So Toronto, you lovely mistress. You are my jam. The minute I landed, I felt something. Albeit, I didn’t sleep: kept up by the turbines of the plane and the anticipation of the panel… not knowing what to expect, but knowing that when you lower your expectations, you allow yourself to rise to greater heights. I was a part of a really powerful experience at the Tune Up Toronto: Focus on Jazz! panel, as put on by TD, CIMA and MusicOntario. We were in a great room at Hugh’s Room Live, Larnell Lewis was the Keynote, the G.O.A.T., there was food, the attendance was high and most importantly – engaged. Seven hours engaged. Take note Alberta…

It’s reaffirming. We are drawn to scenarios that we are supposed to be in. I’m meant to be here. It’s a great feeling and I really feel valued, understood and respected. I can connect with the individuals that want to listen and I have met some truly amazing people that are masters of their destiny. I want to be amongst that, fighting to change mindsets, lives and help others reach the next level.

You’re not a prophet in your own backyard.

Here are the three common points I took away from today:

1. Kindness rules

2. Authenticity rules

3. You have to want to love the music a disgustingly, unadulterated amount in order to succeed.

Here are some shots from the my first day in Toronto for the Tune Up Toronto Panel.

The eagle has landed…

IMG_5108
My new BFF, Midget.
IMG_5105
My AirBnB has great taste. Same record player. And she’s rad… #sigh
IMG_5104
Told you she’s rad.
IMG_5100
What a privilege to be on a panel with such amazing minds. Thanks Doc. Thanks Teresa. Thanks Rosalyn.
Advertisements

It’s hard to afford to take care of ourselves.  There are a lot of obstacles. I get it. It’s more expensive to eat organic food, it’s expensive to hire a personal trainer, hell – we can’t even get a gym membership without spending money. I hear to tell you that there is another way.

Here are my best three recommendations to inspire a little more activity in your life, on a budget of course:

  1. Get outside and walk around in nature. It’s therapeutic, it’s free and you might even learn something or meet another human that’s outside in the big wonderful world too. Crazy, thought. But seriously, get up right now and go for a walk around the block.
  2. YouTube Yoga videos. Sure, a classroom costs $20 to drop in and that’s rich for 45-90 minutes of movement, and as great as it is for you… it’s not sustainable for most of us. You know what is? YouTube – check out some videos. Here’s a favourite to get you started —> https://youtu.be/u-gzRwDbDSg
  3. Wake up and commit to performing 100 squats that day. Start with ten right then… Then just keep track of the rest through out the day. Easy peasy.

But really, motivation is the hardest part for most of us. Sometimes if we don’t have a date with the barbell or the treadmill, we just don’t get there. If that sounds like your excuse, no matter what your definition of fitness is, I can help you get moving. And I can get you moving for less money than a cup of coffee. Now, imagine that…

I’ve listed some of the ways I’ve made my services more accessible for everyone to afford to get fit. Whether it’s in your own home, the park, the gym, learning a new sport like weightlifting speed skating or hockey, I’ve got you covered. Awesome.

And you can still afford a home. Double awesome.

Become a Patron: Perks!

  • Workout Inspired Mixtape Playlist – I’ve got an inside lane on some great new music being in the role I am in the industry, so I build playlists showcasing these talents.
  • Exercise Program – tailored to your ability, health goals and schedule. Online support and tracking and progress  Monthly reassessment via Skype.
  • Nutrition Program – eat right for your body, no diets, no hocus pocus, daily lessons and habits to slowly change your behaviours. Change the way you feel, the way you look and the way you perform with my professional nutrition coaching and learn what foods your body really wants.
  • Lifestyle Package – Without the proper fuel, the fire won’t burn. So ensure you’re getting the right food and movement for what your life calls for. I’ll build you a customized and easy to use exercise program complete with videos and everything.

 

I have a Patreon Page I’ve set up with some neat options like these ones so you can easily and affordably get fit while supporting this movement. Every patron helps to educate one more musician on mental and physical wellbeing and if we keep it up, we’ll extend the careers of millions. Let’s keep building this thing! Check it out!

Please support my cause here patreon.com/musicfit

 

Thanks for sharing!

Stay fit, whatever that means to you.

xo

I am trying to hear you, but your actions are deafening

 

 

 

I get this one a lot.

Alike many nutrition questions, not to sound cliche… but it really depends.

First off, we gotta get some more context. What are your goals? Are you trying to lose weight, add muscle or increase your sport performance?

Here are a few quick tips for each of these cases:

Losing Weight

Well, timing is important otherwise you start to devour everything in sight when you finally do eat. You may have been there before. Smaller more frequent meals are commonly taught, but I generally coach the “eat when you’re hungry” approach. The biggest keys are to eat slowly (20-30 minutes) and away from distractions (no TV, texting, Facebook etc…) and only until you’re 80% full. That way your body hits satiety (AKA the feeling of fullness). If you eat too fast, your body doesn’t have time to trigger the “stop eating” button and you’ll tend to overeat.

Gaining Muscle

Eat. Eat often, and when you’re not hungry eat a sandwich. Seriously, timing of large meals is critical when you want to add muscle to your frame. Eating large amounts of food quickly is the takeaway here. Quality protein is most important. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or eating animal protein (which are scientifically proven to be more complete) you must ensure all essential amino acids are being taken into account to maximize the growth of muscle fibres.

Sport Performance

When you’re a performance athlete and need to consider nutrients and calories and performing well, you need to ensure you’re getting the appropriate number of nutrients in your body before every lift. Many meals throughout out the day is the gold standard, while pre and post training nutrition plays a huge role in your success too. Eat good whole food and sleep well to ensure you’re body is ready for the next competition.

Hope this helps get the ball rolling for you. Be sure to reach out if you need some answers! Ciao!

M

xo

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

Untitled design-15

 

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
Untitled design-15

 

 

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