The Brutes

  • How Kara Saunders Trained Through Covid-19

    COVID has taken it’s toll on all of us this past year when it comes to training.

    It’s been a challenge, but in order to stay on top of the sport, the best athletes have had to adapt their schedules and training to work around quarantine schedules and equipment limitations.

    Director of Strength and Conditioning, Nick Fowler is joined by 7x CrossFit Games Athlete, Kara Saunders to discuss a variety of topics including finding balance as a new mother, programming around COVID-19 limitations, preparing for the unknown that was the ‘20 CrossFit Games season, and what’s next for Kara.


    1:14Balancing parenthood, owning a business, and training for the CrossFit Games

    6:45 – How to prepare the best athletes in the world for the unknown

    12:24 – Growing as an athlete through pregnancy

    22:29 – Mindset after not qualifying for the ‘20 CrossFit Games

    27:34 – Offseason Training for the ‘21 CrossFit Games

    30:10 – The new CrossFit Games season format

    41:07 – How to train the skill of competing 

    46:04 – Structured programming vs. Classic CrossFit

    If you’re looking for a roadmap to work around your own challenges as an athlete, click here to have a chat with one of our 1-on-1 coaches.

  • Get to Know the Brutes – Tim Leblanc

    Tim Leblanc was born in New Orleans, Louisiana but traveled much throughout his youth with his dad working in the oil industry.  Living throughout Texas for most of his youth, he finally settled in Houston and graduated from Woodlands, High School.

    At an early age, Tim grew up playing T-Ball and YMCA swimming and eventually went into other sports such as soccer and baseball.  Tim decided to settle on football, soccer, rugby and lacrosse in high school.

    In college, Tim went on to walk on at Colorado State University as a punter.  Colorado State soon realized that Tim could be better utilized as a fullback and so they asked him if he was able to put on an additional 40lbs. Tim gladly took on the challenge and finished his football career after graduating from Colorado State University.

    After college, Tim had an immense passion to join the Special Forces in the military and began to focus his mindset and training to reach that goal. He had heard through a recruiter that CrossFit was being used as a type of training to prepare for the military, and he began to follow the CrossFit main site workouts for a while.

    Soon his wife became pregnant and due to a hearing loss from birth, his chances at being allowed to join the military began to slip away. However, Tim’s passion for this type of training remained, and he continued to pursue CrossFit at a high level.

    After researching many of the top programs in the country, Tim settled on using Brute Strength as his main form of training and fell in love with the team and specialty coach idea that Brute offered as opposed to the competitors.

    Tim started as an athlete with Brute and was constantly helping out the Brute coaches by answering questions from the community.  The team at Brute took notice and began to give Tim opportunities to grow within the company.

    Over time, Tim took over the gymnastics programming and helps with video analysis of athletes technique on gymnastics exercises.  What Tim loves the most about working with Brute is the wide array of athletes he gets to work with and help with their development, ranging from the elite to the weekend warriors.

    Watching them progress through the sport of fitness and being able to celebrate those victories with them is why he is passionate about working alongside the Brute coaches and athletes.

    Work with Tim in our Brute Gymnastics Program!

    Not only will you gain access to our exclusive 20-level mastery system designed to take you from beginner to elite level gymnast in fitness gymnastics with proper progression, but you’ll get personal video analysis from Coach Tim to ensure your movement is efficient and buttery smooth.

    Click here to learn more about Brute Gymnastics.

  • Get to Know the Brutes – Matt Bruce

    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.