Rich Froning: CrossFit Games Changes and How Long He’ll Compete

In the world of fitness, Rich Froning needs almost no introduction. He is a 4-time Individual and 4-time Team CrossFit Games Champion, as well as the owner of CrossFit Mayhem in Cookeville, Tennessee. Rich joins the BarBend Podcast to talk about hosting a Sanctional qualifier (the CrossFit Mayhem Classic), his honest reactions to CrossFit Games changes, and his future as a competitive athlete. 

In this episode of The BarBend Podcast, guest Rich Froning and host David Thomas Tao discuss:

  • How Rich ended up hosting a Sanctional (the CrossFit Mayhem Classic) (1:30)
  • Pitfalls Rich worked to avoid with the Mayhem Classic, and improving athlete experience (3:12)
  • What most people don’t understand about live streaming events (including costs up to and above $100,000) (5:28)
  • Initial anger and frustration over the CrossFit Games qualification changes (7:18)
  • “It can be a good thing…it had to be done” (8:20)
  • Does Rich have a “hotline” to CrossFit HQ? (9:54)
  • Rich’s competition future, and will we see him in another individual competition? (11:10)
  • Does Rich want to compete in other strength sports?(13:00)
  • Strength athletes Rich admires outside CrossFit (14:18)
  • Putting Cookeville on the map as a fitness destination (15:00)
  • What led other top athletes to train with Rich (18:00)
  • Building the CrossFit Mayhem brand (19:30)
  • Does Rich want his kids to do any particular sport? (22:20)
  • Recovery techniques and methods Rich prioritizes; “I need to start taking care of my body” (25:26)
    • Swimming
    • Sleep
    • Nutrition 
    • Intermittent Fasting 
    • Muscle massage and addressing imbalances (Rich is a Theragun athlete) 
  • Rich’s intermittent fasting schedule, including impact on blood work and his testosterone levels (28:16)
  • Goals outside of CrossFit (30:10)

Relevant links and further reading:


Rich FroningRich Froning

When I was at the top of my game as an individual, every morning that I woke up, my goal was to win the CrossFit Games, every single morning. Now I have three kids. Those are my goal, that’s be the best dad, best husband, and then number three is I’m going to be super fit too and be fit for my team.

David TaoDavid Tao

Welcome to the BarBend Podcast, where we talk to the smartest athletes, coaches, and minds from around the world of strength. I’m your host, David Thomas Tao, and this podcast is presented by


Today’s guest needs almost no introduction, so I’ll make it brief. Rich Froning is a four-time fittest man on earth, captain of four CrossFit-Games-winning teams, and one of the most celebrated competitors in any strength sport.


Our conversation today focuses on Froning’s competition future, his plans for CrossFit Mayhem, hosting his first ever Sanctional competition, and much, much more.


Also, we’re incredibly thankful that you listen to this podcast, so if you haven’t already, be sure to leave a rating and review of the BarBend Podcast in your app of choice. Now let’s get to it.


Rich Froning, a man who needs little to no introduction.


Thanks so much for joining us today, Rich. When we’re recording this podcast, we’re just a few days out from a very big weekend for you, the first ever CrossFit Mayhem Classic. How did that come about and where did the idea for holding that competition originate?

Rich FroningRich Froning

Yeah, this whole Sanctional model’s new. It’s something we were all trying to get used to. Obviously, we want to be a part of the season. I’ve been a part of the Games for going on 11 years now, and let’s be honest, time is undefeated and I know where my career is going to end at some point and so I’m trying to figure out a way…


Obviously, I’ll still be around whether it’s coaching or being a part of something, but this is another way for us to extend that. We’ve done the Mayhem for Mustard Seed event, which is a charity event, for seven years and last year was actually the first time we moved it to the gym instead of the Ag Pavilion, just to see if we could house it.


We actually used all that same committee that’s helped us with Mayhem for Mustard Seed to run this event, so I’m really excited and like I said, we wanted to be a part of the season. Like I said, I’ve been to a ton of events. I feel like we’ve been in some really good events and then some bad events. We’ve learned a lot of things over the years.


I wanted to put on a good event and be a part of that qualification process to go to the games. This is the sport that I’ve put so much of my life into. It’s another way for us to give back as well and have some fun.

