Rich Froning trains and eats like a CrossFit freak. His work ethic is one of a kind and some nutritionists even say they wouldn’t recommend his diet to an elite athlete.
But his methods clearly work for him. Between 2011 and 2015 he was unbeatable, winning four Fittest Man on Earth titles in a row, a feat only recently surpassed my Mat Fraser.
Froning has gone on to even more success as a member of CrossFit Mayhem in the team division and is still in incredible shape at the age of 34.
While his methods in the gym and his patterns of eating are pretty difficult to replicate, they’re certainly something to marvel at. Here’s a look at how Rich Froning eats and trains.
Rich Froning Doesn’t Stinge On Volume
Froning trains for most of the day. He’s not shy of getting through multiple sessions, which is how he achieved so much success as an individual CrossFit athlete - he outworked his competition.
Unlike most athletes, though, he doesn’t follow a set routine. He doesn’t overthink things or get too bogged down by statistics, he just goes by feel and adapts his workouts accordingly.
“I work out anywhere from two to five times a day, but I don’t walk into the gym with a schedule,” Froning said in the past. “I just make it up as I go, listening to my body and doing what I think I need to do.”
It takes a huge amount of confidence and experience to be able to take such a laid-back approach. Most athletes would struggle to train without a clear plan that’s leading towards a goal.
Typical Rich Froning Workouts
Usually, Froning will start the day with a cardio-based workout at about 8:30am.
For example, he might do the following session:
100 Cal Bike Erg
100 Cal Bike Erg
He’ll then move on to his second session of the day later in the morning, which usually revolves around some Olympic lifting.
Froning does a lot of squats, deadlifts and power cleans, which is how he maintains such a strong base.
After lunch, he trains again from 2:30pm until 3pm, and then might fit one final session in at around 4pm if his body feels good.
These afternoon workouts tend to be more CrossFit specific. An example session is below.
2-4-6-8-10 sets of muscle-ups
4-8-12-16-20 sets of burpees
10-20-30-40-50 sets of wall balls
Importantly, Froning makes sure he sleeps around 10 hours each night so he can maintain such a high intensity and volume throughout the day.
Rich Froning’s Diet
Froning has to fuel a lot, but interestingly he doesn’t eat much throughout the day. He’s even been known to fast for 16 hours and only eat properly at the end of his training day.
More recently, after working with a nutritionist, he’s started incorporating a bigger meal in the middle of the day so he has more energy to train off.
Each meal aims to include 45g of protein, 25g of fat and at least 100g of carbohydrates so that he can maintain energy levels throughout each workout.
Froning will often skip breakfast, but he’ll generally have protein shakes throughout the day to keep some calorie intake up. A lunchtime meal might include another shake plus meatloaf and sweet potatoes.
He’ll then get a major meal in the evening. This might be a large steak or grilled chicken with potatoes and vegetables.
If he’s still hungry, Froning continues to listen to his body and makes sure he keeps fueling by eating peanut butter with apple slices or some cereal later at night.
If it sounds like a crazy schedule, that’s because it is. But Froning has found a way to make it work for several years, and nobody can argue with his results.