CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser says he believes quality nutrition and sleep are the two “biggest performance enhancers” available to athletes.
Fraser made history by becoming the first person to win five consecutive Fittest on Earth titles at this year’s Games in California.
Speaking in an interview with Morning Chalk Up
the day after he secured his crown, Fraser highlighted the importance of recovery in his training programme: “Throughout the entire year I put so much emphasis on quality sleep. I think that nutrition and sleep are the two biggest performance enhancers that you can tap into.”
With the showcase CrossFit event of the year involving three very intense days of competition, the ability to recover overnight is key so Fraser takes his own mattress and personal alarm clock that wakes him up with light rather than sound.
“I try to make everything as ideal as possible because so much of the Games is about how quickly you can recover,” he explained. “There are so many events in such a short window that those two or three nights of sleep are so so valuable. So I spend a couple of extra dollars and put in a little extra effort into turning the hotel room into home.”
Fraser put in one of the most dominant performances in Games history at the CrossFit Ranch in California, winning all but two of the workouts.
The American said relief was his overwhelming emotion on getting the job done after an extremely difficult, start-stop season.
“This whole year was just a rollercoaster of uncertainty and delays,” he reflected. “And then even once we knew the Games were happening and I’d qualified, then there’s still this daunting thing over your shoulder of you can’t test positive [for coronavirus].
“Tia and I had such a phenomenal year of training, overcoming all these things and putting an attack plan together, and just working as a team together, that I felt like it would just be such a waste if something came up like ‘You’ve got Covid - your year is done’. So it was just such a relief that we got to show off what we’ve done all year.”
Fraser also indicated that criticism he received from Games director Dave Castro, who claimed the 30-year-old’s dominance in the sport was “slipping”, had motivated him going into the Games.