David TaoDavid Tao

What are some of the pitfalls that you would really like to avoid. You said you’ve been to so many events over the past decade. I’m sure, as an athlete, your experience has been up and down depending on how it’s organized and basically how it’s scheduled.


What are some things that you really want to make sure athletes can take away from their experience at this competition?

Rich FroningRich Froning

Right. Obviously, the biggest thing is programming the well-rounded program, making sure that we’re trying to hit all facets of fitness and making sure the most well-rounded athlete is the athlete that comes out of here. I don’t feel like we haven’t geared towards one athlete too much.


We’ve tried to do as much as we can to make the workouts, from a viewer’s perspective, cool to watch, but also from an athlete’s perspective be able to test the athletes. It’s nothing super gimmick. There is a dumbbell squat match which is a little bit…A lot of people haven’t touched the 120 on the men’s side.


I feel like it’s still a good test since there’s no, “Hey, pick the dumbbell up, squat with it and stand up.” There is no you have to do unbroken reps, nothing like that. It’s like let’s have a good test and let’s have the athletes be the show, not necessarily the program, not necessarily make it about us, make it about the athletes.


Another thing is not jerking them around like, “Hey, you got to be here at 6:00 AM, but you don’t go until noon. That type of thing we’ve done a couple of competitions I’ve been to where you have to get there super early for an athlete brief then you sit around for five hours.


You don’t really have time to go back to the hotel, and it’s just not a pleasant experience. We decided like, “Hey, let’s do all the athlete’s briefs the day before or the night before so they don’t have to get here super early.


Then the schedule is pretty standard throughout the day. It should be a good weekend forum. Then, like I said, obviously, we want to put on a good show. That’s another thing you got to look at too is, “Hey, did the workouts, did they look good?”


Is it too confusing? Can you kind of tell a story with the workouts? That’s another thing we worked with, a company called Throwdown. They’ve developed live scoring. On the livestream, you’ll be able to know exactly where people are, what they’re doing. That’s the livestream.


You don’t realize those type of things and how expensive. If you want to put on a good show, I feel like this will be quality of Rogue Invitational and CrossFit Games media.


Those types of things you don’t really think about when you’re planning your event. You’re like “Oh, what’s it going to cost, a couple thousand to livestream it?” You’re like, “No, maybe a hundred thousand.” It’s not cheap.

David TaoDavid Tao

We work very closely with USA Weightlifting. We’re their official media partner. You’d think weightlifting live streaming would be something that’s super easy because it’s just one platform, no one’s moving. Then you look at the costs for that, and it boggles the mind.

Rich FroningRich Froning

They’re like, “You need an extra camera? Oh, that’s an extra couple of thousand dollars.” You’re like “What? Oh, but you’ve got to hire a camera operator, and if we go over this much time, then…”


We had to really look at what the timeline was going to be. We’re doing an offsite event for the first couple events, and we’re not even going to try to livestream that because that was exponential added costs.


We’re like “Sorry, guys, you’ll get a recap video of that one,” but everything else will be live streamed, and it will be pretty cool.

David TaoDavid Tao

Awesome. We’ll be releasing this podcast after the competition. For folks who hadn’t watched, we’ll make sure there’s a link in the podcast notes to the archives so they can re-watch the competition. I’m really excited to see it personally.


One thing I wanted to chat about, you’re now part of…This is one of the Sanctionals this year. One of almost a couple dozen Sanctionals. You’re part of the qualification system this year. That’s been a pretty rapid change from less than two years ago.


We saw these very, very rapid changes and transitions in CrossFit qualification from the Regionals model now to the Sanctionals model, which are independently held and operated. What was your initial reaction when you heard that CrossFit Games was moving away from Regionals as that qualification method?

Rich FroningRich Froning

Anger. Frustration. An athlete that’s been around, and you feel like some of us should have been notified of some of these changes, but then you hear that nobody was notified of these changes.


I, at first, did not like it at all. I was very apprehensive about it, very critical of it. Actually, my biggest thing was, why couldn’t we have done one more year announced? “This next year, we’re going to move to the Sanctional model, and then let’s finish Regionals, and do whatever we’ve done for the past couple of…”


Change is hard. To do it so fast and with so little communication, that was a little frustrating. It is what it is, and this is where we’re at right now. Let’s make the best of it. I think it can be a good thing, but it will be down the road.


