Mobility Drill: Banded Hip Flexor Stretch

Why Your Fitness Program Needs Integrated Mobility Work

Are you on a training program that states it will get you the sexy or shredded body you have always wanted?  Does it have nutrition integrated in with it’s programming?  If it doesn’t…drop it like a bad habit!  This is similar to how I feel to fitness training programs that offer to make you fit, stronger, or lean but don’t have integrated mobility work paired with it.  If you want someone to achieve these attributes you are doing them a disservice if you aren’t looking out for them long-term.

They may help you get the results you want short term, but if you want to have a healthy strong body long term and do the things you love pain free, mobility work and stretching is a must!  Let me give you a life example of my own:

I participated in Track and Field from my young adolescent years all the way through college.  I loved it and it seemed to work for me.  I got great results aesthetically from the training we did and decent strength gains when we were hitting the weight room.  But…the biggest issue that I have come to realize now that I am pushing 40 is that we never emphasized stretching or mobility work.  When practice was over and all the hard work was done…you were on your on with no guidance in these areas.

Now don’t get me wrong, I loved all my coaches and they all had an impact on my life growing up.  But I wish they cared a little bit more about what was going to happen to me long term if I didn’t do proper recovery and maintenance work on my body.  I should take responsibility as well because I knew stretching helped to some degree, but didn’t care too much about it if my coaches didn’t.  Go figure, we were all so smart in those days…

Let’s fast forward to the present day.  I have been competing in Spartan and Obstacle Course racing now for almost 4 year.  Prior to that I was doing Crossfit.  My body is an absolute mess and it isn’t all due to the training I have been putting in these past few years for the sport of OCR, it takes time and hard work to beat the hell out of it.  There are many athletes in my age group and older that have healthier bodies and have had similar athletic backgrounds to me.  The main difference I find is that they had coaches in the past that incorporated proper warm ups, cool downs, and stretching for these athletes…and if they didn’t they have excellent genetics on their side…mine must be from the basic gene pool.

On the same token I find as we get older, we get wiser with our training and recovery protocols.  I find that I spend more time working on my recovery and mobility work more than actually working out.  Crazy right?!  Why?  Because of all the tight connective, muscular, and fascia tissue problems I have due to a nonexistent recovery protocol in my past and overtraining in college to stay competitive with the top athletes.  Now pair that with training hardcore in Crossfit and OCR and all while over 30 and bam, you got a train wreck a coming (I’m there now with a bad foot injury still).

In our 20s we bounced back quickly and in are early 30s you can somewhat get away with it unless your basic like me…I had to start working on reversing the damage from the past all while keeping up with the wear and tear I am doing to my body in the present.

How does this relate to the training program that you are on?  It does!  Let’s say the program you are on is getting you excellent strength gains and you look great too.  The problem isn’t short term.  The problems you will deal with training on a program without integrated mobility work will come up maybe a decade or two later, maybe sooner if you are like me and trained hard most of your life with very little to no mobility work. Fortunately for us there is so many programs and gyms out there now that give you the tools and knowledge you need to keep your bodies healthy and hopefully pain free and still have the positive results that we all want.

How do you find these places?  Google gyms, fitness, Crossfit, etc. in your area and look at their websites.  See if they blog or post anything up about what they represent or apply with their clientele.  Do they have Facebook and Instagram pages?  I find that social media is the best way to get a quick glimpse of what each gym is all about and I can make a pretty good guess whether I want to train or send someone there.  When all else fails…try them all out and do a comparison.  In my opinion a gym or fitness program that is nailing it has:  strength and conditioning, mobility, and nutrition fundamentals built into their program.

Now go out there a win!

 

 

Are you being honest?!

Are you being honest?!

I find this question super intriguing, especially when talking about fitness.  If I ask most folks if they believe they are honest, I bet most will raise their hand.

But in truth, all of you would be lying to yourself.  We all lie!  There’s no way around it.  Even if you are the holiest of saints, or a kid with his hand in the cookie jar, we all do it.  And the most common lie is to ourselves!  Let me explain…

Let’s take a topic we are extremely familiar with.  RELATIONSHIPS.  We have so many people we care about.  Family, friends, co-workers, etc.  We lie to each of them everyday.  I hate to say this, because I strive to be as honest as I can.

How many times has someone asked you a question about how something looks and you haven’t told them your gut reaction?  Most of us.  We choose to save face and choose to say something that will make them feel good because most of us are genuinely good people.  There is a distinct difference between being a good person and being a honest one.

