On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
When Mat Fraser came runner up in the 2015 Crossfit Games for the second time in a row, it was a disappointment that stayed with him. “It felt like I had lost first place,” he admitted in a Men’s Journal interview. Motivated to never feel like that again, Fraser made changes to his lifestyle, with a particular focus on his diet, after realising that he “ate terribly the year before.”
Before I found success in the Games, I trained as hard as I could all the time but I wasn’t putting in the same effort outside of the gym. I thought all the value was just in the training itself, but really it’s the small percentages that add up. For example, ensuring your diet is on point, that you’re getting enough sleep and properly warming up and cooling down before and after your workout – that’s what makes all the difference.Training tips from the fittest guy on earth | Men’s Health
After overhauling his routine to ensure he was getting in the right nutrition, sleep and training, Fraser went on to win the Crossfit Games four years in a row (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), and is currently the reigning holder of The Fittest Man on Earth title.
Fraser’s daily routine begins when he wakes up between 7.30-8.30am, after getting his required 9 to 10 hours of sleep. His fiancee, Sammy, who prepares all his meals, has breakfast and coffee waiting for him. “I’m having coffee and food within two minutes of being awake—your classic three-part breakfast of bacon, eggs, and oatmeal,” he told GQ in a 2018 profile.
When it comes to his nutrition, Fraser likes to keep it simple. With Sammy cooking and preparing his meals, Fraser’s primary focus is just to avoid junk food and stick mainly to rice, meat, vegetables and fruit. During the Crossfit Games training season, Fraser can consume up to 7,000 calories per day.
“Right after a competition, when I take my off season and I’m not training at all, I’m eating maybe one or two meals a day,” he told weightlifting website BarBend. “Then when I start ramping back up, I’m only training once a day, so I’m probably hitting three or four thousand calories. And when I’m in full swing, my only purpose in the day is I wake up and everything is directed toward training, that’s when the calories increase to six or seven thousand calories.”
After dropping the pints of ice cream and half dozen donuts, which made regular appearances in his diet during the early days, Fraser is able to avoid the rollercoaster of sugar highs and energy dips throughout his diet, leading to a more consistent training routine.
Instead of obsessing, I just try to eat well: No junk food. No soda. Very little that comes in wrappers. It’s mostly meat, vegetables, and fruit. If I’m hungry, I eat. If I’m not hungry, I don’t. There’s not too much of a science behind it.The Real-Life Diet of Mat Fraser, the Fittest Man on Earth | GQ
Mat Fraser’s training routine & diet
By 9.30am, he’s at his Crossfit gym working through conditioning, weightlifting, strength training and metabolic conditioning until 1pm, when he heads home for lunch. After eating, he’ll hang around for a couple of hours before heading back to the gym for an afternoon session.
Fraser described his training routine in an interview with Men’s Fitness:
Four days a week it’s a minimum of two sessions a day: get to the gym at, say, 10am, leave the gym at 1pm, and get back in at 3pm for another three-hour session. What is actually in those sessions depends on what part of the season we’re in, but usually we’re looking at three track sessions a week, three to four weightlifting sessions, a couple of swimming sessions and one road bike day. That’s a very loose idea, though, because it’s always changing.Q&A With CrossFit King Mat Fraser | Men’s Fitness UK
Training finishes up between 5-6pm and he’ll head home for dinner (“anything from steak and potatoes to enchiladas to tacos”), unwind with some TV and do some stretches and recovery exercises like stretching and foam rolling. He also uses a TheraGun, especially after a heavy quad workout. Fraser usually heads off for bed at around 9.30-10pm.
When it comes to bingeing on cheat meals, Fraser isn’t a fan and prefers to treat himself in moderation. “I struggle with moderation, it’s either all or nothing,” he said in an interview with powerlifter Stefi Cohen. “I have two chocolate truffles every night. And that for me is my treat, that’s what I look forward to. I don’t cut out sweets altogether, I just try to have one or two a day.”
I’m not trying to break a four-minute mile. I’m not trying to squat 800 pounds. I’m trying to run a five-minute mile and squat 500 pounds.Training with Mat Fraser: Inside the gym with the 2016 CrossFit Games champion | Sports Illustrated
In a 2020 interview with Men’s Health, Fraser described his daily training routine, which hasn’t changed that much thanks to having a home gym, during the COVID-19 lockdown. “Day-to-day has remained the same. I wake up at 8am, Sammy has breakfast ready and Tia and I start training around 9:30/10,” he said.
“Our training has backed off a little simply because all major competitions have been cancelled or postponed. Training wraps up around 5pm, we have dinner and spend the evening stretching, rolling out or reading, playing a game and relaxing.”
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