I sound like a broken record when it comes to this cliche. But it’s a truth I’ve been realizing is more and more prevalent amongst the – and I’m going to take some heat for this one…- millennial crowd of the modern day workforce.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is there a certain level of entitlement associated with the modern workforce nowadays? I feel like folks walk in fresh out of school expecting to land the job of their dreams and skip ahead of the rest of their peers based purely off of what texts they studied in ______________ bullshit university. It’s ridiculous. Especially in my field; health and wellness. You don’t just come out of kines and become the world’s greatest gift to fitness.

That’s what I want to speak to. From the perspective of both sides, us as wellness professionals and also the consumers of wellness, which is in theory, everyone (or at least in a perfect world it should be).

First; Wellness Professionals. 

Sure, you studied under ______________, the best homie in the business. You know how many years it took him or her to get to that position? Exactly. So, how are you even close? Earn your stripes. Imagine what your grandma would say! There is still a pecking order and good thing. Here’s why:

I can still walk into any fitness facility and pick out the newbie trainers. They’re the ones that gloat about how they murdered their client, a 35 year old mother of two with a vicious leg day that left them at the mercy of their power trip.

I can hear it now… poor Becky crawling out the front doors… and her ironfisted Personal Trainer shouting something like: “Hey! Do you think you’re walking to your car? You thought the work out was done? Ten more lunges. Finish strong. I wanna see you drag these sleds to your car before you go anywhere!”

I mean that’s grossly exaggerated, but it’s kinda scary how accurate that situation is. I’ll be sitting in a lunch room of a facility where us trainers converse – kind of like a watering hole – and you’d never believe he absurdity of some of those conversations.

Yeah I get it, a good workout can mean crippling your paying customers. But it can also mean knowing when not to do that. Listening to their words, watching their body language and not being so stuck on proving how awesome you are that you missed the 13 signs before said customer passed out because you didn’t think to ask if they had breakfast before they started sprinting, swinging kettle bells and kipping into burpees for time on that sick AMRAP, bro… (who else is envisioning a CrossFit box nightmare?). It’s simple, right? Then why the hell do we still see it?

Serisously, what’s the hang up? Do these people just not care?

I’d argue, yes… there’s some people out there that get into the business to fill their ego. These people are also the typical injury-prone athletes that maintain the “no pain, no gain” mantra that should have died with the dinosaurs (technically I guess they’re still alive…). But really, if you think like this, you’re going to hurt someone. It’s completely ridiculous. Know when to work in. Know when to work out. End of story. Pay attention to the people that are paying you, and stop pumping your ego.

Leave the Ego, learn the Confidence.

Why am I saying this from up atop a perch, a roost if you will –  of pure pedastilia? (yes I just made that word up)

I’ve been that guy. I was the guy that thought I had to break everyone in front of me. Why? Because as an athlete it’s all I knew training was. Then I got schooled by yoga. Then I got interested in other modalities that teach you how much more effective breathing patterns can be if you use them correctly. I learned how to come out of a “workout” feeling energized, not drained. I travelled to take courses. I went out of my way to incorporate everything I learned into my own practice before guinea pigging people that were paying for my professional services. I put the time in. Now, not to brag, ’cause holy hell I still have a long ways to go… but I am a perpetual student. I can’t wait for the day I get my Registered Yoga Teacher Training Certificate. I can’t wait to get another C.H.E.K certification. I am always on the prowl for new ways of thinking, moving and inspiring others to do the same. I have put in a dozen years and plan on putting another few dozen in. Knowledge is power when shared. And I wanna learn it all.

So that’s why I feel as though we need to get back to an expectation that all of this takes time. I mean, if we’re teaching Lifestyle changes, let’s implement that same, long game strategy, right?

All of the above was only half of my time in the industry. You know, you hit a wall and see that you don’t know everything.. you get schooled. You eat a little pride, pick yourself up and look at it from one of two perspectives. Victim or ownership.

Ownership: Own Your Shit.

