- Fit Pros
- Resource Centre
Wondering what it takes to grow a good idea into a successful company? Cam interviews entrepreneur, inventor, athlete and international speaker Marc Lebert who talks about his invention, the Lebert EQualizer, his journey to success and finding his "Why".
Marc turns the tables and interviews host Cam Jenkins who talks about his journey as a para athlete and his career as co-host of the para and pro sports show #TheNeutralZone.
Discover how two entrepreneurs are staying top-of-mind with their audiences right now and what you can do to keep motivated and moving!
This article is sourced from the Fitness For All Podcast, a top health and wellness podcast. Listen or subscribe below
Scroll to the end of the article for links to important resources mentioned in this episode.
Welcome to the first podcast episode of Fitness For All, sponsored by Lebert Fitness and hosted by Cam Jenkins. For the first episode, Cam interviews Marc Lebert, owner of Lebert Fitness. We've been talking about launching a podcast for a while now and of all days to do it, we are launching our latest product today, the Lebert HIIT System!
Since you mentioned it, do you want to let the listeners know about your new product?
It’s a combination of unilateral motions, so a dynamic resistance trainer that's great for HIIT training, but also good for any fitness level. It comes complete with anchors so you can hook it up like a suspension trainer, either up high, straight across from you or down low. You can hook it up just about anywhere. It also comes with a partner handle so it's also great for partner training.
Do you want to let the listeners know a little bit about Lebert Fitness and how that came to be?
I was doing a lot of in-home personal training and a client wanted to be able to do chin-ups and didn't want to buy an expensive lat pull machine or anything similar. I had an idea to weld up some steel bars, which are now the EQualizers. I called a friend in Hamilton who worked at a steel factory, and asked if he could weld something for him. He said absolutely. I brought him a case of beer, because that's what a good Canadian boy does and we created the first set of EQualizers. That was over 15 years ago and we took that concept to market, testing it first here first in Canada. Now the Lebert EQualizer is being used around the world so it's been a wild 15 years.
Can you talk about some of the other products that Lebert Fitness also has?
We now have the Lebert EQualizer XLs in a 3” taller version. We have Parallettes which are shorter EQualizers, like a gymnastics tool, the new HIIT System and a nice stretching product called the Stretch Strap. This was developed because being an ice hockey player and training a lot of hockey kids over the years, their flexibility was very poor. It’s great for getting into those poses and holding them more effectively.
We have one more product that we have not launched yet which a tool for boot camps. Currently, our focus is helping get people fit at home. We’ve got a lot of people with EQualizers in their homes now staying fit, safe and hopefully sane during this time.
Marc and I met about 10 years ago, and I was at a point in my life where I wanted to get more fit because I was competing in para sports for para track and field. I chose to get into the para field where I was throwing shot-put, javelin and discus and I just wanted to become a little bit more serious with it. I ended up finding Marc at a gym and that is where I started my fitness journey. I work for a good organization that helps kids with physical disabilities. I also do a para sports in pro sports podcast called The Neutral Zone. I enjoy doing that as well.
I also used to play para ice hockey, also known as sledge hockey which I played for 20 years. I started for a recreational league, but became more serious as the years went on. I ended up going as far as the Ontario provincial championships in Huntsville and won a silver medal at the Ontario Paralympic Games. That's my shining moment as well as the para sports world goes.
Growing up, I played baseball but I would say my sports are para ice hockey and the para track and field is where I focussed for a lot of years.
When the Pan Am games came here to Toronto, did you get involved? Did you go see any of those games and what was your experience with that?
I definitely wanted to be there because there were a few teammates that I had through the para field that were competing. They had been to the Paralympics at London 2012 and Beijing as well. There's nothing quite like going to the games where you're cheering for your country. This is where a whole country comes together and there's nothing like cheering for the Canadian flag at the end of the day. So that's probably one of the highlights as a fan - me watching an event cheering for Canadian athletes and it was phenomenal.
Tell me a little bit about when you went all the way to the finals in sledge hockey. What what experiences, what lessons, what things do remember the most about about that?
