May 10, 2012
On His Own: Mat Frankel
By Katherine Henry

"At CrossFit New England, I could see the ability an affiliate has to change lives."


Mat Frankel arrived on the CrossFit stage in 2010, finishing in 5th place at that year’s CrossFit Games Sectional.

What followed were athletic feats many would envy.

Frankel was part of CrossFit New England’s team that finished 1st at the 2010 North East Regional. He also was on CFNE’s team that finished 1st at the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games North East Regional and, a few months later, took home the title of world’s fittest affiliate at the Games in Carson, Calif.

Now the 25-year-old former Division 1 college football player and shot-put thrower will go back to the beginning.

After being part of the team that won the 2011 Affiliate Cup, Frankel will compete as an individual for a new box – his own.

Two months after celebrating CFNE’s victory at the Home Depot Center, Frankel opened CrossFit City Line in Newton, Mass.

Rather than focusing on training for the Open, the 6’3”, 205-pound Frankel says he funneled his energy into his new business.

He’s the only coach at CrossFit City Line. That means 17- to 18-hour workdays instructing every class, which can be as many as six in one day.

"Physically (there are) enough hours in the day and I take advantage of the time to work out, but it's more mental fatigue,” he says. “I get mentally tapped."

Still, Frankel works to keep a three on, one off, two on, one off workout schedule.

Frankel says he feels he missed out on some training to start up CrossFit City Line. The affiliate officially opened in September. “I work to keep my strengths my strengths while working on my weaknesses.” 

Frankel says his weaknesses lie in strength-based movements, specifically max output. A one-rep max deadlift, for example, is something with which he struggles. His strengths, meanwhile, are endurance based: running, double-unders and rowing. Frankel is a former high school track and field All-American.

Regional Workouts now guide his programming, providing insight into what he needs to fine tune, he says, adding that he intends to practice the Regional workouts.

Simultaneously, he spends time trying to grow the CrossFit City Line community.

His experience with CFNE — which included coaching for two years — not only solidified his desire to open his own gym, but also helped him create goals for it. Frankel sits in 34thplace in the North East after the Open.

“(It) set a precedent for me. I hope to recreate it with my gym,” he says. “At CrossFit New England, I could see the ability an affiliate has to change lives.”