Semma Burba

Semma Burba

Owner, Coach, Nutrition

4th in the world (40-44) at the 2016 CrossFit Games
9th in the world (40-44) at the 2017 CrossFit Games
10th in the world (40-44) at the 2018 CrossFit Games
2nd in the world (45-49) at the 2019 CrossFit Games


CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

CrossFit Level 2 Trainer

Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification

Precision Nutrition Level 2 Certification

Mental Toughness Trainer Certification

CrossFit Gymnastics

CrossFit Weightlifting

CrossFit Kids

CrossFit Scaling

CrossFit Competitor's Course

CrossFit Judges Course

CrossFit Spot the Flaw Course

CrossFit Lesson Planning Course

Freestyle Movement Connection Seminar

Box of Excellence seminar with Ben Bergeron

Two Brain Business Mentorship Program

Bachelor of Science degree (Human Behavior) from US Air Force Academy

Master of Education degree (Curriculum & Instruction) from Lesley College


I grew up doing athletic things. I was given push ups as punishment. I could earn the ability to open Christmas gifts early by doing hundreds of sit-ups and push ups. I staved off boredom with a summer long handstand walking competition with my brother. I embraced running as my sport and eventually became the High School State Champion in the 1600m run. I continued running in college but excelled when the test was broadened beyond running alone. One of my favorite accomplishments is becoming the overall winner (men & women) in a top tier cadet physical fitness competition at the US Air Force Academy.

As an adult, I didn’t know where to invest my time athletically, so I just kept running and completed numerous 5K, 10K, and 10 mile races. I also completed half marathon and marathon races just to say I did it. Once I became a mom, I let go of my athletic pursuits and experienced a bit of a desert until I rediscovered myself through CrossFit in 2013.

Turning Point

Somehow life turned me into an overweight stay-at-home mom who was at a breaking point. Little by little, I let myself go. I thought I’d have more time and energy if I didn’t workout. I thought allowing my kids to eat their favorite foods would make them happier and it seemed easier to buy and make. Before I knew it, we were all eating crappy foods and my physical activity became the walk to the sidelines of my kids’ sporting events. I traded my health to make things easier, but it wasn’t actually easier.

I didn’t like what I had become: overweight, out of shape, and unable to show self-control. I felt ashamed and sometimes I expressed those feelings in front of my impressionable girls. I was embarrassed of myself and feared that they would eventually become embarrassed of me. Or worse, follow my footsteps. I wanted to be a better example to my kids. I wanted to lead a life that I knew I was capable of living. I decided to make my well-being a priority and do something about my condition when I finally realized that living this way was actually making it harder for me to be the kind of person I wanted to be. I needed energy, I needed confidence, I needed to start living the way I was encouraging my children to live.

I found myself inside Spartan CrossFit touching a barbell for the first time at the age of 39. I had been afraid of starting because CrossFit seemed too hard, too intense, and like something for which I needed to be in shape to even start. It wasn’t easy to walk through that door, but it was a pivotal moment in my life.

As soon as I did one workout, I knew I found my solution. I loved how different the workouts were and found myself actually excited to try them. For some reason I thought that CrossFit was for super fit people, but I discovered that I had it all wrong. CrossFit will make super fit people, but you don’t start there! I made time to go to CrossFit and I stuck to a good nutrition plan. It wasn’t long before I lost my blobby mom body and replaced it with a physique that somehow gets compliments in the middle of the grocery store.

I am in better shape now at 49 years old than I have ever been in all my athletic endeavors. I can’t even tell you how nice it is to not worry about how I look in photos, even in a swimsuit. And I love knowing that I can keep up with my athletic 17, 21, and 23-year-old girls even though I’m about to hit 50. I was right in thinking that my children would follow in my footsteps. Thank goodness those steps are on a good path that I am proud of them following. Together, we live healthier, athletic lives and I know that I am providing a solid example of how things can go as you age.

Motivation & Passion

My physical and mental transformation was obvious to those around me and people wanted to know how I did it.  I slowly began to realize how common my sad story is.  There are people everywhere who are unhappy with their current circumstance and can’t get the traction to change it.  I found myself wanting to help and found great satisfaction and enjoyment in participating in someone else’s transformation journey.  So I went all in and decided to make helping others my job.

I set out to learn more. I completed several CrossFit courses so that I could effectively train people in functional fitness. Next, I got certified in nutrition so that I could train people to eat well because you just can’t outrun a fork. Finally, I became a mental toughness trainer to help people become unstoppable in their efforts to accomplish their dreams.

I started working one on one with people and loved it. All the while, I regularly trained and coached at Spartan CrossFit. When the opportunity presented itself to take over operations at Spartan CrossFit, I jumped at it. I love Spartan CrossFit and want to share its effectiveness and fun with others. Although I'm a competitive athlete myself, I'm actually not as interested in helping fit people become even fitter. My true passion is helping people out of their rut and onto a path of a healthy and fit lifestyle. I work hard daily to make it a place that other people love and value because it is helping them become the best version of themselves.

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