What does it mean to be unapologetically strong?
Before I tell you what I think, have you answered that question for yourself?
When you imagine being unapologetically strong, what will your day look like? How will you walk differently? How will you show up in your relationships differently?
Who will you see in the mirror?
Being strong straddles both the physical and psychological — think of people in your life who look strong and those who are strong. The gym, and strength training, in particular, is the perfect place to get strong and find mental strength. Unapologetically strong, for me and my wish for you, is to find that fine line where physical strength and psychological strength meet and show up consistently in your life.
If you’re here, it’s because you’re interested in feeling solidly and undeniably strong. Our mission is to work together to level up your strength and confidence — in and out of the gym.
My name is Mark Schneider. After 20 years in health, wellness, and fitness, and through thousands of hours helping people learn to lift, recover post-surgery, and train for competition, my specialty developed into guiding people from “I can’t” to “How can I?” Regardless of where we start, if you are ruthless in living your most honest life, you’ll have amazing results. (Don’t worry, I’m here to guide you through the process.)
Unapologetically Strong Coaching is the strongest corner of the internet. When you join the league of the Unapologetically Strong, we only get stronger, together.
Let’s do this!
Whether you’re a brand-new, intermediate, or advanced lifter who’s interested in general strength or powerlifting, I’ll tell you the secret to my client’s success right now: My main goal is to make it next to impossible for you not to succeed.
Even though you’ll be part of a supportive and interactive group, I will be talking to you individually. Along with the program that forms to fit your body, I will also give you personalized coaching cues throughout our time together. Every time you hit the gym, you will feel confident in your ability to execute your plan, and certain that you are getting the full benefit out of each and every exercise.
We’re going to work together to increase your strength, confidence, and self-efficacy, but you’re the one doing the heavy lifting, so to speak. We’re in this together, you and me, and I’ll be at the top of my game for you.
If you’re ready to kick down the doors to your fitness goals, I want you to apply right now to get the conversation started and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
Why wait? Talk to you soon.
As a long-time personal trainer and powerlifting coach, I thought I knew how my body worked in relation to lifting weights pretty well — until I started working with Mark. His eye for finely tweaking movements to better suit the individual is unparalleled, and I could feel my muscles working better and more strongly together immediately, after just one coaching cue from Mark.
Where for some trainers it may take a few tries before finding the right cue that sticks with the trainee, Mark always has the right words, on the first go, improving form and confidence wherever he goes with the simple drop of a sentence. And it wasn’t this way just for me, it’s a talent I’ve seen repeated hundreds of times with my fellow members at The Movement Minneapolis (and we’re all better lifters, and stronger humans, for it).
When you are connected with Mark you, as he told me once long ago, “become one of his people.” You will leave each interaction with Mark better than when you came in. If you’re interested in getting stronger and working with a high-level coach who keeps your strength, confidence, and mindset at the forefront of everything else, I can’t recommend him highly enough.
-Jennifer B. (a.k.a. JVB)
Mark’s creativity and tremendous knowledge have been instrumental in helping me maintain and build strength while working through some old injuries. His attentiveness and proficiency at explaining new movements make his online coaching seem like it happens “in-person.” Mark truly cares about his coaching clients, and it shows.
Before I started working with Mark, I was hesitant to hire a virtual coach for all the standard reasons: It was new to me, I didn’t understand the logistics, and would I really get the support I needed without a physical body beside me? Within the first week of interactions, I was a meme asking him to just shut up and take my money.
I came to Mark frustrated with my body and the medical care it had received thus far. I’d had debilitating knee and hip pain for so long that it had become a part of my identity — I’d accepted my limitations, and was simply hoping for a trainer who could help me work around them. Enter Mark: the supportive, intelligent, grounding force we’re all lacking, whether we know it or not.
In our time together, I transformed in ways I wouldn’t have believed if I had read them off a website. I not only squatted without pain for the first time in years, but through Mark’s creative programming, I got the strongest I’d ever been by a long shot. Mark understands the biopsychosocial model of wellness, and knows that to be coached well means more than having an extensive knowledge of biomechanics (though he does) and an endless array of exercise progressions (which again, he’s got for ya).
Mark is nonjudgmental, he truly hears you and cares about you as a whole person, and I cannot recommend him enough as a coach.
I feel very strongly about the positive effect that Mark has had not only on my body but on my mental abilities to overcome obstacles. I started working with Mark when I was attempting to train for a marathon. All signs pointed to the fact that I should not be running it, but Mark was able to not only help me recover from a running-related injury, he was also able to help set up a program to help rebuild the strength that was lost somewhere after having a hundred babies (four).
His knowledge is endless. I looked forward to our sessions; somehow I left each time feeling more capable and confident in myself and what I was able to accomplish. He checks in on a regular basis, which is something I need. It was clear that he didn’t have a “one workout fits all” kind of mentality. He catered every exercise, every workout, and every text message to what and how I was feeling. There is no ego with Mark, and I never felt like I had something to prove to him. He is the best there is.
