Time to get over your insecurities, friends. Yes, you are indeed an athlete.

My whole career I’ve maintained the approach that we as Health Coaches, Personal Trainers, Fitness Instructors and Strength & Conditioning Coaches train “athletes” not “clients”. Why? Simple. Everyone we work with is competing for a prize. What that prize is may differ, but we are all competing for a prize. If you check the definition of Athlete, it stems from Latin, Greek and old English as some variation of a human that was into competition and winning prizes. So, definition-wise, it really just boils down to how you define “prize”. For most of us that prize is our definition of healthy lifestyle.

Now I’ve had the pleasure of training nearly every walk of life. From top performance professional athletes, to business executives, professional musicians and radio personalities to stay at home moms. The wealthiest of wealthy to those that are on welfare. Cancer survivors, folks that have suffered from strokes, heart attacks and depression and your everyday, 9-5 office workers. They’re all athletes. The only difference is that their Olympic Gold may not be the same as yours.

Food for thought the next time you don’t think you’re up to snuff with the “athletes” out there.

The most important step is the first one, and once you make the decision to take it, it’s only matter of time before you get to the point where you’ll get the prize you’ve been chasing.

Once again, thanks for the read, thanks for the share and thanks for the support. I truly love the feedback so keep it coming! ‘Til next time… stay sweet.

Owner, SchwartzFit



Okay, I’m certain you’ve heard it all before.

“I can’t sleep.”

“I hit a wall after lunch.”

“I can’t get motivated to exercise.”

“I’m just not happy… I’m not sure what I want… I’m just not feeling it…”

Hell, maybe you’ve even caught yourself saying something like that…

These are common things I hear when I ask people “what brought you in today?” when they first meet with me to undergo a lifestyle overhaul.

I’ve noticed happiness and living stress-free go hand in hand, so I thought “who doesn’t wanna feel awesome?!”

Here are my three and a half pro tips for reducing stress and feeling happy, for most of your awake time in life.

1. Get moving. Get outside. Get moving outside.



It’s science. Exercise improves mood. Sunlight also improves mood. Put them together for a smorgasbord of awesome. If you wanna be happy, forget about the deadline of that project for ten minutes and just tune out, go be with nature and take a stroll. It’ll be great. Come back at it harder with a fresh take. It also helps if you have a rad dog in your life. They make everything better.

2. Speak in positive, “architecture” language.


Instead of saying things like “can’t”, “don’t”, “won’t”… try affirming what you “can” do, “do” want and “will” get.

It’s amazing how much more energy you reserve at the end of the day when you only focus on the positives. That starts with language. (For more on this, check with my buddy, Mark England of Procabulary.org)

3. Breathe and Meditate

Breathing is easy. We all just suck at it. Try this when you’re feeling anxious. It’ll surely calm you down. Inhale for 7 seconds, exhale for 7 seconds. Repeat 7 times. Namasteyin’ chill?

For meditation, it’s not some voodoo crazy shit. It’s just focusing your intent. There’s a sweet app I use called Headspace IMG_3735if you’re looking for a gentle introduction to meditation. Dig it.

Try it out. If that’s not your jam, pick up a book, a pen and paper and write, draw, build something, create… sometimes that’s the best way to get those thoughts out into the universe.

Or try active meditation. Get your gym bag and hit some weights or get on the bike. I have my greatest ideas on long bike rides.

3.5 Alright, this one is tough. Live with intent.


For everything from waking up, eating, playing on your phone. If you find yourself distracted with many things, your focus will stray…take control of your life! Put the phone down. Be with yourself and just chill. Everyone will hit the like button for your witty post tomorrow. Be intentional.

That’s is from me. As always, thanks for reading. ‘Til next time, namaste sweet!


