CrossFit Champion Q+A

2X Crossfit Game Champ answers your questions

CrossFit Champion Q+A
By Rich Froning, Jr.

I’ve been to a few different CrossFit boxes, and they all seem to play different types of music based on what the owner likes, everything from rap to techno to heavy metal. Do you tend to play any particular type at your box, CrossFit Mayhem? Also while we’re on the subject, how is it owning your own place? In what ways is it more rewarding than you thought it would be, and in what ways is it more challenging than you imagined?

As for me personally, I listen to worship music. I feel like it puts me in the right state of mind. At the gym, we play just about anything as long as it’s edited. Lyrics with profanity aren’t what we want to hear while we’re working out. Having a gym is very rewarding. I am looking forward to the days when I can concentrate more on training people instead of myself. Right now I have a good group that runs everything for me because with trying to train for another CrossFit Games title along with the traveling and appearances I make for Reebok, there’s just no way I could operate a gym. If I tried to divide my time up, I would do a pretty mediocre job at both, and that’s unacceptable!

Question: what is your diet plan? Do you worry about shredding and bulking, etc.? Or do you just work, sleep, eat and train?

Train, eat and sleep! It sounds like you’re confused about what it is that I do. The CrossFit Games is held to determine who “The Fittest Man on Earth” is, not the biggest, most ripped up, best developed, or anything like that. Your appearance has absolutely nothing to do with how well you do in CrossFit. It’s all about your performance in the WODs. Obviously with the way top CF athletes train with the wide range of exercises and activities, most of us do have a very athletic look. But at the same time, newcomers to CF are often really shocked at how some of the people you would think wouldn’t be great CF competitors based on their appearance (they might have more or less muscle or fat than what they expect) actually kick butt at the WODs, and vice versa. There are plenty of people who come into CF with some type of background in physique competition who the outside observer would assume was going to excel at CF, but that’s not always the case at all. A good CF athlete has a combination of power, endurance and agility, and has mastered the technique on the many different elements to WODs. Since we’re constantly training and thus always “in-season,” it would make no sense to intentionally gain or lose weight, and especially with the goal of looking better. No offense to anyone who strives to improve his or her appearance, it’s just not what CrossFit is all about. Just about everyone who trains CF does end up “looking” better, but it’s purely a side effect, if you will, not the goal.

What do you do in terms of therapy to aid recovery, such as chiropractic adjustments, deep tissue massage, ice baths, etc.?

The chiropractor is something I don’t know what I would do without. With the way I train, the spine is put under a lot of stress and can get out of alignment due to the many directions I move in and the forces being applied. Your best bet is to find a chiropractor who has experience treating serious athletes. The average chiropractor who deals more with more run-of-the-mill issues like whiplash and general back pain from being sedentary most of the time won’t be quite as effective at keeping a hard-training athlete “tuned up.” I also do a lot of mobility work, or stretching. When I say stretching, it’s a lot more involved than what most people would picture— to some first-timers it’s a workout in itself! Go to YouTube and search for “Mobility WOD” and you’ll get a really good idea of what it’s all about. Deep tissue massage is also something many athletes find beneficial. Again, try and find a therapist with experience treating serious athletes, as they will have a much better understanding of your particular needs and issues.

Hey, I’d like to know which wrist wraps you use for snatching. I’m trying to buy a pair and can’t decide which to buy. I’ve seen a bunch of your videos and noticed you use them all the time. I’d really appreciate an answer. Thanks.

I actually don’t use wrist wraps anymore; I found that my wrists feel better without them! They can limit mobility and flexibility when they are on tight, and what’s the point of wearing them loose? But if you do have wrist pain or a history of wrist pain, they are a good idea to provide more support and stability to that joint.

Rich Froning Jr., a BSN athlete, is the only two-time CrossFit Games Champion, and the owner of his own CrossFit “box,” CrossFit Mayhem in Cookeville, Tennessee. CrossFit is fast becoming the training style of choice for millions of men and women around the world, and Rich is here to answer your questions about it! If you have a question for Rich, e-mail it to

Photos By Kevin Horton

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