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The Cypher Health & Fitness Team

Meet the Team that is Dedicated to Your Success

our founders

Mauricio Leal, Co-Owner & CEO

After following the straight and narrow through college, Mauricio realized that although being a nerd came naturally, he just wasn’t driven to sit behind a desk, writing computer code for wind turbines. Even if it was somehow helping, he felt removed from people by several degrees, and wanted to do something more impactful; to help real people and communities on the ground level. So in 2008 – just 9 months into his full-time job out of university, he decided to jump ship, and began his journey into Fitness and entrepreneurship. After much soul-searching and test driving of different methodologies (NASM certified first), he stumbled upon some fitness workouts, and was skeptical and disinterested. “What kind of random garbage was this?” he thought. So he ignored it for a while and kept following the templates of traditional training with his friends and neighbors in the local park, but knew something was missing.

Mauricio had played many sports throughout high school with Football and Track, and kept active throughout college with Triathlon and B-boying (from which Cypher Health & Fitness gets its name). There was always a sense of training purpose and intensity in these sports and artforms. It was visceral; you could feel it when someone was feeling it. It was something that the templates of traditional training seemed to decidedly lack, as there was a lot of fluff and no substance. 3 sets of 10 crunches and bosu ball squats were definitely not the biz. Fast forward to one gymnastics mishap and a broken arm later, followed by months of rehab, he had ample time to do more research on Fitness and Nutrition, and was drawn towards the elegant and evidence-based approach present in much of CrossFit’s founding literature. There was something you could measure, there was substance.

After finally rehabbing enough to get back into exercise, in April 2010 he decided to dive headfirst into CrossFit by signing up for the Level 1 Certification. What better way to find out what it’s all about than there? He did his first “Fran” workout with Jason Khalipa as his judge, had a rough time with it, and was hooked. He had found his people and his calling.

Mauricio redoubled his efforts to develop a client-base with this new approach, took a ‘do-it-yourself’ approach to build a personal training business out of his garage with lots of homemade functional equipment (concrete kettlebells!), and went door-to-door recruiting clients and coaching them in their garages, patios, and living rooms. This eventually led to a group class in a local park, a partnership with a fellow trainer, constructing a parking lot gym, a year of growth and new challenges, some hard lessons, a tough partnership breakup, and the call to start again on his own.

It was risky to move far away, he would probably lose all of his current clients – relationships that took years to build. But there was no going back at this point; he felt closer to the other side. So once again he took a leap and in 2012 founded Cypher Health & Fitness here in Richmond, CA. Since then, vulnerability and forging ahead have become forces of habit that he carries on to this day, and exemplifies the timeless idea of leaning into this moment, AKA stepping into the Cypher, again and again.

Mauricio constantly drives and encourages clients to experience and express themselves through movement as they simultaneously embark on a very personal and communal journey through health and fitness. Having coached over 4000 hours of 1-on-1 and group sessions, and competed at a high level in the Sport of Fitness, he has had time to practice and sharpen his skills, and discover what matters most to people (it’s not your muscles or Fran time). The path to results and success in our community for clients of all levels has never been more clear. CrossFit is changing lives on a global scale, and Mauricio hopes to play an important role in helping foment this revolution of health, movement, and lifestyle.

Leslie Macedo, Co-Owner & CFO

Leslie has always been passionate about athletics, movement, and health. She traveled to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio for school on a softball scholarship, where she majored in Exercise Science and minored in Coaching. During her collegiate career, Leslie thrived in the weight room and thoroughly enjoyed working hard on to improve her strength, which resulted in Strength & Conditioning All-American honors from The National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) in 2007. With power behind her swing, Leslie became the first Miamian to top more than 100 career RBIs and finished her career as one of Miami’s most prolific offensive players.
Leslie began CrossFitting during the Fall of 2010. The family atmosphere and camaraderie created in class reminded her of working out with her teammates in college. Her passion for strength, health and wellness had been reignited. She became a CrossFit Level 1 Certified Trainer in July 2013. While she enjoys the competition component of CrossFit, what Leslie enjoys most about CrossFit is the community. She truly believes that anyone who walks in the doors of Cypher Health & Fitness – whether they are elite athletes, former athletes, weekend warriors, or have never stepped inside of a gym – can accomplish feats of physical strength they once thought impossible. She is always touched by the raw celebrations not only from the individual who may have completed his/her first pull-up, but touched by the reaction of the rest of the Cypher class who witnessed this great feat. This connection and commitment is what Leslie believes makes CrossFit – and Cypher Health & Fitness – so special.