We had to make some changes, the growth, the costs. Now, you see what the costs of some of these events are. It had to be done. We’ve got to figure out what’s the best way to do some of this stuff.


When you stand back and look at some of these events and see some of the programming at it…I’ve harped on it, I’ve been on a couple of different podcasts, a couple of different interviews. The programming is something that directly affects the event.


Individual-wise, yeah, it makes a big deal, but team-wise, it’s huge. For me, that hits me the most, is you can’t really program one way and affect the outcome on team events. If they’re not really team events, a good team is not going to win.


You could have a bunch of really good athletes that are individuals, but don’t work well together as a team, like we saw last year at the games. I’m not sure what that answer is. I have no answer.


I’m trying to think of a way, and it’d be tough to privatize all of the programming, but we have to figure something out on that side. Needs to be some type of discussion of, “Hey, let’s figure this out.” I’m optimistic now. I’m positive about the changes. They needed to be done.


Like I said, I personally think maybe a year out, versus the immediate change that we saw, but I’m not in charge and I don’t pay those bills either. It is what it is.

David TaoDavid Tao


Well, I think a lot of people, maybe myself included, assume that you have this, like red hotline phone that sits on your kitchen counter, and whenever anything in CrossFit happens, it rings, and you pick it up. It’s like the Call to Arms, you’re the first person.

Rich FroningRich Froning

Yeah. I don’t have a bat phone. I found out, probably just as much as everybody else did, at the same time, and probably a little slower. I feel like some of the other “Morning Chalk Up” had a direct line to them in the beginning.


Like I said, some of those changes needed to be made, having the privatized media, offloading some of that cost that Greg did have with HQ, those things needed to be done. I just wish there would have been a little bit more communication and a little bit more gradual turnover.


But, I don’t make those decisions. I’m just trying to survive here in Cookeville, Tennessee.

David TaoDavid Tao

You’re just a small business owner, man, you’re just trying to make it work.

Rich FroningRich Froning



David TaoDavid Tao

One thing you mentioned earlier and I wanted to talk about the Mayhem Classic, so I tabled it, but I want to come back to it.


Time is undefeated, you mentioned that earlier. Everyone’s athletic career, it doesn’t necessarily end, we see masters doing amazing things, but it changes, right? You don’t stay at that level your entire life.


In an ideal world, how do you see your athletic career developing over the next few years? Is competing as a master something you’re interested in? What do you see moving forward?

Rich FroningRich Froning

Personally, I could be a masters athlete, as long as I’m still productive on the team. You’ll never see me in another individual competition. That’s just not where my headspace is. I did it for six years, five years, whatever it was. I just don’t have that drive to do that anymore.


I love where I’m at on a team. I grew up a team sport guy, that’s who I am. I’ll push for my team. In individual workouts, in a team setting, I’ll push. But, if it was just me, I just feel like, I don’t have that anymore. I don’t want to do that anymore. I’ve got other priorities.


When I was at the top of my game as an individual, every morning that I woke up, my goal was to win the CrossFit Games, every single morning. Now I have three kids. Those are my goal. Hey, be the best dad, best husband, and then number three is, hey, I’m going to be super fit too. Be fit for my team and I love where I’m at.


I will continue to work out and compete as long as I’m not holding the team back and still being a productive member of the team. If I’m a master at that point, then yes, I guess I’m a masters athlete, but no individual competition for me.

David TaoDavid Tao

Makes sense. At BarBend, we cover a lot of strength sports, weightlifting, powerlifting, CrossFit strongman. I know that you’ve done some in gym Olympic lifting competitions before? Is there any strength sport that you could see yourself competing in later on in life? Or any that you’ve been interested in said, Hey, I’d love to do a powerlifting style competition, even if it’s kind of in the gym or something like that, right?

Rich FroningRich Froning

Olympic lifting has always been one of my passions, I love it. Having the meniscus injury a couple years ago, I don’t get to do quite as much heavy, high volume or heavy volume. We’ll do some at the end of a workout, let’s work to a heavy single while we’re fatigued.


