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Exploring Life & Business with Jack Swain of Swain Performance

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jack Swain. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I have always had a passion for health and fitness. I grew up playing sports and spent a lot of time training to improve my performance on the field. I eventually played football at Eastern Michigan University which is where I fell in love with strength and conditioning. After my sophomore year, I decided to quit football as the injuries were piling up and the time commitment was draining. I just wanted to be a normal college kid at that point. I transferred to Michigan State University where I began pursuing a degree in Kinesiology with the hopes of being admitted to a Physical Therapy school after graduation. The first internship I had during school was with an athletic performance company. This internship set the foundation for me. I had the opportunity of coaching youth athletes all the way up to professional athletes. Working with such a wide-ranging group really pushed me out of my comfort zone and allowed for a lot of growth. But as I worked to apply for PT school, I needed more experience working in Physical Therapy so my time working with athletes came to an end. The next internship was working in a Mary Free Bed outpatient clinic. Long story short, it was not a good experience. This experience began to put doubts in my mind regarding Physical Therapy School. The following spring, I applied to PT school and unfortunately did not get accepted to any of the schools I applied to. Later that spring I graduated from MSU with a degree in Kinesiology. Upon graduation, I began looking for work. The first job I took was a personal training job in Lansing, MI. I learned an enormous amount from this job and it really set the foundation for me as a personal trainer. The owner was very knowledgeable but spoke negatively about members and treated employees poorly. I spent about 6 months working there and decided to part ways in December of 2018. This was a huge lesson in my life, a successful business with a bad owner. I constantly remind myself, don’t be that guy. Be a good person and actually care about the people you help. in January 2019 I moved to Grand Rapids. I began working at Meijer Corporate as a logistics analyst and worked as a personal trainer for the YMCA. This was my life for a while, working a corporate job and training individuals as time permitted. In 2020 when covid hit, the YMCA closed. At that point, I had a lot of time on my hands, and owning my own business was always a goal. So, in short, because of covid, I started Swain Performance. It started training individuals for free in a spare room at my house. We had minimal equipment but that did not stop us from having great workouts. As time went on, I moved into a new house and converted my 2-car garage into a fully functional gym. This is when things really started to hit their stride. All personal trainers will tell you it is hard to find clients and especially loyal and consistent ones. I am fortunate enough to have loyal and consistent clients. Many of the clients I have been training with me for over a year at this point. As my client base continues to grow with in-person and online training the plan in the fall of 2022 is to move my business into a commercial space. 

Everyone’s story is different. There is something to learn with every experience, good or bad. Consistency is the best indicator of success. Through all the highs and lows in my journey, being consistent with my work ethic and caring for those around me is what got me to this point. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has definitely not been easy. If it was easy, would it be worth it? I ask myself this daily. Everyone makes mistakes with how approach things and interact with others, myself included. Taking those mistakes and turning them into positives is what separates people. 

Owning a business is not easy. Starting a business is not easy. Navigating the highs and lows of the business world can be very challenging. 

The biggest lesson I have learned throughout my journey so far is blocking out negativity. It is easy to get caught up in your own negative thoughts or let one negative comment from someone eat at you. Being able to have thick skin and stay true to me has helped me immensely on this journey. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I offer 1 on1 or small group personal training services. 

My goal with each individual I train is to 1. build a relationship with that person, 2. Help them move and feel their best. 

I specialize in athletic performance and everyday life performance. 

Helping each individual improve their athletic potential is what I pride myself on. this can be someone playing high school baseball or an individual who wants to stay active so they can play with their kids. 

Athletic performance is not just specific to sports. 

The one thing that I think separates me from other training businesses is that I actually care. I have worked/been around different businesses and that’s exactly how most of them operate, as a business. The true joy for me is building relationships and learning about each client. If you really want to see me smile, come watch a session when one of my clients hits a PR. 

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
I think finding a mentor is huge. I was telling people this “Learn to listen, listen to learn”. Be a good listener and soak up as much knowledge from everyone you interact with. Take those learnings and apply them to your circumstances. 

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Instagram: Swain_Performance
  • Facebook: Swain_Performance

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