Winning the 2020 Reebok Crossfit Games in October of last year, Mathew Fraser confirmed, without a doubt, that he is the Fittest Man in History. Fraser has now earned the title of “Fittest on Earth” more times than anyone else on the planet, cementing him as the winningest CrossFit athlete in History. To get inside the head of an athlete who has rewritten the standard for GOAT status in CrossFit, we dig into the origins and applications of his mantra, HWPO - and how it has truly captivated and challenged the mindset of the training obsessed.

First heard by the Fitness Community in the documentary, Fittest On Earth: A Decade of Fitness, Fraser talks about a simple line that kept on coming back to him again and again when training, Hard Work Pays Off. Although... it was way before Mat had even started CrossFit that Hard Work Pays Off had already become engrained in his approach to daily life.

Mathew Fraser after winning his 5th consecutive CrossFit Games.


On an Instagram Live Q+A interview last Saturday with training tastemaker and Metcon Superfan @NikeMetconClub, Fraser gave us an insight on how HWPO originally became part of his identity.

“It started in college, before I even got into CrossFit, when I started taking college seriously. I wasn't getting the results that I wanted. So I would go to the library, sit down with a textbook and say to myself ‘all right, I’m going to do everything in my power to work as hard as I can and to do as well as I can in each exam.’ After that, I set the curve for the class. What I just did, all the hard work, it paid off therefore I’m going to carry it over into everything else. So, when I started with CrossFit where there are so many new elements and movements to work on, I’m just to work hard, be smart and give myself a day to day checklist of what I can do today that’s going to put me where I want be in a month, 6 months or a year.”

Mathew Fraser's gift from Nike after becoming the fittest man in history, gold plated metcon 6s.

After winning the CrossFit Games for the first time in 2016 having coming second both years prior, Fraser proved demonstrably that he could manifest the results he dreamed of through his relentless hard work. And beyond the simple scope of “winning” - Fraser’s accolades in sport have made their mark on the world of Nike and the wardrobes of the training obsessed. Since his first CrossFit Games win, Fraser’s chief sponsor, Nike Training have released 3 x Mat Fraser Metcon “Player Exclusives” - all of which have been instant sell outs. Each edition bears as unique and evolving aesthetic, flooded with details which speak to where he was as an athlete at the point of creation - but ALL display his HWPO mantra.

Let's take a look back at some of the iconic designs and meaning behinds Mat's previous PE releases as well as his upcoming HWPO t-shirt release (launching tomorrow at WIT).


Mat's first PE Nike shoe was largely inspired by two of Mat Fraser's favourite things: weightlifting and motorcycles. The sleek black design has custom haptic printing on the upper, replicating a barbell's diamond knurling. The bull’s skull on the tongue patch is reminiscent of a motorcycle jacket patch, the lining is quilted like a motorcycle seat, the back of the shoe is leather and the heel clip and shoelace tips are gunmetal chrome – all nods to premium motorcycle detailing. The two circles on each heel represent the two first-place medals Fraser had earned at that point in the highest level of global competitive fitness, all nods toward his pursuit of a three-peat.

The letters “HWPO" are embedded in the sole of the shoe, a subtle parallel to how the mantra is embedded in Mat's life.


Fraser’s second PE in the Metcon range, built upon the sell out success of his first Metcon 4 PE. Like his Metcon 4, the shoe was an immediate sell out, unavailable worldwide within minutes. WIT’s own global allocation of the MF Edition sold out in under 5 minutes - fitting for the 5th iteration of the Metcon Franchise.

The details: The darkness represents Fraser’s inward focus and meticulous dedication to his routine, while the lightness signifies him stepping into the spotlight for competition. The red racing stripe is a nod to the chase for first place as well as the colour of shorts worn by the CrossFit Games leader. The three bullseyes on the medial heel and on the sockliner stand for the three consecutive first-place medals Fraser has earned at the CrossFit Games. His signature appears on the transparent outsole. On release, the shoe came in a box packed with tissue paper bearing the image of a bull’s skull (something Fraser uses to remind himself to strengthen his weaknesses) and again, the HWPO acronym runs throughout.


Fraser’s latest PE iteration, the MF Metcon 6 was, again, another sell out at WIT - exploring the competitive advantage that separates him from other CrossFit Athletes: his mentality.

The blacked-out upper, representing the “dark space” Fraser descends into in order to block out all distractions, is punctuated by a red base and  a bold red stripe shooting across the lateral side represents his focus. Iridescent blue elements in a bolt pattern beneath the mesh and surrounding the shoe channel the image of ice in his veins, enabling Fraser to calmly and cooly execute under pressure. The sockliner features phrasing inspired by the Serenity Prayer. The words encourage him to focus on what he can change, and to not get distracted by what he cannot control.

Other details highlight accolades from Fraser's stellar career, such as the four circular symbols on the heel that recognise his four consecutive wins on the world stage. HWPO again appears on the insole, something that immediately catches the eye when putting on the shoe.

Mat Fraser wearing one of his signature HWPO Tees. Photo credit: Hybrid PErformance


Already sold out in Europe, Mat Fraser has entered the t-shirt space with Nike, bringing out a series of 5 tee shirts, all bearing his penned signature and signature phrase. The number of tee colours available pay tribute to Mat's latest CrossFit Games victory - a nod to his record breaking fifth successive title. Like in so many other spaces in sport and lifestyle, the release of Fraser’s HWPO tee series allows the training obsessed to vote with their dollar (or £) and own a piece of the athlete's performative greatness and mental acuity - frozen in time.

Tomorrow at 9AM GMT Mat's sold out HWPO tee launches at WIT in multiple colours. Each purchase of a HWPO tee from Thursday enters you into a draw to receive one of 10 tees signed by the Fittest Man in History, himself.

Each purchase of a HWPO tee from Thursday enters you into a draw to receive one of 10 tees signed by the Fittest Man in History, himself.