• Case Study: Ryan Sowder

    Meet Ryan Sowder.

    He competed in the 2019 CrossFit Games as an individual competitor after not working out for 8 months following his return from basic training in the Army.

    Before competing in the CrossFit Games, Ryan was your everyday military man who enjoyed working out “for time.”

    Eventually, he believed that he could turn this sport into something more than just a hobby and sought out a professional coach to help him realize his potential.

    Enter El Senouvor, a Tier 2 Coach here at Brute Strength with an impressive collection of athletes including 2017, & 2019 Fittest Teen on Earth, Chloe Smith.

    No stranger to building champions, El decided to plan for the long term and put Ryan through a 6 week introductory cycle to assess his abilities and prepare his body for the training ahead.

    “He was more worried about mindset, character and the intent rather than qualifying for the Games. It’s like he knew that if I took care of the small things, the big things would take care of themselves. El is the reason I qualified for the CrossFit Games!”

    After the 6 week cycle, Ryan performed 2 weeks of testing to establish what his biggest priorities were in order to not just perform well in the CrossFit Open, but realize his dream of becoming a CrossFit Games Individual Competitor.


    Let’s break it down:

    Who? Ryan Sowder


    1. Poor Olympic Weightlifting technique
    2. Weak vertical pressing strength (handstand push-ups were his kryptonite)
    3. Mediocre aerobic power output
    4. Gymnastics Skills were at the level of a competitive 5th grader.


    1. Focused skill work for the Snatch and Clean with an emphasis on 3rd pull mechanics.
    • Muscle snatches and muscle cleans were performed as warm-up primers, and technique work was trained at 70-80% working on pulling from different positions.
    1. Vertical pushing strength
    • Strict barbell press, single arm presses using drop sets & linear progressions
    1. Strict HSPU’s volume and density
    • Intervals and emoms building volume each week while increasing work within various time frames
    1. Aerobic Power Work
    • 30 on 30 off intervals and 500m row repeats
    1. Gymnastics Skills
    • EMOMs and skill based intervals

    Did it work? You betcha. Ryan qualified for the CrossFit Games in 2019 and is training hard to make his return trip for 2021.

    “My training on a day to day basis is very diverse so that I am prepared for any physical task thrown at me. “


    His benchmark testing results after working with El are as follows:

    • 2K Row Test
      • Before: 6:51
      • After: 6:28
    • 1RM Front Squat Test
      • Before: 375 lbs.
      • After: 425 lbs.
    • 1 Mile Run Test
      • Before: 5:57
      • After: 5:19
    • 1RM Strict Press Test
      • Before: 190 lbs.
      • After: 205 lbs.
    • Max Ring Muscle-Up Test
      • Before: 14
      • After: 19
    • 1RM Back Squat Test
      • Before: 445 lbs.
      • After: 500 lbs.
    • 1RM Power Clean Test
      • Before: 315 lbs.
      • After: 330 lbs.
    • 1RM Deadlift Test
      • Before: 525 lbs.
      • After: 600 lbs.
    • 1RM Snatch Test
      • Before: 240 lbs.
      • After: 270 lbs.
    • 1RM Overhead Squat Test
      • Before: 285 lbs.
      • After: 325 lbs.

    Click the Image for the exact 4  week training template El used to to peak Ryan for the 2019 CrossFit Games

    “Training volume has increased significantly. In my coaches words “I’m going to try to Kill you then let you recover, kill you then let you recover.” We are doing a lot of aerobic work and focusing on quality sleep and diet so I can maintain a high training volume.”

    How Brute 1-on-1 Coaching Helped

    One of the most important problems many aspiring competitors face is training on a one size fits all program. They believe they have to do EVERYTHING all the time because they simply don’t know what they need or how they should train. In reality, this leads to burnout and a broken body.

    Ryan decided to train smarter rather than harder. He decided to seek out a professional coach who could pinpoint exactly where he was lacking and focus the majority of his training on bringing up those weaknesses.

    El helped Ryan achieve his goal of becoming an Individual Games Competitor by doing exactly that – running a thorough assessment and prescribing him only what he NEEDS. Do you think Dmitry Klokov would need to spend an hour and a half per day strength training if he wanted to qualify for the CrossFit Games? Think again.

    You have to train smarter if you want to be at the top. Are you ready to take your training seriously?

    Check out the EXACT 4-Week Training Template El designed for Ryan leading into the 2019 CrossFit Games.

    It will give you some great insight into how our coaches design individualized programs to help their athletes achieve their personal goals.


    With the 2021 CrossFit Games season underway, Dallin Pepper is off to a hot start!

    He is joined by the Buttery Bros in Salt Lake City, Utah at Xcel Performance Gym as they kick off the first of 3 exciting events in the Open.

    Check out the video below for some behind the scenes action from Dallin’s knockout performance in 21.1.

    Want to train like Dallin?

