C.T. Fletcher, an icon of the iron-pumping world and longtime owner of Iron Addicts Gym near Long Beach, CA, has taken on a new role perfectly crafted for his F-bomb-blasting, never-quit brand of muscle motivation— master motivator on the new physical-challenge-based YouTube series Don’t Break with C.T. Fletcher, hosted on the Spartan Race YouTube channel.  

Think Fear Factor meets Titan Games, as Don’t Break pushes athletes way out of their comfort zones with challenges staggering enough to test even Tony Robbins’ mental mettle. So when you’re being pushed to your ultimate max, who would you want verbally forcing you to push out every last rep than the man who coined the legendary phrase “It’s Still Yo Mutha Fuckin’ Set?” Despite the adrenaline rush, Fletcher says there’s more to each Don’t Break episode.

“They’re gonna have to show they don’t break mentally or physically,” Fletcher said on a recent episode of M&F Reps. “But the story behind what made that person into the person they are today is what’s most important. That’s what Don’t Break is all about. So, if I meet somebody who I’ve never knew that nobody knows I’ve never met before and they have one hell of a story, I want them on Don’t Break.”

At first glance, the partnership of a six-time powerlifting champion nicknamed “The Compton Superman” and Joe De Sena, the founder of OCR juggernaut Spartan Race, seems a bit odd, but in today’s unrestful world, they may turn out to be the perfect ambassadors for those of different backgrounds coming together in times of crisis. ”I guess [Joe] liked my ass and said, Hey C.T., I got a project for you,” Fletcher says. “And I’m like, yeah, tell me more.”

Like most sports, the Spartan Race schedule came to a screeching halt in 2020, thanks to novel coronavirus. De Sena, of course, didn’t throw his hands up and quit; he adapted in an attempt to showcase how Spartans can become unbreakable. 

First up was the Unbreakable CEO, as an emboldening message to keep fighting no matter the obstacles.

For Don’t Break with C.T. Fletcher, De Sena needed a larger-than-life badass, one tough enough to even fight off death. Who better than Fletcher, who at age 61, is a little more than two years removed from receiving a heart transplant, and who by his own admission, “flatlined five times?” 

Despite all the turmoil igniting the country, Fletcher sees little signs of progress, the racial mixup of worldwide protests being one, and hopefully collaborations such as his and De Sena’s can be the next step toward change. 

“You can’t put your head in the ground and pretend like you don’t see everything’s wrong is wrong,” Fletcher says. “So I have hope because I see the diversity … I have the heart of a female in my chest beating my chest right now. I have no idea her ethnicity or nationality. I don’t know any of that, but I’m still here. So it lets you know that we are so closely related as human beings.”

Each episode requires more than heart to get through the giant challenges Fletcher places on his athletes. It takes a bit of vocal motivation from him and his son, aptly named Samson. 

In Episode 1 (which debuted on June 19), it was two-time Guinness world record holder Logan Aldridge, dubbed the “fittest one-arm athlete in the world” needing support in completing the punishing “200-rep deadlift challenge, ” a will-breaking routine in which Aldridge deadlifts his weight (165 pounds) for 20 sets, starting at one rep and going all the way to the 20th set of 20 reps. “Scientifically speaking, this is hard as fuck,” Fletcher tells Aldridge beforehand.

“But once he got going, he was like, ‘Fuck it. We don’t need no breaks,’” Fletcher says “And he hooked back up. He kept going. He’s a bad dude.”

Watch the first episode here, and tune into Spartan Race’s YouTube channel for future episodes.