Five-time Fittest Man on Earth® Mathew Fraser teamed up with CrossFit Games competitor Josh Bridges and former host of the official CrossFit Podcast Sevan Matossian to start a new podcast titled…well…that’s not quite clear.
On Jan. 6, 2021, the first episode titled “the test run” aired on the Mat Josh Sevan YouTube channel. The description of that video had the first two names flipped — “Josh Mat Sevan Episode 1.” Early on in the episode, Matossian tosses out some name ideas for the podcast — “Great Dudes,” “Mat and Sevan Make Josh Relevant Again,” “Short, Shorter, and Shortest” — so what their pod will be called is clearly still up in the air.
Notable Topics Discussed
Regardless, the podcast is stacked with two prolific CrossFit athletes and one of the few people to work with CrossFit HQ in any official capacity on a podcast. There was no intro to the podcast. It was just a splash screen that said it was episode one, and then Fraser and Matossian popped up on a Zoom call. Bridges joined a minute later. That didn’t deter Matossian from starting the podcast with an absolute banger of a question for Fraser: “Are you going to compete again next year?”
[Related: Mat Fraser retires from competitive CrossFit.]
2021 CrossFit Games Season
The response from the all-time winningest CrossFitter in history may come as a shock to some:
I don’t know yet.
Check out the full episode of the podcast below courtesy of Mat Josh Sevan YouTube channel:
[Related: Josh Bridges: Mental Toughness, Dave Castro, and His Competition Future]
Fraser elaborated on his answer, saying that his participation in the 2021 Games is not set in stone until he knows the “facts” of what the season will look like.
The 2021 CrossFit Games season calendar was released in December 2020. Then, on Jan. 7, 2021, the 2021 Games qualification system was announced. Still, certain details, such as the number of qualifying athletes for the Semifinals and Games and the prize purse, were left out. Fraser made it clear that he’s not sure if he will compete this year and that he needs to figure out his “attack plan” for the 2021 season.
Fear of Injury
Matossian’s second question delved into whether Fraser and Bridges fear injuring themselves in training — “you have one car, and you can’t crash it.” Fraser immediately affirms the fear and opens up about his Olympic weightlifting background — he was a Junior National Weightlifting Champion — and how he tweaked his back performing a set of clean pulls and then injured it a week later during a squat.
“I’m always half expecting to rebreak my back or for my knee to bend the wrong way,” says the 2020 CrossFit Games champion.
Bridges commented on how taken aback he was when he once saw Fraser stop in the middle of a workout and how intelligent that was. Fraser was in tune enough with his body to recognize that he needed to stop to prevent a potential injury — or that a particular workout wasn’t going to give him the result he wanted. Bridges’ training was antithetical to that — “For me, it was burn the house down; run the bus until the wheels fall off.” Learning not to follow that methodology was valuable for Bridges in the long-term.
Both athletes discussed how training smarter and with purpose helped give longevity to their competitive careers. For example, actually taking the off-season to rest or using training progressions when preparing for an event.
[Related: What You Need to Know About How to Build Muscle]
Dealing With COVID-19
At 22:38 of the podcast, Matossian asks his co-hosts point-blank, “Have either of you had COVID?”
Bridges confirmed he “thinks he did,” but mentions he tested negative. Fraser says he had a bout with COVID-19 two weeks before this episode aired (although he said he never got tested for it). He lost his sense of taste and smell (otherwise, he was asymptomatic). Fraser said he ate an entire glob of wasabi and didn’t register how spicy it was. While in quarantine, the Fittest Man on Earth® still worked out every day.
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[Related: Mat Fraser — Two-Movement CrossFit WOD Is ‘One of the Hardest I’ve Done’]
Future of the Podcast
The three podcasters chatted through their plans for a weekly schedule for the show. In addition to talking about their training, the future of competitive CrossFit, their personal athletic backgrounds, they also discussed drama within the CrossFit space (particularly between Fraser and four-time Fittest Man on Earth® Rich Froning, and CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro), and the culture around the sport.
With insights from the greatest CrossFitter in history and one of the most popular athletes in the sport — in combination with the pointed questions from Matossian — this podcast is one to keep ears lent to. Perhaps by the release of episode two, there will be a consensus title for the show.
Feature image from Mat Fraser’s Instagram page: @mathewfras