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Episode 63 — Mat Fraser — The Fittest Man on Earth

"It's only a matter of time before someone that's better than me comes along. Whether that's next year or that's 20 years from now, it's only a matter of time. But that feeling of pride and success is there forever. No one can take that away from me." - Mat Fraser

  • How does this CrossFit champion approach things he's not good at?
  • Why was failure key to Mat's initial success?
  • What separates Mat from his opponents?
  • What drives Mat to be the very best?
  • How did Mat know it was time to retire from CrossFit?

Survival of the Fittest

The CrossFit Games are the most grueling athletic competition on the planet. To even qualify, you must place in the top 10% of hundreds of thousands of competitors in trials. Events at the finals are not announced before the games. Each competitor must be able to lift hundreds of pounds, run a 5-minute mile, and complete obstacle courses at breakneck speed to even stand a chance. To win one CrossFit Games is a terrific achievement. Mat Fraser has won five. In a row.

Not only has Mat continually bested his opponents — he's trounced them. His margin of victory has increased each year, and in 2020 (his final Games) he nearly doubled the score of the 2nd place finisher. His points totaled almost more than 2nd and 3rd place put together. Mat has since retired from the Games, but he exits on top, completing the most dominant run the sport has ever seen.

Margin Call

Mat attributes his success to the gains he makes on the margins, often outside the gym. Of course, you have to work hard there too, but "everyone's doing what you're doing in the gym," he says. "You need to find the 1% gains elsewhere."

Even if you're working hard, others are too. It's not an edge, it's table stakes.

Indeed, Mat found sustained success when he dedicated his full time to CrossFit — optimizing his sleep, eliminating stress from his life, making his pre- and post-workout routine bulletproof. Mat is living proof that the small things can make a big difference, compounding when they're stacked to create a dominant advantage.

Put into Practice

You may think that since Mat is so dominant, he must be good at everything, but that's not necessarily true — at first. What sets Mat apart is his dedication to perfecting the things that give him trouble. If he doesn't understand a technique, he isn't bashful about asking for help. And once he knows how to do it right, he'll throw himself at it until he's good at it.

To Mat, a weakness is just something to improve upon...until it becomes a strength.

Key takeaways:

  • Transform your weaknesses into strengths. Just because you're not good at something yet doesn't mean you never will be.
  • Remove "what if" from your vocabulary. You won't regret going all-out for your passions, but you will regret it if you don't.
  • Create a strong support network. Mat says none of this would be possible without the work and love of his fiance, Sammy Moniz.

Links and Resources