Donald Trump Loves Burpees

Workout of the Week: Burpees!

Burpees!  You either hate them or love them!  I would have to say it depends on how often I have been doing them.  In this instance I haven’t done a burpee since Jan/Feb of this year!  Well…I have been avoiding them far too long and wanted to take a stab at a workout I wrote up awhile back when I was still coaching at NorCalSC.

Here are some simple definitions to understand before I go into the workout:

EMOM– Every minute on the minute.  This is a workout where you perform a fixed number of repetitions in a minute and rest the remainder of that minute.  I love these workouts because they can be used to work on specific movements at a fixed rest period (i.e. barbell cleans, snatches, etc.) or used as a HIIT workout (its all dependent on the movement).  For example:  5 Push Ups might be the movement and volume for each minute.  So…you have 1 minute to complete 5 push ups.  If you finish it in 10 seconds, you have 50 seconds to rest till you start the next minute.  And you do this for a fixed amount of time.  It could be 5 minutes (5 rounds) , 8 minutes (8 rounds) , 10 minutes (10 rounds), etc.

Burpee– Maybe you are new to this movement, but anyone who has been doing Crossfit, Spartan Racing, Bootcamp or working out in a Strength and Conditioning setting are very familiar.

  • You start standing tall with your feet close together and then bend over to place both hands on the ground in front of you.
  • Then you can either jump your feet or step your feet back behind you till you are at the top of a straight arm plank.
  • From here you control your body downwards by bending your elbows till your chest and thighs touch the ground.

  • Now from here you have a few options:  You can start by pushing your torso upwards, all while keeping your glutes and core engaged, and jumping your feet towards your hands (if you catch with your feet super wide or in the bottom of the squat…you got some mobility work to do.  No worries.  Your tight, which also means you’re cool.  I will be posting some mobility hacks weekly as well to work on these issues).  Or you can step your feet up towards your hands.  This is all dependent on skill level and strength. (I traditionally don’t recommend flopping on the ground like a fish or snaking, I like to avoid high risk of injury and I hope you do too)

  • Now that your feet are back to your hands you stand tall and end with a small jump (feet must leave the ground) and clap your hands over your head.
  • That’s 1 Burpee!

Don’t like text explanations?!  Boo hoo…Here is a video of me back in my hayday demonstrating a safe textbook Burpee:

Now…Like I said.  If you don’t have the skill and strength to execute the burpee in this fashion opt for stepping into a plank position and doing a controlled lower to the ground.  From here push your torso upwards (it’s ok to do a knee push up but make sure your glutes and core are activated, don’t snake!  That is bad for your body especially if you are doing high volume repetitions) and step your feet towards your hands.  This accommodates many levels of fitness and skill sets.

If you are still here…this is the workout:

10 min EMOM (10 Rounds):

  1. 10 Burpees or as many as you can get up to 10 in 30 seconds.  The goal here is to get your 10 done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  2. Take 30 seconds of rest whether you hit 10, 9, 8, etc. (if you got 0 chances are the workout was over before it started…)
  3. Once the first minute is complete, you start the second minute…and so forth until you have completed 10 minutes (10 Rounds)
  4. If you got 10 each minute and don’t know how to do math, you completed 100 Burpees.  Your welcome.


What’s next?  Do the workout and let me know how you do!  Post it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and see if you can get others to do it with you.  We are all on this fitness journey together, so…the more the merrier!  Make sure to tag @norcal__spartan and use #norcalspartan when you post your results.  I will be posting a workout each week and would love for you all to join in with me as I am trying to avoid the #dadbod before #babydean arrives!


P.S.  If you have any questions, post them in the comment section or send me a DM on my Instagram page.

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.


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:


  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!


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!



Week 4: NorCal Spartan Training

Welcome to the NorCal Spartan blog!  Just wrapped up week 4 of my Spartan/OCR training. Training this past week has been great, though it’s been a little crazy in Northern California.  We have had some flooding evacuations and spillway issues in the Butte County area.  Even though this has all been going on, I still managed to stay focused and increase my mileage for the week for my running aerobic base phase.  I was stoked that my body allowed me to consistently run over 8+ miles on most of my runs this week.  Going to have to start carrying gels with me as the mileage slowly increases over the next few weeks.  The Hawaii Ultra Beast will be here before we know it!  Here is my training from this past week:


Monday 2/13:

  • 60+ Min Run at Bidwell 5 Mile
    • Ran 8.7 miles in 1:16:32 (8:47 avg. mile pace)
      • *goal was just to go out and run for 60 mins just working aerobic base, it was wet and muddy, so made sure to hit every puddle and mud area for training purposes for races*
  • Intermediate Class
    • Strength:
      • 5×3 Back Squat @ 225#
      • 5×3 Box Jump @ 40″+ (can’t remember the height of the last jump)
    • Secondary:
      • 3xMax Barbell Press @ 115#, averaged around 5 reps
      • 3×2 Swimmers
    • Conditioning (1 Round):
      • 23 Clean and Jerks @ 135#
      • 23 Bar Facing Burpees
        • *didn’t focus on time, just went at a controlled tempo*


Tuesday 2/14:

