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Put a Warrior on It 

Gregg Swanson makes a career out of giving strength advice for others' careers


Gregg Swanson didn't start as a fitness coach. As a kid, he says he was "uncoordinated," and asthma kept him away from many sports. But in the past 15 years, Swanson, who recently relocated to Bend, has fashioned a personal coaching style that bundles physical training, career advice and shifts in mentality, and trundles them all toward a goal he unassumingly calls a "warrior mindset."

We are talking at Cafe Sintra. Swanson leans back into his chair. His sunny disposition is both calming and infectious.

"If your body is out of shape, your mind will be out of shape," he explains.

A former high tech salesman in California, Swanson took to the gym in the mid-1970s—and his discipline is evident: Massive biceps bulge under his crisp shirt, and his gray hair sports a close-cut buzzcut that would make a Marine drill sergeant proud. But Swanson also has complemented that structured approach to physicality with more free-style sports like rock climbing and mountaineering—and those approaches are clear in the manner he considers his clients.

"The term 'life coach,'" he explains, "is used so much. But I don't do relationship coaching." He adds, "An action needs to be in conjunction with a mindset."

Swanson hosts a popular podcast called Warrior Mindset, but his bread-and-butter has been an elite corps of clients he coaches—usually on a one-year program that challenges individuals to jump out of the ruts in their lives, meaning making physical, mental and often career changes. He talks about one client who was "absolutely miserable" in her career managing accounts in the Bay Area, who came to him wanting to make changes over the next two to three years. He gave her a one-year timeline, and within 10 months, she had quit her job, started a new business leading adventure trips for women and moved to Bend.

"It starts with, 'I want to change my life,'" he says simply.

Check out Swanson's blog at

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