Owning or blaming? It’s easy to put the blame on externals, “The wind took the ball… I didn’t have my lucky shorts… my dog had a bad case of the hiccups…” (the last one is pretty true, Darwin gets these wicked little hiccup bursts after he wolfs down his food sometimes…) But really, think about the last situation that wasn’t favourable for you. Now, how was that outcome entirely your fault? I know, right? Tough to own it. But seriously, try that exercise out. It’s freeing.

As far as consumers of health and wellness go, the story is the same. However, in my experience I have found that most often it’s not that (especially the music industry) folks don’t want to get healthy, they just don’t know how, or where to start.

That’s where we, health professionals need to step up our game. Let’s educate and inform and give tools, resources and empowerment in the hands of the rest of the world that’s looking for answers.

I’m a part of a really sweet industry panel for Alberta Music next Wednesday night in Calgary.

It’s free for everyone. If you feel like donating, proceeds will go to the Unison Benevolent Fund, Amanda Power the Executive Director of Unison will be on the panel taking questions and providing her insight alongside myself, so if you’re in town, musician or not – free education. Check the event out here: Download YYC: Mental and Physical Wellbeing in the Music Industry

Feel free to comment, send me an email or get in touch on any of the socials if you’d like more info on anything to do with health and wellness.

I truly believe if you’re still reading this, you do care, and I’d like to remove the obstacles that kept you from being the most rad version of yourself in the past. You got see how awesome being healthy, happy and your best self truly is. But it starts with you.

‘Til next time,

Stay sweet!Untitled design-15

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I feel as though I’m echoing a post I did a year or more ago about how pivotal rest and recovery is to a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.

Let’s face it, if we don’t sleep well our recovery suffers – both physically and physiologically. Here are some of the things I have found to be helpful in getting (and staying!) asleep.

Pick up magnesium gel and apply it to your neck and legs and any other sore spots before bed 

This stuff is nectar of the Gods. Magnesium is still touted as one of the highest deficiencies (next to Vitamin D) in the average North American diet. This is largely due to our unbelievable abundance and availability of processed food as opposed to raw foods, where the stuff comes from naturally. Apply it directly to the skin to have a higher absorption rate and immediate results. Ever had an Epson salt bath? Magnesium for the soul. Set a few alarms, you’re going be out like a light.

Take a hot shower

Heat increases the body’s ability to naturally produce melatonin, a secret sleepy drug that can help regulate your sleep/wake cycle. A nice hot show right before the sheets leaves me squeaky clean, refreshed and ready for the zzz’s.

Shut down ALL electronics 2 hours prior to your planned bedtime

This allows your body to wind down. White light from screens, tablets and phones, TVs and those super annoying fluorescent lights all trick your body into thinking its go-time. Nicht gut, for mein freunden that are now celebrated “Night Owls” (side note, aren’t most owls nocturnal…? making them all creatures of the night… seems redundant..)

Shut er’ down, read a book or write a poem or something to relax the mind.

ps. Fun Fact! They have done some studies on white light’s response on the body vs. the eye, as some people argued that only if your eyes notice it. However, have you ever randomly woken up when the sunlight cracks through your blinds? Bingo, body sense light, welcome to the circadian rhythm. We’re tuned with the sun. When the moon is out, your lights should be too. Here’s an article that supports this wild claim. 

There we go. Hopefully you fine folks sleep easy and get some rest now. It’s very much a part of the program!

Til next time, sleep tight… I mean, stay sweet!

Peace!

xo

M

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As the Canadian Music Week approaches this spring, I’ve been fielding a few common questions about how to go about getting into fitness. So we are going to get into the most important part: finding professional help. Get a coach. Seriously. I’ve worked with dozens over the years and I’m a fully certified coach myself. I want to be the best at what I do and I want to get results. Coaches do that!

But, not all coaches are equal. Here are 3 pointers to help you make a quality decision:

1. Look for your Specialist

Be leery of any trainers or coaches that cite that they can train anyone for anything with excellence. Here’s a thought. If it takes 10,000 hours to excel at one thing, and let’s pretend said coach has three years of experience and two strength training certifications (actually a pretty good resume on the outside…), how on earth can said coach be an expert with weight loss, bodybuilding, figure, sports performance and rehabilitation? The numbers just don’t add up.

