CREAM OF THE CROP
BRUTE STRENGTH TEAM

Matt Bruce
Head Olympic Weightlifting Coach and Co-Founder of Brute Strength
Masters in Sports Management - LSU
Crossfit Weightlifting Level 1 and 2 instructor
7-Time World Team Member
Olympic Weightlifting National Champion
Baton Rouge, LA

Matt Bruce, co-founder of Brute, is an Olympic Weightlifting National Champion and a member of multiple Junior and Senior World Teams. He’s been coaching athletes to gain explosive strength, power and force velocity development since 2006.

Bruce has been led by one of the best in the weightlifting industry, Gayle Hatch. Hatch’s system is used for many top college programs nationwide, including Alabama, LSU, Florida, Ole Miss and Florida State, as well as NFL teams including NY Giants and Buffalo Bills.

You’re the co-founder of Brute, how did it all start?

I was introduced to Michael Cazayoux in 2012 while I was still competing in the sport of weightlifting. At the time, he had just won the Affiliate Cup at the CrossFit Games and he would train at my gym in Baton Rouge when visiting family.

We became close friends and in 2013 decided we could do something to make an impact on people’s training with online programming. We felt that the combination of Olympic Weightlifting and CrossFit would be an ideal mix. We started programming locally for a few regional level individuals and teams and within a year we spread to the national level.

What motivates you?

I’m very internally motivated. If I start something and believe in it, I’ll follow through to the end and do all that is necessary to succeed.

Tell us about what it was like to train under Gayle Hatch, one of the most legendary weightlifting coaches out there.

Training under Coach Gayle Hatch has made a huge impact on my life. Coach Hatch is big on discipline and mental preparation. He trained us like a military squad preparing for battle. Everything was “Yes sir,” “No sir” and “What’s next.” He never allowed music at the gym and carried a sort of “staff” to keep us under control.

The discipline of his coaching style provided me with a series of life lessons that have carried over to my marriage, workplace and overall daily interactions.

I hear you could easily have a second career as a New Orleans tour guide?

Born and raised in New Orleans, I’ve grown a true love for my city and I love showing it off to those who haven’t experienced its unique culture. I was one of the few kids that paid attention in my 8th grade Louisiana History class and I really latched on to the culture and history of the whole state.

I hear you’re an LSU fan?

Not many people in the state of Louisiana are not LSU fans. I graduated from LSU with both my Bachelors and Masters Degrees and also live in Baton Rouge. I guess you can say I drank the Kool-Aid, but I also don’t want to be the only person in Baton Rouge who isn’t a fan.

Train with Matt Bruce by joining Brute OLY.

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Michael Cazayoux
Co-founder of Brute Strength
BS in Psychology- Utah Honors College
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
USA Weightlifting (USAW) coach
CrossFit Level One Trainer
Certified in CrossFit Coaches Prep, CrossFit Weightlifting 1 and 2, Fascial Stretch Therapy, and Functional Movement Systems (FMS)
CrossFit Affiliate World Cup Champion in 2012 and 2013 with his team the “HacksPack”
Austin, TX

Michael Cazayoux, co-founder of Brute, specializes in helping his clients “get out of their own way” by identifying self-limiting beliefs and ineffective behaviors.

In fact, the back-to-back CrossFit World Cup Champion is no stranger to this unique process of self-examination. At the impressionable age of 17, Cazayoux confronted his own limiting beliefs and ineffective behaviors head on, attending drug rehabilitation to overcome his addiction to opiates. It’s this experience that inspired a love of health and fitness on a personal level, which later translated into a passion for coaching and mentoring inside and out of the gym.

Beyond developing Brute, the young entrepreneur is most proud of his marriage to Adee Cazayoux, his partner in love, life and fitness. Together the two gym-fanatics live in Austin, Texas where Michael also contributes to Adee’s online nutrition company, Working Against Gravity. In his free time, Cazayoux enjoys backpacking, snowboarding, woodworking, bow shooting, hunting and creating enormous value in people’s lives — especially his closest family and friends.

You’re the co-founder of Brute, how did it all start?

Brute started completely by accident. Matt Bruce, co-founder of Brute, asked me if I wanted to work with him to do some one-on-one programming for a few CrossFit athletes when I was a strength and conditioning coach at LSU. In between training student athletes, I would go in the small office they had for us and put together programs for CrossFit athletes. I’d create the general outline of the program and then tell Matt where to put the weightlifting.

