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December Song and Dance, Act One


Michael Boyle's new book
Advances in Functional Training, in stock next week

The cover athlete is Ingrid Marcum, during her win at the 2009 Nationals

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The project of the day is to make room in our work area for the incoming load of books -- three pallets -- from our printer in Illinois. The book, of course, is Laree’s most recent publication titled “Advances in Functional Training,” written by 25-year strength and conditioning coach extraordinaire, Mike Boyle. It’s a gorgeous book, large, heavy and rich with information to effectively enhance one’s training performance as an evolving athlete, coach and trainer.

Where was Mike 50-some years ago when I was a dumb and defenseless bone-rack?

I’m an authentic basement-corner musclehead, a pump-and-burn bodybuilder, an iron-picking musclebuilder, a loose-dumbbell, splintery-wooden-bench gym rat. I pick up the metal and I put it down repeatedly -- any way I wanted to when I was younger, and any way I can today.

Mike Boyle stood back and noticed what he and athletes and other superior trainers around him were doing right and doing wrong. He studied himself and he studied them and he studied in universities and he experimented and he applied and he elaborated on the good and he amended the bad and he put his discoveries in motion and in words.

I’m amazed and impressed with the intelligence present, required and evolving in advanced athletic performance. I’m also a day late, an hour short and slightly demented. Go, Mike.

What moves me in all of this is Laree understands the knowledgeable and talented coach par excellence. She digs this stuff. Furthermore, Mike sought her out and she compiled his accumulated knowledge and understanding into a clear and comprehensive book worthy of carrying everywhere you go -- did I mention it’s hunky and gorgeous? -- and showing off to your best friends. “Hey! Check out my seriously cool new book. Weighs a ton. I use it for lateral raises and curls when I’m not reading it.”

You should see the cover: dark background with everyone’s favorite national champion Olympic lifter, Ingrid Marcum, blasting a record weight over her head as her blonde hair blazes and her calm countenance exudes. Wow!

Go, Laree!

Michael Boyle's new book, Advances in Functional Training

What did I tell you!

Thanksgiving has come and gone and it was fun, fulfilling and filling; turkey and stuffing and family and friends; kids growing up, their parents growing older and their parents growing older still. “Why, I remember when I was a young whipper-snapper I could pick up the bar with four plates on each end.”

The stories rumbled like distant thunder. “My arms were 20 inches around, Sonny, and they had veins like ropes.”

“Golly!! Was that after TV, Grandpa? Before the Internet?”

So, now I’m an historian? Or, I’m history... I’m not sure. I get confused.

Christmas is before us with its peacefulness, endearing gift-giving and spirituality. “Darest thou mention God Almighty and I’ll sue you and your naked offspring,” “Remove thou thy nativity scene from the town square or perish by the sword,” “Merry Christmas, you say? 50 lashes, plus one, heathen!”

Gee. Next thing ya know they’ll put a target on the butt of the red nose reindeer.

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth and a jug of Bomber Blend, Dan John’s secret workshop DVD series and that big, gorgeous book, AFT, by Coach Mike Boyle. Every man-child’s dream come true. That precious request realized and I shall, with a big toothy grin, train merrily, productively, safely during the happy New Year.

2010 -- twenty-ten has a nice ring to it. I remember when 2001: A Space Odyssey was the mystical number that gained our attention so long ago. And then came 911, 2001, another ring-dinger.

As for this day, Monday, it’s off to the gym for a rendezvous with legs and the core muscles. Gone are the days of heavy squats, but I’ll rattle some plates on the leg press, extension and curl machines. Too much work and the knees howl rebelliously; just enough and they purr, warm and content. Warm and content are increasingly satisfying effects of training these days. Limping and moaning, crawling and groaning are not.

Too often (every other workout) I’m the fool and push the weights beyond their purpose (to build up and make happy) and I humbly say (snarl) in the aftermath, “Will you ever learn?” After a single redemptive workout I say with deep-throated ignorance and arrogance, “Let’s get huge and ripped, massive and shredded, big guy.”

And I do. I get a huge swelling around the joints and a few ripped tendons. I endure massive muscle pain and suffer shredded insertions. Go, Dave.

More and more I’m settling for less and less. Call it wise, understanding, savvy; responsible, grateful, appreciative; prudent, cautious, chicken.

What the...did you hear that, bombers? Sounded like the rumble of a large truck on our long, narrow driveway. You’re right. It is a large truck, and it’s way early and we have no room and he’ll never get out and my back hurts and where will we put the 125 boxes weighing 40 pounds each and I have to be radiated (33rd) at 2:15 and it looks like rain and Laree is in her Control Tower on the phone with the driver who says he’s found us after following his GPS (holy crap) and asks desperately, “Where on earth am I and how on earth will I get out of here?”

Gotta Go.

The Draper Ever Ready Shipping and Receiving Dept.

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Scoop the blend into a glass, stir and drink with pleasure and satisfaction, when you need to, want to or should. All the time.

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