Name: Rich Froning
Weight: 195 lbs
From: Cookeville, Tennessee
Region: Central East
Team: CrossFit Faith
CrossFit Games: 2011 Champion, 2010 Runner-up
Education: B.S. Exercise Science, Tennessee Tech
Day Job: Cookeville Fire Department
Sponsored By: BSN
CrossFit is the ultimate amalgam of fitness and athleticism.
It requires speed, coordination, aerobic and muscular endurance, experience with Olympic lifts, raw strength, skill, and a healthy serving of guts, talent and power.
BSN athlete Rich Froning crushed the 2011 CrossFit Games, earning the title of Fittest Man on Earth.
We've got 5 of his most brutal 2012 workouts. They're deceptively simple and incredibly intense. Think you can keep up?
World's Fittest Workouts
7 sets (start a new round every 3 minutes)
- 10 reps (155 pounds)
Fit Like Froning
Rich's workouts are intended to create the ultimate CrossFit competitor - not a specialist, but a jack of all trades.
"You may not be the best at one thing," Rich says. "You may not be the strongest or the fastest, but you're also not going to be terrible at something. You practice everything."
Rich writes Bible verses in his shoes before competitions for motivation. The challenge brings out the best in him -- the consummate competitor, salivating for victory. It doesn't matter what he's doing; he plays to win.
Rich believes CrossFit has perfect carryover to real life, perhaps unlike other sports. "In life," Rich says, "you don't really know what's coming at you. Like a firefighter, or police officer, or anyone else working in the emergency field, they don't know what's going to come at them. You gotta be ready for anything."
If his work ethic, workouts and strength are any indication, Rich is definitely ready.
The 2012 CrossFit Games take place July 13-15, in Carson, Calif. The games were first held in 2007. There are now 3,400 CrossFit affiliates; there were only 2,100 in 2011. Both Froning and reigning women's champion Annie Thorisdottir took home $250,000 for winning last year (part of the $1 million purse). More than 26,000 athletes competed in the open in 2011; only 70 people competed in the inaugural 2007 games.
"We don't just do gymnastics, powerlifting, weightlifting, mono-structural (running, biking, rowing, swimming)," Froning says. "We mix all those facets of fitness together and either come up with a circuit, or just try to get as good as we can at certain things without lacking in other areas."
Froning clearly isn't lacking, but this is the largest field of competitors in CrossFit history. He must improve his scores from last year to again wear the crown. His toughest competition may come from former winners Jason Khalipa and Graham Holmberg, and challengers Dan Bailey and Neal Maddox.
In case you're unfamiliar with the Games, the events are not announced until just before they begin. This helpful page shows you what's known and unknown leading into the competition.
Women: Jolie Gentry, USA
Men: James Fitzgerald, Canada
Affiliate Cup: CrossFit Santa Cruz
Women: Caity Matter, USA
Men: Jason Khalipa, USA
Affiliate Cup: CrossFit Oakland
Women: Tanya Wagner, USA
Men: Mikko Salo, Finland
Affiliate Cup: Northwest CrossFit (Wash.)
Women: Kristan Clever, USA
Men: Graham Holmberg, USA
Affiliate Cup: CrossFit Vancouver
Women: Annie Thorisdottir, Iceland
Men: Rich Froning, USA
Affiliate Cup: CrossFit New England