In 2014, I moved back to Utah and we decided to bring our small operation to a larger scale/platform. We teamed up with an old teammate of mine, Tommy Hackenbruck, who owned a gym I competed for, Ute Crossfit.

One day Matt Bruce had the clever idea of combining Ute Crossfit with his name and Brute was born.

What motivates you?

  1. Since being exposed to therapy and the field of psychology as a teenager, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with conquering my own mind. I’ve used what I’ve learned to overcome drug addiction, to win the Crossfit Games on a team twice, to build a company with 1,500 athletes and 20 employees, and to get and keep the girl of my dreams. I experienced significant depression and anxiety throughout my life, and I’ve also had significant success as well. I think this gives me a unique ability to connect with people on any level and help them see the best in themselves. Like all humans I’m trying to make meaning out of my life, and helping people break through their own mental and emotional barriers does that for me.
  2.  I have adopted a relentless pursuit of growth in every area of life. I believe that this will keep me happy, fulfilled, and passionate about my life. I’m motivated to push myself outside my comfort zone in my career, my health, my relationships, etc. This keeps me engaged with every part of myself and those around me. This is also something that I try to pass on to everyone in my life both personally and professionally. I believe that how you do anything is how you do everything.
  3.  To make an impact. It’s what makes life worth living.

What do you love most about hosting the Brute Strength Podcast?

I love the opportunity to have deep discussions with people that I can genuinely learn from. The podcast gives me a platform that’s valuable to me, the guest and the listeners alike.

How has your experience as a recovering addict impacted your current career path?

In recovery I learned a lot about navigating my own mind and influencing my behavior. These methods helped me become the person I am today and have instilled the mindset necessary to reach the level of success I’ve obtained. I have every intention to help others do the same, whether it’s my staff, clients or followers.

What was it like winning the CrossFit Games (twice)? What did your training schedule look like leading up to that?

Winning the Games was the most exciting experience of my life.

With that being said, the actual winning of the competition was far from the most fulfilling part. Training day in and day out with my team is really what made the experience. They taught me a new level of commitment that’s transferred to my relationships and my career. They also taught me a lot about collaboration, focus, overcoming adversity and so much more. The experience of winning the CrossFit Games gave me so much more than a medal.

Learn more about Michael here:

Brute Strength Podcast

Becoming Brute: Cazayoux on Fear, Addiction and Finding Purpose

Letter to My Younger Self (Morning Chalk up)

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Adrian Conway
Head Coach for Games Prep, Compete, and Masters Athletes
CFHQ Seminar Staff,
CrossFit Level 3 Certification,
3x Affiliate Cup Champion at CrossFit Games,
21st Fittest Man In The World - 2015 CrossFit Games,
Bachelor of Science in Human Performance
Salt Lake City, UT

Adrian Conway has always been self-driven to succeed. His early passion for training and dedication to team sports brought him all the way to college football, where he was a running back at Weber State University. In 2008, Conway’s focus on athletic training became a full-time job, and he took on a variety of athletes from 9-year-old tennis stars to those at the collegiate level. In 2013, Conway was hired as a member of the CrossFit HQ L1 training staff and began traveling to different training sites to spread his knowledge and help develop coaches nationwide.

What’s the origin of your nickname, AC Smooth?

I’m not sure the exact origin, but it was from a group of girls in the 7th grade. I guess I was just a smooth 13-year-old.

So we hear you’re tied for the most Games Team victories, how did you become “that” man?

It definitely helped to play team sports growing up, plus understanding human dynamics. Training hard is really important, so I guess you could say being fit is important too.

Mostly, I’m blessed to have fit friends who have always inspired me to be a better version of myself, and somehow, we ended up capitalizing on our time competing together.

What’s the difference in training and experience between competing in the CrossFit Games as an individual and as a team?

Everything.

On a team, you’re there as a family. You rely on each other. You spend a whole year of training in that same way, and you build memories and experiences.

As an individual, it’s a sort of sweet glory qualifying for the Games. That feeling of knowing you are about to compete against the other 39 fittest men in the world cannot be replaced. It pushes you to see what you’re made of. However, training as an individual can be lonely, and the memories don’t stick quite the same. It’s a different experience when you have those other people to relate to what you’re going through. As an individual, you genuinely have to love that side of the competition. It’s not about ability, but patience and a love for the process.

What motivates you?

Nothing.