It works out well enough to where…At the games two years ago, I hadn’t snatched anything over 225 and probably six to eight months before that, I hit 290.


Last year, at the Games, we had a clean and jerk max, one-rep max after a long workout. I hit 360 on the clean and then rushed the jerk because it was under a time cap. I didn’t know if I can start the jerk before, after whatever. I missed the jerk, but honestly, I could’ve hit it the spine, just got a little bit lazy.

I feel like, with what we do, as long as I’m still supplementing some type of the strength…Olympic lifting is what I really, really enjoy. Powerlifting, yeah, but Olympic lifting more fun.

David TaoDavid Tao


Is there anyone in the Olympic lifting space that you really admire or really like to watch?

Rich FroningRich Froning

I don’t get as much screen time and I watch a lot of Disney Junior. I can almost quote “Shrek” the first, at least 45 minutes until my kids fall asleep every night. When I used to really get into Olympic lifting, Kendrick Farris always stuck out to me. I really liked the power.


CJ Cummings now, him being a Reebok athlete. I’ve met him a couple times and seems like a good kid. Obviously strong powerful kid. Those are the kind of the guys that I’ve watched over the years.

David TaoDavid Tao

You, in many ways, in the fitness world, at least put Cookeville, Tennessee on the map. We came to associated with Rich Froning. Full disclosure, I competed in the Tennessee State Science Bowl at Tennessee Tech, back in high school every year. So I knew Cookeville is where I would go do nerd stuff growing up, right?

Rich FroningRich Froning


Hey, that’s cool.

David TaoDavid Tao


It’s perhaps better known in the fitness world these days. How do you look at your role in making Cookeville this fitness destination? I mean, if it weren’t for you, Matt wouldn’t be living in training there most likely. My guess is Tia wouldn’t either. How do you see your role in nurturing that community and building up that community locally?

Rich FroningRich Froning

Pretty that full disclosure. I was on the 4-H Quiz Bowl team that was at Tennessee Tech as well.

David TaoDavid Tao



Rich FroningRich Froning

Oh, yeah. That was in like, third or fourth grade. Cookeville is an amazing place. I travel all over the world and I love that meeting new people and doing that type of thing.


But, man, home is home, and I love it here. I’ve had multiple people be like, “What’s Cookeville? Why do you want to stay there?” It’s just home for me. It’s a beautiful spot. It’s very conducive to our lifestyle.


I like to be outdoors, but I like to work out a lot. We have the gym here and it’s beautiful. Yeah, four seasons. I love Cookeville. It’s pretty incredible place.


It’s like you’re saying with Matt and Tia and some of the team, it just draws like-minded people and people that understand what it takes to do what we have to do, and the sacrifices we sometimes have to make. It’s a welcoming community to that.


Obviously, you’ve got an incredible facility here to train at whether it’s the gym and…Rogue has partnered and given us all kinds of equipment there. Us having the barn up here and having members that live on the lake…We have a member, his name’s Bob. He’s an ex masters level rower, and he sets out buoys for us in the summer, so we can open water swim. It’s a very, very positive community.


Obviously, over the years, everybody knows how crazy I’ve been, and what it took to get there. Everybody understands what everybody now is going through to do the same thing. It’s been great. We love it here and hope people keep wanting to come to Cookeville. It’s home for us.

David TaoDavid Tao

 I remember those videos that CrossFit HQ released back in 2011, or 2012, when you and Dan Bailey were living and training together. Or rather, I guess Dan was living with you and your wife.

Rich FroningRich Froning

Dan was living with us, yeah.

David TaoDavid Tao

I should clarify there. That was maybe the first example that I have in my head of people coming to Cookeville to train with you and at that point, live with you as well. How did it evolve from there?


Was it just you sending out texts to athletes and be like, “Hey, come and train with me for a few weeks”?

Rich FroningRich Froning

No. No, to be honest, it was just people were like, “Hey, can we come train?” Obviously, Dan, he was a GA at Tennessee Tech. There was a GA spot opened up. We talked previous to that.


I mentioned, “Hey, it was opened up.” He decided to move down. I think from there, you become friends with people through the years. Josh, we obviously became really good friends with Josh. Josh would come out and train some. There would be videos.


