Michael Cazayoux

Brute Strength

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)