CrossFit GOAT Mat Fraser shocked the fitness world when he retired from competition earlier this year, seemingly at the pinnacle of the greatest career the sport has ever seen. The decision came after winning his record fifth-consecutive Fittest Man on Earth title in 2020 in dominant fashion—and at 31, Fraser wasn't exactly an old guy hanging up with lifting belt and shoes. The decision came as a surprise to many, but to hear Fraser talk about the level of focus and commitment he put into being the absolute best in the world at his sport, the idea that he might have wanted a break makes sense.
Fraser has been rather candid about the lengths he took to ensure that he was always in the best possible position to perform come competition time—going so far as to stop using knives to cut his food ahead of big events like the Games to avoid any chances of accidents—and in an extensive conversation with Men's Health about his post-retirement life, he shared even more details about how his commitment to his competition programming affected his relationship with training and exercise. Most particularly, Fraser was unable to engage socially in the gym with anyone who couldn't keep up with his world-class standards.
"I'm not as concerned about actual performance now," he said. "It's more just about health and fitness and having fun with friends. I built a phenomenal home gym with the intent of having two of everything so that my friends could come over and workout and we could push each other." But there's more than just being able to just train with friends. During his career, even if he had someone else in the gym—even his wife—Fraser would only concentrate on hitting his numbers.
"I remember that Sammy [my wife] and I were down in Texas, and we’re working out together one morning," he recalled. "My natural instinct, from what I've done for years, is no socializing in the gym. I’m focused on the task at hand. But then I was like, ‘No, no, no. It’s fine if you chit chat between sets." Now, the GOAT can be social, slow down, and just be a normal guy when he works out.
Even in his retirement, Fraser is still highly involved with the world of fitness. he recently released his own training app and launched a supplement company. For more details about those endeavors, his best training tips, and everything else Fraser's up to these days, check out the full interview.
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