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!




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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!

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For some reason Florence + The Machine’s “Shake It Out” popped into my head and I was carefully cycling home tonight from work. I mean, yeah – I’m a little crazy for biking in -20. But today it’s out of necessity. And cycling is fucking therapeutic. Movement and motion is fucking therapy. I mean, I would have done it anyway if I did have gas in the Tiguan, but today wasn’t by choice because it was a nice day for a ride.

The line “It’s always darkest before the dawn” really echoes with me today.

I had $3 in change to pay for groceries today, thankfully I had $20 to redeem but I had to get crafty to hit just over $20 to be able to use that reward. $23.74. Thank God.

That’s how close to poverty I am right now. I just spent the weekend riddled with another bought of depression, triggered by memories of certain places within Calgary I hadn’t been to since my time with my now ex-wife, and former friends and family of mine. It was very abrupt. It was very cruel. And depression doesn’t give two shits if you’re ready to deal with it or not, it comes in waves. I truly felt like I was drowning.

However, the bike ride taught me a few things.

No matter how slow the go is, you just focus on one pedal stroke at a time and you’ll get there. Don’t focus on the result, focus on the process.

Being physically fit to ride across the city at any given time in any given season is fucking rad. I’m grateful for my physical ability and health.

Also, much like overcoming the darkness of mental health, even the most seemingly insignificant victories go a long, long way to the betterment of ones psyche. And you need to close down those past traumas and reinvent yourself.

So while to some the thought of biking home in the cold, dark winter of Calgary in November is just silly… to me it means a lot more.

It’s always darkest before the dawn.

Thanks for listening. If you feel compelled, please consider helping to bring awareness to mens mental health issues in the music industry. I’m very proud to be a part of Mo Music. I’m fundraising for Movember and representing the men in the local music industry. Depression is a fickle bitch, anxiety is running rampant and the stats on men committing suicide are ridiculous. Help keep our music industry men healthy and let them get treatment and have the resources to stay away from the darkness.

After my bought last week I remember all too well how cold that darkness is. -20 on a bike in the dark at 9pm in Calgary has nothing on the deep freeze anxiety and depression has put on me. But I am working on that. I want others to know that they’re not alone.

Please support me and my homies of Mo Music here ———> https://mobro.co/coachschwartzy?mc=1

Every single dollar helps.

Thanks for listening,



Have you ever held on to something and felt like you were out of control? Like it was just out of reach… Ever so slowly, slipping out of your hands?

I thought I would feel that for the first time last week as I held on to my Omi’s hand as she lay motionless, helpless in her hospital bed in Cold Lake, Alberta. I did my best to pull out the golden-boy grandson routine of sheer comedic relief, but truth be told it was all a defence mechanism for me. I’ve never really experienced an up-close and personal encounter with the imminent signs of death and a loved one before. I mean, kind of back in 2010 when my dad ended up in the hospital over night from an aortic aneurysm. But hell, my now ex and I just showed up that Sunday morning by his bedside as he came to from the anaesthesia of post-surgery. It wasn’t as real as holding on to a hand that you’ve known all your life to give you all the support and love you could handle as a child. To hold on to that and to fear the moment when that grip finally slipped away… that was real. That, ironically is life.

However, I didn’t experience it.

My apparent good-willed humour and the presence of other loved ones such as my mother must have given Omi a renewed lease on life. A reminder as to why she was still kickin’. At 86 years old, she’s had one helluva time through the thick and the thin alongside my Opa, who is quite possibly the greatest man on this planet. Sure, they squabble, as any married couple will, but their undying love for one another was grossly magnified during the last week. A week I hadn’t prepared for and certainly didn’t expect to come out much wiser, stronger and empowered from.

I learned that the healing power of touch is awesomely underestimated. We went up to Cold Lake on Monday expecting to say farewell to my mother’s mother. Instead, our thoughtfulness, our compassion and our love incited a passion in Omi to hold on and stick around until next time we get to visit (which for my folks looks like about a month). And that’s okay. At this time, mini goals are all it takes. One step at a time. Day by day. One hospital meal of crushed ice and orange antibiotics at a time…

Make a plan. It’s there for you to use as a guide if nothing else. Clearly my Omi’s plan changed when we got there this past week. Eff, was she ever surprised. When you make a plan at least you can go off the grid a bit when you want to. Shake things up and understand the power of your presence around everyone, loved or not in your day to day interactions. The impact you have with the silliest things such as touch goes a really long way.

Thanks for hearing me out. And thanks for sharing


So today marked the first real CrossFit workout I’ve had since I went in Maui about 4 years ago. One word: Community.

