Following his fifth consecutive win at the annual CrossFit Games and subsequent retirement from the sport, Mat Fraser has wasted no time in getting on with the next stage of his career on YouTube, where he’ll create fitness content and workout challenges. Given that a lot of this content will likely be shot in his home gym, Fraser’s most recent video includes a full tour of his workout space, located in his and his wife Sammy’s garage.
Fraser explains that, after the cramped home gym he previously had, this 440 square feet felt incredibly spacious—but as CrossFit’s “Fittest Man on Earth,” he soon began to accumulate a lot of equipment, including most of the basics as well as some more specialized gear.
“When I first started buying the equipment, I thought: ‘God, I have so much space, I’ll never fill it up.’ Then very quickly, I think probably over a year, I outgrew this one,” he says.
For example, one wall of the room is dedicated solely to cardio, with no fewer than three stationary bikes: an assault bike, Rogue Echo bike, and Concept 2. “I put in a ton of hours on the Concept 2 biker, because it’s low-impact, for my zone 2 training,” he says. “The Rogue Echo is a lot more for interval training… and then the assault bike is a staple for competition.” He also uses a Ski Erg for cardio, which he enjoys as it engages the core and lats instead of focusing on just the lower body. “It’s good to get cardio without being so quad dominant.”
A second wall is taken up by a full rack of dumbbells, ranging from 5 pounds to 125 pounds, and another section of wall is laid with 3-inch plywood for handstand pushups. Then there’s a power rack with a pullup bar. “When I got a 9-foot ceiling, I was really excited to get a proper rig for it,” Fraser says, adding that the ceiling is still not quite tall enough for him to do muscleups.
In addition to standard equipment like an EZ curl bar, jump ropes, log press, a variety of resistance bands, weighted vests, and D-balls, are two bigger, more expensive machines: the GHD and the reverse hyper. “I spend a ton of time on the reverse hyper, although it does take up a lot of space,” he says. “I see the value in it more as injury prevention… When I was 18, I broke my L5 in two spots and it was a big recovery back from that, so big lesson learned in having a strong lower back… You can do a lot of different stuff on the GHD, but it also takes up a big footprint in your gym.”
However, for anyone who is putting together a home workout area without the finances of floor space of a CrossFit athlete, Fraser has some suggestions of must-have items that will enable you to hit your whole body.
These include an exercise bike, an Ohio bar and plates, a squat rack with a pullup bar, and sandbags for low-impact strength training. He also recommends investing in a pulley system with different attachments that will enable you to perform different accessory work.
“Put it over your pullup bar, you can do tricep extensions… a huge variety of movements,” he explains. “And elbow straps, for hanging. If you don’t have space and the budget for a full size GHD machine, you can roast your abs on this thing.”
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