Meet CrossFit’s Fittest Man on Earth

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Rich Froning secured his fourth consecutive title as Fittest Man on Earth

Froning: Our bodies weren't made to sit on a machine and do single joint movements

CrossFit also includes running, swimming, rowing and biking

Life by DailyBurn  — 

Picture it: A four-day competition, with two to four workouts a day that consist of running, swimming, muscle-ups, 345-pound squat cleans, handstand push-ups, rope climbs, double unders, handstand walks, 245-pound overhead squats and more, against 43 of the most in-shape competitors you know, all with the title of Fittest on Earth on the line.

Now imagine doing it four years in a row — and winning every time. That’s what Rich Froning did as he secured his fourth consecutive title as the Fittest Man on Earth at the CrossFit Games this past July.

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Froning, who has been said to do up to eight workouts a day, had the pressure of 200,000 live spectators as well as the world watching on his shoulders (on top of 310-plus actual pounds) as he made his way through the grueling Games.

We caught up with the four-time CrossFit champion to learn what it means to be the Fittest Man on Earth, his training and supplement regimen, and where he went for his celebratory burger post-Games.

Can you put into words what it means to be the Fittest Man on Earth for the fourth year in a row?

It feels good. It’s what I train for all year – it’s the ultimate goal. The title’s just the title. Winning the CrossFit Games is what I’m most happy about. Fittest Man on Earth is cool, but Crossfit champion is what I most like.

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CrossFitters say CrossFit is a great sport for anyone. Why is that? Do you think all people should try it?

Maybe not even as a sport, but as a fitness program, it works. Pick things up and put them down; run; carry stuff. It’s what our bodies were made to do – not sit on a machine and do single joint movements. Those are good things if that’s what you want to do – it’s better than sitting and doing nothing.

People get too caught up sometimes in thinking the traditional CrossFit circuit is [all there is to it]. But CrossFit is lifting heavy weights, being strong…and it’s also running, it’s swimming, it’s rowing, it’s biking. It’s getting outside the gym.

I think we did a lot of outside-the-gym CrossFit this year, and that was a little different than years past. Picking up heavy objects and running with them, pushing the sled. A lot of us get caught up in just “gym CrossFit.” Probably because it’s fun. I like it, too.

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In terms of injuries, do you think a CrossFitter is his or her own worst enemy? What do you need to look out for so that you don’t get hurt?

Yeah, I think people start out too quickly and say things like, “Rich does several workouts a day so I can do several workouts a day, too.” No, you need to ease into it and find a good coach. Plenty of people have started CrossFit without a coach and not got hurt, but the best-case scenario is doing it with a good coach and learning the right movements.

And also, I hate to say it, but people sometimes think they’re injured when they’re really just sore. You have to be smart about the workouts, but realize you’re going to be a little sore the first few times you do CrossFit.

For me, doing bodybuilding-type workouts using single-joint movements led to