To paraphrase the legend, Paul Chek  – if you want to climb a mountain and you hire someone who has only made it half way up, once you get past halfway, you’re now paying someone to get lost with you. 

Whatever your goals, whatever your timeline, whatever your obstacles and challenges, the right coach will have the right team behind them to help you where they fall short on expertise. Keep that in mind when you’re interviewing your candidates (yes, I would recommend meeting a few different professionals to get the vibe and the right fit). Ask around in your personal network to see if they have any recommendations. They know you will advise you better than Kijiji or Craigslist (hopefully!) and they will shortlist the potential winners down for you. Think about it. It’s a huge investment. You want the best of the best, right?

A few signs that you’re with the right coach will stem right from the get go, even before you meet the coach. Watch for the following:

  • comprehensive interview process for new clients focused on YOU, not them
  • intake forms, waivers, etc… you know, the boring, but important stuff typically in a file folder system (you’re basically looking for an air tight administrative process)
  • client testimonials and social proof
  • documentation of all certifications, trade name and insurance when applicable

2. Look beyond the credentials. Who are you working with and what are their motives the motives to get up each day?

In my experience, people new to or returning to fitness, wellness and a healthy lifestyle  are generally pumped on getting back at it. Until they’re not. It’s at that pivotal time that I’ve found the true value in keeping movement and the exercise programming fun and encouraging and, as weird as it sounds, not like working out. One question you could pose to your prospective coach would be “what will you do when I just don’t want to be here?” Depending on how they respond, you’ll know if that is a fit for your personality and the reasons you want to get into a healthy lifestyle. Remember, it’s about you, not the coaches ego.

We as coaches are here to help you get to your goals. Which brings me to another good point – the most successful coaches are those that are flexible in modality and teaching, open to new approaches and practices and not too proud to admit when they may be ill-prepared for a situation or inexperienced with what you are throwing at them. It’s simple. If you are engaging in business with a professional, you have to trust that they are serving your best interests. So keep that in mind when you are speaking with them. Again, a few keys that’ll give you a lot of insight to how that person operates:

3. Invest in the phrase, “you get what you pay for”

You better believe it. Take a peek on average rates for coaches and trainers and health pros. Here is my personal take, and I say this to anyone I’m sitting down with right off the get go, “It’s my belief that they’re two types of coaches. One, the most affordable and two, the best. I’m here to tell you that I’m not the most affordable.

Seriously though, It kiiiiiilllllls me to have a conversation with someone new to me and the first question that comes up is something like “how much do you cost per hour?” Like, I get it… money is an important byproduct of hard work. I want you to make a good decision with your coin. But for those that are serious – the folks I want to work with – prepare to pay for the life that they want to lead.

Working with the right coach is much more than the hour you spend per day you’re with them. Countless hours go into my athletes exercise programming, follow up, planning, reacting and the tap into the knowledge of over 12 years of practical experience and exercise theory education. It’s a premium service. It’s a valuable service. That comes at a cost. But the amount you get out of it is priceless.

Check the reviews – Facebook.com/usetheschwartzy or see what some are saying here… Schwartzy’s Success Stories – Matt Murphy

To close, if you want to fix your cars engine, tune up or fluid change, you take it to a shop, right? If you want to keep yourself well-maintained, a coach is the right way to go. Find the professional that has their ducks in a row, some one you can vibe with to keep motivated through the tough days, and expect to pay for the best. Don’t discount yourself, it’s your health.

You’re the only one that has to live with yourself your entire life.

 

That’s it, that’s all. You know where to find me – shoot me an email or comment below if you think we’d be a good fit. 😉

Namaste sweet, y’all!

xo
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I was bumped up on the therapy wait list. I head in Friday morning instead of two weeks from now, and that’s exciting. I embrace talking about my experience. It helps me fit things in and take things out.

I (re) learned a lot last night:

Great friends are always thinking about you and will always have your back.

I had to reschedule my session last night with my two best pals. They sent me this in lieu:

They are both doing so well and even when their coach isn’t there, they still push it. Champions are doing the work when no one is watching. These two are champs. Thanks guys.

