Building a successful training programme is key to helping you hit your goal PRs, and it’s something CrossFit GOAT Mat Fraser has a wealth of experience in.
Since retiring from competitive action after winning his fifth consecutive CrossFit Games title in 2020, Fraser has turned his attention to creating online training schedules alongside a new supplement business.
Almost all athletes are looking to push new boundaries and better their previous lifts or times, and Fraser says the key is to put progression at the heart of your programme.
“I'm approaching the programming the same way that I did my own training, so I look at everything in terms of progressions,” he told Men’s Health . “You know, we're not just going to jump into a heavy clean and jerk without tapering for it.
“So anytime there's a heavy lift, or you’re going for a new PR, it’s going to be after weeks and weeks of progressions to make sure that you’re ready for it, that you’re physically ready and set up for success.”
Improvements don’t just happen overnight, and it’s important to have a clear idea of how you’re going to get to the level you want to be at.
Once you know your goal, you can build a programme by working backwards and identifying the levels you need to hit and each step you need to take along the way to getting your new PR.
Fraser also talked about making the transition away from competing in CrossFit and how he’s getting back to working out for the sheer joy of it.
“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.
“So some days I'm in there by myself, and other days we’ve got a half dozen people in there. Some are doing the same things. Other people are looking to get big for summer or looking to work on their cardio. But we're all just here trying to get better.”
Despite that transition, Fraser admitted it’s still a little strange not to be constantly pushing himself through the pain barrier on each workout .
Although he still challenges his body, it’s in a more relaxed way rather than slogging it out continuously.
“It's still new to me,” he continued, “working out for fun and fitness rather than working out to compete. So, you know, I’m adjusting the numbers and not having that stress associated with it. Like, ‘oh, I need to be running this fast’ or ‘I need to hit this heavy weight’. So, I’m not pushing the intensity to failure or some gut-wrenching extreme.”