When things motivate me, that’s short-lived. I’ve never thrived on motivation; instead I make sure I love what I do. It makes me passionate about the things I pursue, and I find that’s the only reason I’m successful when I do them. Some people need to search for motivation. I’ve never needed it.

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Nick Sorrel
Head of Gymnastics
Doctor of Medicine - LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans
Otorhinolaryngology Physician in Training - University of Texas at Houston
Board Certified Diplomate American Board Otorhinolaryngology
CrossFit Level One Certification
CrossFit Regionals South Central Region Individual Competitor 2012
New Iberia, Louisiana

Dr. Nick Sorrel started gymnastics at a young age and trained year round for competitions until his junior year of high school. Sorrel’s passion for gymnastics followed him from high school to college where he coached at several gyms.

He discovered CrossFit in 2011 and immediately applied his competitive attitude from his years spent training as a gymnast. In Sorrel’s first year entering the CrossFit Open, he placed 20th in the South Central Region and made it to Regionals in 2012. If you want to learn how to improve your swing, pull-up or handstand walk, he’s your guy.

Oh, and he has a “side gig” as an ear, nose and throat surgeon — so he can help you in that department too.

I hear you draw some of the best gymnastics stick figures in the game. How did this skill develop?

Seeing the world in stick figures is kind of a burden, but it makes you really get to know a person, rather than be superficial and judge based on appearances — and it makes me a damn good coach, too. But really… I don’t know how it developed. I just look at a lot of videos and pay attention to the way bodies move and then use sticks and circles to recreate that. POOF… magic.

What motivates you?

Accomplishment and growth.

Apparently when you’re not coaching you’re looking up nostrils and down throats. How does being an ENT doctor work in with your coaching?

I get anxious when I sit still, so being a physician helps to channel that energy and makes me more analytical. It also makes me more attuned to the concept of developing skills within myself that may be valuable to the wellbeing of others.

My job, in both arenas, is to use my ability to empower my patients and athletes with tools and knowledge that can help them identify and achieve their personal goals — and my personal goal is to be damn good at that.

What’s your favorite part about coaching gymnastics?

Two things equally: the opportunity to create something new and the people.

  1. The opportunity to create something new. Fitness gymnastics is such a new sport and I have the opportunity to carve out thoughts and ideas that are completely new — it’s exciting.
  2. The people. There’s so much power in the shared human experience. To get the opportunity to be in the company of like-minded people all pursuing an excellence in life is awesome. Not only does it make me happy, but it makes me better.

Anything else?

I love spaghetti.

Learn more about Dr. Nick Sorrel here:

Brute Strength Podcast: PRing Your Muscle Ups

Brute Strength Podcast: Gymnastics Program 101

 

Train with Nick by joining Brute Gymnastics.

 

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Nick Fowler
Director of Strength and Conditioning at Brute Strength
13+ Years of experience

Director of Strength and Conditioning

Nick Fowler is a leading coach in the fitness industry, he’s been coaching athletes since 2003.

Nick has a very athletic background and a love for sports and outdoors. He’s played lacrosse and football at the college level, he’s a premier rock climber, ice climber, and alpinist who has established first ascents around the world. Nick holds multiple speed records for climbing El Capitan, and is currently working toward his 100th ascent of the wall.

Nick has applied training from many disciplines to improve his own performance. With the introduction of Crossfit in 2006, Nick specialized in coaching individual athletes and small teams. He has deep knowledge of multiple methodologies and a passion for developing a systems-level view for athlete development. He has applied his systematic approaches to World Cup skiers, professional mountain bikers, runners and climbers. His is best known for his experience coaching elite level Crossfit competitors, Wasatch Brutes (Crossfit Affiliate champions 2017), Jacob Heppner, Brooke Ence, Kara Webb, Jared Stevens and Haley Adams to name a few.

Nick specializes in an interdisciplinary approach to programming and athlete training for long-term performance gains. He blends physical, psychological, and physiological aspects of training in his strength and conditioning programs. He brings a wealth of knowledge to bear. Nick is a sought after speaker – his comprehensive athlete camps bridge multiple disciplines and perspectives necessary for improving human athletic performance.

Learn more about Nick Fowler

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Dr. Sean Pastuch
Director of Injury Management
Co-Founder and Owner of Active Life
Doctor of Chiropractic - New York
Bachelors - University of Maryland
CrossFit Level One Certification
Coached over 30 CrossFit Games Athletes
USAW Level 1 Certification
Long Beach, NY

Dr. Sean specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of any dysfunction that limits athletic performance. His company, Active Life, helps Professional Athletes and CrossFit athletes from around the world, including multiple CrossFit Games Champions, with remote treatment in the form of strength and movement programming.

