Why Mat Fraser Looks UNBEATABLE for 2020 CrossFit Games Finals

Can anyone challenge the 4-time defending champion?

Four-time defending Reebok CrossFit Games Champion Mat Fraser absolutely DOMINATED Stage 1 of this year’s CrossFit Games, taking four event wins on his way to a convincing first seed finish heading into the Finals in Aromas, California.

We break down his dominant performance in Stage One and give predictions for the field heading into the Finals. Remember, points reset before Aromas!

[Related: Learn more about Mat Fraser’s championship diet.]

Mat Fraser’s 2020 CrossFit Games Stage One

Just how strong did Fraser look across the first seven workouts of this year’s Games? We break it down event by event. Check out the time stamps below for your guide to the video.

00:05 Mat’s commanding Stage One
00:40 Mat content you need to see
01:05 Friendly Fran
01:47 Front Squat
02:25 Damn Diane
02:50 1,000 meter row
03:15 Nasty Nancy
03:40 Handstand hold
03:55 Awful Annie
04:35 Mat’s competition in Aromas
05:50 What could trip Mat up?

Wondering more about Fraser’s competition heading into Aromas? Remember, the points reset, so athletes won’t be taking any form of lead into the Finals. We’ve got you covered with those details and much, much more in the next video below.

[Related: 2020 CrossFit Games Finals Results and Leaderboard]

Mat Fraser’s Finals Performance

Fraser came into the finals as the four-time defending champion and favorite based on predictions by top athletes and experts.

Event One — 2007 Reloaded

For time:

  • 1,500-meter row

Then five rounds of:

  • 10 bar muscle-ups
  • 7 shoulder-to-overheads — 235 pounds

Fraser opened in the row with a smooth pace on the rower with a split that hovered around 1:43. He was not the first to finish the row, but he was the first to start on his first round of shoulder-to-overheads. His pace through the event seemed to follow the commentary team’s suggestion of going unbroken.

Through the event, most of Fraser’s points of rest came during the walks between the muscle-ups and the shoulder-to-overheads. He stopped only a single time during his last round of muscle-ups when he had a comfortable lead over the field and had a failed rep due to fatigue in his last round of shoulder-to-overheads. He secured his record improving 20th Games event win taking first in this events — eight seconds faster than the second-place Justin Medeiros.

Event Two — Corn Sack Sprint

For time:

320-meter hill sprint with a corn sack — 50 pounds

The four-time defending champion did not let up in event two. He didn’t take a lead until about a third of the way through the sprint, but once he acquired it, he never let it go. He placed first with a time of 2:51.54. Fraser is undefeated through the first two events of the 2020 Games Finals.

Event Three — CrossFit Total

For total load:

1-rep-max back squat
1-rep-max shoulder press
1-rep-max deadlift

Fraser’s streak of event wins comes to a close, but not by much. He took second place with a 1,237-pound total, just seven shy of Adler’s event winning 1,244 pounds. None of the lifts looked particularly difficult for Fraser outside of his final successful deadlift attempt of 535 pounds.

  • Squat — 492 pounds
  • Shoulder Press — 210 pounds
  • Deadlift — 535 pounds

Event Four — Handstand Sprint

For time:

100-yard handstand walk

Fraser took down his third event win on day one after performing the entire handstand walk with only one break. His official time was 1:20.85. Justin Medeiros implemented a unique but effective strategy of breaking every five yards or so, but it wasn’t enough to stop the defending champion from crossing the finish line first, leaving Medeiros to rack up another second-place finish.

Event Five — Ranch Loop

Run along 3-mile± course through varying terrain

Fraser took an early lead for the majority of the first half of the race, although Medeiros was giving him a run for his money. Upon hitting the finish line, CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro surprised Fraser and Medeiros with a twist — they had to run the course again in reverse. Despite Fraser’s disbelief, both athletes started the second half of the run.

They kept pace with each other for the duration of the event until Fraser turned on the burners in the final stretch to score his fourth event win of the Finals.

Event Six — Toes-To-Bar/Lunge

30-20-10 reps for time:
Kettlebell lunge (yards) — 32 kilogram kettlebells

It looked as though Noah Ohlsen was going to shine in this event, and for more of it he did. However, a time-saving tactic implemented by Fraser, where he dropped the kettlebells in the frames where the toes-to-bars took place rather than at the line that marked the start of each length, saved him enough time for Fraser to overtake Ohlsen and score a win.

Event Seven — Snatch Speed Triple

For time:

One snatch at each bar

  • Quarterfinal — 225-235-245 pounds
  • Semifinal — 245-255-265 pounds
  • Final — 265-275-285 pounds

Fraser continued his historic run with yet another convincing win as the only man in the final heat who didn’t fail a snatch attempt.

Event Eight — Bike Repeater

10 rounds:

  • 440-meter bike sprint
  • One legless rope climb — 15 feet

Fraser took a lead early and held it for the majority of the event. His transitions and fast rope climbs contributed to his lead. In the eighth round, Adler made his move and took the lead for the first time in the event. Although he gave Fraser an impressive run for his money, the defending champ was able to regroup and score another event victory.

Event Nine — Happy Star

Four rounds:

200- to 300-meter hill run

5-7-9-11 reps of:

  • Burpee
  • Thruster — 135-145-155-165-pounds

The reigning champion showed off his strength and cardio in the event as he powered his way to another win. His official time of 8:18.21 was 15 seconds ahead of Kwant in second.

Event Ten — Swim ‘N’ Stuff

Four rounds, each for time:

  • Air bike calories (10 | 15)
  • 50-meter swim
  • 10 GHD sit-ups
  • 10 ball slams — 60 pounds
  • Rest

Begin a new round every four minutes
*Rounds two and four performed in reverse

It was the event Fraser deemed as the most difficult of the Finals, and was the only one he was straight up beat. Kwant bested him by nine seconds. Fraser’s official time of 8:38.14 was still good for second place.

Event Eleven — Sprint Sled Sprint

100-yard sprint
100-yard sled push — 105-pound sled
100-yard sprint

This was one of the most exciting races of the entire Finals. In a photo finish battle between Fraser and Kwant, the defending champion got the win by four-tenths of a second.

Event Twelve — Atalanta

For time while wearing a 20-pound vest:

  • One-mile run
  • 100 handstand push-ups
  • 200 pistol squats
  • 300 pull-ups
  • One-mile run

Fraser ran this race alongside Tia-Clair Toomey — both of which had clinched the title before the event. They ran the event at the same steady cadence. This culminated in a first-place finish for Fraser and a third-place finish for Toomey.

Who do you think — if anyone — can challenge the defending champions, Mat Fraser and Tia-Clair Toomey? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!