I had the privilege of sitting down for coffee (one too many by the sounds of it in the interview!) with a fellow local athlete, friend and huge supporter of the community, National Development Skeleton Athlete, Grace Dafoe. img_5438Grace is also a Physical Literacy Advocate and as I mentioned, huge supporter of some really inspiring organizations out to do a lot of awesome things. We got to talking about her life as a role model, struggles as an athlete and the immense focus she puts into her personal life to maintain a healthy balance between her training and everything else. We’re “Human first”, and I think you should tune in to take a listen to one of our nation’s up and coming rock stars on the ice track (I think that’s what they call it…) …plus it’s my birthday today. So do me a solid and rate this on iTunes and share with your friends! Best birthday gift ever.

Here’s the interview!


ps. Skeleton! Holy eff! What a sport.

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.


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.


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. 


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

As it stands, I was only finishing up my first Finale about this time last year.. ready to head into my first full off-season of speed skating. I had no idea what I was in for. I was met with the most ruthless training I’d endured to date. Hard to believe that I’m just trying to get back into the swing of my own personal fitness only one year later. It’s an all or nothing type of approach and to my knowledge, this trend is very popular in the competitive athletic community. You just give so much for so long that it’s really all that you know to do, sad as it is. But when you’re cut short and told you cannot compete any more, you abandon the one thing you gave so much to for so long. That was my relationship with skating. Thankfully I didn’t go off the deep end…

I fear a lot more athletes go deep into the dark side of depression and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to take in a bit of therapy in a preventative sense to refocus and re-align and not pigeon-hole myself in a label as “Mike the speed skater”. I really consciously had to think of myself as Mike, just a guy who also enjoys to skate. Just like he also enjoys pizza, his dog Darwin, friends and family, watching hockey and playing drums. This was therapeutic. Especially after all of the generated hype and self-generated pressure to perform as the completely unknown, dark horse in a sport I was quite frankly brand new to.

I was able to redefine myself with a few very timely sources and friends, angels really… that helped me land on my feet without even knowing their importance in my life at the time. I am currently compiling the rest of my material to publish my first book, titled “The Economic Mindset” set to release before 2017 with any luck and I have been fortunate enough to land in an incredible rock band, The Sweets to which I feel as though I owe my sense of stability and composure to. Music is a safe-haven for me. Always has been, even when I was separated from it. I didn’t sell all of my gear for a reason. I kew I would be back. And thank “God”, or whatever non-denominational source of inspiration you may have to thank. We have twelve more days before the biggest opportunity and the raddest stage we’ve played together as a group. And I couldn’t be more excited.

Come show your support if you’re in the Calgary, Alberta area April 2, 2016 for JUNOfest

Tickets can be purchased here!

You can catch me doin’ what I do, acting like a fool behind the drums for The Sweets alongside my dear friends, Mitch, Claudia and Kevin. This is where I belong. Twelve and counting….



I’ve got the hack! Must have been a good skate. Haven’t felt this strong on ice in…well… Ever. It just keep on getting better. I was invited back out to Inzell late September, for a week of technical with a private group, so obviously I’m going to do that. Just gotta start a fundraiser. At this point in my career I just need as many eyes and as much video analysis on me and I need to be on the ice as much as possible. 

Today. Big skate session. Thanks to Bobby Irvine for being the chase rabbit. (I’m a firm believer in skating with those faster than you, by the end of the season Bobby, I’ll catch you!)

Warmup off ice – 4x 1’/(1′) slideboard then 2+1darkside cables 30″/(30″)

On ice 3′ easy skate warm up

Then hell – 10x 400m/(400m) 4’R

4x side push glide/leg

Then we ran out of time for the last bit of 10x400m/(600m) Thank Jebus! 

Tomorrow I have weights after a tennis match in the morning, then yoga in the aft. Now I eat, play some mlb 15 and relax. Go Jays!

It’s crazy. It can be scary. It’s often amazing, but when it’s not – it’s really not. It’s never what you expect. It’s more about today, less about tomorrow and not about yesterday. It’s what we lead. It’s what we make of it. It’s all in a day’s work. It’s ever changing, ever seeking, ever real. It can be everything we want and nothing we don’t. It’s just how we do.