A former Crossfit Affiliate owner, Dr. Sean now focuses 100% of his time and energy on delivering inspiring rehab services to athletes all around the world. As a CrossFit athlete himself and of course a Brute, Dr. Sean understands the demands of your day to day and can deliver the assistance from a place a typical chiropractor or physical therapist may not understand. He develops the Performance Care Segments (recovery pieces) for Brute programs and ensures all of the reps and cycle rates in a program are well balanced.

In addition, Dr. Sean assists in managing mindset for Brute athletes around their aches and pains. If you are hurting, hit a plateau, or moving poorly, Dr. Sean wants to help.

You turned down a 7 figure/year offer for a career in finance to open Active Life, why?

I wanted a career that I could be excited to wake up for; something that I really looked forward to every day. I didn’t want to stay in an unfulfilling industry just for financial security.

I get that following the path to open Active Life is a longer one and probably a lot harder, but making money alone is not progress toward a worthy goal. I need to have a passion for what I’m doing, and I found that in Active Life.

How soon after dating your wife did you know you were going to marry her?

I knew a week after dating my wife that I was going to marry her – I even told my grandma.

What is one of your favorite sports memories?

​​In hindsight, losing my last college playoff game in baseball​. I was pitching, and I could have finished the game, but I didn’t. The guy(s) who came in after me ended up losing an eight-run lead and I haven’t pitched since because I got cut from the team.

It taught me that if I want something I need to not only start it but also to finish it. It stings, but it’s a valuable lesson. My happy favorite? Riding the goal posts down after the University of Maryland clinched the ACC football title in 2001/2002 season.

What motivates you?

I’m afraid of dying. I have work to do here before I go and I don’t know when I’m going to go.

What’s your favorite part of helping athletes with injury prevention and recovery?

​Teaching them that they don’t have to become their condition and that they don’t have to do something completely uninspiring (physical therapy appointments and quitting their dreams) to get what they want out of their body​.

 

 

 

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Brandon Poulter
Director of Olympic Lifting Programming
Ace Personal Trainer Certification,
USAW Level One Certification
Baton Rouge, LA

By age 13, Brandon Poulter had defeated, killed and cooked a 13-foot alligator with his bare hands (true story). Logically, this skillset and Poulter’s love for fitness made personal training the perfect career path to follow. Poulter is now Director of Programming for Olympic Lifting and in his experience has coached Junior Olympic champions, USAW national medalists, CrossFit Games competitors and Division 1 athletes.

*Disclaimer: Clients will not be expected to wrestle alligators as a part of their training. At least not yet.

What made you want to study kinesiology?

I wanted to study kinesiology to learn more about human movement. We all possess the capability to move in so many ways, and I’m interested in how to improve those movements. Whether it’s lifting, CrossFit, getting a cup out of a cabinet or climbing a mountain, I believe better quality of movement equates to a better quality of life.

What’s the worst worst dare you’ve ever done?  

One time I ate a ghost pepper and couldn’t get a sip of water for 10 minutes. To make matters worse, I had to chew on the ghost pepper for 30 seconds. My face was swollen on one side for 10 minutes. I just can’t say no to a good bet.

How did you start coaching olympic weightlifting?

One day I’m sitting outside playing basketball and my neighbor comes up to me and asks if I’d like an internship at a gym. My immediate response is, “of course!”

So, he gives me Matt Bruce’s number and I give him a call. Matt tells me to come into his gym and I show up at this very grungy warehouse-type gym off of Government Street in Baton Rouge. When I walked in, there were 15 platforms and almost all of them were filled with someone doing olympic lifts. I was 17 at the time and the only lifting I had ever done was ¼ squats and bench press. I was instantly fascinated with the speed and precision they were performing. I wanted to learn more. Five years later and I’m coaching olympic lifting at the same gym and online for Brute Strength.

What motivates you?                                                                                                             

I’m motivated by quality of movement. When I see older folks struggling to get out of bed or my parents suffering from aches and pains I think, how can I fix that? I’ve helped a few relatives with pain by just telling them some simple stretching exercises and I’ve seen the benefits that strength training has for joint health.

