CrossFit is the philosophy, program, and community that’s responsible for putting barbells into the hands of more people, opening up the opportunity to experience lifting in a way that’s not accommodated by most local gyms. The CrossFit Games serve not only as a display of elite athleticism but a way to determine who is the fittest of the fit. Frequently, that person has been Rich Froning. Often dubbed “the Michael Jordan of CrossFit”, Froning achieved the title of CrossFit Games Champion consecutively from 2011 to 2014 and CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup Champion in 2015 and 2016, coming in as runner up in 2017. He is indeed the greatest CrossFit champion of all time.[amazon box=”1414386788″ template=”horizontal”]
To rise through the ranks and become the greatest has to take some extraordinary strategy. It’s more than dedication, as no doubt most every competitor sticks to their routine. For this reason, some study Froning carefully, trying to figure out his recipe for secret sauce. This 5 foot 9 inch, 195 pound champ is in his early 30s and lives with his family in Cookeville, Tennessee, which is fast becoming the hub for the CrossFit elite. Froning has a lot to do with that, as he moved their from his home state of Michigan when he was just a youth. It was while working out on his job with the Cookeville Fire Department that CrossFit first captured his attention.
While it’s true that Froning has retired from individual competitions, he continues to train and compete on the group level. He said he had to take a step back so that he could focus more on being a husband and father. Still, for Froning, like most CrossFit members, fitness is a way of life. He continues to follow a very strict daily regimine.
Rich Froning Diet
Though it might be easy to imagine that the Rich Froning diet is a tight plan full of dos and don’ts, that’s really not the case. Froning does put some focus on nutrition and has a few rules and habits that he sticks to, but, for the most part, he doesn’t restrict what he eats. He’s prone to enjoying Mexican takeout and any type of meal without concern for how much carbs, fat, or calories is in it. Though many may argue against the merits of this approach, apparently, this liberty hasn’t had any negative impact on his performance or physique.
There is one remarkable thing about what Froning eats, however. He’s an avid chocolate milk drinker. And again, he doesn’t place limits on how much chocolate milk he drinks in a day. Instead, it’s his recovery drink, his morning drink, his all the time pleasure. He’s known to keep a fridge full of chocolate milk in his barn, which serves training central not only for him but several CrossFit elite. Froning drinks so much milk in fact that when his bone density was found to be a whopping 15 percent higher than average, he attributed it to the high calcium intake of drinking milk throughout every day.
An example of what Froning has for his 8am breakfast is two eggs over easy on top of a slice of toast covered with peanut butter and jelly. After every workout he has chocolate milk and 16 grams of protein. Then comes dinner at around 7pm, which can be literally whatever happens to be around. Froning’s “informal” diet plan, therefore, is to have breakfast and dinner with snacks that refuel from working out in between. Interestingly, one thing that Froning won’t eat is vegetables. Though he advises others to eat them, he doesn’t like them and refuses to eat them. Instead, he eats a lot of bacon.
Rich Froning Workout
Most remarkable about Froning’s routine isn’t the moves he does when he’s working out, but when he works out. One would be justified in saying that he works out all the time, as that would be only a slight exaggeration. The truth is that he does at least three workouts a day. Froning never takes a day off, ever. He doesn’t need rest days, unlike mortals. Instead, his Greek-like physique stays getting chiseled.
Froning’s first workout of the day starts at 9:30 am. His CrossFit team enters his home gym and their aim is simply to get out of breath. Keeping in line with the principles of CrossFit, they’re always mixing things up, though starting with cardio. What they usually do during this first workout is interval training (2). To them, it’s a warmup. Then, at 10:30 comes prehab, which is mobility exercises. It has taken a while for Froning to fully recover from his torn meniscus and its surgery. At 11:30 am the group does their second workout, a brief warm-up followed by 50 reps each of muscle ups, bench presses, and D-ball throws (2). The final workout comes at 5:30 pm, which is about 45 minutes of interval training.
Why You Should Be More Like Rich Froning
Rich Froning eats very little, but doesn’t place a lot of emphases on what he eats. All of his focus goes to his workouts. But when Froning advices others, he never tells them to do like he does. Instead, he recommends they watch their diets carefully, and consume a balanced mix of veggies and protein. Froning somehow gets by without any veggies in his life, and consuming lots of chocolate milk and bacon. Clearly, he knows his body well. His accomplishments and physique are proof of that. Who could argue that it’s not working for him, especially when he’s been the Fittest Man on Earth four times in a row?
Those who want to be more like Froning won’t find it by over exercising and living off bacon. They’ll find it by getting to know themselves better and discovering what works for their individual needs. That may be a lot easier to do in the CrossFit community, which is full of support and inspiration, and where people are encouraged to become their best selves. Froning is evidence that the CrossFit approach holds much merit.