Let’s get back to the point I was trying to make earlier.  The biggest lie is to ourselves.  I find this happens a lot when someone is starting their fitness journey or trying to get back on the wagon.  They decide, “today is the day I am going to go to the gym! Hell I already got my membership right?!  I’ve made the first step!”  Then comes step two, putting that plan into action. Until BOOM, life happens!  What happens next?  They go to the gym or they do what’s comfortable and push it off another day?  9 times out of 10 it’s the latter.

And it happens day after day after day and what do you know…another year rolls by.  It’s July 2018 right now.  If you are reading this and haven’t committed to your fitness journey, stop making excuses and get your ass to the gym, park, or on a workout program that sets you up for success at home.  Most of us got to get away from “home and life distractions” to accomplish this, unless you know you are extremely motivated individual who doesn’t have those distractions at home.  I find that I need to be around other people who are getting their fitness on as this encourages and motivates me more towards my fitness goals.

So the next time you call yourself a honest person…I challenge you to evaluate yourself.  I fight this internal struggle just like you, EVERYDAY.  Choose to do what you know is right.  Right for you and your body, because you deserve it!  And be as honest as you can.  Tell someone how you really feel.  Go to the gym when you say you are.  These are just a few things you can do to take that step in the right direction with being honest with yourself.  Write it down!  Post it somewhere!  Make someone commit with you!  Sign up for a race or event!  Make yourself accountable!  Get that healthy body you know you deserve!

My latest lie to myself was thinking I would find passion working outside of the health and fitness industry.  You can read all about that experience HERE.  But here I am, back to my commitment to being honest with myself and holding myself accountable by sharing my journey with all of you.

Are you being honest?

P.S.  Please reach out to me at mattdbrown30@gmail.com.  I would love to help you anyway that I can.  We all have struggles, and it’s better if we don’t deal with them alone.  Accountability is crucial. 

 

 

 

 

Insurance is for quitters…

Statistically speaking, it’s true.  Most people who start in the insurance industry don’t make it past a few years.  According to AgencyBloc 89% of Insurance Agents quit within 3 years.

But not me!  I was convinced that I wouldn’t be a statistic.  I heard about how much agents could make if they were willing to grind and hustle (2 attributes I know I have).  This was great timing for me as I had to cut my Nashville trip short and come back to California.  I just found out I had a baby on the way, and I wasn’t going to let my lady raise him alone.  Hell I have always wanted to be a father.  But more on that later.  Let’s get back to the deal of insurance.

Baby Bumps
photo by Taryn Kathryn

I started looking into insurance in March of this year and began the training online at America’s Training Center.  I honestly loved the online platform they had there.  Lou (the guru who is in all the videos) was legit!  He had a knack for wearing a different hat in each video and I thought he was funny as hell.  The only issue I had with their training  was sometimes I was not given credit for a video completion and I would have to spend another 30 mins watching it all over again (if you lost your internet connection or exited the window you would have to start over again).  But my “hats” off to them for putting together great content for anyone that wants to get into the insurance biz.

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I would stay up most nights till about midnight watching the videos and studying for the exams.  I did this consistently for about a month.  Come April, I felt like I was ready to tackle the Life and Health insurance exam.  So I signed up online to take the exam in Redding, CA.  Well I found out all you needed was 60% to pass the exam and I passed just under 80%.  I was relieved because that test was no joke.  The questions were very confusing and even if you knew your shit, you could miss a question just by misreading one word in the question or answers.

Great.  I’ve passed.  Now what.  I had to wait 2 weeks+ to get my license approved, and you can’t sell any policies (legally at least) till you get your license.  Well, after I got it, I was informed I had to also purchase Errors and Omissions coverage.  Things were starting to add up, and when you don’t have a job, $hit is tight yo!

Ok!  Now I’m ready to sling policies and my focus was going to be Medicare Supplement plans in the Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.  I just needed to sell 3-5 a week to meet my goals of becoming a rockstar insurance producer in a year.  Why?  Because I know how to hustle and grind.  Well…what I didn’t realize is that I still couldn’t sell policies yet.  You have to get appointments with the carriers you want to work with.  Well…another month goes by and I got the top 2 cheapest providers in Monterey county, American National of Texas and AARP who is partnered with United Health Care.

Whew!  It’s now May of 2018!  I got my appointments and have been working on locating prospects.  It’s almost June and I am close to meeting my goal of 3-5 clients in the first month…no, not exactly.  I got 2!  I had to work my a$$ off for them too!  The Senior market is very wary of new agents coming in.  Gaining their trust to get them to talk to you was more difficult that I had imagined.