Then Ben Smith, a good friend, he’d come out and train some. Then, Fraser started coming out. Then, Sara Sigmundsdottir moved down for a little while once she moved to the States. Like I said, it’s a good community and there’s a lot of top-level athletes with a lot of competition and everybody’s working out.


Somebody’s always working out, and so there’s always somebody to work out with. Angelo, when he was a teen was down here, or is down here still.


Like I said, there was just always somebody to work with and there was always that little extra push and people liked that. Once we started team, then I would reach out and say, “We need…”


When Lindy moved down, we have Kristin Reffett move over from Nashville, and then Tasia, and then Chyna comes out now and Scott comes out. Do a little bit of both, really. There’s some that were like, “Hey, can I come down?” and then they would either stay or come back regularly, or team-wise, it was like, “Hey, we need a new teammate, come on.”

David TaoDavid Tao

Let’s talk about CrossFit Mayhem for a bit. Obviously, we talked about the Mayhem Classic. CrossFit Mayhem has, in a few years, become much more than a gym. It’s really a brand. I know you all sell a ton of apparel and merch. I see it in CrossFit gyms I go to, no matter where I go, someone’s wearing a CrossFit Mayhem t-shirt.


You all produce a lot of media…


[laughs] You all produce a lot of media. What are some of your goals for CrossFit Mayhem? The physical space, sure, but also the larger brand.

Rich FroningRich Froning

 Technically, when we recreated CrossFit Mayhem, because we had CrossFit Mayhem in 2009, technically is when we opened it, and then we merged with CrossFit Cookeville and then came back out and CrossFit Cookeville dissolved and we reopened Mayhem. My beginning was I wanted the people of Cookeville to have a good place to do CrossFit.


I wanted my cousin Darren to have a good place to work and I didn’t want to lose money.


Those were literally the three goals that I had. I feel like we’ve done that with, everybody at Cookeville has a good place to work out. We have a great coaching staff. Darren just recently moved back to Michigan to be closer to family now that they have a daughter, so that goal is gone now, and I’m not really losing money.


Some days I feel like I’m losing money with all the stuff we had and all that type of stuff, but that’s part of it. Those are still the goals, but I want to have a good place where everything’s developing into, like you said, the center of…


We want people to want to come hang out, come train, whether it’s top-level athletes or we do the Training with Rich weekends where we have all facets of fitness that come in and hang out. It’s a really good time. People are a little intimidated when they first walk in the doors and then throughout the weekend, they just realize, “Hey, maybe there’s no secret sauce, it’s just a lot of hard work.”


Dre has done an incredible job growing our media side and doing the videos and all of our social and a lot of the designs for shirts and [inaudible 21:32] the apparel and we have a podcast now. It’s really just stuff we enjoy and I’m like, “Hey, Dre, I got this idea for a shirt.” I have no computer skills, no design skills whatsoever, and Dre’s like, “Oh yeah, I can mock that up.”


Then we go back and forth, “What about this color, what about that?” Having Dre to computer whiz on that type of stuff, it’s incredible.


We’ve got a great group. Josh just took over the gym for Darren when he left. My dad making sure that we don’t burn the place down and now we have the coffee shop going in in the front.


Just trying to make sure that when I’m done competing, we still have something to do. I can’t really stop and can’t really shut the brain off, got to be thinking about what’s next.

David TaoDavid Tao


I didn’t grow up in a household with any professional athletes, but I am curious as a dad to three kids. Obviously, sports were an important part of your life growing up, they’re still an important part of your life. Are you tempted to push them toward any particular athletic endeavors, and have any of them shown interest in one particular sport yet?

Rich FroningRich Froning

It’s tough. They see what goes into what we do every day and I love that. I love that they can go with me to the barn, back and forth to the house to the barn, they go to the gym all the time. I’ve never once been like, “Hey kids, let’s go workout.” I’ll be like, “Hey, you want to come play out in the barn?”


My daughter Lakelyn, she’s my oldest, she just turned five and she’s always been a little bit competitive, and now you’re really starting to see it. It’s a little scary at times where I’m like, “Oh, I’m creating a monster.”


