RichFroning, Jr. was always an athlete and he received a scholarship to play baseball in college. Afterleaving school, he worked as a fireman and also a strength coach at Tennessee Tech.He became interested in CrossFit in 2010 and began competing and coaching the sport. He came in 2nd that first year (2010) and spent the off-season working on his weaknesses. Froningwent on to win the CrossFit Games four years in a row (’11, ’12, ’13, ’14) in individual competition, and his team CrossFit Mayhem won 2015 & ’16. A documentary was made about him called Froning: The Fittest Man In History and he has written a memoir entitled, First: What It Takes to Win. Froning owns a gym called CrossFit Mayhem in his home town of Cookeville, Tennessee. He has over a million followers on social media. Froning is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 198 lbs.
Rich Froning’s Diet
While Froning was killing it in CrossFit, he didn’t follow any special diet and says he would pretty much anything that was lying around. He downed a lot of protein shakes, bacon, peanut butter and milk during the day, but not much else. He has since worked with a nutritional coaching company called RP Health to improve his diet. For breakfast he’ll have whole eggs, egg whites and bread, and then a mid-morning protein shake. Dinner might be a steak, broccoli, sweet potato and an apple, with cereal being his favorite dessert. He also engages in intermittent fasting.
- Medium Carb 40% 40%
- Mid-High Protein 60% 60%
- Medium Fat 25% 25%
Do As I Say
Froning says that while he didn’t always pay attention to his diet, he never recommended anyone eat what he ate. He tells the athletes that he trains to eat clean, and to get their nutrients from vegetables and meat.
Not Super Strict
Froning says with 3 kids in the house, his meals aren’t always what the nutrition service recommends.
Froning says raisin bran and frosted mini-wheats are his favorite evening treat.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Eating while working out
Froning on Carbs
‘I found that I was undereating. I was not eating enough carbs.’
Froning on Flexibility in his Diet
‘I have 3 kids. Sometimes it’s chicken nuggets.’
Froning on Dessert
‘I eat a bowl of cereal to cap off the night. That’s my dessert.’
Rich Froning’s Fitness Routine
More Is More
While some athletes take the ‘less is more’ approach, Froning works out multiple times a day, a minimum of 3 but up to 5. He says he doesn’t feel right if he doesn’t hit the gym at least 3 times. He also does not like to take any days off from training, which is unusual for serious athletes.
Short But Intense
Froning works out for about 30 minutes at a time, but they are very intense.
Froning does not have a coach, although he sometimes partners up with other CrossFit athletes such as Dan Bailey and James Hobart.
Rise And Shine
Froning’s first workout is usually around 8 in the morning. He’ll often warm up with a stationary bike ride or a rowing session.
At noon, he does his second workout, which often includes Olympic lifts.
His third routine might involve heavy lifting like deadlifts and squats, along with interval training. When he trained for the CrossFit games, he would often add 2 more workouts to his day.
Some Rich Froning Workouts
Workout #1: 2 min. on/ 2 min. off each machine. 4 rounds total.
Workout #2: 3 rounds total.
Warm up: 1 min. on any cardio machine.
10 Single-arm standing shoulder presses
10 Suitcase Deadlifts
1 min. Plank
50 muscle-ups/handstand hold
50 Bench presses/ D-ball hold
50 D-ball throws/Dead hang
45 min. of intervals on Assault AirRunner
A Swimming Workout (2x per week)
Warm up: 10x50m
Post-workout: 2 rounds
6x25m swim. No breaks.
A CrossFit Afternoon Workout
30 GHB (glute-ham developer)
50 double unders
100-foot handstand walk
A Mountain Bike Workout
30 miles — approx. 2 hrs.
An Evening Workout
8×4 Snatch (225 lbs.) every 2 min.
7×5 Power Clean (275 lbs.) every 1:45
After warming up, Froning takes some resistance bands and plates and spends 30 minutes doing mobility exercises including things like banded single-leg swings, single-leg deadlifts, and Bosu balleccentriclunges.
Froning on the Mind-body Connection
‘The human body is an incredible machine, but most people only get out of that machine what their mind allows them to.’
Froning on the Difference Between Training & Competition
‘In training, you listen to your body. In competition, you tell your body to shut up.’
Froning on Truly Strong People
‘Strong people don’t put others down. They lift them up.’
Rich Froning’s Supplements
Froning takes electrolytes to rehydrate and restore electrolyte balance, which helps prevent fatigue and cramping.
Froning also takes Mass Impact with creatine in the morning to promote muscle growth, strength, and volume.
Spark is a sugar-free vitamin supplement that Froning takes to get a quick hit of energy.
Froning takes O2 Gold to increase resistance to stress and help support the best use of oxygen by the body.
Rich Froning’s Lifestyle
Froning won every stage of the 2011-2014 CrossFit Games, including the worldwide Open, Regionals and the Games. He came in 2nd in the 2015 Open, but his team won 1st place in the 2015 Central East Regional Games.
May I Never Boast
Froning is a dedicated Christian. He has a tattoo of Galatians 6:14 on his side.
Froning loves his high-tech bed so much, he bought an equity stake in the company, HIBR, and designed and developed the RF Signature Series Mattress.
When Froning isn’t sweating it up, he likes to spend his downtime with his wife and their three adopted kids.
Froning on Winning, and Losing
‘It’s not necessarily that I like to win, but I hate losing more.’
Froning on Sleep
‘I rely on sleep more than I do my nutrition.’
Froning on Self-confidence
‘Believe in yourself. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.’
Froning on Quitting
‘I won’t quit ’til I’m dead. And even after death, I’ll burst from my coffin and train like a machine.’
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First: What It Takes to Win