Curtis Laughren, an old friend of mine has established his box as so much more than a place to lift heavy things and put them back down again. He’s grown a family of individuals that come together, support and rally each other through the toughest physical demands they can put their bodies through every time they step on the floor. What’s more is that today was a holiday! The floor was packed. Every one to the athletes came up and introduced themselves to me. It was quite a humbling experience to see so many encouraging, forward thinking and mindful athletes together in one space. I was back in my element today. Part of the team. A feeling I haven’t had for nearly two years since speed skating came to an abrupt end in the fall of 2015.

I walked in and immediately felt like I was home. The sweat-culture of sport, intensity and collaborative competition hit me like a hurricane the minute I stepped inside. Greeted by Curtis, peering through the Concept2 rowers (AKA death machines…) standing on end in “park”, to see who the new guy was. Huge smile and big handshake waiting for me, it was at that point I knew that this was the next step in my athletic career.

We spent the first 15 minutes in RAMP (for those wondering, that’s smart trainer talk for warm up [Range Of Motion, Activation, Movement Prep…]) and then we got to some warm up movements on the bar. The workout today was modelling the CrossFit Games workouts that just took place this past weekend, so today “Amanda” and a strength Powerlifting style 5-3-1+ sets of deadlifts was on the docket.

What’s Amanda?

It’s a drop set 9-7-5 series focused around two big, sexy movements. The Olympic Snatch and the Muscle Up. Rawr…

I’m pretty good with the bar, so the snatch wasn’t a problem (insert endless jokes here….), but my shoulders have never been right since I separated the left one making saves in football (soccer) nearly 10 years ago. Actually, side note – that’s one of the biggest motivations for me trying this box out. My overall goal is to be able to complete 10 Muscle Ups before 2018. For today, Curtis and I scaled them down to strict pull-ups so my Amanda was really like a “Mandy”…. The beta version 1.8 and still pretty cool.

I had a nice and light 75lbs on the bar just to go through the snatch patterning and pounded out my modified Amanda in a quick 4:18. In hindsight I should have thrown 115lbs on the bar, but I feel good about my first day. It can still be intimidating to walk into a gym where you’re the new guy…even for an experienced, multiple-certified trainer like myself, guys… so I was pumped to just experience today.

Then came the deads…

I crushed a 265lb deadlift today, which I just calculated to be about 113% of my previous best. So I set a PR on my deads today. Which is cool. But don’t tell my cardiologist yet. She’ll get worried again. I didn’t hold my breathe, Doc. Don’t worry. No Valsalva over here.

The point to my story is that the biggest determining factor of anything you do is your social support system. If you’re around a bunch of people that are in support of your actions, you’ll be much more likely to achieve. If you’re not, you won’t. Plain and simple. They say we are a product of the five people we hang out around the most. As a kid playing hockey I always wanted to play on the top line, I always wanted to be better. I wanted to be around the guys that were better than me. Nothing much has changed.

August 7, 2017 marks the actualization of bettering myself in the areas of my wellbeing that I’ve neglected for whatever reason… injury, laziness, lack of knowledge or special care. I’ve removed those excuses from the equation, and CrossFit Above All is the support system, the community, the family I have been lacking to drive me to progression in my personal and athletic growth. I am beyond stoked to see what happens. Thank you Curtis et al.

Do something awesome today. Until next time, stay sweet.



PS. If you’re in the Calgary area, check out www.crossfitaboveall.com

Curtis hosts multiple free classes each week for you to try out and see what it’s like to be a part of a common goal of personal growth and strength, both in the gym and out.


Dear Mr. Cornell,

We’ve never met, but I wanted to let you know that you had a tremendous impact on my life, and this is a letter of thanks for all that you have done for the world.

It’s a shame that you are no longer with us, and it’s a wonder how many more lives like yours will end far before their time before we take notice and do something to help. Like, really help. I get it. I really do. I can only imagine how incredible the pressure must be in the place that you were. To have overcome drug abuse and addiction multiple times, that in and of itself is commendable. But as I’ve learned, that’s only the first step.

It’s unfortunate you weren’t given an outlet to express yourself after all the rehab. Or maybe you were, but you weren’t comfortable for some reason in expressing anything to anyone but your music. And we all had no idea. The turmoil inside your soul must have been a nightmare. It’s unfortunately that while everyone saw what Chris was on the outside; cheery, un-phased, recovered – they never thought to dig deeper and to ask you how you were really doing. Maybe you would have just told them what they wanted to hear anyways… maybe not. I like to think that if someone genuinely made a connection, I might have had a chance to thank you in person. Yeah, you were a legend. But everyone deserves an ear… maybe that’s all you needed. Someone to confide in. A professional shoulder to lean on. Someone to listen to you for more than Spoonman or Like A Highway.

To close, I hope to have a fraction of the impact on the industry and other musicians as you have had on my life. In a positive light, your passing has inspired me even more so to make a stand and pursue my dream of bringing an end to these tragedies in the music industry. Far too many die young and this is a great tragedy to world. Music touches the soul. Your songs and stories and musical ingenuity have inspired so many and will last a lifetime. So while we say goodbye, this is an unfortunate lesson that we can all use to reconsider how we approach proactive care. Depression, anxiety, stress, abuse, addiction… they’re all very real reminders that we are all just human…

Thank you for all of your work and passion to the craft. You will be missed deeply. Rest in peace.