Lead generation is key in making it in the industry and the barrier to entry was harder than I thought.  Most folks I talked to were already with some of the best carriers in the county.  Other agents and brokers were clearly light years ahead of me and making sure the 65+ population was well taken care of.  This was very discouraging especially making the move to Monterey where rent isn’t cheap.  My first month was closer to $2k and when you are making $0 with a baby on the way, let me tell you…You don’t feel very manly.

So, I decided I needed to come up with new strategies and talk to agents I already knew personally.  Most told me it’s time to hit the pavement and walk into small businesses, Senior centers, doctor offices, etc.  Now were in June!  Still no new clients and I am doing my thing, introducing myself to the community and seeing if I can convince some of these places to get me in front of their clients.  This is something I definitely was more interested in as I am a big face to face person.  I was also looking into direct mail leads and other forms of advertising.  Let me tell you, it’s not cheap.  I was going to be spending $1k a month minimum to get started.

Let me stop right there.  At this point, the Universe was punching me in my balls and trying to get my attention.  I quit insurance.  This was a huge struggle for me.  Why?  I didn’t want to be a statistic!  I didn’t want to be thrown into the pool of insurance agents who didn’t make it.  I have hustle and grind dammit!  But, that wasn’t my problem.  I had to look deep down inside and realized that I wasn’t doing insurance for the right reasons.  And the Universe knew it!  Here’s my take away:

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  1. I was doing it to make big bucks and I heard how “easy” it is to make selling insurance.  Believe me, it’s not easy even if you are a person with hustle and grind.  And if you don’t have money to get into the game just like any business, it might not be worth your investment especially if you don’t have passion for it.  But…if you do, go for it!  There are lots of agents who are crushing it.
  2. It was a complete 180 from what I was really good at.  I was a full-time coach and running a gym.  And I loved those things, especially the coaching part.  Why did I stop?  Well it’s another blog post in itself, but I was in the middle of a nervous breakdown then.  My mind wasn’t right and I needed to spend some time working on myself.
  3.  I’m not an excuse person, but let me say this.  If you aren’t loving what you are doing, it’s probably not worth investing your time, energy, and money (it’s time for an exit strategy, but don’t quit today if you are supporting a family. I quit because I wasn’t making any money and only spending money and wasn’t happy doing it).  I was waking up in the morning dreading to pick up the phone or hit the streets because the passion wasn’t there!  When I went into this I was thinking I was going to be helping a lot of people save money on something they had to have or already had (and were overpaying).  And in most instances, it was definitely the case…but…
  4. Passion.  I wasn’t passionate about it!  I would have conversations with Hilary or my friends about it and how things were going and I hated talking about it.  I dreaded saying that I was not striking it rich and that it wasn’t working out.  But, again I had to have another honest conversation with myself.  Is this the right industry for Matt Brown?  Well, deep down I have always known, but was afraid to admit it.  Well…Monday I decided to not be afraid anymore.  I decided to finally go back to what I am passionate about.  Coaching.  Coaching comes in many forms, not just in exercise and nutrition.  It can be just sharing your story about successes, and most certainly failures (which are great learning experiences).

In no way am I bashing the insurance industry or the folks I was working with.  They are awesome and gave me a ton of support.  But…that isn’t important if you are in the wrong industry and you aren’t following your passion.  I encourage each of you to look deep down in yourself and ask yourself 1 simple question.  Most days, Do you love what you are doing?  

 

 

NorCalSpartan is Back Baby!

NorCalSpartan

Well…let’s just start with saying, I’m Back Baby!  I took a long hiatus when I got injured, got a divorce, and so much other crazy shit!  Life has been very interesting for me these past few years, but honestly in the words of a close friend, My towers all needed to fall before I could move to the next phase of my life (More on that later but I think I’m moving in the right direction…).  I am not a big fan of making excuses! So…Now I’m back to a project I started years ago, my passion project.

I honestly do love writing and talking about a variety of topics as this is a skill I’m very good at.  I’m sure I could get plenty of testimonials from clients in the past to back this up if you need data.  But let’s just say you agree with me.

What am I a going to be talking about on here?  Well…for starters, things I am passionate about with no filter.  I am going to be “ME!”  Some people will like it, and others will not.  But hey…that’s just life.  And if you like the content, awesome!  Share it and let’s grow together.  If you hate it…well go find a blog somewhere else.  If you’re a troll…go watch Shrek…

Stay tuned for my first writing article coming this week…You will be glad you did!