One of the things that I remember is being in the town of Huntsville, the entire town came out to watch. The arena held about 700 people and it was packed. That was my first experience of having so many people watching the game of para ice hockey. So, there was the thrill of so many people watching you. I'm very humble and that was one of the best tournaments I ever played in my whole entire career. When the fans are cheering for you, when you make a phenomenal save or you know that it's a close game and the pressure is on you, it was just all of those feelings and the experience. I'll remember it for as long as I live.
The game that I'll remember the most was against Kingston and they were one of the top teams, if not the top team. I think it either went to overtime or a shootout. We ended up just losing that game, 1-0 but it was phenomenal that we got that far. The saves that I made and the team blocked a lot of the shots before it even got to me for me to save – it was just phenomenal and we thought we were going to get blown out. That was a huge confidence booster to me and the rest of the team.
What keeps you going? What keeps you positive? What keeps you motivated?
How I keep positive is really about the people that I surround myself with and the people that are genuine and that care about me. When you surround yourself with good people, you too will become, if not already, a good person and feed off other people and that's how you're able to stay positive. I have a couple of mantras in life. One is that I'm no better than you and you're no better than me. The other one I have is that everyone has challenges at the end of the day. Some are just more noticeable than others. So, if you treat people as equals, I think you're able to stay in that positive mindset as well.
Right now with everything going on in the world, you have to adapt and find ways to hang out with people and there are great ways to do it. Whether it's doing this podcast, like we're doing today or other different video messaging apps to stay connected. At this time when we’re self-isolating, you just have to do what you have to in order to be able to be socially together, no matter which way that is.
Marc says a really important component is to make sure that you don't feel isolated. I think another important component, and this being a fitness podcast, is that you have to stay moving. Moving is the essence of life. If you stop moving, you're going to start to crumble. That's why it's so important to find things that you like to do, people that you like to do it with. Find out your “Why” because sometimes when you're at home, it's not easy. When you are used to going to the gym, it might be a lot more difficult. For me, if I don't feel like working out, I look at my big vision. What's my vision? I want to be a certain person and that motivates me so I need to do my workout, and five minutes in, I start to feel great. During this time, it's really important for people to understand that.
Marc, how do you suggest a person start a workout at home to get moving with what they have at home?
That’s a great question. First, get moving regardless of equipment, because you'll always find a way you can use your body weight. You can jog on the spot. You can do jumping jacks. There are lots of free resources out there, even on our website, with or without equipment. But to find your “why”, such as “I'm going to be there for my kids when I get older”, that's something that you have to work on. We all know what it might be, but it's important to spend some time thinking about it because the more you focus on something, the more that desire grows. I think people have so much paralysis by analysis. There are a million programs, a million ways to do things. What I generally recommend is pick 3 exercises. I do this with my son. He writes his own exercise programs now. What three exercise can you do? OK. Jumping jacks, squats, push ups. How many times can you do it? I'm going to five rounds. How long is a round? One minute! Boom! There's a program - done.
Marc, can you remember back to when you were young as to what the “Why” reason was for you and maybe tell about your journey into fitness?
Yes, it's interesting because “Why’s” change over time. I had three distinct “Whys” in my life. The first “Why” when I went to college. I was 6’1”, 155 pounds. My “Why” was to put on some size and strength. Then that morphed over time. I started to get into tae kwon do and I wanted to compete, which I did. So my “Why” became ‘becoming more athletic and better at my sport’.
This podcast is called “Fitness for All”. I know that that's one of the taglines for Lebert Fitness. Can you talk to us about how that came about?
We have a new president of Lebert Fitness, David Faasson. He came on board about a year and a half ago. One of the things he did with me is really dig down deep as to why I started the company in the first place, because, as a company, we also have our “Why”. Once we discovered that, then everything we do is aligned towards that mission and those values. What we distilled it down to is Fitness For All. I developed the EQualizer at first to help my clients and the members of my classes to get a more efficient and effective workout. I wanted it to be used by anyone and everyone from beginners to pro athletes. So, our “Why” is Fitness For All, and it was a big help with David and the rest of our team that we're able to really align towards that value.