    Unfortunately, that’s impossible…Because his program is completely tailored to his needs.

    Dallin works day in and day out with his Brute 1-on-1 Coach, Matt Torres on everything from Recovery and Nutrition to ironing out his weaknesses in the gym.

    If you want to compete at the highest level, you need a schedule and a game plan that works for you.

    Our coaches are equipped to provide that for you.

    Click here to fill out a free assessment and schedule a call with one of them.

  • Improving the Front Squat with Coach Conway

    We all know how important of a role the Front Squat plays in functional fitness.

    However, we see it all the time, sloppy torso positioning, unstable midline, and a rounded spine.

    Not only is this a recipe for injury, but you’re throwing away a valuable opportunity to develop midline stability and strength that will translate into other lifts such as the barbell thruster, clean and the split jerk.

    Check out the video below where Coach Adrian takes you through his approach to building up a heavy front squat without compromising his positioning. You may be surprised at how well some of these simple tips and drills translate into heavier weights on the bar.

    Try Brute Compete FREE for 7 Days to see how you can become stronger, faster AND more technically proficient under a barbell without having to sacrifice your conditioning.

  • How to Improve Your Jerk! #OPENREADY

    A common error many CrossFit athletes make is not practicing the skill of the split jerk.

    Whether you’re brand new to the sport, or you’re more experienced, don’t make the mistake of overlooking the value of developing proficiency in this high skill movement. It could cost you some serious pounds on your 1 rep max.

    This can very easily be added into your warm-up before loading up the barbell allowing you to accumulate some easy practice reps.

    Check out the video below to follow along Coach Adrian as he preps for a heavy session of split jerks, giving you some great warm-up tips along the way.

    Try Brute Compete FREE for 7 Days to see how you can become stronger, faster AND more technically proficient under a barbell without having to sacrifice your conditioning.

  • Get to Know the Brutes – Nick Fowler

    Born in Nicaragua, Nick spent time growing up in Argentina as a child then moved to Miami at a pretty young age. His fitness journey started personally as an elite level climber setting numerous world records on the mountain face of “El Cap”.

    Nick became frustrated with his own fitness as a climber as he was starting to come up against physical limitations. He started studying and doing personal research from the likes of Charles Poliquin and was truly intrigued about the body’s ability to adapt to stress.

    Nick found CrossFit through a friend that challenged him to do Cindy ( 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats for as many rounds possible (AMRAP) in 20 minutes).  As an avid climber in what he felt was “great shape”, he figured this would be a cake walk.

    20 minutes and many strict pull ups later, he wound up laying on the floor questioning his life. He realized that although he was good at each of those individual movements, he was not ready for the intensity.

    Nick started following workouts 2-3 days/week and incorporating that into his normal training. He began to use what he learned and trained individuals and teams for military specific training, firefighting, skiing, outdoor activities, and other training professions.

    He used these methodologies together to create comprehensive plans and progressions to make skilled professionals better and knew he could adapt many of these same protocols for CrossFit athletes.

    Nick understood that high intensity training is good, but began questioning whether it was the most effective approach for truly building skill, strength and capacity.

    He then started coaching a small group out of his garage gym and began to realize that one general program can not necessarily fit all the needs of the individuals and their goals.  That is what attached Nick to Brute Strength because we are a collaboration of expert coaches all working together to address needs of individual athletes.

    2 of Nick’s biggest accomplishments is having over 30 athletes compete in the CrossFit Games including the Wasacth Brutes defeating CrossFit Mayhem for the 2017 CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup Championships.

    Nick doesn’t just limit himself to coaching elite athletes though. At least half of the athletes he coaches have no desire to be a professional athlete. These are athletes with goals and aspirations.

    Nick enjoys the pathway of training a person who uses fitness as a tool to become a better person and improve their lifestyle just as much as elite athletes because true coaches coach between the ears.  They develop the athlete’s mind first, and the body will follow.

    He feels the most rewarding part of being a coach is being part of people’s journeys in life.

    Nick considers his coaching style of that of an “observer.” He likes to sit back and ask a lot of questions, watch and listen.

    The athlete/ coach relationship hinges on trust and communication in both directions. The athlete has to take accountability for what he or she is doing and what he or she is not doing and has to take accountability in the process, meaning that the coach is coming to the table with 50% of what it’s needed.

    It’s up to the athlete to come to the table with the other 50%. At the heart of it all, it’s about teamwork and communication.

    Whether you’re shooting for the CrossFit Games, sanctionals or just interested in training for health and longevity, Nick’s got the knowledge and experience to create the roadmap for you.

    Click here to check out our vast library of “Knowledge Bombs” where Nick goes into detail on a variety of training topics including best recovery practices, elite athlete mindset, nutrition, supplementation and so much more.

    If you’d like your own personal roadmap to reaching your greatest potential in health and fitness, fill out this free assessment.