Rich Froning On The 2019 Crossfit Games: “I’m In The Most Well-Rounded Shape I’ve Ever Been”
As he prepares to start the competition today, Froning is leaning into his training: "This is the best I've felt."
As a four-time CrossFit Games individual champion and a three-time CrossFit Games team champion, you would think that for Rich Froning, peak physical fitness would be a given. Turns out, there’s always room for improvement. And in 2019, he’s still getting better. “I’m the healthiest I’ve been for sure since I was an individual,” Froning tells Reebok exclusively. As for how he got to this place, well, it’s not by accident.
“It’s just being willing to learn and try different things, but also go back to things that have worked in the past,” says Froning. “I’m also learning to take care of my body more. I’m 32, and now I make the time to go get bodywork done once a week. In years past, I would let stuff ball up and ball up and then go to a doctor to try to fix it, but now I stay ahead of it.” The results speak for themselves, he says. “I feel great.” It also doesn’t hurt that Froning and all of his teammates on CrossFit Mayhem have been training harder than ever. “We’ve all sacrificed so much. This is the hardest we’ve trained in years,” he says. “It’s the hardest I’ve trained in years, and it’s the best I’ve felt.”
But for all that confidence and preparation, you can’t out-train the fact just like in years past, Froning and CrossFit Mayhem don’t know exactly what awaits when competition kicks off today—and that can be nerve wracking. “We still get super nervous, especially in the first event of the day,” says Froning. “There’s no way to get rid of that, and you wouldn’t want to. As soon as you stop being nervous, you’re not really competing. And there’s no point in doing it anymore.”
Froning’s famed work ethic is something he attributes to the way he grew up, as much as being a born competitor. “Any room my parents are in, they’re the hardest workers in it,” he says. “They were always modeling hard work, and neither one of them ever sat still.” Couple that with the fact that Froning is one of thirty-two first cousins, and he says that he was raised to be the athlete he is today. “Everything we did was competitive in some way.”
That kind of spirit is something he hopes to foster in his own children. “My daughter Lakelyn is about as fierce of a competitor as you can be,” he says. “It’s cool to see, and eye opening for sure. Sometimes you’re like, “I’m creating a monster!”
But to be honest, raising a competitive monster can come in handy in adulthood. At least it’s been that way for Froning, who says that the only goal for the next four days is to win—and hopefully have some fun doing it.
“We’re here to work, and we’re here to have fun. But the only way we’ll really have fun is if we win.”