Matt was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and was very active in his adolescence playing baseball and Taekwondo. Growing up Matt enjoyed jumping on his grandma’s trampoline and one day decided he wanted to perform a backflip on the ground.
Thankfully he didn’t break his neck and before he knew it, he was flipping all over the yard and his parents took notice and enrolled him in Gymnastics.
On the first day of gymnastics class at age 11, he felt he finally found his athletic calling until the end of class when he farted while walking on his hands and all the girls in the class proceeded to laugh uncontrollably. This event single handedly ended his gymnastics career the same day it started and he never returned to the mat.
At the age of 13, Matt and his family moved to Baton Rouge to attend school at Catholic High School. During his eighth grade year, Matt began lifting weights under legendary Weightlifting Coach, Gayle Hatch, inventor of the Hatch Squat Cycle, in order to get bigger and stronger for freshman football the following year.
Soon after, Matt fell in love with weightlifting, and throughout the course of his 17-year career, he became one of the most decorated Olympic weightlifting athletes in the country, making seven World Teams and an alternate on both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic teams.
While still competing in 2011, Matt met Mike Cazayoux (2012, 2013 CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup Champion) and they became great friends. After the 2013 CrossFit Games, Matt and Mike decided to bring their expertise together of a mix of Olympic Weightlifting and CrossFit and provide programming to local athletes in the area.
Within a year, Brute Strength was formed and spread to the National level. Brute then recruited other coaches from all the other disciplines of CrossFit such as gymnastics, endurance and mobility to form a super team of coaches in order to provide programming with input from their each expertise.
Whether you’re a CrossFitter looking to refine your technique and build strength in the olympic lifts, or you’re gung-ho about slamming bars on the platform, there are several different ways you can work with the champ.
The first step is to determine where your weaknesses lie, and if weightlifting is a gaping hole in your game.
We’ve got our handy Brute Strength Calculator that will quickly give you a detailed analysis of your strengths and weaknesses and a strength accessory program you can add to your training to turn those weaknesses into strengths.
If you’re REALLY serious about making the snatch and clean and jerk second nature, check out Brute OLY. It can easily be supplemented into your training and with one of the best American weightlifters in your corner, it’d be hard not to throw around the big boy weights.