CREAM OF THE CROP
BRUTE STRENGTH TEAM
Click to read more about each of our coaches.
Crossfit Weightlifting Level 1 and 2 instructor
7-Time World Team Member
Olympic Weightlifting National Champion
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.
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”
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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
I love spaghetti.
Learn more about Dr. Nick Sorrel here:
Train with Nick by joining Brute Gymnastics.
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
Doctor of Chiropractic - New York
Bachelors - University of Maryland
CrossFit Level One Certification
Coached over 30 CrossFit Games Athletes
USAW Level 1 Certification
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.
USAG Region III Competitor,
USAG National Certified Judge
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.
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.
Owner, North Naples CrossFit 2013
Bachelor of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts; Minor Journalism
CrossFit L1, L2, L3
Training Think Tank 1-on-1 Course
Matt Torres, a one-on-one remote head coach has helped several athletes reach their goals of making it to the CrossFit Games (eight to be exact, and counting…). Amongst the list of his athletes that made it to the CF Games are Jason Carroll (12th in the 2019 CF Open), Dallin Pepper (2018 Fittest Teen 16-17), and Tudor Magda (2018 Fittest Teen 14-15). Matt 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.
Opex CCP, Level 1
USA Weightlifting, sports performance coach
CrossFit, Level 1
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.
Crossfit Level 1 trainer
Crossfit South Central Regionals Team - 2018
Crossfit Sanctionals Lowlands Throwdown -2019
Tell us a little about you?
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, I moved to Texas when I was 10, so southern born and raised baby! I have always been an active person and played football at Colorado State University. I’m a firm believer in setting high standards for myself and others in order to scratch the surface on one’s potential.
“If you’re not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.”
How did I get into CrossFit?
After College Football ended I always had a plan to enlist in the military. I was never able to obtain a medical waiver after 5 years of going down every possible avenue and felt lost. During buds preparation, I stumbled across CrossFit looking for ways to increase the amount of pull-ups I could do. When my military dream died, I was looking for something to fill that void. I bought a Groupon for a 10-class pack and showed up to my first class on Friday of Open Workout 14.2, ascending OHS/C2B. I think I made it to the 9 min window and couldn’t feel my arms or lungs. I loved it.
*Note I do not recommend going full RX on your first day of class in the middle of the Open 🙂 Let this group of amazing coaches progress and push you.
What motivates you?
Motivation is a short term feeling. Dedication is what creates change or results over time. If you are searching for motivation to reach some lofty goal or outcome, you won’t ever reach what you desire.
You have to want something so bad, that you obsess over it. You won’t need the motivation to get up every day and work for it because you are dedicated to your craft.
Favorite junk food?
Bacon Cheese Burger, Fries and a Barq’s Root Beer
B.S. in Fitness and Human Performance
M.S. (Exercise Science)
Ph.D. student LSU (Exercise Physiology)
CrossFit Level 2 Certified
USAW P-1 Certified
Crossfit Certification: Movement & Mobility, Gymnastics, Kettlebell, Olympic Lifting L-1
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?
BS in Exercise Science - Florida Gulf Coast University
MBA - University of Florida
Domenic D’Agostino has pursued his passion for fitness since graduating high school in 2010. To him, the best way to juggle it all is to have an established “why” as a constant reminder to make it fun and never let it feel like a chore. He truly believes that the ability to make a living as a coach training in fitness is the best job in the world and has coached in the CrossFit community for six years.
Outside of training, you can catch Domenic binge-watching his favorite TV shows, like HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” or hitting up his go-to macro-friendly restaurant, Chipotle.
What is your favorite quote or training mantra?
“Who you are on the competition floor is a direct reflection of who you are in practice; no more and no less.”
What type of nutrition plan do you follow?
I eat high-quality food with lenient macro tracking (and a Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwich here and there).
What are your tips for avoiding temptations and staying on track with your nutrition and training?
I keep only quality food inside my house. It’s harder to give into temptation if it’s not here.
What is a snack that you always carry in your gym bag?
A Grab the Gold bar!
Favorite lift/event/area of focus?
Snatch and ring muscle-up.
Switzerland CrossFit Games Individual Coach
Head Provincial Coach of Richmond Hill Aquatic Club
12 years+ swim coaching experience
- Multiple club record holder for Richmond Hill Aquatic Club
- Serbian National Record Holder
- Eastern Canada Championship Medalist in the 200m Breaststroke
- Ontario Provincial Champion in both the 100m and 200m Breaststroke
- Finalist in the 2016 Olympic Trials in the 200m Breaststroke
Born and raised a Hoosier in a very small lake town, Lauren is a lover of minimal traffic, non-chain restaurants and beautiful bodies of water like that of Lake Wawasee which sits right next to hundreds of acres of cornfields. Lauren found herself at a very young age throwing away the wedgie prone leotard and becoming a “tom-boy”. When she was not playing on the water or football with the boys, she was falling in love with every competitive sport she could get her hands on.
