Mat Fraser, CrossFit’s four-time Fittest Man on Earth, is no stranger to gut-wrenching workouts. The 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 CrossFit Games champ boasts a 500lb deadlift, a 219kg back squat and can walk the length of a football field on his hands. Handily, he can also rep out 50 pull-ups unbroken and run a five-minute mile.
His ‘Fittest Man on Earth’ title, of course, is a bold one to claim. People tend to quantify fitness in different ways, after all. But when CrossFit commentators believe that Fraser “should have to run a marathon before the [CrossFit] Games to level the playing field,” it’s of little surprise that Fraser has become one of the world’s most-watched athletes in a sport that, comparatively, remains in its infancy.
So, is Fraser more machine than man? If his pre-CrossFit games ritual is anything to by, it wouldn’t suggest so. In fact, he shares the same pre-lifting nerves that you likely feel. “Before most events, I dry-heave or throw up, because I’m so nervous. It’s not enjoyable,” he explained to Men’s Health in our ‘Face Time’ interview series, sitting alongside CrossFit’s three-time Fittest Woman on Earth and olympian Tia-Clair Toomey.