I reached out to Mark at a time that I was super unmotivated to write my own programming and train at all. I was interested in learning a little bit of biofeedback and improving my conditioning as well as my strength. I’ve dislocated my right shoulder four times and have always been nervous trying new things and trying to get heavy weight overhead. Mark has been nothing short of amazing. In the past year I have improved on all of my lifts, but more importantly my confidence is up and I am even back to rock climbing.
Mark has a unique ability to see movement and meet you exactly where you are with the exact regression or progression that will help you. He is gifted, creative, unconventional, and provides a true interactive coaching experience. His coaching has helped me improve my own coaching abilities and I can see it in the way my own clients move and have continued progressing as well.
-Maria B., MS, NASM, CPT
I’ve worked with coaches before but none have approached coaching like Mark. I was used to being asked for a big-picture goal and then the coach would write a program that was goal specific, but fairly generic. Mark asks more questions…many more. It feels like a partnership and the programming is tailored to my personality, my goals, and my body’s need for movement.
When I first started coaching with Mark it was a fairly pivotal time for me. I’d always lifted, played sports, and been very active. What I brought to Mark was a body that felt pretty broken after two sports injuries, back and shoulder surgery a month apart, and pain that I could not resolve. Mark coached me through recovery, out of pain, and has me stronger than I was before my injuries. With his coaching, I competed in my first powerlifting meet and trained for firefighter fitness testing. I also get to play hard without hurting.
I’m consistently amazed at how attuned he is to what I need from a program. I’m seven weeks into my most recent program and it is interesting, challenging, and I feel like I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of its potential. It’s like programming and coaching from a giant, walking brain — intuitive and probing questions, brilliant programming, insightful and effective feedback, more questions, and a catalyst for growth.
“Mark is a magician.” When I first joined The Movement Minneapolis in 2013, this is how other coaches and members described Mark Schneider. The subtext being, “Mark understands the body and psyche better than most, and whatever lofty goals you may have, he’s the man to help.” At the time, I didn’t have lofty goals — I just wanted to work out and make some friends.
But life happens: I slipped on ice and injured my back. I suffered a “minor” but relentless concussion that disrupted my hormones, my grip, my gait, my vision, and my energy. I was tired and I was in pain, and all I wanted to do was get back to lifting — to get back to life.
Mark was endlessly patient and stood by my side throughout my recovery, which took two years. He devised and adapted custom programs and concocted bizarre exercises to help me keep moving around the pain and through the pain, until I was out of it.
He led me to PR my squat, deadlift, bench press, and half-marathon; helped me train in Strongman, Powerlifting, and flying trapeze; supported me in achieving my RKC kettlebell certification; guided me in training for big hikes, including Peru’s challenging Salkantay Trail in the Andes and the 27-mile “Grand Traverse” on Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail.
Meanwhile, because of his background in integrative clinical work, he was able to support me as I sought medical help for my concussion, which was a mystery for some time. Mark served as my advocate as I went from doctor to doctor, and ultimately he found the functional neurologist who diagnosed and treated me.
Mark has been my trainer and friend for five years, and I still think back to the original introduction his peers and clients gave him. And you know what? Mark is not a magician — to describe his work as magic is both hyperbolic and an understatement. Mark is outstandingly intelligent, attentive, thoughtful, and caring.
I could go on and on about what a great trainer Mark is, about how he can help people achieve any goal they’re willing to work toward, make them the strongest they’ve ever been, help them overcome physical injury and pain, and so on. But Mark does more than that. He helps people find their strength, in the gym and beyond. He helps people grow as humans. I’m a better person for knowing him. We all are.
I have been working with Mark for strength programming and injury rehabilitation for more than three years. As a competitive powerlifter, minor injuries can be a common issue. Mark has helped me recover from these injuries and most importantly, strengthen the key muscles to prevent them from happening again.
A couple years ago, during a powerlifting competition, I suffered from a herniated disc that was hitting my sciatic nerve. The injury was so painful that I struggled to do basic things like sit, walk, stand, and sometimes it even hurt to breathe. Through body work and strengthening exercises with Mark, I was able to avoid back injections and surgery. Because of Mark’s commitment to his clients and their health, I was able to compete a year later even stronger than before my injury.
Mark is incredible to work with and I highly recommend him for injury recovery and custom strength programming.
Mark is thoughtful and attentive to my goals, clearly putting in a great deal of thought about what might work best for me and my body. In particular, he’s very purposeful to keep programming balanced which has allowed me push myself without having any type of injury or strain in over a year. He’s also been very effective at choosing exercises that increase strength while also addressing some range of motion limitation I’ve wanted to improve. He consistently follows up to make sure programming works and is still interesting.
Mark was instrumental in helping me have two very healthy pregnancies. He was thoughtful in his programming to ensure that I was keeping baby safe and at the same time maintaining my strength and working on developing areas of the body that would be needed for birth and beyond. In addition to helping me physically, Mark also made sure he checked in with me on how I was doing emotionally. Working with Mark, I have always felt that I had both a private coach and a therapist all in one. He treats the whole person, which is rare.