A Systems Perspective On Motor Control, Part One
From Todd Hargrove at Better Movement

Notes From Frans Bosch – Transfer Of Strength Training: Implications from The CNS
By Simon Nainby at Underground Athletics

Review Of “Strength Training And Coordination: An Integrative Approach” By Frans Bosch
from Todd Hargrove

McMillan Coaches Guide To Strength Development (Series)
With Stuart McMillan, Matt Jordan and Brett Bartholomew

Gill Apprentice Coach Program – April Highlights 2015

Gill Apprentice Coach Program – May Highlights 2015
By Ellie Spain Via Altis

Another Training Talk With Dan Pfaff part 1
Another Training Talk With Dan Pfaff part 2
By Martin Bingisser at HMMR Media with Coach Dan Pfaff of Altis

5 Coaching Cues To Immediately Improve Basic Movements
From Dean Somerset

How Does Foam Rolling Work? And Why “SMR” Should be Called “SMT”
Via Bret Contreras, aka The Glute Guy

Rest, Recover, Regenerate Part 5: Massage
A great series of articles on rest, recovery and regeneration by Pat Ward

Can Stretching Really Make You A Better Athlete? The Truth Behind Static Stretching And Power Development
From Joel Smith via Just Fly Sports

Stretching For Recovery

The Physiological Basis for Tapering in Endurance, Strength, and Power Athletes

The New Science of Embracing Performance Anxiety

Why Do You Lift — Defining Hope, Motivation, and Risk By

Marilia Coutinho at mariliacoutinho.com via Elite FTS

The Top Ten Brain Science And Psychology Studies Of 2015

Questioning the Use of Static Stretching Before and After Athletic Activities

Towards A Grand Unified Theory Of Sports Performance 
By Paul Glazier

Attentional Focus and Motor Learning: a Review of 15 Years

Publications By Brad J Schoenfeld via ResearchGate

Mechanisms of Exercise-Induced Muscle Fibre Injury

The Architecture Of The Connective Tissue In The Musculoskeletal System—An Often Overlooked Functional Parameter As To Proprioception In The Locomotor Apparatus

The Fitness-Fatigue Model Revisited: Implications For Planning Short- And Long-Term Training

Stretching The Truth. A Review Of The Literature On Muscle Stretching

Questioning the Use of Static Stretching Before and After Athletic Activities

Effects of Resistance Training in Youth Athletes on Muscular Fitness and Athletic Performance: A Conceptual Model for Long-Term Athlete Development

Understanding The Stress Response
from Harvard health

The Unhappy Truth About Positive Psychology
By Jeffrey B. Rubin, Truthout

A Life Beyond ‘Do What You Love’
From Gordon Morino

US Navy Admiral Bill McRaven’s 10 Lessons From Basic SEAL Training

The Best Job On The Planet (TEDx)
A TED Talk with the exemplary Jeff Oliver

A special mention must be made of Greg Nuckols who puts out a tonne of quality content over at Strength Theory. Highly recommended.

”It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”
W. Edwards Deming


Review: Michael Boyle’s Functional Strength Coach 4.0

Michael Boyle’s
Functional Strength Coach 4.0

*6 Dvd’s, 10+ hours, Manual Included
*Bonus one hour ‘Success Secrets’ Lecture

The latest product from one of Strength and Conditionings most formidable pioneers, Functional Strength Coach 4.0 covers Coach Michael Boyle’s current ideas on Performance Training, Personal Training, and success from the vantage point of a coach at the helm of a leading Strength and Conditioning Facility and business model.