Music is powerful.

I don’t know where to start.

Jess and Robb, thank you. Music and Motion was a compete hit tonight and you guys were great. I can’t wait to get some pictures up from the House. For now –

@jessandrobbmusic

These two beauties came with me to the Ronald McDonald House and played an awesome set of music for the kids and their parents while the kids basically used me as a jungle gym. It was awesome. The families loved it, mom and dad got to relax, and that’s why I do this.

Then the show, K.Flay and Sir Sly both just killed it. The amazing thing about both of these artists is the poetic complexities. I’d strongly encourage you to take a listen to the hardships and the battles and the adversity in the art.

This is where the title comes from today. Borrowed and paraphrased K.Flay’s sign off before the last song she performed…”Remember, right now isn’t forever.”

That stuck.

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And leads me to wonder if the human condition has room to be fully complete…? or if the lifestyle choices and the drug use and addition and anxiety all lends itself to some higher form of the craft. Like seriously, what would we sing about? How would we relate to our audience if the new rock star lifestyle was about gluten free bread, hemp seeds and kombucha. Like how hard of a life is that?

Food for thought…

Children have so much to teach us, but we adults have a hard time with humility.

How come my nephew can squat, jump, balance and do bear crawls but my 20 something clients can’t?

Just an example…

Last night I was a human jungle gym for 6 kids 5-9 years old and feed a straight diet of sugar. And we got them all under control and relaxed. They respond well when you ask them to perform a task. They do not respond well when you tell them what not to do…

Thanks Mark England.

Child whisperer. That’s my alias.

Again, we await RMH photos for evidence.

We busy ourselves with what’s important. We prioritize our needs.

Or at least we should. Don’t take it personally, but do take it as a sign that the effort isn’t mutual and there’s a disconnect if you feel that you’re reaching and grabbing and the reciprocation is just not there.

Carry on.

Thank you for checking this out. Again, moral of the story is whatever you’re going through, highs and lows, it’s temporary. Nothing is a forever and you will be better off because of all the experiences you go through. Learn to embrace it and the journey is wicked fun.

Thanks for listening!

Til next time,

Stay sweet!

I guess I was “too busy”, hyper active with productivity to notice the energy shift.

It came when I was teaching a Musician Wellness course at Long-McQuade. I was teaching energy work, and how to focus your thoughts and channel an “energy ball”. This is typically only something you can do when you have an abundance of energy that needs to release. Clearly, I had that…. I felt like I had a basketball between my hands…

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The result?

Back in my lane. Full throttle.

The Power of Ownership, Positivity and The Greater Good

What a way to wrap things up tonight. Mindset: The True Power of Ownership, Attitude and the Greater Good. There is so much to this topic it was super challenging to fit it into two hours! Huge shout out to @longandmcquade Calgary North for the awesome venue and support for the music community, and to all those that attended, thank you. It was great to get to know each of you and I’m very excited to stay in the loop and see how you implement your key takeaways. If you are feeling bold and took the course (or even if you didn’t) I’d encourage you to comment one key action you’re going to implement RIGHT NOW to start to turn around the one thing that’s limiting you from your best self. I know, heavy. We got this! Tag a friend that needs the kick too. We are a collective, after all @musicfithq • • • #lifecoach #musicfit #nutrition #mindset #movement #longandmcquade #musicianwellnessyyc #life #love #live #laugh #attitude #rad #raditude #groove #movement #groovement #pineappleguacamole #yoga #bodhitreeyoga #stretch #relax #fitness #drums #speaker #guitar #whiplash #calgary #yyc #localmusic #fitnessyyc

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I wanna see your pictures! Follow me for a follow back! – @UseTheSchwartzy

You see, our bodies harbour emotional turmoil, negative stressors and physiological trauma in the weirdest ways. We bury them, deep within our thoughts and until we allow ourselves to visit these thoughts, we don’t truly get well. Oftentimes, I’ve helped to guide people that were so numb from the emotional wreckage they’d put on themselves (usually from years of self-neglect couple with traumatic experiences) that they didn’t even feel anything until days after. Like a car wreck. Or legs day with me. 😉

I’ve been fortunate enough to have around me a world-class support system, and I encourage you to pick and choose who you are around. And more importantly, what you believe. While most of us have heard the cliche saying “you’re the product of the 5 people you’re around the most”, I challenge you (and heard reiterated by a mentor of mine, JP Sears, that it’s even more powerful to recognize that you’re the sum of the 5 beliefs you’re around the most.