  • Advanced Class
    • Oly:
      • 3×5 Light Barbell Hang Power Snatch + 5 OH Squats @ 45# (went light focusing on technique and movement)
    •  Strength/Secondary:
      • 4×5 Deadlift @ 315#
      • 4×30 sec Free Handstand Practice
      • 4×4 Hanging Hip Touches (4 L / 4 R)
    • Conditioning A (1 Round 1 minute stations + 30 sec rest):
      • Battle Rope
      • DB Thrusters @ 35#
      • Tuck Ups
    • Conditioning B (1 Round 1 minute stations + 30 sec rest):
      • Ball Slams
      • Body Rows
      • Jump Rope Single Unders
    • Conditioning C (1 Round 1 minute stations + 30 sec rest):
      • Battle Rope
      • DB Thrusters @ 35#
      • Tuck Ups

Wednesday 2/15:

  • 55+ Min Run at 1 Mile Park
    • Ran 6.8 Miles in 59:06 (8:35 avg. mile pace)
      • *goal was just to go out and run for 55 mins, just working aerobic base*

Thursday 2/16:

  • 60+ Min Run at 5 Mile Park
    • Ran 8.1 Miles in 1:15:00 (9:12 avg. mile pace)
      • *goal was just to go out and run for 60+ mins, just working aerobic base, ran through the muddy terrain*
  • OCR Specific Workout:
    • Strength/Core:
      • 3x150m Bucket Carry @ 80#
      • 3×1 min Straight Arm Plank
      • 3×30 sec Straight Arm Side Plank ( L / R)
      • 3×30 sec Reverse Plank
    • Conditioning (4 Rounds, 1 min of rest between rounds):
      • 3 Strict Ring Muscle Ups
      • 6 Burpees
      • 9 Strict Ring Pull Ups
      • 12 Box Jumps @ 24″
        • Rd 1 = 1:26, Rd 2 = 1:29, Rd 3 = 1:53, Rd 4 = 2:36 (definitely was done after this round)

Friday 2/17:

  • Took Friday Off.  Needed the recovery day.


Saturday 2/18:

  • 90+ Min Run at 5 Mile Park
    • Ran 10.2 Miles in 1:34:04 (9:14 avg. mile pace)
      • *goal was just to go out and run for 90+ mins, just working aerobic base*

Sunday 2/19:

  • Took Sunday Off, legs needed a little recovery from the mileage from the week and to be ready to hit the next week hard.

Looking to learn more about Obstacle Course Racing and hate reading to gain information (if you made it this far, chances are you like to read…)? Check out The Obstacle Order Podcast!  They have 104 episodes of great content on OCR and Spartan Racing.

Live in the Northern California Area and need a place to train OCR and Spartan?  NorCal Strength and Conditioning has two locations, Chico and Marysville.  Email me at for more details and information!

For more things Spartan, OCR, etc. make sure to “Like” Us on Facebook and “Subscribe” to the blog so you don’t miss anything (on the right side bar menu)!

Stay tuned next week for Week 5 of Programming here at!  Till then, make sure to Get Your Fitness On!

Week 3: NorCal Spartan Training


Last week I finally felt like I was getting back into the groove after missing 4 days of solid training…  I finally got over the cold, but still had some lingering congestion for a few more days, but was able to get some solid workouts in.  I waited till a little later in the week to start my running aerobic base workouts and went with some light biking and classes at NorCalSC Chico (week 1 of programming in classes).  In classes, we are deloading due to coming off max week (my bulking season).  Here is what last week looked like training wise:

Monday 2/6:

Tuesday 2/7:

  • 30 min on Stationary Bike- still felt like I wasn’t ready to get back on the trails and was still a little drained from Monday’s workout

Wednesday 2/8:

  • 45+ Min Run at Bidwell 1 Mile
    • Ran 5.4 miles in 46:22 (8:28 avg. mile pace)
      • *goal was just to go out and run for 45 mins just working aerobic base and working off the cold, terrain was a pavement path in the park*
  • Intermediate Class:

Thursday 2/9:

  • 35+ Min Run at Baroni Park Area
    • Ran 4.1 Miles in 37:00 (8:53 avg. mile pace)
      • *goal was just to go out and run for 45 mins, just working aerobic base, it was pouring rain, so only made it out for 37 mins and ran on pavement*


Friday 2/10:

  • 60+ Min Run at Bidwell 1 Mile to Hooker Oak
    • Ran 7.1 Miles in 1:00:10 (8:24 avg. mile pace)
      • *goal was just to go out and run for 60 mins, just working aerobic base, terrain had mix of small hills and minor muddy areas*
  • Intermediate Class:

Saturday 2/11:

  • Took off to recover

Sunday 2/12:

  • Recovery Run- 4.5 miles at slow recovery tempo, didn’t time the run or track pace…wanted to focus on just moving and getting the legs some extra miles

Looking to learn more about Obstacle Course Racing and hate reading to gain information (if you made it this far, chances are you like to read…)? Check out The Obstacle Order Podcast!  They have 102 episodes of great content on OCR and Spartan Racing.

Live in the Northern California Area and need a place to train OCR and Spartan?  NorCal Strength and Conditioning has two locations, Chico and Marysville.  Email me at for more details and information!

For more things Spartan, OCR, etc. make sure to “Like” Us on Facebook and “Subscribe” to the blog so you don’t miss anything (on the right side bar menu)!

Stay tuned next week for Week 4 of Programming here at!  Till then, make sure to Get Your Fitness On!