Lauren’s passion for mental performance coaching can be traced back to her pre-professional days, as she was the athlete with way too much energy at any given moment who would give off an intense positive energy that would motivate both teams. After hanging up both her collegiate soccer cleats and basketball shoes, Lauren began her journey of coaching athletes at all levels and found that there was much more to the process than just bettering one’s physical nature in sport. The rest is history!
We hear you have enough energy for an entire room of people?
It is true and honestly probably more than your typical room. I truly do not need an ounce of coffee, pre-train or caffeine. I have always had an abundant amount of energy which is why I love spending time getting creative on how to individually help others develop and possess the correct energy that will push them towards crushing their goals in life!
What motivates you?
I have never been a big fan of the word “motivation” as motivation has a tendency to get watered down or just completely dissipate. It is pretty black and white; you have to truly be passionate about what you do. You have to feel it deep down in your soul, in a way that you cannot put it into words. You have to know that no matter how hard things may get, you will be better for it. Seek passion, not motivation.
How has adversity been one of the main reasons why you became a coach and continue to pursue this passion?
Let’s just say I once had a very tight-knit relationship with depression and alcohol, as I lost my father to alcoholism at 21 and then was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and passed around the medical system when I was 24. Thankfully, I found myself at a local CrossFit Gym, Broad Ripple Fit Club in 2016 and have never looked back. Even though adversity can be a handful, it is the world’s best teacher. Once you dig deep and decide to fight, you will come out on the other side and your outlook on yourself and your life is completely different. It is very refreshing.
I hear you are an author?
Well, my first book is in the works! One day I woke up and could not stop writing and within 24 hours, the book had written itself. Now it is time to find a solid editor and finish the process!
What is one of the best parts of being a coach that focuses on mental performance?
The moment when an athlete internally is able to process that they have had what they are looking for within themselves the entire time. It is beautiful and very rewarding.
We heard you love all things barbell?
There is something about lifting heavy shit that just makes me feel alive!
NCAA Div. I Soccer ’10-’14
Crossfit Level 2 Trainer, Mentored by Nick Fowler
Coach at Massif Athletics, SLC, UT
Michelle has had an extreme passion for sport and movement since she was very young. Growing up she dabbled in every sport under the sun until narrowing her focus to soccer and track and field in high school. She continued on to play Div. I soccer at Saint Mary’s College of California, where she earned her degree in Kinesiology, Sport Management. Her real passion for health and fitness began in her college years where she experienced firsthand the positive effects it had on her performance on the field. She came across Crossfit in 2013 and was immediately hooked. She became “that girl” getting weird looks from other gym-goers as she would do CF-style wods at the “globo” gym. while everyone else was sitting around pumping iron or running on the treadmill for hours on end.
Michelle has a number of years of coaching under her belt in different disciplines as she started off coaching soccer at the youth, high school and collegiate levels. Her passion for guiding others soon shifted to the Crossfit realm where she started coaching in 2015. Hungry to learn as much as possible about how to effectively train others, she dove head first into learning CF methodology and other ways to best develop athletes. A few years down the road, this brought her to Utah where she eventually spent several months being mentored by Nick Fowler before being hired as a Brute Strength 1-on-1 coach.
Along with helping others improve their performance in multiple athletic disciplines, Michelle loves to compete in Crossfit and continues to strive to be the best athlete she can be. She believes this is a great way to stay connected to what her athletes go through with their training and it continues to give her insight on how to better help them achieve their goals.
We hear your nickname in college was DJ MichMich?
– Yup! Whether is was pre-game, pre- practice, or just hanging out in the locker room, I could be found bumping the best tunes to hype up my teammates or just relax to. So much so that they gave me the nickname DJ MichMich. I love all kinds of music, but can most frequently be found training to EDM.
What motivates you?
-The fact that I set goals for myself is what really motivates me. In my mind it sets certain habits that are “non-negotiables” day to day. By that I mean there are certain actions I know I must take each day to achieve my goals, and to be the kind of person I want to be I have to do those things regardless of if I feel like doing them or not in the moment.
What are some of your favorite reads?
I grew up with a loving to read! My favorite series without a doubt is Harry Potter but at this point in my life I’m usually reading more to learn and become a better coach. A couple of my recent favorites are “Atomic Habits by James Clear and “SuperHuman” by Rowan Hooper
What’s one piece of advice that has helped you in achieving your goals?
Blaze your own trail. People often don’t think something can be done because they haven’t seen someone in their exact circumstances do what they hope to do or achieve. You can be the first. It probably wont be easy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.