Mat Fraser has a background in Olympic weightlifting but was injured in 2009 and had to stop. He then went to college and got a degree in mechanical engineering. He says CrossFit did not initially appeal to him, but the group aspect won him over. He came in second place in the 2014 and 2015 CrossFit Games, and then came back to win in 2016, 2017 and 2018. He is the son of the Canadian Olympic figure skaters, Don Fraser and Candace Jones. He has 1.5 million followers on Instagram. Fraser is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 190 lbs.
Mat Fraser’s Diet
Following his second place finish in the 2015 CrossFit Games, Fraser made radical changes to his diet, including no longer downing a pint of ice cream or eating a half-dozen donuts in one sitting. He lost 10 lbs. by cutting the junk. He does not follow any specific diet such as Paleo or counting macros, and he eats 4-5 meals per day, consisting primarily of meat, vegetables and sticky white rice. He says cutting sugar and junk has helped to stabilize his blood sugar and that his energy level is now consistent all day long.
- Medium-High Carb 50% 50%
- Medium Protein 50% 50%
- Medium Fat 40% 40%
Fraser does not follow a strict diet, but he does make an effort to stick to meat, vegetables, fruit, and rice.
No Macros For Mat
Fraser doesn’t count macros like many of the other athletes who do CrossFit. He has made an effort to cut out the junk and eat regular meals so that his weight and his energy level stay stable.
Breakfast is at 8:30, usually bacon and eggs. Fraser only likes the bite-size mini-wheats (and only brand-name). He has a protein shake made with milk and spinach and whey protein on his way to the gym. He may eat mid-afternoon if he is home. If not, he will not eat until evening. The majority of his calories he eats between 5-10 p.m.
Early Cut Off
Fraser says he is sensitive to stimulants and avoids them after 1-2 p.m.
What to Eat
Hershey’s milk chocolate bars
What to Avoid
Things that come pre-packaged
Fraser on Cutting Out the Sugar
‘From when I get up to when I go to bed, it’s the same energy level the whole way through, and I think that opens the window for more consistent training.’
Fraser on Junk Food
‘If it comes out of a package, you probably shouldn’t eat it.’
Fraser on Watching his Intake
‘Trying to cut out all processed foods, my body composition changed quite a bit.’
Mat Fraser’s Fitness Routine
Preparing for CrossFit requires diverse training, and Fraser varies it even more by not following any routine or schedule. He might lift before cardio, or do it in reverse, because the Games are notoriously unpredictable.
Work On Your Weaknesses
Fraser is unashamed to ask for help. After coming in dead last in running events, he hired a track and field coach to help him with form, technique and confidence.
Learn From Your Injuries
Fraser has been injured plenty of times, but his old method was to race back to the gym asap. Now he gives himself the time to recover, and works on moves that won’t exacerbate the injury while he’s healing.
Make A Plan and Stick To It
Fraser doesn’t let stress get to him. He makes a plan of attack, and sticks with it.
Use the Muscle Between Your Ears
Fraser uses his downtime to go over events and review what went well and what needs work. He also reviews footage at home to see where he needs to improve.
Fraser does not dwell on mistakes. Instead, he looks at them as areas to improve.
When In Doubt, Train More
Fraser works out 6 hours a day on average and was ready when the CrossFit Games did not have the usual rest day on day 2 of the competition. He says doing more volume makes the events feel easier.
Push Yourself (And A Friend)
Frasier often works out with a friend, keeping track of time and score, which mimics the actual competition of the CrossFit Games. This helps him to see where he needs to improve.
A Mat Fraser Anti-Routine
Fraser can lift:
Back Squat: 485 lbs.
Clean and Jerk: 375 lbs.
Snatch: 315 lbs.
Deadlift: 500 lbs.
Fraser trains approximately 6 hours per day. He runs when it’s 90 degrees outside with no water. He will lift before doing cardio, after, or in the middle. Gymnastics were hard for him until he lost weight. His cardio also was weak and so he focused on sprints and rowing. He also hired a coach to help him with his technique and form. He climbs ropes and does things on gymnastic rings. There is very little he doesn’t do. He stretches for hours in his down time. Mixing it up keeps him strong and agile for whatever the Games throws at him.
Fraser on his Anti-routine
‘There’s a handful of guys who have a 300-lb snatch. But if they go run a mile and then try to snatch, they’re going to snatch 250.’
Fraser on Training When Injured
‘There are so many movements you can do. You can modify almost everything and still train, but stay off your injury.’
Fraser on Embracing the Suck
‘It’s only going to hurt for a minute. And then you’re going to feel great about it.’
Mat Fraser’s Supplements
Mat Fraser’s Lifestyle
Sleep Like You Mean It
Fraser sleeps about 10 hours a night. He goes to bed early, about 9:30 or 10:00. He says if he sleeps less, he does not function well the next day.
The day he graduated high school, Fraser moved to Colorado to train full-time as an Olympic weightlifter. Within a year and weighing 77 kg, he could snatch 130 kg and clean and jerk 160 kg.
Fraser was only 13 when he won his first national weightlifting title. He become the junior national champion in 2009.
Rest Days Are Key
Fraser doesn’t take many days off and he always goes to bed and gets up at the same time. He says it’s the mental break that matters most.
Fraser on Letting Go
‘It’s really just shutting the mind off and trying to get as much sleep as you can.’
Fraser on Days Off
‘Few and far between, so when they come, I really try to cash in on them.’
Fraser on his ‘Downtime’
‘I’ll have some days where I’ll stretch for 3-4 hours, and others where I’ll stretch for 8-9 hours. I literally won’t leave my living room floor.’
Fraser on the Basics
‘Try to have a healthy diet and a good sleep schedule. Those things will have a huge dividend.’
Fraser on Avoiding Frenemies
‘Keep positive influences in your life…keep good people around…especially on social media.’