The CrossFit Games is a competition that pushes athletes to their maximum capacity for an entire weekend. Fueling for it is not easy.
Mat Fraser has been the most successful individual athlete in the Games’ history and his nutrition programme is a key part of his method of tackling the competition.
The 31-year-old says due to his powerlifting background, he has never cared about looking ripped as long as he feels fit so he actually tries to go into the Games with some extra timber around the waste.
“It doesn’t necessarily help with the two-day events or the one-day events,” he told powerlifter Stefi Cohen’s YouTube channel. “But when we’re doing a three, four, five-day event with up to 15 individual events throughout the days, I make sure that I have a little bit of extra cushion because by day three or four, these guys with these incredible abs don’t have the fuel - their bodies are eating their bones.
“So for a competition like the Games I intentionally keep a little bit of extra weight to protect myself throughout this three to four-day beatdown.”
Once the workouts get underway on the Thursday of competition week, Fraser says he’s eating as much as he can.
He’ll start the day with a breakfast burrito and then eat rice bowls with meat and vegetables or sandwiches filled with turkey, jam or peanut butter in between events.
At the end of each day, he simply eats as much as he can. Fraser piles in calory-dense foods like pizza, cheeseburgers and tacos to try and refuel as much as possible before going to sleep.
“During the competition, I’m force-feeding myself,” he explained. “I don’t have an appetite when I’m competing at that intensity, but I know it’s important so I’m recovered, so I have energy, for the next day.
“My big goal when I’m off the competition floor is to try to gain weight through those four or five days. For most people their bodyweight is plummeting, and I’m doing everything I can to just get it back up.”
When the Games are finished, Fraser will typically binge on junk food for the first two weeks of his off-season. Eventually, he reaches the point that he’s had so much unhealthy food, he’s craving a salad.
But even when he begins his next training cycle, Fraser says he’s not super strict on his nutrition straight away.
“I try not to do giant swings back into it,” he said. “I don’t want to be miserable. I don’t want to be eating kale salads and smoothies all day. But by making those little changes day to day, before I know it, I’m right back into my routine.”
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