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!

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He Brandt’d it this time.

“Have fun storming the castle” he messaged me earlier today. And in one weeks time, I will.

Tuesday I will have secured a spot on the Board, and either way I will continue to push my health and wellness agenda upon the music community.

We have so much to gain. In light of the recent tragedies in our musical community, I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s a dire need for solutions to the growing problems associated with musician health and wellness. Things like chronic pain, high stress, poor nutritional habits, and a growing need of physical and emotional therapy plague our industry like every bad Nickelback single of the early millennium. We need to find ways to subsidize products and services to fit the budget of our membership; those musicians and industry that can’t afford to pay out of pocket for a massage therapist, chiropractor, nutrition coach or personal trainer.

What if we had the ability to go on the road with bands or host lifestyle workshops in places like OCL or NMC? What if there was a mobile medical service we had access to on tour? Could we create digital content like video documentaries and podcasts that bring to light the realities of the life of a full-fledged musician to others? We would only help raise awareness of this message, right?

I do believe we can. It’s my dream to bridge the gap between health and wellness and the music industry. I’m like the RUN DMC meets Aerosmith version of “Walk this Way”. And we can breakdown that wall of the stereotypical “rock star lifestyle”. We can change the landscape of the industry forever.

Because I will connect Alberta Music and it’s members to professional health and wellness service providers, our membership will have the tools to truly “next level that shit” and become the greatest version of themselves.

Now’s our chance to lay the foundation of which all other industry organizations envy. We have to start treating ourselves like professionals and investing into our development on a deeper level. With attention to personal growth, self-care and a healthy and active lifestyle, we will inspire amazing lives. With that, we’ll in turn inspire amazing art.

Thanks for listening, stay sweet.

M

If my platform resonates with you, please throw your name down below in a comment and tell me. The health movement in the music industry knows no boundaries. It’s up to us as to how we approach change.

Get focused. 

You are the product of your behaviours. Oftentimes I’ll hear if a client that will give a vent session about an experience that sounds a lot like last week’s trouble of the week. And the week before that too. 

I’m a firm believer of if you keep running into the same problem, the problem might just be in fact … you. 

Instead of putting down the bar, unlacing the boots, throwing in the towel or whatever the heck else you wanna metaphor for quitting, try re-focusing. 

Breathe in ten times slowly and deeply. Calm yourself and try again. 

With this approach it’s hard not to come out successful. Give it a go!

And remember, you don’t have to be a rock star to start, but you have to start in order to become that rock star. 

Stay sweet, folks!

Coach 

So I guess I have a bit of a series going on here about booze and its (possibly negative) effects on lifestyle. This week I have heard one recurring statement from numerous people close to me in my life. “I’m just going to relax with [insert name and quantity of choice alcohol] and stay in tonight/watch TV/forget about the day. But how much of that statement is truth? I am going to put forth a question to all of you readers out there tonight. What is the deal with our societal acceptance that alcohol will help us to relax?

Fact: Alcohol has both stimulant and sedative properties. However, it can be argued that the aggression, increased heart rate, motor slowing and cognitive impairment are all tied to the stimulant side of things¹. So if the science shows us that the alcohol is stimulating, why do we still “relax with a bottle of wine?” A million people can’t all be wrong, right?There must be some truth to this and I’m going to argue that the sedative effects of alcohol are a more of a subjective finding, in that – we have “feelings” and “emotions” tied to our use of booze. Before all you haters jump me in the alley for saying you’re crazy for thinking that booze is making you relax, I am certainly not taking away from the legitimacy of subjective perspectives. Hell, as some of you may recall, I’m in the middle of conducting a research project that is actually studying the subjective worth of exercise. (Check that out here!)

I do see the value in how our thoughts shape our actions in the simple fact that what we think can become our reality.. however, we also need to recognize that the science doesn’t lie. That stuff isn’t subjective. It’s a cold hard fact that alcohols stimulant properties will actually increase your heart rate and causes vasoconstriction, the narrowing of blood vessels. So no, you’re not relaxing because you are physically putting your body under stress. Stress is something that will keep you up and not let you sleep. or relax. End of story.

But alas, society will continue to unwind with booze. Maybe the mind is more powerful than we let ourselves believe..? Until the next episode… have a cup of herbal tea to relax. That shit is science. Make it hibiscus and grape so you get the wine feel… you know, cause it’s the grapes that are good for your heart anyways. 😉

 

¹http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21560041

Ever wonder why your knee seems to flare up whenever you start running? Or maybe it’s your shoulder that starts to go only after a couple repetitions of chest flys? Well, I’m here today to put some food for thought on your plate on the ideals surrounding two popular exercise principles, load sharing and isolation.

To begin, we need a rough idea of what defines both of these principles.

Load sharing vs. Isolation: Defined
Load Sharing

The easiest way for me to describe this form of movement is from a functional standpoint. In a compounded movement (when two or more muscle groups work together to perform a movement i.e. back step lunge) the load or weight of the exercise is spread across multiple joints or levers. This helps to “share” the load and ultimately I have experienced more efficient use of movement in general application when coaching this style of movement. This, as one would imagine is incredibly beneficial for folks that are looking to become more functional and efficient at completing daily tasks. 90% of the people I have the privilege of working with are in this category. Makes sense? Your body can use more of itself to help decrease the strain on any single muscle group or joint and thus increase the likelihood of completing that exercise, pain free and efficiently. Bingo. Load sharing.

