Why Are Jason Khalipa, Mat Fraser, and Rich Froning Training Together?

Over the last five years, Cookeville, Tennessee has progressively become a major training hub for multiple CrossFit® athletes. Rich Froning, a long-time resident of Cookeville, opened CrossFit Mayhem in 2012, and since has provided a roof for multiple top level athletes to train under.

Last year, Sara Sigmundsdottir trained at Mayhem until moving earlier this year to California. Then in late October, Mat Fraser’s girlfriend Sammy Moniz posted about their recent move to Cookeville. And now, we’re seeing photos of Jason Khalipa, Fraser, and Froning all training together.

Cumulatively, these three athletes have a total of seven individual CrossFit Games Championships, and Froning has two team Affiliate Cup wins. In addition, Khalipa has also competed on a team and claimed 10th place with CrossFit NorCal at the 2015 Games.

Possibly the bigger question at hand is if these athletes have a behind the scenes reason for training together other than being friends. Obviously, it’s not unusual to see top CrossFit athletes work out together, as they’re often friends outside of competition. In addition, Froning just released his new podcast titled Froning and Friends, so this meet-up could be solely business.

In fact, the only reason we’re speculating at all is due to Fraser’s recent move, and the news for new team formats for the 2018 CrossFit season. After the Reebok CrossFit Invitational, Dave Castro announced that teams will now include four athletes instead of six. A few days later, Froning posted a video showing two teams that will descend from CrossFit Mayhem, which included: Team Freedom and Team Independence.

Check out the video below that highlights the three CrossFit Games Champions training together. In the description CrossFitsarge writes, “You don’t see this everyday, a couple of champs getting in 10 rounds of 10 GHD, 10 STOH and 10 box jumps (no rebounding) @jasonkhalipa @[email protected] Old School!”

More than likely, these athletes are just getting in a workout as friends, but we can dream there may be some form of calculated team decision at play. Now that CrossFit Mayhem will have two teams, then they’ll need a fourth guy to head one squad.

Could Khalipa be making a 2018 CrossFit Games comeback? There’s no hard evidence on this, but we can certainly dream.

Feature image from @mathewfras Instagram page. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend.

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,200 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter.

On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.

Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in New York City.

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