This morning, we’re doing sandbags [inaudible 23:14] . She looks at me. I’m in the middle of a workout. My heart rate is probably 170, 160. She’s like, “Dad.” I’m like, “What do you want?” She’s like, “I don’t have one of those bags.” I’m like, “I didn’t know you wanted to work out.”


We had to get her a D-ball. She got a little 10-pound D-ball. I’ve never once been like, “Hey, you need to work out.” If she ever asks me, “Hey, can I do a workout with you?” I’m like, “Heck, yeah. Let’s do a workout.”


It’s been in the last probably six months that she’s taken an interest to that. I don’t want her to do CrossFit as a competitive sport until she’s out of school. I would rather her play as many sports as she can. All my kids, Trice, Violet, the same.


I really want them to be part of some type of sport. I don’t care what sport that is to be honest, but there’s so many life lessons that I learned. One of the biggest male influences outside my father was my high school baseball coach — coaches really. I have three or four coaches that I can pinpoint.


Some of my best friends are the guys that were on my teams. I really want my kids to have that team sport aspect, have somebody else outside of me and my wife telling them, “Hey, it’s OK to hurt. It’s OK to suffer. It’s OK to be competitive.”


I probably will never coach my kids in any sport. I might help out. In the front yard, if they want to play some sports and do some things, then heck, yeah, I’m in, but I don’t want to be…My dad never did that. He was always super supportive, my mom the same way.


He tried to coach one year. I think it was an assistant coach. He was first base coach. He was like, “Hell, I’m done with that.” No. Like I said, I’ll help out as much as I can, but I don’t want to have that type of relationship with my kids. I want to be dad, not coach.

David TaoDavid Tao

Got you. We’ve talked a little bit about where you see your athletic career moving forward. Obviously, as we get older, our approach to recovery takes a little bit more of a priority than it did when we were younger. We felt like we could get away with anything, or at least it seems like that in hindsight sometimes, right?

Rich FroningRich Froning


David TaoDavid Tao


What are some recovery techniques, methods that you utilize these days? Generally, how has your approach to balancing training and recovery evolved over the last few years?

Rich FroningRich Froning

It’s changed quite a bit. The biggest change happened in 2017 when I tore my meniscus the week before Regionals. For me, at that point, I was like, “OK.”


What I would do in my first couple years of competing was I would let stuff ball up until it became an injury, versus, “Hey, maybe I should take it easy on this,” and maybe go get some therapy or whatever it was at the time to alleviate this before it becomes something that is going to take a couple of weeks.


It might take a week or two to get better versus a couple months. That was an eye-opener. I was like, “Hey, I need to start taking care of my body.”


Over the years, we started adding swimming. That’s been a huge thing for me where two weeks or two days out of the week, we can still get a really good training session in. A longer endurance hard work out, but it doesn’t beat you up. It isn’t hard on the joints, isn’t taxing the nervous system. Swimming has been a huge thing for me.


Sleep is huge, which I don’t get a ton of that because I have three kids. That’s a huge part of it is trying to make sure at the minimum, we’re lying in bed by 9, 10 o’clock. Trying to get eight hours if I can.


I used to, when I was an individual and no kids, I’d sleep until my body would wake up. Sometimes that was 10 to 11 hours. That’s been tough to adjust to the last couple of years is not getting that sleep.


Nutrition’s been a huge part of, “Hey, maybe I should actually look at what I’m doing.” Been working with RP for the last two years. It’s actually really helped. I figured out I was under-eating — maybe not necessarily eating enough versus eating too much. Then I started intermittent fasting as well. It’s been a year-and-a-half now. I can’t speak enough about how great that’s been.


Over the last couple months, I’ve partnered with Theragun. As gimmicky as it’s going to sound, Theragun has actually helped my knee a ton. I’ve got some imbalance still in this left knee. Theragun helps loosen up some of that when I do, I guess, compensate a little bit too much with that side.


Going to a DO once a week has helped a ton. He does a lot of acupuncture, some manipulation stuff. Staying on top of things instead of letting things ball up where I’m like, “Ahh, that hurts, I’m just going to go to bed.” Actually going downstairs, grabbing the Theragun, hitting it, doing that type of stuff.


