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 – 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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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.

There no secret. Alliterations aside, my friends are few, fucking and fantastic.

When you have a crew that’s got your back, a crew that invites you inside their world, inside their dreams… you just feel safe.

I owe a lot to my friends. “A lot” in the sense of the man I’ve become. Without the love, support and patience, especially the patience – I would be lost in the woods.

And oftentimes I feel that I still am.

But you know what, it’s a helluva lot more fun to get lost together.

Thanks for reading,

10 seconds left in the third, down 2-1.

2 men on, full count, bottom of the 9th. 

Either way you look at it, there’s a necessity to be clutch in adverse situations. Only under times of great distress can there be innovation to remedy the adversity. 

When you can see rock bottom and someone is there, reaching out… take the hand. 

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 –

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?

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.

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.

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

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… 

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.

Living proof that we as humans are meant to adapt and roll with change.

Please check out my interview with one, Josh Dech – local fitness professional and business savvy entrepreneur. He left his post as a paramedic – having to save lives that were on the brink to transitioning his health care skill set into that of preventative health – Personal Training. He’s now bettering quality of life so those individuals don’t see that brink for a real long time.

Josh just happened to call me while I was finishing up my opening segment tonight. Some things happen for a reason. I hadn’t lined up a guest for an interview for the show, but as luck would have it when I saw it was Josh calling me, I immediately thought “Sweet, I have a rad guest now.” As you can tell, he was happy to be a part of it.

My takeaway:

Learn structure, but be willing to adapt. Be wiling to learn. Life’s too short to take it seriously all the time. Dress in a onesie and walk around in public every now and again.

I also discuss the importance of revelling in your accomplishments, how to relieve your stress in just 21 seconds and an opportunity to support another amazing charity, Play It Forward. They’re holding an Online Media Auction until March 31st, 12:00 MST. Check it out here…

Gymtastics Play-it-Forward Projects is a charity that that helps underprivileged children grow through sport and play. To find out more please check out our website at  or our latest You Tube video at–Wo&
I also dip back into the nostalgia in keeping with the theme of change and play one Calgary’s own, The Heist’s hits “Change”.
Don’t keep on climbing the mountain when you get to the top…
Stay sweet, folks. PAYCE!

So, you’ve been out of the game for a little while. Maybe you’ve never been there, only on the sidelines in the past. but now, you’re feeling a little more confident, a little more energy and you’d like to take up running. That’s great! You’re just a little concerned about where to begin and how to avoid hurting yourself like your buddy, Tim. He’s shelved now for three more weeks after that tweaked knee… Don’t be like Tim. Take note on these 5 tips to help a smooth transition (back) into running. Specifically, this article is geared towards last minute decisions to enter into a 5, 10 or half marathon, ’cause we’ve all been there…

Technique, technique technique!

At the end of the day, running is just a more intensive, sped up version of the primal movement known as a lunge. So, if you can’t do a proper lunge (gold standard for my athletes is starting in a split stance, pick your back knee off the floor to standing 10 times each leg without falling over…) you have zero business compounding that over the course of 5, 10 or 21 kilometres. Sure there’s going to be body mechanics that are unavoidable based on the way each individual moves, but the basics are the same. We are looking for proper engagement through the glutes, hamstrings and quads and we have to train the muscles to activate. It doesn’t just happen. Unless you’re Usian Bolt or Andre De Grasse. Even then, go watch their training regimen.

A few activation drills I like to work into my regimen for proper engagement of the muscles of the legs consist of: Stationary lunges, “Clamshells” and Peterson Step-Ups. I’ve compiled a quick little demo on my YouTube for anyone that wants to strengthen up their form. Please check out my YouTube library for proper technique when performing these drills on your own!

According to running coach, Jason Fitzgerald – You should think about running with a tall back, landing mid foot, just in front of your centre of mass, with a quick cadence or leg speed… Think kind of like landing softly like a ninja with each step.

Start slow, focus on progress – not perfection

In the grand scheme, you should have probably been preparing for this upcoming 10k months ago. Now you’re ten days out and you haven’t run more than 5k in the past 2 weeks. Just like cramming for that economics exam won’t help you remember the principles of the free market, piling on a bunch of kilometres in a week in hopes to prepare for that run  will do nothing but risk injury on the undertrained body. My suggestion, if you’re ten days out, pick 2 days 3 days apart to run an 8k and a 6k. (ie. Race is on Sunday.. so the prior Monday run 8k, and then run 6k on the Thursday…) and focus on keeping a steady pace that you can maintain for those distances. That way, when Sunday rolls around, you won’t be drained and sore for those extra two kilometres.

Trade the road for the trail

Running is an impactful movement. The more times you land hard on an unforgiving surface the harder it will be on your joints. This can cause injury and at the very least it’ll make your feet, ankles, knees, hips or back hurt. To avoid this, or at least lessen it – try running on the dirt/grass beside the road or better yet, pick some trails to run. The ground is a little softer so you won’t force as much impact into the joints and therefore won’t be as likely to do damage to those areas.

Fuel your body!

In the world of Exercise and Sport Nutrition, the proper fuel can make or break your performance. Think of your body as a car. The oil is water, the food is the gasoline and the fluids are the vitamins, minerals and extra supplements to ensure all systems go. Focus on  raw, whole foods, home cooked when available. Some of my favourite easy to eat foods/snacks that are a great source of fuel are bananas, nut butter and celery or apples and water with lemon. Check out a video I did for an easy to cook and super delicious Pineapple-Ginger Rice Bowl here or read the recipe for a great greens juice here!


Sounds counter intuitive, but your performance in sport is greatly related to how well your body is recovered. I come back to the point that overtraining, especially on short notice will do nothing but risk injury. Proper warmup, and cool down prior to training as well as ample sleep and recovery days are crucial for a successful performance. I have an excellent 6 step movement prep warmup I incorporate before each training run I go on that helps me not only avoid death or death-like symptoms, but properly activates the corresponding muscle groups I’m going to be using in training. Check it out here.