I incorporate this philosophy into every program I write. I don’t just write programs with the end goal that these people will get stronger. I write programs that build structural integrity for long term health. I ensure that clients will be able to lift and maintain that healthy movement for years to come. It’s so gratifying to know that when I write programs, I’m helping someone improve their overall quality of life.

More from Brandon:

Addressing Technical Issues in the Split Jerk

Train with Brandon Poulter by joining Brute OLY.

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Derrick Stoltz
Brute Gymnastics Coach
Bachelors in Business Management - University of Louisiana at Lafayette,
USAG Region III Competitor,
USAG National Certified Judge
Lafayette, LA

Derrick Stoltz found CrossFit after needing a change from four years of living a college lifestyle. With 13 years experience in competitive gymnastics, Stoltz found that CrossFit was the wake-up call he needed. As a coach, Stoltz loves having the chance to interact with fellow athletes and watch as they grow.

You’ve been in the gymnastics world for a while. When did you first start practicing the sport?

I first started gymnastics when I was 5-years-old. My mom thought it would be a good way to stop me from flipping around on her furniture. I stuck with it competitively until I was 18-years-old.

We hear your cooking skills has you winning more than athletic competitions?

In addition to my love for fitness and coaching, I also have a love for cooking. I actually started cooking when I was around 15-years-old. For some reason, it’s kind of a stress relief for me.

Over the years, my passion for cooking has developed and taken me to local outdoor cooking competitions — and I’ve been fortunate enough to win a few! I’m known for my shrimp and grits.

What motivates you?

Like most people I surround myself with, my motivation is to constantly be developing, learning and growing as person. More so, I’m truly motivated by helping others achieve their goals. I find something very gratifying about helping someone achieve something that they didn’t know was possible.

How did you get into CrossFit?

I first got into CrossFit eight years ago. After finishing college and living the typical unhealthy lifestyle that came with it, I wanted to focus on getting my health back to its peak. I came from an athletic background that involved hours of intense training six days a week and I wanted to find something again that could give me the same challenge gymnastics did.

The first CrossFit gym had just opened in my town so I thought I’d give it a try. After a pathetic effort of trying half of a three round Metcon and the 30 minutes of blurred vision and puking, I realized CrossFit was the kick in the ass I needed. I haven’t looked back since.

CrossFit has changed my life and I’ve been working with other athletes ever since to spread my love for gymnastics throughout the fitness community.

Anything else?

I am married to my loving wife, Shelley, and we have one child — a long haired dachshund named Stanley.

Train with Derrick Stoltz by joining Brute Gymnastics.

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Matt Torres
Head One-on-One Coach
D1 College Football, Central Michigan University 2006-2011
Owner, North Naples CrossFit 2013
Bachelor of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts; Minor Journalism
CrossFit L1, L2, L3
Training Think Tank 1-on-1 Course
Naples, FL

Matt Torres, one-on-one remote head coach for the Teen Program, played football at Central Michigan University from 2006-2011 and tied in his love of sports with a broadcasting degree, thinking he would be a reporter on ESPN. However, Matt decided to change his path and took his passion straight to CrossFit, and is now paving the road to success for teen athletes.

Outside of remote coaching, he is also the owner of North Naples CrossFit in Naples, Florida, established in 2013. Matt says it’s amazing to him to see ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Fun fact: Coach Torres was a wide receiver at CMU and played with some top-notch athletes, such as Antonio Brown (Steelers), Joe Staley (49er’s), Eric Fisher (Chiefs), Frank Zombo (Chiefs), Jahleel Addae (Chargers). He’s basically famous.

We hear you like to trade your barbells for hammers on the weekends?

Haha. Yes, when I’m not in the gym, you can find me updating my home. I’m not ashamed to say that I spend more time watching HGTV than ESPN. There, I said it.

What’s your “don’t eat like an asshole” nutrition plan?

I follow an 80/20 rule. I eat real foods 80% of the time, and 20% of the time I eat what I want. I don’t skip meals and I don’t eat like an asshole more than 20% of the time.

Why is enjoying the process of reaching a goal so important to you?

I grew up playing football at a young age and through college at the highest level. I’ve always heard “enjoy the process” but I never really understood it. It wasn’t until I found CrossFit that I really saw the “process” more clear. As athletes, we spend every living second of our day to be better. We want to make it to Regionals or the Games. But, here is the kicker, no matter how good you are, it’ll never be enough for you. As humans, we’ll always want more, it’s one of our biggest flaws. To combat that feeling try to enjoy every second of training and cherish the time spent with friends and loved ones. Those little moments, both bad and good, create the short stories that build your life.