Or text the doc, say, “Hey, I might come in a little earlier this week just because I know something’s getting worse.” Those type of things for sure have helped.


David TaoDavid Tao


What is your intermittent fasting schedule like? I’m curious.

Rich FroningRich Froning

I go one to nine. For me, when we do a longer training session in the morning, 10:30 till about 12:30…It really depends on the kids. If the kids are going to bed a little earlier and I may try to go to sleep a little earlier, I may go 12:30-8:30. I try to make sure that window is always 16 hours that I don’t eat, but I may shift it either way.


I may stop eating a little early if I know tomorrow we’re going to swim. On swim days, it’s tough to wait till 12:30 to eat because we usually swim kind of early to get in and stay out of the way of the SilverSneakers. The fitness center where we swim has allowed us to swim, but we got to get out of the way.


We get that done early and we’ll probably do another session, so by 12:30, that’s a tough time to make it till. But I feel great. As long as I keep moving, I don’t really think about food.


But the biggest that thing I noticed was, I used to eat breakfast or eat in the morning, and then I’d either forget to eat, get super busy, I’d take a shake, whatever it was, and not eat throughout the day and then eat at night. So by that second training session, I was just trashed. This makes me eat before our 3:00, 3:30 training session, and so I feel good for that session.


Then I think about whatever I’m eating the night after that as my fuel for the next morning. My blood work came back and it helped a ton, it’s helped with inflammation. My testosterone jumped almost double. Always, always been a 450 to low fives, and I was up to 840, something like that, 790. I was like, all right, I’ll take that. I feel good.


David TaoDavid Tao


As we come toward the end here, what are your goals and interests outside of the fitness world? We’ve obviously talked a lot about your family, but…You’ve had a long athletic career and you’re still young. You’re in your low thirties, let’s call it low thirties. Early thirties.

Rich FroningRich Froning

Lot of mileage, though. I may be a 1987 model, but the mileage is more like a 1960-something.


I feel great. Outside of fitness, I still just like to work out. I like being outside. Anything with my kids, obviously. Play as many sports as I can. It’s getting a little bit harder, like I said, with this knee and a lot of cutting and stuff, but I played in a flag football league in the summer and in a flag football league in the fall and really enjoy that, miss doing those type of things.


I like to hunt, but when I say hunt, I actually like to go walk around the woods and see if I can find anything versus just…I can’t sit still. We did an elk hunt last year and we hiked, I think, 60 miles in six days. It was incredible. Didn’t see one elk, but hiked a lot. I enjoy turkey hunting.


Now we’ve got the farm going and we’ve got bison out here and it’s pretty incredible. We’re working on getting some more for the spring. I like to work and do things and I blame my parents for that because I never once…Somebody asked me where the work ethic and all that stuff comes from, I never once saw my parents sit still once the sun was still up.


Once it got dark, they would kind of chill out a little bit, but they were always just moving. My wife gets so mad on Sundays because she wants to just hang out, wants to have a family day, and she’s like, “Why can’t you just sit still? And I’m like, “I have to be moving forward.”


On vacation, I’m miserable to be around because I need my schedule, I need to be able to do my thing, I’m just not a pleasant person to be around unless I’m doing something.

David TaoDavid Tao


On that note, Rich, where are the best places for people to keep up to date with what you’re doing and also with what CrossFit Mayhem’s doing?

Rich FroningRich Froning

My Instagram’s probably the best to see all the shenanigans that my kids do. That’s pretty much what my Instagram has turned into, so that’s @richfroning. Then we have @thecrossfitmayhem, we have @mayhemathlete, showcasing some of our online programming stuff, a bunch of our athletes on there. Then we got @mayhemclassic.


We got quite a few Instagram handles, but Dre does a good job and Kristen helps him out with that. We make sure that those things are pretty up to date. We have a YouTube channel, CrossFit Mayhem. We have Mayhem Mondays on there and our podcast. There’s some stuff to say, we got a lot of stuff going on.

David TaoDavid Tao


Awesome. Rich, thanks so much for taking the time. Really excited for the upcoming year of competition and you know we’ll be tuning into all the team events. I really do appreciate it.

Rich FroningRich Froning


Awesome. Appreciate you having me.