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
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.
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.
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.
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