What’s your favorite recommended online resource or book?

Mastery “The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment” by George Leonard and The Champion’s Mind “How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive” by Jim Afremow.

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Todd Wise
One-on-One Coach
Owner/Operator CrossFit Currahee
3rd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo
Lululemon Ambassador
CrossFit Regional Team Athlete (2014)
CrossFit Level 1 & 2 Trainer
California

Todd Wise, one-on-one coach, has a comprehensive background in martial arts and CrossFit. In addition to being a five-year CrossFit affiliate owner, he competed in the CrossFit Regionals in 2014.

After competing in Regionals, he was inspired to train athletes, which led him to opening CrossFit Currahee. He is eager to help CrossFit athletes reach their full potential at both Currahee and Brute.

Did we mention Coach Todd also has a 3rd-degree black belt in taekwondo? So yeah– you wanna be on his good side.

What are your motivators in life?

My biggest motivator is my faith. Second, is seeing people grow or achieve something really challenging. It is almost addicting to help people tackle difficult things that are life-changing, especially in the CrossFit space. Even small things like doing a handstand can affect people in a way that is so indescribable, and that is extremely rewarding. I chase those moments.

Do you have any hobbies/projects outside of fitness?

If I’m not snowboarding or camping, then I’m working on building a school bus into a living space. I want to live a little more like a minimalist and create some travel in my life.

We heard you have some pretty cool workout gear?

I work out in VIRUS tights. People think it’s weird and exposing, but I love the compression and see no need to waist a pair of shorts and add to the laundry, no need to go over the top.

What are your pre and post workout staples?

I don’t usually eat pre, but post workout I reward my session with pom lemonade.

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Elcanah Senouvor
One-on-One Coach
B.S. Kinesiology- Louisiana State University
Opex CCP, Level 1
USA Weightlifting, sports performance coach
CrossFit, Level 1
CrossFit, Weightlifting
Baton Rouge, LA

One-on-one remote head coach, Elcanah Senouvor, was born in Côte D’Ivoire where his love of sports began at a young age. He started playing competitive soccer at the age of six and took that passion with him to the United States at age 13.

After graduating from LSU with a sports management degree and trying to figure out the next step in his life, he started personal training, which eventually led him to CrossFit. He quickly fell in love with the high-intensity atmosphere and welcoming community — so six months in, he was working toward becoming a coach.

Coach Senouvor is eager to continue developing the best athletes in the world into champions.

You moved to the United States from West Africa at the age of 13. How has that experience impacted your coaching style?

My dad worked for the UN, so we moved a lot when I was younger, which made moving here a lot easier. I was able to adapt to the culture change pretty quickly. I think my experiences growing up have allowed me to have a different approach when it comes to meeting athletes across the world. I can understand their thought process and the sacrifices they have to make to pursue their goals and passion. I love meeting people from across the globe.

What are your motivations in life?

Fulfilling my purpose. I think my purpose is to help others achieve their dreams. Athletes put their trust in us coaches to help them reach some of their biggest goals and dreams. My biggest fear is to feel like I’ve let them down, so I do my absolute best to help each and every client.

Do you have any tips on how to avoid temptation and stay on track with your nutrition and training?

Know your why. If you understand why you want to accomplish something, it makes it easier to be consistent on a day to day basis.

What’s your training mantra or favorite quote?

“Le futur a commencer,” which translates to “the future has begun.” Every day we have an opportunity to make choices that will affect our future either positively or negatively. We are in control of our destiny.

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Michaela North
Head Women’s Coach of Brute Body
CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup Champion 2017
CrossFit Level 1 Certified
Mom of Four (under the age of five)
Ogden, Utah

Michaela North started CrossFit in 2012 and became a certified trainer shortly after. North was also on the Wasatch Brute team that won the 2017 CrossFit Games. If she’s not competing, she’s most likely pregnant or just had a baby. North is mother to 4-year-old twins and a two and a half year old son and a newborn. She loves being the Head Women’s coach for Brute Body and enjoys working with and getting to know all of the women in the program.

With four kids, coaching and training, your schedule seems intense. How do you juggle it all?