What a whirlwind of expression, abundance and gratitude. That’s only the first 48 hours of the MFHQ (check the Collective out here as we are going through some major changes to bring to you, the music industry an unbelievable service that’s been laying dormant for quite some time). We can all write, we can all train, we can all know “that guy”. I’m just the host of the party.

I said it tonight. it doesn’t so much matter who you know. Rather, I have found in my experience (which counts for a lot these days) “who knows you” matters much, much more.

Authenticity shines and someday we’ll find it.

Keep being real. Keep being silly. Keep the fire warm. Keep your stick on the ice.

2 Pro Tips to Create Space

  1. Let go of anything physical or emotional that’s holding you back – you must release. Forgive yourself for the past, let go of your thoughts and belief systems that chain you to a ball. Anything that devalues you, part ways with. Sometimes this can be represented by physical moments, memories, gifts and things that connote negative energy just by being around you. These things must leave. Bye bye.
  2. Same with relationships. These are sometimes the hardest parts to cut because your belief system has triggered an auto-response. Fun Fact – Beliefs are completely non truthful. Eat your hat.

Food For Thought

What’s one action you can take right now to change something in your life that only brings you down?

Write it down. Do it.

Thanks for reading,

Namaste sweet!

-M

Ps.

If you’re ready to get started and address the demons send me a note and we’ll set up a 15 minute Skype Life Coaching call, complimentary. You can also pre-register here for my next Online Coaching Webinar on the topic of Goalsetting to save 20%.

I’ll be doing that Sunday, January 21 at 7pm MST – save the date…

Let’s get some positive vibes riding those waves… mike@mikeschwartz.ca

As I stand here, warming up in the bomby -2.5C Calgarian November morning, I look around to see nothing but open park, glorious cityscape and a few tourists over the stairs at Crescent Heights. The same stairs that the team and I meet every Sunday, at 11:07.

Not this Sunday though. I was the lone wolf.

I heard lots of inquiries, lots of interest, some were unfortunately sick and others had previous engagements and that’s all fine. I’m okay if you don’t show up. I have zero influence on what people prioritize until they see what health and wellness will do for them.

Ironic because most of the excuses I hear revolve around “I’m tired, I’m gonna sleep in, I’ve been working nights, I’m getting sick, I have no time for that…” which all stem from the root of why you should be joining me every Sunday at 11:07!

I don’t do this because I like it all the time. I do it because I know the alternative of depression, anxiety, poor conditioning, sickness, lethargy, zero motivation, ambition and the feeling of insecurity far outweighs the shitty 35:07 of a little hard breathing, muscle soreness and pounding heart. Yeah. I show up.

I’d encourage you to do the same the next time you say you will. Physically and mentally. At the end of the day, you’re only letting yourself down.

I did my reps.

Attention all drummers!

Try this one out before your next rehearsal and unglue your shitty forearms.

Here’s what to do.

1. Grab a LAX ball, or a tennis ball to start cause this can get NASTY.

2. Hang you wrist off of a counter or over your snare.

3. Roll the ball over your forearm, up close to the elbow.

4. Find the spot that sings like Shakira and hold it!

5. Make a fist. Try not to cry. 👶

6. Relax, open your fist and repeat all the way down closer to the wrist.

HIYA! Take that, wrist pain.

I’ve got some more books to help you on the road with exercise and nutrition if you’re the career-minded musician. First three to comment below and tag their band get a FREE e-copy. 🤘

🎶 by The Heist – “Let it Go”

Go check out my YouTube channel, subscribe for a weekly dose of awesome.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeP8bF4NNmv_HqkcHfrtNgA

‘Til next time, stay sweet.