Mat Fraser’s HWPO Training Camp Preps Contenders for the 2023 CrossFit Games

These elite athletes know about hard work.

Team HWPO (Hard Work Pays Off) is one of the many arms of five-time Fittest Man on Earth® Mat Fraser’s growing organization. Based on an inside look at a recent training camp, Fraser seems to be using his experience and resources to get top contenders primed and ready for the 2023 CrossFit Games, taking place August 1 to August 6.

On July 13, 2023, the Buttery Bros posted a video to their YouTube channel where they visited Team HWPO during their camp preparation. Under Fraser’s guidance were veterans of the CrossFit Games — two-time Fittest Woman on Earth® Katrin Davíðsdóttir, top-10 finalist Jayson Hopper, and Christine Kolenbrander (making her second appearance as an Individual Women’s competitor).

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Here’s a rundown of the dynamic exercises Fraser and Co. are practicing in their camp before the 2023 edition Games.

Handstand Practice

The day’s training began with the assembled crew performing a variety of handstand drills. The path included a handstand walk to ascend and descend a ramp, a handstand push-up, a pirouette (performing a 360-degree turn while maintaining a handstand), a second handstand push-up, and a final ramp ascent and descent.

Fraser also participated in this practice and soon developed a friendly rivalry with Hopper to the point of betting five dollars to see which athlete could complete the course in the least amount of time. Hooper eked out a victory over the winningest champion in Games history. However, when the pair attempted to go for “double or nothing,” both elite competitors suffered technique breakdowns and neither completed the course for a final time.

Scarecrow Snatch, Power Clean, and Back Squat

Hopper had the Buttery Bros join him for some scarecrow snatches. The athlete worked up to 84 kilograms (185 pounds). Hopper revealed that he’s relatively new to Olympic weightlifting and his technique, apparently, leaves something to be desired. Fraser, a National weightlifting champion prior to his CrossFit training, has been assisting him with that aspect of his training.

Davíðsdóttir and Kolenbrander took the Buttery Bros through power cleans, eventually finishing at 95% of their respective one-rep maxes. To close this strength element segment of the session, everyone performed squats, working up to a five-repetition max, taking three second to lower the first rep followed by traditional speed with the following four repetitions. Several participants reached into the 136-kilogram (300-pound) range.

Echo Bike Sprint Interval

The ensuing portion featured the team rolling through 12 sprint and Echo Bike intervals every 90 seconds — a variation of EMOM training. The aim for the women was to burn eight calories in 15 seconds. The objective for the men was to burn 12 calories in the same time frame. They closed this interval and functional morning portion with 15 legless rope climbs.

Sprint Metabolic Conditioning

Once the athletes ate a meal and recovered, they returned for an afternoon session centered around an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) format. It was six sets with a 2.5-minute work period, resting 2.5-minutes after each set:

  • Standing Bike Erg — Women: 12 calories | Men: 16 calories
  • 12 Burpee Box Jump Overs
  • Four Squat Snatches  Women: 61 kilograms (135 pounds) | Men: 93 kilograms (205 pounds)
  • Max Ring Muscle-ups

Per Fraser, the aim was to spike the athletes’ heart rate on the bike, tire out with the burpees, perform a technical movement on the squat snatch, then push for fatigue with muscle-ups.

Games-Style Workout

After seemingly “easing” into it, Fraser has his group perform a workout reminiscent of something that would happen at the Games. They went through four rounds of two handstand walk ramps, barbell thrusters, and 400-meter runs. The thrusters increased in weight and reps on each round. They started at five reps with 43 kilograms (95 pounds) and ended at 11 reps with 56.7 kilograms (125 pounds). 

Outdoor

Finally, to close the camp day, Davíðsdóttir and Hopper took the exploits outside. They started with a 300-meter (984-foot) lake swim, followed by 21 reps of double kettlebell snatches, 21 reps of double kettlebell front squats,. The next round required another swim with 15 repetitions of each exercise, then a third swim with 9 reps per exercise, and a concluding swim.

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Fraser’s bunch appear to be ready and willing to put in the hard work needed to capitalize on their upcoming appearance at the Games. At the very least, from a training perspective, they seem up to the task.

Featured image: @butterybros on Instagram

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