I organize my time into chunks and try to not let things overlap. I have my time to train, my time to work and check emails, my time to be present and play with my kids, and time for all of the mom duties that come in between. Sure, that might mean that my house is messy at times or emails go unanswered for a bit, but it all gets done during their designated times.

My kids will always take priority though. If one of them gets sick or something comes up, I have to be okay with letting other areas go. It’s part of life as a mom. I have really learned to go with the flow as best as possible, plus, it also helps having such an amazing husband to help me juggle it all. We do it together.

Tell us about your background as an olympic weightlifter.

I placed 16th at USAW Nationals in 2016, one week prior to the South Regionals where I placed 6th. Olympic weightlifting has taken a bit of a backseat for me, as CrossFit is my primary focus now, but it’s definitely a strength of mine and something I love to do.

What sports did you play in college?

I ran track and field. I competed in the 100m hurdles (All-Conference Honors), as well as Long jump and the Heptathlon.

How were you able to recover after having twins to prepare for the Games?

A lot of time and hard work! 🙂 I set small monthly goals, as well as long term ones. I was willing to train early mornings to fit in sessions without being away very long. I also worked really hard on my weaknesses over that time. That made all the difference.

What motivates you?

I want to be the best I can be in all areas of my life, but most importantly, I want to be a positive role model to my children. I want to show them that women can be strong with passions and goals and also be loving, present mothers.

I also want to show other women that it’s okay to go after their dreams. I want to empower as many young girls and women to do just that. Having the opportunity to set that example is something I feel honored to be able to do.

Learn more about Michaela here:

Day in the Life Training for the Games

Brute Strength Podcast: Strength Training During Childbearing Years

Girls Gone WOD: Michaela North

Train with Michaela by joining Brute Body.

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Mike Davis
Head Men's Coach of Brute Body and Brute Nutrition
Marine Corps Infantry: Specialties were Anti-Tank Assaultman, Machine Gunner, Combat Marksmanship Instructor
B.S. in Fitness and Human Performance (Kinesiology),
CrossFit Level 2 Certified,
USAW P-1 Certified,
Crossfit Certification: Movement & Mobility, Gymnastics, Kettlebell, Olympic Lifting L-1
Husser, LA

Mike Davis is a U.S. Marine anti-tank missile-man and combat marksmanship instructor who grew up in Southeast Louisiana. He fell in love with CrossFit and strength training while in the Marine Corps. Mike has been coaching CrossFit and strength and conditioning since 2012 and has trained anyone from grandmas to D-1 athletes.

His accomplishments range from multiple jobs in the Marine Corps to being a CrossFit gym owner. Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology (fitness and human performance) and is currently pursuing his master’s in exercise philosophy. Aside from helping others in the gym and in life, he’s passionate about his faith and his family.

Tell us about your background in the military?

In August of 2009, I joined the Marine Corps and attended boot camp at MCRD in San Diego, and Camp Pendleton in California. From that point, I attended numerous schools and training and am most proud of completing my service with an honorable discharge. I had some of the best times, and worst times in the Marine Corps, but it has molded me into the man I am today!

With your love for learning, what are some of your favorite resources for education?

Books, books, and more books in addition to any article that holds credible value. I love scientific journals, and any literature pertaining to physiology, biochemistry or nutrition. I think all of the Eastern European training methodologies are a good place to start when looking at weightlifting. So yeah, books and scientific journals are my go-tos! When it comes to learning, I believe that I’ll never know it all, so that essentially pushes me to keep studying every day.

What’s your favorite part about coaching?

My favorite part about being a coach is watching an athlete progress mind, body and soul throughout a program. The sense of reward is awesome!  

What motivates you?

Helping people! Realistically, to be the best husband, dad and person I can be within that present day. Spiritual, mental and physical variables are all interrelated and make us the people we are.

So what’s this Pump Shack we hear about?

The Pump Shack is truly a work of art and superb workout facility! HA. So when my family and I moved to my grandparents’ farm out here in Husser, LA, I had no place to train. I walked into my Maw Maw’s shed/storage area by the dairy barn (which had a dirt floor at the time), measured it out and thought, “This will be perfect for a rack and some weights!” So I built a platform within the shack, made my Rogue rack, threw some rings around the sycamore tree outside, and built an outdoor Olympic-lifting platform.

Hence, the Pump Shack was created. I made the space just for the wife and me, but subsequently, people saw me posting online about it and wanted me to train them. That’s the Pump Shack. It’s a double entendre. Not only does it have a water pump, but you get pumped? Get it?

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