The Choice Umbrella interviews Marc Lebert, of Lebert Fitness.
For more information about Marc’s fitness products, and for a discounted rate, see the Lebert Fitness website and use the code LF120 at checkout for $20 off.
Photo Credits: Melanie Webster Photography
Most of us in the fitness industry know Marc Lebert as the creator of the coveted “Lebert Equalizer”, otherwise known as the “EQ”. Personally, his portable and versatile system has been a crucial addition to my workout equipment, that’s for sure! (The back of my truck is crammed full of a rainbow of Lebert Equalizers and Buddy Systems.) In the world of personal training, Marc is certainly an icon to those of us who travel around teaching boot camps and personal train and want great quality, versatile workout equipment.
So as such a busy fitness entrepreneur and world-traveler, I have to say that I was completely blown away to find out that Marc is an abstract painter as well. As a creative myself, I am always intrigued by others who include both fitness and creativity in their lives and I am so grateful that he took some time with us to tell us about how he’s learned to balance the two passions. And, we all want to know how exercise has benefitted his creative mind…
Hey Marc! Thanks so much for the interview! I am always psyched when I find that a fellow fitness professional is also a creative. Your paintings are amazing and I can’t wait to hear more about your artistic craft.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background as a painter?
First of all thank you for the kind words and the opportunity to chat with you! I think you are great and I know your blog is going to be awesome! As far back as I can remember I have always been sketching, doodling and making crafts but my only “formal” training was in highschool when I took art class. I loved it but the social pressures of being a boy in Southern Ontario was such that I never told anyone I liked it and stuck to sports. Over the years I dabbled with art projects and even painted for my wife, made sculptures and necklaces when we were dating as I had no $ for gifts. It wasn’t until my late 30’s that I was confident enough with who I was to start painting again! And I am voracious… I had to be careful what nights I painted because I would get lost in it, have lots of energy and stay up until the sun was coming up! And I had a PT session in the morning!!! I would literally paint all night!
I know that painting can be theraputic for some, but I also know that you’re work is highly regarded and is for sale. Do you feel that painting is a hobby, or part of your career?
It is therapeutic but I do feel it is part of my career. I have an art show at my fitness club every year and love it. Fitness, art, friends, charity and fun… always a great night!
What can you tell us about how you balance your 2 passions: art and fitness? Do you feel that they’re separate entities or that they work together?
They are kinda separate although I feel my business is very creative. I am learning all the time and we are creative with product design, advertising, how we approach trade shows, sessions, etc. And that is great because we have been so busy I have not had time to paint much so that keeps my creative juices flowing.
Your fitness business is apparently founded on a few of your own innovations ~ how has creativity played a role in the development of your products ~ which are used worlwide!
All my products have come from a need that I have noticed in the field (home PT sessions or at my club teaching group fitness). From there I develop a working concept and then we (my business partner John and I) get very creative with the product design to make sure it is functional, versatile, strong and most importantly and maybe most surprisingly… simple. We make our products as less complicated as possible… like eliminating moving parts as an example… and that takes a creative approach to dumb something down.
I know that personally, creativity is essential to my well-being, but it’s not something that can be forced. What do you do at times when you’re feeling a creative block, like it needs a little push?
So true. Walk away and revisit later. Meditation, playing with blocks (kids toys) bike rides and sometimes we just grab a beer! Lol well we are Canadian after all!
How do you find that exercise affects your creative process? Is there one type of exercise that seems to get you creatively pumped up?
Hard exercise is for me! I don’t find I come up with too many ideas then… I am just feeling the burn! But when I am teaching bootcamps, PT and martial arts I start to see movement patterns and exercise needs that get my creative side going and generate ideas for the next product.
Who is someone that has influenced and inspired your love for painting?
At first no-one! I just love to paint and I have no idea why… I just feel a need and an energy. Since then I have painted with some friends like Vesna (client) and Lucille (accomplished artist) and have loved doing that.
What color is representative of your personality?
Oh I don’t know?! I love painting trees so maybe green… but I think my favourite colour is purple.
Were you ever discouraged to follow this artistic path? If so, how did it it affect your creativity?
Yes, when I was young. Being tough and playing sports was the acceptable path for a young male… play hockey! 😉 But now I am free from that to paint and encourage my son and anyone to enjoy the arts.
And lastly, what is your favorite app or social media to use to be creative? I’ve seen some pretty awesome interpretations of the EQ bars from you. 🙂
Ha! Thanks! Yes I have been creative with my posts… if I don’t have time to paint it will come out somewhere! I use Pic Collage, Photo Candy, Insta Collage and more… I sometimes just delete one app and try another just for fun!
Awesome, Marc! Thank you so much ~ this has been such an inspiring interview for me because it validates the fact that we really need to make time for creative outlets in our lives. I, my PT clients, and boot camp participants appreciate all that you do! We “EQ Salute” you!