Okay Canadian Music Week 2017, where do I start.

A year ago I met a man by the name of Alan Cross and a mother man by the name of Jim Norris. These two gentleman must have felt the passion in my bones. They directed me to the right people, promoted and supported this mission of mine; bringing health and wellness awareness to the music industry.

Part 1. Legacy Initiated.

Jump forward to April 18 – The start of the rest of my life. Life changing in that we’re bettering the landscape of the music industry with regards to proactive healthcare services being offered at an affordable rate for musicians and industry professionals. It started with a full feature in Canadian Musician magazine, a whole lot of press from Alan Cross’ Journal of Musical Things and now we are here. I wrote the book on how to survive the industry with key tips in movement, nutrition and mindset… and have garnered the title of Canadian Music Industry’s “goto” for all things proactive health care.

We at INLIV have the ability to differentiate Calgary as a Music City through the health and medical services we offer. Calgary is home to the national Music Centre, and INLIV – Proactive Full-Circle Healthcare for the Canadian Music Industry.. Check us out here – www.inliv.com

If you happen to play music – professionally, weekend warrior, laptop beats creator… it doesn’t matter – I would really appreciate your input on my music industry specific health survey. If you’re a stage hand, crew, roadie, producer, artist manager, anyone in the industry. I want to hear from you. With your feedback I will be able to design appropriate exercise and nutrition programming including “e-fitness” (virtual training, Skype session training etc…) and focus our attention on the most important issues regarding health and wellness in this alternative lifestyle. Depression? Diet? Injuries? What’s got you down? Tell us here and be entered to win an e-fitness bundle!

Part 2. Raditude

So yes. Canadian Music Week – you we’re rad. Met a lot of heroes – turned friends. Had a ton of great music pumping in my earholes all week. Some notables are listed here:

36? – Alt/indie rock at it’s finest, from Calgary, AB. Think Mother Mother synths and arrangement meets Coltrane’s mastery of composition. But then add a shit fuck tonne of attitude like – I don’t even know.. it’s indescribable… there’s personality, there’s weirdness, there’s wizards of music… and boom! You have 36? www.whatis36.com

GUAS – What. The. Fuck. I’ve never seen 4 strings go in a 35  minute set. Nor have I seen a resonant kick drum head blow up. Ever. Then I watched this mishmash; lady-fronted- duck-dynasty 4 piece from North Carolina. Insanity. Wolfmother/Incubus/No Doubt. Blues-fused hard rockers with as much attitude as talent. Off the charts. Family rock n’ roll, with one helluva badass front girl, Ray. Don’t take this date home to mom. www.grownupavengerstuff.com

Where Fires Are – Holy shit rock and roll from the UK. Leeds, particularly. These dudes blend post grunge with melodic rock in a Fallout Boy meets Minus the Bear, meets Silverchair meets Incubus kind of way. Pianos, guitars, complex rhythms, catchy melodies. The works. These guys are great. Look out. Plus they’re some of the coolest humans I met all festival. www.wherefiresare.com

FOONYAP – Calgary’s Asian Bjork. ‘Nuff said. Check her out. I had goosebumps all performance long. Amazingly powerful music on a different level. www.foonyap.com

Ascot Royals – I actually think these guys have the pieces to be the next big Canadian rock band. Similar in styles to Idle Sons, High Holy Days and Arkells, their incredibly positive message and can’t-get-out-of=your head melodies and sing along stylings are pure heroine to any music listener. The dudes are also just great guys. Met a lot of great humans this trip. First time I saw them was on Tom Jackson’s Live Performance Makeover. It takes balls to do tat in front of an audience. They came out good. But after an hour with Tom. Woah. It’d be cool to see them keep on with that. Split between a Canadian rhythm section and an melody factory from the UK, these dudes blend elements of pop, alternative rock into some crafty harmonies and bangin’ leads. I’m excited to hear where this Brantford based 5 piece does in the next few years. GOOD OL’ CANADIAN KIDS! Well, sorta… www.ascotroyals.com 

Part 3. Next Steps

As a community of likeminded creatives, we need to rally together and support each other. That starts with taking care of yourself, so let’s get you a copy of my book

Order “The Musician’s Guide To Surviving The Rock Star Lifestyle” And Get a SnapBack and Earbuds too!

Let’s then get going on getting out to one another’s shows, sharing events and music we dig to help expose (tweet me @SoundScapeYYC for some TV exposure in the Calgary market…)

Then we can start to take care of our health and wellness, get into training and exercise that supports our performance, build the empire and establish Calgary as a true, Music City.

Time starts now. Let’s do this.