The material is divided into two sections:

Part I: Training Clients and Athletes (both lecture and practical format)

  • Why a facility without a program is doomed to fail (programs beat systems!)
  • The only 3 goals of any strength and conditioning program
  • How to divide your time within each training session (for athletes vs clients)
  • The last 3 things you should do with your clients
  • Specific effects of Joint Dysfunction you’re probably overlooking
  • Mobility versus flexibility and why it matters
  • Why you should foam roll before every session and exactly how we do it
  • 7 Patterns of Strength Programming
  • The Key to Program Design…regardless of population
  • How we approach Basic and Advanced Periodization
  • Specific linear speed and multi directional speed day warm up progressions
  • The Truth about Functional Training
  • Why squatting starts on the ground
  • Why Everything Changes When You Stand on One Leg
  • Understanding Hip Flexion and the 7 factors affecting performance
  • Advanced Load and Strength Progressions
  • Two Things To Avoid with ‘Core Training’ (and why I don’t like that term)
  • Rotary Training progressions and regressions
  • Complex Training progressions and regressions
  • Dealing with Injury – Boyle’s Theory
  • Single Leg Versus Double Leg…when, where and why
  • 5 Keys to Conditioning
  • 3 Simple Rules for Designing Interval Programs
  • Off Season Conditioning Protocols
  • Tips for Hockey, Football, Basketball ‘specific’ conditioning
  • Much more. Including:
    – Sample 2 Day In-Season Program
    – Sample 3 Day Off-Season Program
    – Full Summer 4 Phase Program
  • Part II: Owning your own facility

  • Why the 10,000 hour rule will make or break your business
  • The truth about the ’4 Hour Work Week’
  • How to run a successful facility
  • How big your first facility should be
  • 3 Rules for purchasing equipment
  • Why you should…or shouldn’t…buy a franchise
  • Financials and knowing your numbers
  • How to approach Sponsors…literally and figuratively
  • The simple truth about managing and developing staff
  • Why getting clients comes down to the ‘crazies’
  • 21 suggestions guaranteed to lead to success…in business and life
  • Also included is Boyle’s renowned one hour ‘Success Secrets’ lecture filmed at the 2011 Perform Better One Day Seminar, which explores:

  • Why Aren’t You Successful? Follow this rule and everything changes
  • My personal take on Goals…setting them and achieving them
  • 2 types of people who succeed…and why
  • The #1 thing that happens to Anyone who is Excellent at Anything
  • The Speaking Circuit
  • Articles and Books
  • Do you Really want your Your Own Facility?
  • The Mike Boyle Strength Coach Story
  • The Pros and Cons of Membership Sites
  • Have Something to Offer, not Something to Sell
  • Specific Action steps to help you build momentum

  • With an impressive volume and variety of content, one would be hard pressed to deny the relevance of FSC4 finding its way into the resource library of not only coaches and trainers of all levels, but also athletes, non-competitive active populations and individuals involved in the areas of therapy, rehabilitation and business.

    FSC4 is the crystallisation of everything Boyle has gleamed from his thirty years of study and application in the field of functional performance, training and facilitating the rehabilitation of a diverse population that includes everyone from active adults to scores of athletes in every major high school, collegiate and professional sport, including US Olympic Women’s teams in Soccer and Ice Hockey.
    It is also three decades of Boyle’s private education from books, articles, seminars and interactions with his peers, as well as observations of innovative leaders in the areas of rehabilitation, business and personal development.
    Boyle removes the applicable components of these environments, those that lend themselves to successful performance enhancement outcomes, and effectively blurs the delineation between the landscapes, distilling his conclusions into ten + hours of open book on the integrated model that mass-produces sustainable athletic potency in a timely and less importantly, profitable fashion.
    It is not so much a ‘how to’ blueprint with follow along catch-all programs (although some sample programs are included) as much as ‘here is what we are currently doing, this is why’ not unlike previous instalments of the Functional Strength Coach series.
    The content is delivered in somewhat of a refreshingly relaxed and open format without the text-book tone one might expect of a professional of such standing and standard with the typical Michael Boyle blunt-force, colourfully quote laden and analogy rich approach to efficiently and effectively articulate his ideas, much like a good coach will employ urgency and economy of words or cues, to communicate with his athletes and extract an immediate understanding.