Isolation

The antagonist exercise to load sharing, in that it is actually the exact opposite. In isolation, we want to completely isolate one single target muscle group. Why? Well, theory tells us that promoting a targeted focus on a single group of muscles (i.e. pectoral major muscle in chest flys) concentrates that work load in that specific region. In doing so, what I have seen is a stronger recruitment or breakdown of muscle fibres, thus leading to quicker muscle development. Of course there’s exceptions to the rule, but this is a general consensus and the reason why isolation exercise is so popular amongst the bodybuilding world of fitness.

Over the years I have seen a few great differences between the two countering styles from a practical standpoint. While neither style is right or wrong in theory and practicality, I’ve seen that there’s a right and wrong time to use either and that’s simply based around each individual and what they’re looking for out of exercise. This is why I caution you to do your research when you’re getting back into an exercise regime.

Here’s the thing with isolation. I would argue it is more of an advanced or specialization style of training, even though it doesn’t in theory utilize more engagement. When you isolate an exercise, let’s use the back step lunge for example, you tend to cause all of the load of that exercise on one joint, in this case, the knee joint. Why? Well, generally trainers that coach a compound movement in the isolation style will coach you to force your trunk straight up from the hip, causing all of the force to be exerted through the quadricep in the front leg of the lunge. Over time, what I’ve seen in both myself and in clients is that this exercise promotes more direct strain on that knee joint because of that high load always forcing itself on that specific joint. It has no where else to go, so we tend to see over use injury as a result. things like IT band syndrome and quad tendon inflammation or (the highly over diagnosed) patellofemoral syndrome.

In my opinion, load sharing is a much safer, functional and therefore more enjoyable form of exercise when it comes to fitness, which as I said earlier – 90% of the people are looking for in regards to lifestyle goals. Take that same back step lunge, and now instead up keeping your trunk completely upright, hinge slightly, only about 15 degree forward while still maintaining a flat back (or “neutral spine”). This simple action puts your hips in just enough flexion to take a share of the load from the knee joint and help you to get up more efficiently with all of your body.  This action alone can help prevent overuse injuries of the knee, as you’re not relying on just the one joint to take that whole load all of the time. Overuse injuries are something I see very common with folks coming to me for assistance in getting their lifestyle back on track and let’s face it, if exercise causes pain, you’re likely not going to stick with it.

Conclusion

That being said, I would suggest really doing your research when you’re pulling exercise programs off of the bodybuilding.com’s or womenshealth.com’s of the internet. Because, oftentimes those writers gear the free exercise programming to the aesthetically pleasing goals of what everyone wants – “get a 6 pack in 6 weeks” or “9 ways to bigger biceps”. Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut to any fitness goals and if you try to cut corners and skip the crucial foundational stage of exercise – your tagline will read something like “6 weeks and $600 for a lot of lower back pain and a physiotherapy bill” or “9 reasons I strained my rotator cuff and now have tennis elbow”.

It’s simple folks, you can’t shortcut. I truly believe that professional assistance is crucial in order to start a lifestyle overhaul and continue to make ground on your goals, be it physically, personally or otherwise.

Hopefully my explanation about the difference between a load sharing exercise and isolation theory allows you at least think about your ego and how much more important it is than effective exercise and injury prevention. There’s a time and place for both styles and I hope this article helps you to decipher where you’re at in regards to using both.

Thanks for reading!

You don’t have to be a rock star to start, but you have to start in order to become a rock star. 

Mike

Ps. Click here if you want tips on surviving the rock star lifestyle delivered right to your mailbox

Sometimes you just get it. Whether that’s with a drill you have been practicing, a theory that you have studied or another personality that walks into your life. When you get it, it just …clicks. 

I’ve set out on the quest for the Olympics to help inspire and motivate others from deep within their own confines to do something they wouldn’t ordinarily have the courage to attempt. It’s a huge undertaking. But I’m sure people that follow this story don’t always consider that I need that fire lit within every now and again too…staying focused and on point with everything from training, sleeping and nutrition can be overwhelming and at times easy to give up on. It’s a ton of ups and downs, and sometimes those downs are really hard to pick yourself up from. 

Cue inspiration. I like to define this by the intrinsic nature we all have to influence. 

Cue motivation. I like to define this by the desire to do things. 

In order to be motivated we need to find a source of inspiration. That fire in your belly… You know?

I re-lit mine last night after an absolutely amazing connection I made with someone I have become very close with. 

Here’s the gist – I’m incredibly moved by someone that is so naturally gifted in their craft, but refuses to stop there. Their perfectionism and desire to always be better than the last time they stepped out on stage is truly inspiring. The willingness to give up a life full of comfort for something so brutal on the body, mind and soul for the result of movement never feeling so good is the epitome of dedication. Sound familiar? Oh, and she just wants recognition for all the crazy amount of work she has invested into herself. 

I get that. It…clicks. I want to surround myself with the best to be better than I am now and we share that too. It was just a crazy-real connection and I’m so glad to have experienced that and put myself out there. 

Let’s see what happens. It…clicks.