To be crowned CrossFit’s “Fittest Man on Earth” is no easy feat. To be crowned CrossFit’s “Fittest Man on Earth” five times? Such a thing requires the single focus, unwavering dedication and discipline few could ever possess. Except Mat Fraser of course, who achieved such a thing during his dominant reign in the world of CrossFit. Having since retired though, it’s become apparent that Fraser might not be competing on the world’s biggest stage, but he’s still competing with himself. This isn’t a man who associates retirement with horizontal living and flicking through the TV channels. Rather, it’s someone who continues to push himself in the gym, while giving back to the community from which he built a legacy.
In his latest offering to the CrossFit world, Fraser invited filmmakers Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers – otherwise known as The Buttery Bros – to his home gym to take on one of the most gruelling workouts: The Acid Bath workout.
For the uninitiated, the Acid Bath workout made its debut in the 2018 Dubai Fitness Championship Finals. It involves a three-part sprint workout that’s designed to tax your cardiovascular system, test your fitness and put athletes through a punishingly quick build-up of lactic acid in the legs. It might only be six minutes long, but it’s torturous and as anyone who has ever done such a thing can attest, it might just be the longest six minutes of your life.
The Acid Bath consists of a 500 metre SkiErg, 500 metre row, and 1,000 metre BikeErg. Before taking on the workout, Fraser advises the guys to keep the dampeners heavy on the SkiErg and the BikeErg, while maintaining a steady output on the row. “I did this workout once and that’s enough for anybody,” Fraser tells them. “This workout sucks!”
After Fraser’s partner Sammy Moniz and manager Matt O’Keefe take on Acid Bath, it’s then time for the Buttery Bros. Sawyers, who has taken on the challenge before, has an Acid Bath PB of 5:19, while Cannon’s is 5:42. In the session with Fraser, Sawyers actually manages to match his PB, admitting: “I feel a lot better than the first time.” Meanwhile, Cannon beats his PB by four seconds with a new personal best of 5:38.
As Fraser admits, “When we did this event in Dubai and completed it, everyone collapsed at the finish line. No-one could stand up. I know for myself, and a couple of others did the same thing. We got up and tried to look strong, but as soon as we were out of the crowd’s view and in the tunnel, we all collapsed again. None of us could walk back to the warm-up area. It was brutal.”