    Repeatedly the presentation careens into lengthy off-the-cuff discussions and demonstration that for any devout student of the game, proves gold upon gold.
    Each topic is explored open-ended to the utmost width and breadth of its parameters including references to relevant literature as well as Boyle’s own anecdotal evidence derived from unrelenting in-house trial and error. Boyle shares candidly his thoughts, often humorous and trend defying, on many subjects hotly debated amongst industry professionals, to encourage critical thinking rather than rouse controversy, which of itself has brought upon him much of the latter. Ideas which he unapologetically admits, are subject to flux.

    ”It’s called learning.”

    says Alwyn Cosgrove in his video review.
    Constantly learning, in this industry, as in life, is a necessary and lifelong discipline, without which nought but mediocrity, stagnation and bareness thrives.

    ”Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.”
    – Herbert George Wells

    Expanding further with many real world examples, case studies and personal in-the-trenches perspectives provides rare and fascinating insight into some of the daily occurrences at a world-class facility, including the many hard-fought triumphs and humbling errors that have helped build a business, shape the prevailing thought process, and certainly the field as we presently know it.


    For anybody that has been closely following Boyle’s material for some time, much of the training and programming information will be somewhat familiar. There are however still many updates and sprinklings of new information to be relished that will not only challenge your previously held notions of sound programming, but can be immediately incorporated into your current system for athletes and general population clients alike.

    Particularly enthralling were the hands on components of Part 1: Training Clients and Athletes. From foam rolling to movement preparation all the way through FMS correctives to exercise hierarchy and progressions, this is where we are able to witness one of the fields foremost experts indulge his exhaustive knowledge of the human body and passion for teaching AND sharing that knowledge, personally take the coaching floor, cueing movement and identifying and correcting live faulty patterns and imbalances of many of the participating attendees. I pulled countless gems out of these demonstrations.
    A repeating decree in FSC4, as in all of Boyle’s products, that serves as a kind of strength Coach manifesto can be extracted and expressed as follows;

  • Don’t hurt anyone
  • Get results
  • Share what you learn

  • These same concepts when translated and applied to daily life;

  • Don’t hurt anyone
  • Be productive / Effective / Useful
  • Pay it forward
  • Immodesty I confess, prior to viewing FSC4 I was quite confident that my programming and coaching efficacy was as good as it could possibly be at this time, given the monumental amount of information at my disposal. How could it not be? I spend almost the same amount of money on continued education in a week as I spend on food. I read more hours in a day than I sleep. My eyes are wide and my mind is open. My net is ready and this slate is clean.
    As with the first page of a new book, I am giddy at the journey with hope that I may happen across new and useful input or by delightful correction intervened be. I follow other lifelong learners and unsatisfied seekers past reputations reach and safety’s scope into the eon of our responsibility. There is not much that escapes me along the way.

    ”Each generation’s job is to question what parents accept on faith, to explore possibilities, and adapt the last generation’s system of values for a new age.”
    – Frank Pittman

    I viewed all seven discs in their entirety sitting increasingly unassertive throughout as Boyle succinctly and profoundly proceeded to punch holes through some of what I considered to be a rather durable training philosophy. There was the gaze of realisation, as when a bullet finds its home beyond the Kevlar. An acute cognisance that things were about to completely change.

    It was wonderful.


    Within the realm of Functional Performance Michael Boyle is the glowing standard which we should all strive to equal. I say equal rather than surpass because frankly, I can’t yet comprehend how anybody could possibly contribute more to the science and practice of Strength and Conditioning than Michael Boyle now or ever, and I hope that I am wrong.
    New information will always emerge but lacking those individuals who are at the frontline to locate it, question it, trial it and report on the outcome, would not only subdue the influence of such information, but indeed arrest the advancement of human performance training as a result.

    Functional Strength Coach 4.0 is an expression of that standard, that serves also as the hand rail that you would use, on your climb up to that lofty marker.

    Simply put, you WILL do better. FSC4 will compel you, in every aspect, to lift your game.

    If you are unfamiliar with Coach Boyle’s work, I assure you that FSC4 will represent a redefining shift in thought as it pertains to training the human body, for the very best.

    Purchase it here.

    While you are at it, also get this and this.

    Because the best just don’t miss anything.

    Photo source: Michael Boyle